Comments for: Maine DEP staff advises rejection of Passadumkeag Mountain wind site

Posted Nov. 01, 2012, at 3:52 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 01, 2012, at 6:45 p.m.

GRAND FALLS TOWNSHIP | Staff at the state’s top environmental agency recommended the denial Thursday of an application to build a 14-turbine industrial wind site on Passadumkeag Mountain, saying the windmills would disrupt a “one-of-a-kind” view from Saponac Pond. If Commissioner Patricia Aho accepts the draft decision next week, …

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story contained an error. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection is not due to vote on the staff recommendation to deny an application to build a 14-turbine industrial wind site on Passadumkeag Mountain.

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  • good!

  • Penny Gray

    Thank you, DEP!!!!!!!!  Thank you!

  • Rocky4

     PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The same rejection should be made for the Oakfield project. The proposed environmental impact is even worse there.  A state-wide moratorium on these massive wind projects needs to be enacted ASAP.  The Oakfield project proposes fifty 500 hundred foot tall turbines overlooking 2 pristine wilderness lakes.  Put a hold on this project before its too late!  Please!

    • Anonymous

      the two pristine wilderness lakes have dozens of camps on them and the cell phone and government towers on May Mt. are a lot closer and uglier than those windmills are going to be

      • Patten_Pete

        Stop Oakfield Wind in the name of Teddy Roosevelt who cherished Mattawamkeag Lake that stands to be defaced by these hideous out of scale and out of place useless treasury draining China-enriching pieces of junk.

        • Anonymous

          Oakfield residents approved it at a town meeting. it is an Oakfield issue, DEP and out-of-town environmentalists should keep their noses out of it

          • Anonymous

            You are absolutely wrong.  The state of Maine belongs to all of us.  While Oakfield chose to sell out to First Wind, the project impacts everyone.  Proliferation of industrial wind power ruins the highly touted “Quality of Place” that is Maine, cited by the 2007 Brookings Institute as our state’s greatest asset.  That is why impacts on places like Pleasant Pond & Mattawamkeag Lake matter.  That’s why industrial wind sites must not be granted preference over Scenic Resources of State or National Significance–as provided in the law.  We are seeing, finally, in the LURC decision on Bowers Mt. and this DEP decision that the SRSNS is being given it’s due diligence.

            There is no indication that the expanded Oakfield project willhave any better capacity factor than existing wind sites and it is a sad day when we mandate generating sources that produce from 15% to 30% of it’s capacity and have to exist on taxpayer funding.  It is a foolhardy public policy which is already leading to higher electricity costs.

  • FELT

    I feel the winds that blew public subsidies into the wallets of wind farmers and the Kings; are shifting dramatically. 

    UK’s new Energy minister is urging a halt to off shore and land wind farms; Canada is heavily promoting inexpensive, reliable, green hydro power for the N.East U.S.

    Maine’s #1 job producer, the tourism industry, demands scenic skylines and uncluttered landscapes and huge wind turbines, their access roads and clear cut right of ways maintained with herbicides damage that image. 

  • streamweaver

    This is a fair and just decision.  We can’t let all of Maine be defaced with these monuments to short-sighted greed. The line must be drawn somewhere and I’m pleased that Commissioner Aho has the courage to draw it on Passadumkeag Mountain!

    Let’s hope she has the courage to follow through at the final vote and to apply the same standards to Oakfield and Bowers.

  • Anonymous

    Gee what do you know, we have a republican administration and we FINALLY get some environmental protection!

  • Anonymous

    If DEP sticks with this decision, Maine will have at least one less threat to Maine forests and wildlife from turbine caused forest fires.

  • Anonymous

    Much appreciation is due to DEP staff for sorting through voluminous, complex information, and reaching the right decision. These towers would have been a visual blight on an outstanding scenic resource. Thank goodness there are people who recognize that we’ve got something very special here in Maine and are willing to protect it. Echoing Ms. Nichols (below): Thank you, DEP, thank you!!

  • Anonymous

    An encouraging decision by the DEP! The energy, environmental, and economic benefits of this project would have been inconsequential – as they are in most Maine land-based wind projects. No justification here for degrading the Maine brand with mountaintop industrialization. Kudos to the DEP on this one.

  • This recommendation by the DEP staff is encouraging news for
    Maine.

    This wind project is the first they have ever recommended for
    disapproval and although coming very late in the wind scam game, it is a hopeful
    sign.

    Could this mean that we now have a DEP staff that
    actually considers environmental impact when reviewing wind power
    projects?

    Could it even mean that influence of the wind lobby has been
    diminished in the department?

