The state Public Service Board this week fined Green Mountain Power Corp. $1,000 for violating noise limits with its Lowell Mountain wind project.
The penalty for the violations could have been up to $100,000. The board said Green Mountain Power’s agreement to conduct a year of continued sound monitoring led to a lesser fine. The monitoring is expected to cost $109,000 or more.
Green Mountain Power issued this statement Friday night:
“We have supported continuous monitoring and remain confident that we will continue to operate within state standards, as we have done since the first few months of operation. Kingdom Community Wind is a great resource that is helping to lower costs for customers. We respect the Board’s decision and look forward to working with the Department on the specifics of implementing the plan.”
GMP alerted the board to the noise violations in late 2012 and early 2013.
Board member John Burke disagreed with colleagues James Volz and Margaret Cheney on the fine. “I would have preferred a substantial fine be imposed on GMP and would not have ordered the continuous monitoring,” Burke said in a dissent. “While the only winner then would have been the state’s general fund, all the parties would begin to realize that working on noise issues is important and that more is gained by working together than by the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude that appears to have prevailed here.”