Marinas, turbines, Lowes, Belisles and same lawyer

St. Albans Messenger Letter to the Editor, May 11, 2017

ST. ALBANS —“Two local businesspeople are seeking to build a new marina at St. Albans Bay”.

SWANTON–Two local businesspeople are seeking to build an industrial wind turbine project on Rocky Ridge.

ST ALBANS—“The applicants, Charles “Chuck” Lowe and Rene Boissoneault of St. Albans Bay Lake Homes LLC, are requesting conditional use and site plan approval for a 154-berth marina on Georgia Shore Road”.

SWANTON– The applicants, Travis and Ashley Belisle of Swanton Wind LLC are requesting a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from the Public Service Board (PSB) for seven 499 foot turbines on Rocky Ridge Road.

ST ALBANS—“The (marina) proposal went before the town’s Development Review Board (DRB) Thursday night (Oct 13, 2016) with area landowners expressing comments and concerns”.

SWANTON– The wind turbine proposal is presently before the Public Service Board (PSB) with area home owners expressing comments and concerns in Montpelier on Thursday night (May 4th).

ST ALBANS—“Lowe spoke with his neighbors who expressed interest”.

SWANTON– Belisle spoke with his neighbors who expressed disinterest. Continue reading

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Mr. Lowe has been drinking Koolade poured by Belisles

St. Albans Messenger, Letter to the Editor, May 10, 2017

Regarding the Letter to the Editor on May 6, 2017 by Charles Lowe, it is abundantly clear whose “Koolade”, Mr. Lowe has been drinking. His verbal attack on Governor Phil Scott’s position on Industrial Wind is proof he has only listened to the Belisles, and their attorney, Anthony Irrapino. “On the very day the Belisle family announced their extensive permit application, Scott met with a group of opponents….” What is missing in that point, several months before, Dustin and Christine Lang, the closest neighbors to the project, requested and had a hearing with the Public Service Board regarding a met tower that had been built and used without a Certificate of Public Good. In addition, Swanton Wind had built an access road on contiguous property owned by the Dubie family, without their knowledge or permission. The Town of Swanton held a vote and the project was rejected by a nearly 4 to 1 vote.

I strongly suggest to Mr. Lowe, that he read the diaries of the Nelson Family of the Lowell Wind Project. It is available in public record, and details its impact on their health and overall life. Their experience is common for people who live in close proximity to Industrial Wind projects. There are over 125 homes within a mile of this project. Are those impacted by these projects collateral damage? Continue reading

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Swanton Wind reps address need for power

St. Albans Messenger, May 9, 2017

Concerns addressed in discovery

By TOM BENTON
Messenger Staff Writer

SWANTON — Swanton Wind’s responses to a second round of discovery in its regulatory review provide clear answers to questions frequently raised by the project’s critics — particularly, whether there is a Vermont-specific need for the power.

Leslie Cadwell, Swanton Wind’s attorney before the Public Service Board, issued responses to discovery questions from the Burlington Electric Department (BED), the Department of Public Service (DPS), not to be confused with the Public Service Board, and to Green Mountain Power (GMP).

The project’s responses to GMP’s questions are most noteworthy.

When GMP asked the project to describe “whether the facility is needed to meet present or future demand specific to Vermont customers,” Swanton Wind responded that the project can help GMP meet one of two directives outlined in GMP’s 2014 Integrated Resource Plan: to “enable and/or invest in cost-effective renewable and distributed generation.”

Continue reading

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Governor sets bad precedent opposing Swanton Wind deal

St. Albans Messenger, Letter, May 6, 2017

Phil Scott is setting a dangerous precedent by opposing the Swanton Wind development before it even gets a hearing with the Public Service Board.

The Governor should understand how chilling his efforts to ban a specific type of development would be for Vermont’s business climate and reputation as a place to invest.

In a recent Seven Days article, Phil Scott admitted that he no longer believes he has the legal authority to ban wind projects through executive order. He says he is “contemplating another way to prevent ridgeline wind,” by tasking his appointed bureaucrats to make the process more difficult and expensive for the Vermont family business trying to help fuel the state’s economy with a homegrown clean energy project.

Development of all kinds requires years of careful and expensive planning to ensure compliance with Vermont’s environmental laws. No developer expects guaranteed project approval, but those who take the risks –creating jobs and new tax revenue – should be able to count on a full and fair permitting review.

Continue reading

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Sarah Wolfe’s claims on wind’s benefits are wrong

Saint Albans Messenger; May 2, 2017

Sarah Wolfe’s letter regarding the proposed regulations on sound from wind turbines makes some claims that are unsupported. “[W]ind power has clear, proven economic, environmental and health benefits” and is a “clearly proven public good.” I would enjoy seeing such proof, and I seriously doubt that she can provide it.

She also states that the proposed standard is more restrictive than it needs to be. It goes against “the clear weight of scientific evidence” – where’s the proof ? — and is “unprecedented” in the US. She then claims that the “lowest comparable standard is Maine’s nighttime limit of 42 decibels (Maine’s daytime limit is 55 decibels).” I, however, found that Maine’s (and WHO’s) standards are considerably lower: http://wiseenergy.org/Energy/Acoustical_ Limit.pdf

• 30 DBa is the no effect limit for outdoor nighttime noise: World Health Org (2009)

 • 32 DBa is the night time limit in wind law of Frankfort, Maine (2011)

• 35 DBa limit (24/7) in wind law of Sumner, Maine (2013)

• 35 DBa daytime limit in wind law of Woodstock, Maine (2013) Furthermore, the proposed rule would not be a functional ban on wind but, rather, a measure to protect neighbors’ health, comfort, and enjoyment of their property. Let industrial wind be placed where Vermont citizens are not affected.

