Article

Wind project cited for erosion

"On Friday, June 23, we issued a unilateral order regarding the failure of their erosion controls and that it was a violation of the permits we issued," Tor said. "We ordered them to correct the control failures and submit a plan for addressing the problem areas."

HANCOCK — The Berkshire Wind Power Project has been cited, but not fined, by the state Department of Environmental Protection for failure to maintain erosion controls at the project site.

Construction on the project, which has been in the development process since 1999, began in late May on Brodie Mountain, according to officials at Distributed Generation Systems Inc., the Lakewood, Colo., company behind the project. Estimated to cost $22 million when completed, the 10 turbines will be built on top of Brodie Mountain and will be approximately 252 feet tall, with 213-foot electric generating rotors.

Orion Construction Group of Appleton, Wis., is managing the project.

DEP representative Eva Tor said the agency received a complaint in early June that sediment runoff from the construction site was being discharged to a stream bank and a bordering vegetated wetland.

"On Friday, June 23, we issued a unilateral order regarding the failure of their erosion controls and that it was a violation of the permits we issued," Tor said. "We ordered them to correct the control failures and submit a plan for addressing the problem areas."

Tor said the agency inspected the site twice since giving the order to the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

HANCOCK — The Berkshire Wind Power Project has been cited, but not fined, by the state Department of Environmental Protection for failure to maintain erosion controls at the project site.

Construction on the project, which has been in the development process since 1999, began in late May on Brodie Mountain, according to officials at Distributed Generation Systems Inc., the Lakewood, Colo., company behind the project. Estimated to cost $22 million when completed, the 10 turbines will be built on top of Brodie Mountain and will be approximately 252 feet tall, with 213-foot electric generating rotors.

Orion Construction Group of Appleton, Wis., is managing the project.

DEP representative Eva Tor said the agency received a complaint in early June that sediment runoff from the construction site was being discharged to a stream bank and a bordering vegetated wetland.

"On Friday, June 23, we issued a unilateral order regarding the failure of their erosion controls and that it was a violation of the permits we issued," Tor said. "We ordered them to correct the control failures and submit a plan for addressing the problem areas."

Tor said the agency inspected the site twice since giving the order to the company, and that the company is back in compliance with its state permit.

"They have done what we wanted them to do, and at this point, we have no outstanding issues," she said. "We wanted to be sure that they had a good plan in place in the future so it would not happen again."

Problems due to rain

Local development representative William Sheperdson said the erosion problem had to do with the high amount of rain that occurred in June.

"It was an amazing challenge that was faced by local subcontractors and Orion," Sheperdson said. "Last June was the rainiest month in history, and contractors and subcontractors were spending a significant amount of time on environmental controls. It was a significant amount of work."

Sheperdson said two of the foundations for the turbines have been started, but that construction has been halted while the owners are in negotiations with a potential buyer for the project.

"I can't identify the party interested in buying the project at this point, but we're in discussions with them," he said. "It's a matter of crossing the T's and dotting the I's. We still have confidence that the full-scale project will begin within the next few weeks, but I would not say that it's concrete that it will."

Company President Dale Osborn said another reason why construction has come to a standstill is because of new Federal Aviation Administration guidelines that deal with concerns over wind turbines interfering with Department of Defense radars.

"The new guidelines focus on radar systems 50 miles away from turbine locations, where the previous guidelines were only for wind farms for 15 miles away," Osborn said. "The FAA is particularly cautious of this, and to me, it seems more of a political concern than a technical concern. They issued a determination that said that the turbines would not have a negative impact on the radar."

Osborn said construction on the project would be complete by next spring.

 


Source: http://berkshireeagle.com/l...

JUL 21 2006
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