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Connecticut lawmakers continue ban on wind energy projects

Ed Jacovino — The Republican — September 30, 2013

The ban on new wind turbines in Connecticut will continue, after a legislative panel again rejected proposed regulations for large-scale wind energy projects.

Lawmakers on the Regulations Review Committee on Tuesday rejected the most recent proposal from the Connecticut Siting Council, saying the regulations fail to address town officials’ concerns and would make it too easy for developers to get around the regulations with waivers.

Without regulations to govern wind projects, the 2011 ban on turbines will continue for at least another month — delaying projects in Ashford, Union, Colebrook, and Prospect.

“We’re going to be overriding local control,” Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill, R-Southbury, said before voting against the proposed regulations.

Critics of the vote said the proposed regulations comply with state law, and legislators who don’t like the idea of wind turbines in the state shouldn’t reject the regulations simply because they don’t like the law that allows the projects.

“The legislature set forth the policy,” Sen. Robert Kane, R-Watertown, said. He was among three lawmakers to vote in favor of the regulations.

At issue is how much control local officials should have over wind turbine projects in their towns. Lawmakers created the state Siting Council to regulate power plants, cellphone towers, and other utility projects that people may not want in their neighborhoods — basically because if it were up to local governments, they’d be blocked from locating anywhere.

The 2011 law required the Siting Council to propose regulations for wind turbines. But until the Regulations Review Committee approves the rules, the ban on windmill proposals will continue.  Read full article, here….

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