LUBEC, Maine — Residents of Trescott and Edmunds, two of Maine’s Unorganized Territory communities included as “expedited permitting areas” for wind power development, are invited to a local meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Cobscook Community Learning Center, upper building, to discuss legislation.
Rep. Katherine Cassidy, D-Lubec, will lead a discussion on LD 616 that, if passed by the Legislature, would restore UT residents’ rights to participate in public hearings on wind developments.
Several area residents already have traveled to Augusta to testify for the bill, An Act Regarding Wind Power Siting in the Unorganized Territory. Others have sent letters of support to members of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, according to Cassidy’s press release.
LD 616 last week was voted out of committee “Ought to Pass” as amended by a majority vote of 8-5. That would create a process with which affected UT locations could get their right to participate in rezoning hearings for wind projects, Cassidy indicated.
Area citizens have been responding to the fact that, since mid-2010, a major wind energy developer has steadily acquired long-term leases from six absentee owners of land in Trescott Township. More than 2,500 acres have been leased out of the 15,432 acres of land in private ownership: a substantial portion of the township has been rezoned for development.
Trescott and Edmunds residents have recently become aware that their townships were rezoned by legislative action six years ago to allow wind energy development as a permitted use with no public rezoning hearing. One-third of Maine’s Unorganized Territory communities were included in this 2008 designation for “expedited permitting areas,” where wind development is fast-tracked, Cassidy’s press release said.
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