DEP sets info meeting on Carthage wind project

CARTHAGE — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a public meeting on a proposed 12-turbine industrial wind project for Saddleback Mountain ridge for 6 p.m. March 10 at Dirigo High School.

Although this is not an official public hearing, comments and questions will be taken.

Mark Margerum, DEP project manager, said the agency accepted the environmental application in November. He expects the review to be complete by mid-April.

The $65 million project is proposed for construction on about 1,900 acres of leased or purchased land by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass. Chief operating officer of the firm, Todd Presson, said about 127 acres would be cleared for turbine construction, connecting roads and transmission line routes.

Margerum said several DEP staff, along with representatives from other state agencies, such as the Department of Conservation and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will also attend the public informational session.

Prior to the public meeting, the River Valley Alliance Against Wind will serve a free public supper in the community room of the high school from 4 to 6 p.m.

Member Alice Barnett of Carthage said about 100 people are expected to attend from various organizations that oppose wind turbine development. She said several films will be shown, including a flyover of several areas slated for wind turbine development taken by Dixfield resident Freemont Tibbetts, and other videos gathered and shown by Real Wind Info for Me, based in Concord Township, which is next to another site proposed for a wind turbine project.

The Carthage proposal is the furthest along of three similar projects proposed by Patriot Renewables for the River Valley area. The others are a seven-turbine project in Canton along the Canton Mountain ridge, and one for up to 13   turbines  for the Colonel Holman Mountain ridgeline in Dixfield.

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 's picture

dis agrees

so far, most commentors are pleading for the DEP to count the citizens voices.
We are trying every way possible.
Letters to the editors.
Petitions signed by hundreds.
The DEP meet, March 10 in Dixfiled, we hope to give signed testimonies. What?
Media needs to do a story with anti-wind leaders, Dan McKay and Cathy Mattson.
Ask Rumfords' selectmen how much they learn when these people ask questions of the DEP.
There are others in the River Valley Alliance Against Wind that can answer questions; they have studied it for years now.

dis agrees leave a comment I am open-minded.

 's picture

Please Know What Will Happen

So, the staff of the DEP will once again hold a public comment meeting and dutifully go through the charade of letting citizens skillfully critique a wind developer's application and eloquently, knowledgeably, and emotionally present the plethora of negatives truths about the wind power scam. Then, back in Augusta, the rubber stamp comes out, and another part of the soul of Maine is given away for nothing. I know, I have testified at Lincoln (Rollins project of First Wind); at Rumford (Record Hill project of Independence Wind); at Woodstock (Spruce Mt. project of Patriot Renewables).

How long can the professional staff of the DEP continue to do this without their conscience saying this is wrong? What part of blasting away our mountains, destroying natural resources, fragmenting wildlife habitat, ruining our vistas, devastating our "Quality of Place", and impacting residents' health and wellbeing meets the criteria of "ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION"? Go back to the enabling legislation and mission statement for the DEP and a sane person would say NO, industrial wind sites sprawling across our rural uplands cannot be allowed.

The Rollins Project in the towns of the Lincoln Lakes Region was the first project rammed through under the heinous Expedited Wind Permitting statute, which seems to trump the enabling legislation and the mission statement of the DEP. Saddleback is being rammed through in a similar way. To see what will happen in the Carthage area, learn from Lincoln Lakes. Here is a link for the "before" photos of this unknown little gem in northeastern Maine: Here is the link to photos of the project under construction taken on February 20:
See for yourself and apply these images to the region around Carthage or anywhere else around Oxford and Franklin Counties. Then come to the DEP meeting on March 10 and speak your mind.

Monique Aniel's picture

thank you sun journal

I am grateful that the Sun journal has agreed to require the verification of the identity of the people who commented on their website.
I feel particularly happy about this change because I had been many times the target of vile attacks by cowardly commenters hidden behind pseudonymes who even questioned my nationality .
To all who want to know I am an American citizen and that is the proudest and deepest feeling I carry in my heart , and it is because of those attacks that I had called the paper,I am glad they changed their policies.
Interestingly the private citizen " name - calling " has ceased, we have however the right to criticise failed public policies and disastrous industrial greed .
Of mention also is how little the opposition to our criticisms is now expressing itself!
monique aniel

 's picture

Thank you, Monique, Karen,

Thank you, Monique, Karen, Alice , Lisa and to the many people throughout this state who have taken notice to the real deal with wind projects. Hidden within their own world, surrounded by sophistication and the flow of taxpayer money, we, the people hardly comprehend the affairs of government any more. For us, it's we do our thing and they do their thing.
The wind projects with it's entangled relationship with government, from the highest points of the federal government folks to the folks running our towns, has evolved into a system that disallows the people, the payers, of asking even the simple question of why and for what purpose.
This meeting isn't the DEP's meeting. It's the people's meeting. To hear each other's stories. To restore our importance, to discuss our rights, to realize we are all in this together. To bring back the meaning of community spirit based on support of each other , not on the next fleeting dollar bill offered .

