Scenic Impact - Tune in via Web Right Now (LD 911)

If you are not attending in person, please tune in on the Web at the following link to listen to today's Public Hearing on LD 911 as described below.  If they start late or take a break, there will be dead air. 

http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Audio/216

After clicking the above link, turn up your speakers and use the audio buttons immediately to the right of the words "Environment and Natural Resources Committee Room (ENR)"

Descriptions of the three audio buttons are as follows:

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Scenic Impact - Public Hearing on Wednesday, 4/22/15 at 9:30 AM (LD 911 - ENR Committee)

Cross Building, Room 216

Public Hearing, Wednesday, 4/22/15 at 9:30 AM for about 3 hours
HP0631, LD 911 An Act Concerning the Review of Certain Projects under the Site Location of Development Laws
SP0449, LD 1244 An Act To Amend Environmental Permitting Standards

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources

Presented by Representative WINSOR of Norway.
Cosponsored by Senator SAVIELLO of Franklin and
Representatives: CAMPBELL of Orrington, DUCHESNE of Hudson, DUNPHY of Embden,
HARLOW of Portland, McCREIGHT of Harpswell, MORRISON of South Portland

SUMMARY

This bill:

1. Creates several new definitions relating to the scenic impact of a wind energy development;

2. Allows for the consideration of cumulative scenic impacts in the permitting of wind energy developments;

3. Adds to the definition of "scenic resource of state or national significance" great ponds that were studied for their value in 1987 or 1989 and that have on them commercial sporting camps established prior to 2007;

4. Allows the Department of Environmental Protection to require a visual impact assessment for wind energy developments located within 15 miles of scenic resources of state or national significance and mandates a visual impact assessment if a generating facility is located within 15 miles of specific scenic resources of state or national significance; and

5. Allows the Department of Environmental Protection to require a visual impact assessment for wind energy developments located beyond 15 miles from scenic resources of state or national significance under certain limited circumstances.

Detailed information on bill: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?PID=1456...

Download bill at: LD_911_Bill_Text_HP063101.doc

Committee On Environment and Natural Resources - Members

Members & Staff (additional email addresses below)
 Senator Thomas Saviello of Franklin, Chair
RSenate District 17
60 Applegate Lane
WILTONME 04294
Phone: 207-645-3420, e-mail: Thomas.Saviello@legislature.maine.gov
 Senator Eric Brakey of Androscoggin
RSenate District 20
146 Pleasant Street, Apt. 3
AuburnME 04210
Phone: , e-mail: Eric.Brakey@legislature.maine.gov
 Senator Catherine Breen of Cumberland
DSenate District 25
15 Falmouth Ridges Drive
FalmouthME 04105
Phone: , e-mail: Cathy.Breen@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Joan Welsh of Rockport, Chair
DHouse District 94
54 Sea Street
ROCKPORTME 04856
Phone: 207-236-6554, e-mail: Joan.Welsh@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Andrew Buckland of Farmington
RHouse District 113
278 Maple Avenue
FarmingtonME 04938
Phone: , e-mail: Andrew.Buckland@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Richard Campbell of Orrington
RHouse District 130
321 River Road
OrringtonME 04474
Phone: 207-989-6055, e-mail: Richard.Campbell@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Benjamin Chipman of Portland
IHouse District 40
5 Mayo St., #3
PORTLANDME 04101
Phone: 207-318-4961, e-mail: Benjamin.Chipman@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Robert Duchesne of Hudson
DHouse District 121
478 Beechwood Avenue
OLD TOWNME 04468
Phone: 207-827-3782, e-mail: Robert.Duchesne@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Jeffery Hanley of Pittston
RHouse District 87
52 Turner Drive
PittstonME 04345
Phone: , e-mail: Jeff.Hanley@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Denise Harlow of Portland
DHouse District 36
36 Broadway
PORTLANDME 04103
Phone: 207-409-0870, e-mail: Denise.Harlow@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative John Martin of Eagle Lake
DHouse District 151
PO Box 250
EAGLE LAKEME 04739
Phone: 207-444-5556, e-mail: John.Martin@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Ralph Tucker of Brunswick
DHouse District 50
15 McKeen Street
BrunswickME 04011
Phone: , e-mail: Ralph.Tucker@legislature.maine.gov
 Representative Dustin White of Washburn
RHouse District 146
PO Box 1654
Presque IsleME 04769
Phone: , e-mail: Dustin.White@legislature.maine.gov

