Emotional? You would be, too

Saint Albans Messenger; October 17/18, 2015

On October 12, 2015 the Fairfield Selectboard held an informational meeting with the residents of Fairfield. About 50 people attended. A good turnout for a small community, on a Monday night and a holiday weekend.

Participants at the meeting discussed the proposed Swanton Wind Industrial Turbines to be placed on Rocky Ridge in Swanton, VT. This location is also on Fairfield Pond, the beautiful natural resource so many people enjoy. Travis and Ashley Belisle, the developers were there, along with representatives of Vermont Environmental Research Associates, (VERA), Martha Staskus, John Zimmerman, and attorney Anthony larrapino. Noticeably absent in this proposed greed project was Alan and Kim Bourbeau. According to the proposed project area turbines 6 & 7 would be on the Bourbeaus land. They’ve yet to make an appearance – why is that? And where do they stand in signing a contract with the Belisles? If you’re proud of a project wouldn’t you be shouting it from the rooftops?

VERA made a brief presentation with glossy photos touting the glories of industrial wind. To the uninformed citizen, it actually could have sounded good. But not a single person in the room supported the Belisles and Bourbeaus, or this project. Why is that? Because we know the truth!

We know the truth about industrial wind and the “VICTIMS” who suffer because of it!

We know that it is an inefficient source of energy that our electric companies don’t want and don’t need. We strongly urge our Government and the Public Service Board to respect and value their motion to dismiss the project!

We know that noise standards for these turbines are too high at 45dBA averaged over an hour. The World Health Organization says 30dBA is the recommended rating for a good night’s sleep. We know that people can’t sleep, call their “noise hotlines”

leaving a message that is rarely responded to. Their complaints go unanswered for long periods of time by the Public Service Board and the Department of Health. Isn’t our Government supposed to care about its citizens? People’s homes are bought out or abandoned, others still live with the torment. All because our Governor, the Public Service Board, the Department of Health, and other State agencies DO NOT CARE about us!

What does it say when Travis Belisle, the developer who built the residential area in a beautiful spot on the backside of Fairfield Pond says, SURPRISE, did I mention I’m now going to ruin your lives by placing 7 – 500’ tall industrial wind turbines as close as 2,000 feet from your home? What does it say when the Belisles propose to place the largest turbines yet in Vermont closest to homes compared to any other project to date? It says I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU! Does it matter that their neighbors don’t want it, the Selectboard doesn’t want it, Green Mountain Power and other electric companies don’t want it? Is it okay to destroy what’s considered a high value habitat block in the region, and threaten the amazing habitat on Fairfield Pond?

What does it say if this project goes in despite all these oppositions? It confirms that our Governor DOES NOT CARE about the people. It confirms that the Department of Health, The Public Service Board, the Public Service Department, and many legislators DO NOT CARE about Vermont citizens health and safety. It confirms that the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Agency of Natural Resources DO NOT CARE about following the guidelines and goals of their 2015 State of the Lake and the recently passed Shoreland Protection Act. They strictly regulate what trees you can cut on your camp lot. Yet when they clear-cut, blow up ridges, build roads, destroy wetlands and high value habitat blocks, encroach on neighboring properties, and use tons of cement putting monster turbines on a hill over Fairfield Pond, they say, it’ll be okay, no worries!

What does it say when Rep. Tony Klein, chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee said at the recent REV Conference regarding renewable project opponents that, “a positive regulatory process that we’ve seen for the past 40-plus years undone willy-nilly because of emotion.”? Really?

It says, I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU and your willy-nilly emotion! Rep. Klein, watch and “listen” to every PSB testimony in relation to wind. You’ll see how “positive” the regulatory process is. It’s insulting to accuse “VICTIMS” of industrial wind as being willy-nilly because of emotion! Yes, they’re emotional, and have every right to be. They have been ignored by our Government for years! Not being emotional would be very sad. It means they’re so beaten down and broken by the system that they’ve given up – given up their rights as Vermonters! Very sad indeed!

Right now it’s Swanton, Irasburg and Grafton. Shame on our government for treating their citizens this way! Shame on our Department of Health for doing the governor’s bidding and not respecting its oath to protect the people! If these 7 – 500’ industrial wind turbines go up in this residential neighborhood, destroying people’s lives – Vermonters will have their answer about our Government – they DO NOT CARE ABOUT US! Remember, you’re the next “VICTIM”! VERMONT LIVES MATTER!

Sally Collopy, a resident of Fairfield

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