Monique Aniel's picture

continued from previous comment

my comment was sent unfinished :
Despite te DEP 's failure to allow due process , it is however important for the record to contain an accurate assessment of this project that will ruin one of the most revered viewshed of the western mountains and impose to some residents unbearable noise disturbances .
So please come to the hearing and watch your governemnent at work , eventually the back of the destroyers of our state will be broken .

Monique Aniel's picture

The absence of due process

In this case DEP is going to have to explain itself !!!
Indeed, a petition was gathered as required by law to obtain a technical hearing on noise effects in this particular project. Hundreds of people signed it, writing at times heart wrenching comments about why such a hearing was necessary.

Attorney Rufus brown made a compelling case including information from two acousticians and Dr. Michael Nissenbaum explaining why there was enough "credible, conflicting technical evidence" wich conflicted to that supplied in the DEP application by Patriot Renewable so that a public hearing was warrented.

Yet DEP refused to give to the residents of Carthage their right of due process that would have created confidence in the DEP process and increased their sense of public health protection.
There is a name for such behavior. I let you guess , but not for long. Come to the hearing !
I participated at a similar hearing on February 18, 2009 , for the Record Hill Wind project. DEP Wind Law chief Jim Casseda and wind entrepreneur Angus King were present listening to 22 Roxbury residents pleading for this project not to be constructed . People came at the lectern, begged, peaded, some cried. All the reasons why this project would be a disaster for the area where explained. People believed that what they said would make a difference and that DEP would listen to them, and respond to their concerns. Instead they later learned that this meeting was merely a formality, and nothing said carried any weight in the decision making process.
Patriot Renewables, we can say we have learned a lot more about the scam behind your permit processing techniques and your industry. This public meeting will be a repeat of every other public meeting held for wind projects. Nothing said by anyone opposed to your project will make any difference, because the process is stacked against the truth due to a undemocratic law that deprives citizens of their rights to due process.
Monique Aniel

 's picture

It's About Maine

I encourage all residents and tax-payers in the River Valley area to attend the March 10th supper and DEP meeting. This is not just about Saddleback Mountain and Carthage. Nor is it just about Colonel Holman Mountain or any one single ridge or community.

This is about Maine. Our mountains, our towns and our quality of life. This is about common sense and making wise decisions. This is about not rushing into something when it is not pressing or necessary, simply because outside influences have convinced us that we should support their plans.

For far too long, the wind industry had an open playing field with little or no opposition. They could and did indoctrinate Mainers with their promises of affordable, ‘home grown’ power. They touted wind’s ‘green factor’—claiming that wind-generated electricity would help reduce carbon emissions and counter global warming. They told us that it would enhance our national security and even… that it would ‘bring our soldiers home’.

And we bought it; hook, line and sinker. For awhile, we accepted it with no questions asked.

However, when finally asked to prove their statements, wind developers could not do so. When presented with factual data refuting their claims; they regrouped. They claimed those who opposed mountaintop industrial wind were selfish… that we ought to be dismissed as being nothing but NIMBYs.

I am proud to be a defender of my back yard, as well as the backyards of Mainers all across this state. For if we don’t stand up to protect our home and our way of life, who will? It is inherent in every living thing to do exactly that.

I once believed the wind lobby’s false promises and was a supporter of the concept of grid-scale wind energy plants. But then, I began to research this topic, and what I found was incredible. I was chagrinned to realize how little attention I had given to the science and economics behind industrial wind. But as is evident all across this state--and even, around the world-- the true facts are becoming common knowledge. When gauging reliable, constant, affordable and productive power sources, wind is at the bottom of the list.

Caught out in their misrepresentations of the facts, most wise industrial wind developers and proponents backed away from their original sales pitches. Now we see them taking a new tack. Today, it’s all about ‘jobs’. Temporary construction jobs. And, in their words, billions of dollars in ‘investment’. But this is not investment. This is ‘spending’. The spending of OUR money—tax-payer money—for a scant handful of full-time jobs, very few of which will be given to locals—if any.

While we want to see employees at Cianbro and Reed & Reed prosper, we also know that our local economies will not thrive due to the addition of these inefficient and towering machines. Small business owners may see a short-term boost in sales of gas, convenience store items and the like during those few weeks of construction. But once the developer has pulled out, that small economic boom goes with them.

