A. I. Eriksson: Promises are empty

Wind projects in towns without protective ordinances may not benefit the people. Towns where wind-generating facilities have been permitted to operate without legal guarantees and adequate enforcement protocols can only trust the multi-million-dollar industries to be fair and safe.

The Home Rule Enabling Act, approved by voters and passed by the Maine Legislature in 1970 , broadened the powers of local government and allowed towns to write self-governing ordinances — a basic form of local democracy that Mainers hold dear.

Without an ordinance, who can know if promises made by corporations are empty promises or short-lived, at best? And why would a good business not want to enter into a written contract, with laws to guide and protect both parties?

Town ordinances can require that wind facilities be properly constructed, maintained and repaired, and that their presence does not increase liability for the town.

Likewise, ordinances address fees and costs, and can maximize community benefit packages.

Town ordinances, of course, may appear too restrictive when the design of the wind plant is too large for the area, or when planned to be constructed too close to where people live.

Towns should not be fooled by promises that don't come with guarantees. Nobody wants to hear the words “We told you so”after a wind-power plant is built in your community.

A. Ingrid Eriksson, Sumner

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Comments

 's picture

Wind developers often ask

Wind developers often ask land owners who have leased land to them to sign "good neighbor" agreements, to keep them from speaking against the project after it's up and running. Towns should enact the same thing for the wind developers, have them sign a "good neighbor" agreement which stipulates that if their project is proven to cause loss of property value, loss of quality of life or harm to the residents' health, they must buy the property at fair market value, which would be the value PRIOR to the project being built. Wind developers should sign such an agreement readily if what they say is true about their projects, and landowners and residents would be protected. A protective town ordinance is critically important to all residents, because no wind developer is ever going to sign a "good neighbor" agreement.

 's picture

That happens when pigs fly!

The wind industry has been coddled and protected while being allowed to destroy communities. If what Ms. Gray proposes were to be enforced, First Wind would be liable for buying about 800 properties (3/4ths waterfront) in Lincoln Lakes communities. For sale: year round home on beautiful lake with view of eighteen turbines on ridge less than one mile away. Any takers? Town of Lincoln valuation on said property? $325,000. Ante up, First Wind, or is that price too high because your Rollins Project produces less than 20% of its capacity and you face losing the Production Tax Credit?

Alan Woods's picture

Empty Words -- Hollow Promises

Do you mean that
when First Wind told the residents of Carroll Plt on 02/08/10
that the Bowers project will help with Carroll's high cancer rate,
that they weren't being truthful??????

Oh no! Say it ain't so!

 's picture

Lies & deceit

Yup, just one in the trail of lies and misrepresentations strewn from one end of Maine to the other by the wind thieves. Every community needs ordinances for wind development to protect their interests and to establish the parameters under which they will operate if allowed in the town.

 's picture

Noise predictions

From Vinal Haven to Mars Hill and now Spruce Mountain and Roxbury; GRID scale WIND farms are emitting noises louder than predicted by sound modeling.

Local Ordinances need to address NOISE, infra and audible.

Noise ruling passed in legislature yesterday calling for statewide noise acceptance at 42 dbc as opposed to 45 before.

Sound modeling maps of Saddleback Ridge Wind Project shows 24 "receptors" are going to hear 42 dbc. They are more than likely to hear louder as the sound modeling is faulty in the real world.

http://www.sunjournal.com/state/story/908787

http://www.sunjournal.com/news/river-valley/2012/01/12/roxbury-residents...

http://www.sunjournal.com/users/question-everything

Woodstock and Mars Hill had to waiver to 50 dbc for GRID scale WIND farm to permit.

It is unfair to "receptors".

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