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Environmental Group joins with Anti-Wind group to fight mountain destruction

Susan Smallheer — Times Argus — February 23, 2014

Anti-wind forum focuses on high-elevation water impacts

GRAFTON — The mountain ridges surrounding Grafton should be developed carefully because of the town’s vulnerability to flooding, a Pennsylvania engineer told a forum on the impacts of wind projects Friday night.

Geoff Goll, the principal engineer of Princeton Hydro, Exton, Pa., said that it is very difficult to control stormwater runoff from steep terrain, and he said that the measures currently being employed often don’t work.

Goll was the main speaker at an event organized by Vermonters for a Clean Environment, which is working closely with the anti-wind group Friends of Grafton’s Heritage to explore the ramifications of a wind facility that is under consideration by Iberdrola Renewables, a subsidiary of a Spanish energy conglomerate.

Goll said that damage to high elevation headwaters was particularly difficult to control, and he noted that the land in question contained the headwaters of the Saxtons River, as well as three brooks, Howe, Willie and Stiles brooks.

He said roads and trails would need to be built to the turbine sites themselves, creating impervious surfaces, which increases runoff and pollution. At the Lowell Mountain wind project in the Northeast Kingdom, he said, 2.7 miles of road was built, along with a four-mile “crane path,” adding to the impervious land and increasing runoff on the steep mountain. In all, he said, Lowell created 27 acres of impervious land, and total disturbance of the mountain totalled 135 acres.  Continue reading, here…..

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