Local Communities Successfully Regain Their ‘Voices’

On Wednesday, March 9th, the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) convened its monthly Commissioners’ meeting at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. One Agenda item of particular interest to several Maine communities was the Chapter 10 Rulemaking pertaining to Maine’s Expedited Permitting Area for wind development.

In June of 2015, the 127th Maine Legislature passed a bill (LD 828 –HP 562) which created an avenue for Unorganized and Deorganized Territories in Maine to be removed from this Industry-specific expedited permitting region.  UT’s were given a six month window of opportunity (January 1 to June 30, 2016) to submit petitions to LUPC requesting removal from the EPA.

As of March 9th, twenty-three Unorganized Territories in Maine have requested removal. By statute, anyone wishing to challenge a UT’s removal has 45 days to request a “substantive review”.  In those circumstances the Commissioners must meet to determine whether or not the UT’s in question meet the standards for removal. However, if a substantive review is NOT requested within that 45 day time-frame, the townships are automatically removed from the EPA.

On Wednesday, Commissioners were presented with information on the status of each of those twenty-three Unorganized Townships.

It was determined that thirteen communities had met the criteria set forth in HP 562 and the Commission approved LUPC staff’s recommendation that they be officially removed from the Expedited Permitting Area.  Among those UT’s removed were the communities of Lexington Township, Highland Plantation, Freeman Township, The Forks and West Forks, Sandbar Tract Township, Rockwood Strip Township and Harford’s Point Township. In essence, these townships and plantations were returned to their pre-2008 status, i.e. residents are given the opportunity to take part in a Public Hearing prior to any decisions concerning issues of re-zoning.

Substantive reviews have been requested for at least eight UT’s who have petitioned for removal, including townships west of Moosehead Lake where an industrial wind development is being proposed in the Misery Gore region. Petitions have also been challenged in Molunkus Township and Carroll Plantation which are in the Downeast Lakes region -- where First Wind’s ‘Bowers Wind’ project was recently denied by the Department of Environmental Protection, and later by the BEP and the Law Court on appeal.

To learn more about the status of the each community in question or to get information about the process for removal, the Land Use Planning Commission has provided the following link:


I encourage you to contact every UT resident you know who lives and votes in Maine.  Encourage them to look at the EPA map/list to see if they reside within a UT in the EPA… and if they DO – encourage them to exercise their right to ‘have a say’ in matters of zoning in their home towns.  The window of opportunity is shrinking.  There are 3 ½ months left in which to take action. The petitioning process is fairly straightforward and easy, with a low threshold of registered voters needed to quality. Unless Maine’s Wind Energy Act is overturned (thus abolishing the EPA…but that won’t happen in the near future!) this may be their only chance to regain the right to take part in the zoning/approval process concerning industrial wind development.

I also hope you will learn more about the procedures that will be in place for these upcoming “Substantive Reviews”. We need to be ready, willing and able to provide assistance and support to those living in UT’s that have had their requests for removal ‘challenged.’

Kudos to the many, many Mainers who stood up for the restoration of equal rights for all rural Maine residents.  You’ve seen what can happen when we work together.  Let’s keep up the good work that has been started!

Thank you!





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Comment by Monique Aniel Thurston on March 14, 2016 at 9:21am

Excellent work Karen and other members of FHM , your patience , determination and focus over the recovery of your civil rights won over the whining and pathetic  cries of the wind industry who complained that their profit margin would suffer if those rights were restored. 

Comment by Karen Bessey Pease on March 12, 2016 at 6:52pm

Excellent, Dudley.  :)  THANK YOU.  I will track your progress and will hope that other nearby townships follow your example.  :)

Comment by Dudley G. Gray on March 12, 2016 at 6:46pm

Hi Karen, I think we are making progress thanks for posting it I have Rangeley Plt nearly complete and will then pursue Dallas and Sandy River Plantations.  DGG

Comment by Karen Bessey Pease on March 11, 2016 at 8:46pm

Yes, I believe it is important to all Mainers.  Any time one sector is disenfranchised, it opens the door to the same thing happening to others.  :)

Comment by Pineo Girl on March 11, 2016 at 8:29pm

Karen - Thanks for posting this! It is important for all of us!! Even if we do not live in an UT!  

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."



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


(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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