Additional Email Addresses

Andrew Buckland ABUCKLAND@FARMINGTON‐MAINE.ORG
Benjamin Chipman Ben.Chipman@legislature.maine.gov
Cathy Breen Cathy.Breen@legislature.maine.gov
Denise Harlow deniseharlow@hotmail.com
Dustin White WHITE_DUSTIN@HOTMAIL.COM
Eric Brakey eric.brakey@gmail.com
Jeffery Hanley HANLEYHOUSE@MYFAIRPOINT.NET
Joan Welsh joanwelsh08@gmail.com
John Martin moosecamps@yahoo.com
Ralph Tucker ralphtucker@gwi.net
Richard Campbell DICKCAMPBELLLLC@GMAIL.COM
Robert Duchesne duchesne@midmaine.com
Thomas Saviello drtom16@hotmail.com

TESTIFYING AT A LEGISLATIVE HEARING

INFORMATION ON PUBLIC HEARINGS

There are three ways to find out when and where public hearings are being held:

(1) Notice of public hearings will usually be printed one or two weekends ahead of the hearing in the following newspapers: the Bangor Daily News Weekend Edition; the Maine Sunday Telegram; and the Lewiston Sunday Sun. The notice will include the Legislative Document (LD) number, the title of the bill and the hearing date, time and location; 

(2) The Legislature’s web site contains the public hearing and work session notices. They can be found on the Legislative Activities Calendar page, under the "Committee Hearings and Work Sessions" link.

(3) If you cannot get the information you need from newspapers or the Internet, you can call the Legislative Information Office at 287-1692 or 1-800-301-3178 (TTY 287-6826 or Maine Relay Service 711). Call this office also if you plan to attend a public hearing or work session and you have any special needs. It is helpful to reference the Legislative Document (LD) number when you call for information about a bill.

PREPARING TESTIMONY

If you plan to speak at a public hearing, it is often useful to prepare and distribute your comments in written form. This helps you make clear and concise comments and ensures that committee members who are not present at the public hearing have the opportunity to receive your input. In preparing testimony, written or not, make sure you introduce yourself and, if you represent an organization, give the name of the organization. State whether you support the bill, oppose it or are offering suggestions to improve it, and then explain your reasoning. If you do provide written testimony, bring at least 20 copies and give them to the committee clerk before you testify. Photocopiers are available in the Law and Legislative Reference Library in Room 200 of the State House for a nominal charge.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE

Most committee hearings are held in the State House (the Capitol) or on the second floor of the Cross Office Building. The buildings are connected through an underground connector which can be entered from the ground floor of either building. The committee hearing times and locations are posted on the first floor of the State House and on the second floor of the Cross Office Building.

PUBLIC HEARING PROCEDURES

Speaking order: At the beginning of each hearing, the presiding committee chair will call the public hearing to order and announce the bill to be heard. The legislator who sponsored the bill will introduce the bill, after which the presiding chair will ask if any other cosponsors wish to testify. Once sponsors and cosponsors have had the opportunity to speak, public testimony is invited. Generally, the public may present testimony in one of three categories in the following order: those favoring the bill, those against the bill, and those neither for nor against the bill but who wish to offer information about the bill.

NOTE: The committee may be hearing several bills during a public hearing. Generally the bills are heard in the order in which they are advertised. However, the schedule is subject to change and the length of the hearing on most bills is difficult to predict.

Your turn at the podium: When it is your turn to testify, advance to the podium and sign in. Address the committee as follows: “Senator Smith, Representative Jones and members of the committee.” Introduce yourself, indicate who you represent and whether you support the bill, oppose it or are offering suggestions to improve it, and then explain your reasoning. If other speakers have already made your point, let the committee know that you agree with the previous remarks of other speakers, but try to avoid repeating the testimony of previous speakers. When you finish, remain at the podium for a moment to allow committee members to ask you questions.

Comings and Goings: Many hearings last throughout the day, and many legislators are members of more than one committee. Legislators may need to leave and re-enter the room if they are scheduled to be at a public hearing or work session in another committee. However, they will receive any written information, which is a good reason to provide written testimony.

Decorum in Committee Proceedings: Please direct your comments to the committee, not to the audience, and give your courteous attention to other speakers, regardless of their views. Do not applaud or indicate pleasure or displeasure with anyone’s remarks. Only members of the committee may ask questions of persons who testify.