And what are we left with? We are left with 400’-500’ tall turbines which can be seen for miles around, with blades which span an area over an acre and a half in size. We’re left with ancient mountains whose ridgelines have been forever altered, and hillsides with massive cuts criss-crossing them and clear-cuts scarring them. We’ll have high, low and ultra-low frequency noise and shadow flicker. And what was once Maine’s unique ‘quality of place’ and this state’s major economic driver is now no different than that which can be found everywhere else. Development of our pristine natural resources, for an industry which cannot deliver what they promise. The developer takes our cash. A few landowners profit from sales or leases. Optimistic and hopeful townspeople wait to see their taxes drop significantly.

Was it worth it? When the die-hard nature loving tourists stop coming, when folks ‘from away’ who’ve always wanted a wilderness retreat or a quiet cabin on a pond go somewhere else to buy their dream property--somewhere where the land is still protected and important—will it have been worth it? When CMP rate payers see their electric bills rise due to the cost of the new 450 mile long high voltage transmission corridor needed to transport the wind power to the New England grid—will it have been worth the sacrifice? When it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that we are not significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to the addition of wind to our energy portfolio, will we regret not learning the facts before giving our permission for developers to build their projects?

I urge citizens to take the time to research this important topic before we make irreversible mistakes. Attend meetings like the one in Carthage. Read articles. Google ‘industrial wind’ and related topics. Speak to scientists and energy experts and doctors and acousticians who are not going to profit from the proliferation of industrial wind. Take the time to consider the sources of your information, and then make an ethical and informed decision based on the facts you have unearthed.

We are in no hurry for additional electricity, but the developers are desperate to get the ‘go ahead’ for their projects, because our tax dollars are only available to them for a short period of time. They’ve seen which way the wind is blowing, and they realize they are fighting against time.

Please err on the side of caution and common sense before making a decision which has long-term (or even permanent) consequences.

Karen Pease
Lexington Twp., Maine

 's picture

Let It Be Known

How does Stevie Brown's denial of a citizen signed petition to bring a simple and necessary setback regulation to these giant machines grab you ? Would you like to see actual video clip(s) of the shotgun Carthage town meeting on the moratorium question? You'll see it all March 10th.

 's picture

100 people

any one who is a receptor of these huge (450'+) tall turbines, whether driving to work or watching a night sky should come to this public meeting.
This does not stop in Carthage. Roxbury, Rumford, Dixfield, Canton then Peru soon.
We all chose to eek out a living here in Maine, mainly because of its beauty.
We love our woods, we loved our freedom until lately.

Rocky mountain Terrain Park, Patrick Gorham, cabin owners on siven mile stream will hear these machines. Rollins Ridge on Severy Hill will hear them. common Road in Dixfiled will hear them. Waites, Noyes and others on Canton Mountain will hear them.

Wind is not the answer. Read between lines of the media.

Mainers have a chance of living without fossil fuels. Wood heat; on site solar.

Our tax dollars are paying for this wind experiment and the power goes out of state.
You grid users will pay for it in rate hikes.

I am sorry our selectmen did not warn us of this attack. We are scrambling hard to learn and catch up. RVAAW

 's picture

Many Stories To Tell

We are so close to eradicating wind projects from the River Valley. The developer is now resorting to buying out select groups, our snowmobile clubs, our extracurricular school groups and other special interest entities. Our town manager is preparing to persuade the 90% of our citizens on Common Road who are to be most affected and are totally against the project. He has an idea to form a TIF district of Common Road to provide funding for something over there.
March 10th, 4 to 6pm, a free supper, sponsored by Alice and Troy Barnett, who have seen their plans of building their own home for years blown away by proposed turbines to be less than 2000 feet away, will be offered at the Dirigo High School.
Following the supper from 6 to 8pm, the DEP will conduct a listen and record session on Patriot's application for Saddleback Wind. I think we have some good preparation taking place for them.
We have the forces, knowledge and passion to make this an event heard throughout the state. Our last event in Dixfield created a good rally, This time it will be a " Ruckus "
Follow this post in the coming days. I will reveal all that has happened during the last year and a half here, which surely won't be unlike the many stories that you with projects upon you have.

 's picture

good opportunity

to get an education on what's coming. One dozen 450 foot wind turbines in a very rural, but settled town--visible from Carthage (obviously), Wilton, Jay, Dixfield, Weld/Mt. Blue St Park, etc. For or against, this is a solid opportunity to understand what is proposed and close to approval in Carthage, as well as, proposed in many neighboring towns.

What will the cumulative impact be? No one knows and state employees are not allowed to discuss. Why is that?

 's picture

Dirigo High School Wind Night

AFS Will be the biggest event Dixfield has ever seen.


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