EVERY Person Counts

Saint Albans Messenger

Letter to the Editor  July 29, 2015

I attended the public meeting regarding the update to the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan on Wednesday, July 22. The meeting started out by first stating they were not going to talk about specific projects, and then said they would mention the recent Swanton Wind project. The comment made was that they were learning their lesson and the community and the town were going to be listened to and not just the developer.

Another comment made at the meeting was that there were some ‘growing pains’ at some of the existing wind turbine projects and that only a few people were affected adversely. You could feel the sharp intake of breath on that comment. How many people should a wind turbine project be allowed to affect before the state of Vermont does something about this? 5, 10, 50? Are those people who are affected just collateral damage? Does it matter if they are children, adults, elderly, veterans, etc.?

This project wants to put in bigger turbines than anywhere in the State of Vermont and they want to put them closer to homes than any in the state of Vermont. Does that make sense when smaller turbines further from homes are causing problems? Are those of us that live here just guinea pigs for the state of Vermont to see how much we can endure?

If you remember, a few years back, Lyme disease was not recognized as an official disease. Vermont was late to the plate in recognizing this disease. Many states and countries are now looking at health issues from wind turbines in the same light. What was considered ‘all in your head’ is now being recognized as actual illnesses caused by the wind turbines. Let’s not make the same mistake again.

I am being told by people at all levels that this project will never fly, it has too many strikes against it. Too big, too close to homes, too much wetlands, huge habitat block, etc. If that is the case, why aren’t they communicating this to the developer who has stated he will spend 1.2 to 1.5 million dollars to permit this? We were told there is a stringent 30-step process to permit one of these projects. How stringent can it be if the Public Service Board approves every project that comes across their desks? Every project cannot be that good.

Please step back and look at the problems at the existing wind turbine sites – even if it is just a few people. EVERY person matters.

Christine Lang, St. Albans

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