Work sessions: After the public hearing, a work session is scheduled in order for committee members to discuss the bill and decide whether to recommend its passage. The public may speak at a work session only if a committee member requests further public input and the presiding chair grants permission. Work sessions on a bill are generally held on a day other than the day of the public hearing. If you would like to find out when a work session will be held, ask the committee clerk.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE

Bills (LDs) and Amendments: Single copies of bills and printed amendments are available upon request at no charge in the Legislative Document Room (Room 102, State House).

Legislative Internet Web Page: Bills, calendars, schedules and other bill-related information are available on the Legislature’s web page at: http://legislature.maine.gov/.

Bill Status Information: Legislative Information Office, Room 121, State House - 287-1692 / TTY 287-6826.

Committee Clerks: Every committee has a committee clerk who provides administrative support to committees and can answer specific questions regarding public hearings, work sessions and meeting times and places. Clerks may be reached in the committee room or office, by phone or e-mail or by calling the Legislative Information Office.

Senate and House Calendars: Calendars of legislative matters to be discussed in the Senate and House are published each day the Legislature is in session and are available at no charge in the Legislative Document Room.  They are also available on the legislative web page.

Laws and Rules: Copies are kept in the Law and Legislative Reference Library, Room 200, State House, 287-1600.

Phone Numbers: To leave a message for a member of the House during session, call 800-423-2900; to leave a message for a member of the Senate during session, call 800-423-6900. Be prepared to leave a concise message.

Parking: Free parking is available in the parking garage on the corner of State Street and Sewall Street or where spaces are marked “General Parking.” Unauthorized cars will be towed if parked in handicapped parking spaces or any other restricted parking space. One and two-hour visitor parking is available on the west side of the Cross Office Building. The visitor entrance to the State House is on the west side of the building.

Special Services: If you plan to attend a public hearing or work session and have any special needs, please call the Legislative Information Office at 287-1692. They will make every effort to accommodate your request. Handicapped parking is available between the State House and Cross State Office Building and on the west side of the Cross State Office Building.

http://legislature.maine.gov/house/testify.htm

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Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on April 20, 2015 at 1:14pm

I will be in Augusta that day, to video the ENR on their scheduled work session on Mining in Maine. Since it is the same committee, I will make plans to be there earlier than I had planned to also capture this meeting on LD 911.

Also writing to the committee of the EUT may be worth the effort, as having attended the earlier EUT sessions, there was spoken a willingness (OFF Camera) to revisit the REC's and whether or not they should be discontinued. 

Comment by Gary Campbell on April 20, 2015 at 12:44pm

Absolutely write to the members of the ENR Committee! I hear that only signed hardcopies make it into the record, not emails.

The wind industry, First Wind comes to mind, have consistently played the laws. They apply for a project, get the permit, then ask to enlarge it . When asking to enlarge it, they argue that since X number of turbines is already approved, adding Y more turbines won't hurt much. That's what happened at Oakfield.

The Bull Hill hearing with LURC addressed the issue of scenic impact from multiple projects on scenic resources. LURC had heard from a reliable source that once First Wind had the permit for Bull Hill, they were planning a Phase II and a Phase III. LURC said if that's the case, the scenic impact of all phases must be evaluated together from the start. First Wind attorney, Verill Dana's Kelly Boden was asked point blank if FW had any plans to build additional projects in the area. She very awkwardly lied under oath. And guess what? Once they had Bull Hill, they announced Hancock Wind right next to it and using the same roads and transmission system. Then once Hancock was permitted they announced Weaver Wind which also uses the same roads and transmission.

For the Bowers project, First Wind admitted that Bowers is the third part of a master plan which started with Stetson I, then Stetson II, then Rollins. All share the same transmission system. The residents and visitors to this area can't go anywhere without having to look at First Wind's turbines. Shouldn't the aggregate impact of these projects be considered when any new projects are proposed in the area?

THAT's why Maine needs LD 911. Shame on any member of the ENR Committee (and the legislature) who votes otherwise.

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on April 20, 2015 at 12:14pm
Should we be writing these people and what exactly should we say??
Comment by Hart Daley on April 20, 2015 at 12:11pm

What about the cumulative effect of developing multiple wind projects within close proximity (3-5) miles of each other, which would also create a very negative scenic impact.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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