    If so, Thank you Governor LePage for restoring some honesty to and removing the rubber stamp from  the
    DEP review process.

  • Anonymous

    The DEP got it right this time!
    Don’t give up on us.

  • “The department has made it very clear that we take a very thorough and thoughtful look at these applications. Ultimately the project passed our review on all but this one criterion,” Depoy-Warren said.

    THE DEP REVIEW WILL NOT BE THOROUGH AND THOUGHTFUL UNTIL LOW FREQUENCY NOISE IS THOROUGHLY ADDRESSED.
    As in Mars Hill, Vinalhaven, Freedom and soon Oakfield.

  • Anonymous

    It is great to see the DEP finally morphing away from the “rubber stamp” mentality as it comes to industrial wind power and interpretation/application of the heinous “wind law”, PL 661.  Earlier this year, Commissioner Aho pledged there would be a “New Tone” set in DEP regarding this review.

    The section of PL 661 regarding Scenic Resources of State or National Significance (SRSNS)within the 8 mile scenic impact zone has always been there, the one hedge in a law that otherwise states clearly that scenic impact is to be ignored.  All one needs to do is ride around the Lincoln Lakes region, close by Passadumkeag Mt. to see the impact.

    Sadly, the SRSNS was ignored in several previous wind project approvals.  Record Hill impacts on the Appalachian Trail, a designated State “Scenic By-way”, and the Rumford Whitecap preserve of the Mahoosuc Land Trust.  The Spruce Mt. project turbines in Woodstock are within 1 to 3 miles of two parcels bought for protection by money from Land for Maine’s Future fund:  Little Concord Pond/Bald Mt. and Speckled Mt.  The approval of Saddleback Wind in Carthage has Mt. Blue State Park within the 8 mile zone. 

    There have been heavy impacts on other Maine treasures just beyond the arbitrary 8 mile zone, also:  We now see wind turbines from Mt. Katahdin–Gov. Baxter and Thoreau must be spinning in their graves!  Same for Myron Avery, the driving force behind the Appalachian Trail in Maine, as the turbines of Kibby are clearly visible from the peak named in his honor on magnificent Bigelow Mt.  Worse, the newly constructed turbines on Bull Hill are clearly visible from Acadia National Park.  Let’s hope the “New Tone” in the DEP means that this significant section of the law is finally being honored to protect Maine’s priceless scenic and natural resources!

  • Sewall House Yoga

    As a person who has been very vocal and made every effort to save the heritage of my great grandparents and their historical connection to Theodore Roosevelt’s experience of wilderness in Island Falls that for years has been considered an important part of Maine history, I am gratifed that the DEP is finally listening as it should.(and am also  grateful for the comments here defending this fight) There are so many verifiable reasons that the wildlife, humans and pristine highly ranked and ,until this wind travesty arrived, preserved Lakes Mattawamkeag and Pleasant, should NEVER see the blasting of the hilltops and ruination of this amazing area so loved by the many who wrote letters to the DEP and the over 700 who signed the petition imploring the DEP from their hearts and own family history’s to PLEASE NOT PERMIT this. The 80 people ( yes, 80 people..smart of FW to have to bribe,influence so few)  from Oakfield who voted in this project were understandably influenced with short term  monies in an area that is not affluent but extremely wealthy in terms of nature. The opponents truly care about the wildlife, woods, lakes and longterm fate of this area for future generations.I know as I have dealt with them all as the leader in the legal fight against the ruination of lakes that are held dear by much larger numbers than the 80 people of Oakfield who did not know better because they listened to First Wind’s lies. By becoming active globally in this movement I have seen articles time and time again that speak of all the negative impacts of these wind machines, both financially and environmentally.

  • Leola Ballweber

    Thank-you DEP. The people of that area will be grateful that you have saved their quality of place and quality of life. Now, would you please do something about the controversy over DB-A and DB-C sound? Vinalhaven, Freedom, Mars Hill and Spruce Mountain wind projects, need to be studied and corrections made concerning sound and its affects on the people living within 2 miles of these projects. Please, consider a sound study to protect the people of Maine from health affects. The industry will never admit that these industrial wind turbines are noisy and affect the people that live nearby. It breaks my heart to see the devastation on the top of these mountains after the projects are put in. I can always find my way home by following the wind turbines rather than the Northern Star. My heart is lighter knowing that one project will not go in and pray that this is something I will see more of in the future. Again, thank-you DEP, your decision has given me hope in the preservation of Maine.

  • Son Of Binky

    Since King Angus has already raked in his loot from the windmill scam, no need to build any more  wind farms in Maine.  Stay tuned for the new rush on tidal power in every cove along the shore.

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