Cynthia Barber 

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First meeting tomorrow night; join us against Swanton Wind

St. Albans Messenger, Letter to the Editor, May 1, 2107

By now many of you know that a group of concerned citizens have been opposing Swanton Wind for almost two years . Many of you have offered kind words. You showed your support at the polls, and some have asked how you can help.

To recap, we’re talking about the proposed 20MW Industrial Wind generation facility of seven 500 foot turbines. These would be the largest turbines in Vermont and the closest to homes in a residential neighborhood than any other wind projects to date. It will be two years in June since we learned of this project. Even though the Belisles and Bourbeaus (the developers) illegally put up a MET Tower years prior to this, neighbors were kept in the dark. Continue reading

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VPIRG a shill for wind industry and the industry is wrong

St. Albans Messenger Letter to the Editor April 27, 2017

Sarah Wolfe, for those who haven’t followed industrial wind matters, is a paid hireling of the shadowy cabal behind industrial wind in Vermont. She works for VPIRG, a non-government organization which receives major funding from industrial wind interests. Wolfe’s apologia in behalf of her financial benefactors is full of half-truths and many outright mis-statements. I’ll be clear from the start where my interests lie. I’m a strong supporter of any renewable energy project that is done right and which strives to be a positive influence in the renewable energy movement. Industrial wind in Vermont could be such a movement, but presently it is not. Sadly, the Vermont industrial wind movement is all about nailing down lucrative monetary incentives promulgated by the federal government. The Vermont industrial wind cabal and its shill, VPIRG, care not one whit about promoting carefully thought out wind projects designed to save our environment, not destroy it, along with our precious eco-systems.

Every single one of the major industrial wind projects presently built-out in Vermont represent a seriously failed design concept—they’ve been built too close to the homes of Vermont citizens and those citizens have suffered from the offensive noise such projects produce. The continual noise from industrial wind turbines cannot be compared to road traffic or other noises we’ve become accustomed to. It is more like an airplane flying directly overhead that never lands. Instead of getting behind a new SOUND RULE which could protect Vermonters from their noise predations (and perhaps encourage developers to work with their neighbors and communities) the Vermont wind movement wants to water down the few protections built into the currently proposed SOUND RULE. Continue reading

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Letter about noise levels for wind power was simplistic

St. Albans Messenger Letter to the Editor April 22, 2017

I read a letter to the editor about sound levels from wind turbines and different regulations about them in different states. Before a person should make comments about noise I strongly recommend that you buy a sound meter and listen to the differences between the regulations.

Also these sound waves must be tested at the home in all directions as shapes of trees, foliage, mountains, adjoining buildings and wind direction change dB’s received.

Insulation and window types also greatly affect indoor dB’s. Also different humidity levels affect dB’s received. So as you see it’s not just a simple one test tells all.

I managed a hotel in Baltimore MD years back and had a contract with a trucking company that used refrigerated trucks. I learned a good lesson about sound, sound waves, sound shapes and so on. I figured having the trucks with the refrigeration units running at night would be best placed facing one of our buildings, it would best serve the neighbors, WRONG. The noise bounced off our building and back toward the homes, at more dB’s than directly coming off the motors. Which was below allowable levels at the motors but not at the houses with the trucks facing toward my hotel. The shape of the bushes, trees and our building was causing a megaphone effect. Continue reading

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Wind opponents seek deadline extensions

St. Albans Messenger, April 24, 2017
SWANTON:
Local residents push for broader participation

By TOM BENTON
Messenger Staff Writer

SWANTON — Community members are fighting for maximum participation in the Public Service Board’s review of Swanton Wind, as that review process becomes potentially more complex and certainly longer.

A visual rendering of the constructed Swanton Wind project as seen from Burton Island in St. Albans, designed by LandWorks for the project.

Patty Rainville resides near Swanton Wind’s proposed construction site, and is one of the project’s opponents.


 

The board issued its ruling on who can participate under which criteria in early April. For example, any citizen participant falling under the Northwest Regional Planning Commission’s jurisdiction can participate in regards to the project’s “orderly development.”

But that’s as inclusive as the board’s order got in regards to citizen participation. Take Fairfield residents Sally and Bruce Collopy, for example, who applied for participation under several criteria. Continue reading

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Opponents get boost from governor

Saint Albans Messenger; April 18th

SWANTON WIND

Scott directs agencies to ‘thoroughly’ review application

 

By TOM BENTON Messenger Staff Writer

SWANTON — Gov. Phil Scott has offered his administration’s support to the Town of Swanton through the Public Service Board’s review of Swanton Wind.

The Town of Swanton Selectboard wrote to the Governor in February, expressing concerns that the project would destroy the “scenic beauty” of Swanton’s ridgelines, that it would have adverse effects on local wildlife and wetlands, and that the power is not locally needed. That specialists in these fields have testified the opposite has not appeased Swanton town officials’ concerns.

In Gov. Scott’s response, dated March 6, Scott wrote that he has directed officials in the Department of Public Service and the Agency of Natural Resources to “review [the selectboard’s] recommendations and take the appropriate steps to ensure that [those officials] have sufficient expertise and resources to thoroughly review and critique all aspects of [Swanton Wind’s] petition” before the Public Service Board, which is a separate body from the Department of Public Service.

“As you may be aware, I have had an active interest in this issue and have made clear that the potential host community’s perspective should be an important one when considering proposed energy generation projects,” Scott wrote. Continue reading

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