I attended a Department of Environmental Protection meeting March 22 in Canton about the Canton Mountain wind project. The purpose of the meeting was to ask questions about the permit process, but it seems there were no answers.
Questions about bald eagles were deferred to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Questions on noise complaint protocol could not be answered.
The crowd heard interpretation of Maine laws by the lawyer representing Patriot Renewables, the developer.
Basically, the wind energy statutes are loosely interpreted and many definitions need to evolve, such as possible adverse scenic impact to Mount Blue State Park. That park welcomes more than 70,000 visitors per year, yet the Patriot Renewables’ survey of 22 hikers is the only basis of determining “no adverse scenic impact.”
Even Dr. James F. Palmer, the DEP’s visual expert at the Board of Environmental Protection appeal of Oakfield Wind, suggested the wind law needs clarification in visual impacts.
Surveys should be conducted on-site and not using photo simulations.
I hope elected officials and officials in the Office of Energy Independence understand that the expedited wind sprawl law needs to be revised.
Alice McKay Barnett, Carthage