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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Windham Regional Commission Seeks Input on Draft Energy Plan

The Windham Regional Commission looks for public comments as they develop the Regional Energy Plan with four public meetings in December and January. The meetings will be an opportunity for the public to come and learn about why the Regional Planning Commission is creating a Regional Energy Plan, what information is included in those plans, and what that means for towns. The attendees will be invited to express comments on the draft plan and, more broadly, on energy planning in our region.

The draft plan was developed with guidance from the Department of Public Service and the three Regional Planning Commissions who have completed their Energy Plans. The draft plan and background information can be found on the WRC website: http://www.windhamregional.org/energy/act-174-energy-planning.

The meetings will be held:

· Monday, December 4th at 6:30 pm location: Townshend Town Hall, 2006 Route 30, Townshend

· Wednesday, December 6th at 6:30 pm location: Dover Town Hall, 190 Taft Brook Rd, East Dover

· Monday, January 8th at 6:30 pm location: Townshend Town Hall, 2006 Route 30, Townshend

· Wednesday, January 10th at 6:30 pm location: Jamaica Town Hall, 3735 Route 30, Jamaica

The Windham Regional Commission is one of eleven regional planning commissions in Vermont, and since 1965 has been assisting the 27 towns in southeastern Vermont to provide effective local government and work cooperatively with them to address regional issues.

For more information contact Marion Major at Windham Regional Commission at 802-257-4547 x 109 or mmajor@windhamregional.org, or visit our website at www.windhamregional.org.


Marion Major
Energy Planner
Windham Regional Commission
139 Main Street, Suite 505
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 257-4547 ext. 109


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Here are the comments that I have submitted to this draft regional energy plan as a member of the WRC Energy Committee. I don't know what percent of the Windham Region falls under the categories of Productive Rural Lands and Resource Lands, but I think it is a very large percentage.

Dear Marion, Commissioners, WRC Staff, et. al.,

Here are my comments on the draft Regional Energy Plan as presented to, and discussed at, last week's joint Energy and Planning Committees.

Designating large portions of the Region's lands as incompatible with renewable energy (Productive Rural Lands and Resource Lands) is short-sighted, only serves small special-interest groups, and will substantially limit the Region from contributing to state and global efforts to address global warming.

Regarding this statement: "Given the nature of utility-scale wind development, which involves considerable blasting, road building, and other permanent alterations of the landscape and surface hydrology, it is deemed to be incompatible with the two aforementioned land use designations," I judge there to be a strong bias embedded in it. In my considered opinion the alteration of the environment that results from the development of wind energy is a fraction of that which results from the development of other energy sources. It is just that we do not see those other environmental effects because they are invisible or happening far away from us.

Making a special allowance for "Community-serving wind" is laughable. The scale of wind power in the few places where wind is economically feasible (in our region) is completely out of proportion with the populations and energy needs of those towns. It also precludes a town like Brattleboro from developing a cost effective wind resource to meet its needs outside of its town border.

Use of the terms "utility-scale" and "industrial" to describe wind power is arbitrary and seems intended to sway public opinion against the development of wind power.

Regarding language on p. 36-38: "Other potentially negative environmental impacts include bird and bat mortality, habitat disruption and fragmentation, erosion, pollution from facility maintenance, turbine noise, and visual flicker ..." and "Wind power is intermittent in nature ..." Unless the WRC is going to highlight and address the detrimental attributes of all of the energy sources that the Region now relies on, and compare and contrast them to wind energy in an objective manner, this language has no business being in our Regional Energy Plan.

The language of the draft plan pertaining to wind power seems arbitrary and capricious. It leads me to wonder about the value of regional planning at all and who it is really serving.

Tad Montgomery

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Tad Montgomery and Associates
Ecological Engineering
118 Washington Street, #2
Brattleboro, VT 05301-6483
(802) 251-0502

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