Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

August 21, 2013

Don’t extend the startup date for wind project

This is a summary of a letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission, requesting them not to place the motion of Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, LLC to extend construction start deadline on the agenda for the next administrative meeting and not to extend the Sept. 12, 2013, deadline for the start of construction date.

US Wind Force used to own Dan’s Mountain Wind Force; Laurel Renewal Partners, LLC (with two old names from US Wind Force) now own Dan’s Mountain Wind Force. Laurel negotiated the sale of the Dan’s Mountain Project, when built, to Exelon.

I’m certain environmental issues and storm water management will be of minimum importance and short cuts will be taken in construction to maximize Laurel’s profits.

Laurel’s newest deal with Exelon gives no information about the 25 turbines’ location, size, make and model, and where manufactured. US Wind Force used the turbines from the Dan’s Mountain Project for the Pinnacle Project in West Virginia.

The noise from the Pinnacle’s turbines were so bad the residents filed a lawsuit. The residents won an out of court settlement and a “Gag Order” was imposed.

The project has gone backwards. Since US Wind Force does not exist, lease agreements are not valid; Laurel owes back payments and is still negotiating new leases.

Laurel claims the political atmosphere of the Project appears to be supportive. This is not true. As quoted by Commissioner President McKay on Aug. 7, 2013, Cumberland Times-News (Dan’s Mountains Wind Force requests more time to start building) “…The community has already had that conversation. This issue was put to rest by the previous board. It’s not on our agenda.”

Laurel has an illusion of wind turbines on Dan’s Mountain. As one of the 225 homeowners located within the one mile radius, I can confirm that no one wants the noise, vibration, and flickers from the turbines.

A home is the largest investment of a family; who wants their investment devalued, made unsellable and unlivable? The county residents banded together to get Code Home Rule Bill No. 2-09 passed.

This bill was passed “to protect the safety and well-being — provide additional protection for the public and adjoining landowners” Laurel needs to move the project to a less populated location that meets the criteria outlined in the bill. There are 16 out of 23 counties in Maryland with wind turbine ordinances; we are not the exception, we are the standard!

Approximately three turbines are located in the LaVale Region Comprehensive Plan, which prohibits wind turbines. Laurel does not address this issue; Allegany County will not amend this document either.

I wrote to Gov. O’Malley about the wind turbine issue and received a reply dated March 19, 2009, stating, “Although I understand your concerns, this issue would best be handle by local officials in Allegany County. I am forwarding your correspondence to the Office of Allegany County Commissioner … where this matter can be addressed.”

This county addressed the issues of wind turbines’ separation distances, setback requirements, electromagnetic interferences, decommissioning, groundwater protection bond, and supplemental safety provisions in this bill.

I am certain if any of the MPSC’s home were located within a mile or even two miles of a turbine farm, they would want these provisions in place.

By extending the start construction date a second time for this project, the MPSC will be trying to undermine and manipulate our American rights to protect our quality of life and the democratic process of self government by the people.

End this project now! Write the Maryland Public Service Commission to not extend the start of construction date for this project.

K. Darlene Park

Frostburg

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