Maine Department of Environmental Protection To Hold Public Hearing On Proposed Bowers Mountain Wind Project, Publishes Call For Intervenors

December 21, 2012

CONTACT:
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Director of Communications, samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov / (207) 287-5842

-The department will accept written petitions for intervenor’s status in that hearing process through January 7-

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on a proposal from Champlain Wind, LLC – a subsidiary of First Wind – to erect a 16-turbine, 48-megawatt wind farm atop Bowers Mountain in Carroll Plantation and Kossuth Township.

As a result of recently passed legislation, DEP now reviews all grid scale wind energy proposals in the state. Applications usually are subject to two public meetings, however, the department commissioner may choose to hold a public hearing if impacted members of the public request one.

In this case, DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho received multiple public hearing requests and has granted them, saying it was in fairness to all the parties involved and would be helpful to her agency’s decision-making process to hold a hearing.

Her decision also noted that the former Land Use Regulation Commission, which had previously reviewed a proposed project on Bowers Mountain, required public hearings for these types of projects and so the process was a familiar one to the applicant and the interested public.

A notice to prospective intervenors alerting them they have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 7 to request intervenor’s status in writing was published this week. This standing allows them to be a formal party to the hearing process providing an opportunity for participation beyond what is typically availed to the general public, including the opportunity to present evidence under oath and cross-examine other parties.

The petition to intervene must show that the petitioner is a person who is or may be substantially and directly affected by the proposed license decision, or that the petitioner is any other agency of federal, state or local government.

Written petitions should be directed to hearing officer John Silvestri, Deputy Commissioner, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 17 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333; emailed to john.silvestri@maine.gov; or delivered by hand to John Silvestri, DEP Deputy Commissioner at 28 Tyson Drive in Augusta.

Members of the public who wish to provide comments for DEP’s consideration about the application do not need to petition to intervene and will still have a chance to speak during a public comment session adjacent to the hearing and to submit written comments.

The public hearing will be held this spring on a date not yet determined.

For more information about wind power permitting at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep/land

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