We thank Ms. K. Darlene Park for providing us with a copy of the letter she recently sent to the Maryland Public Service Commission in response to the request by Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC to extend the construction start deadline for the proposed Dan’s Mountain Industrial Wind Facility.
We provide the letter in its entirety and without comment, although your comments are certainly encouraged.
For your convenience, the full text of Dan’s Mountain LLC’s Motion to Extend is provided following the letter.
Letter begins:August 13, 2013 Hon. David J. Collins Executive Secretary Maryland Public Service Commission William Donald Shaffer Tower 6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor Baltimore, Maryland 21202 Re: Case No. 9164 Dear Mr. Collins:
As a resident of Allegany County, Maryland, I request you do not place the Motion of Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, LLC to Extend Construction Start Deadline on the agenda for the August 28, 2013 Administrate Meeting. Nor do I want you to extend the September 12, 2013 deadline for the start of construction date, as requested in their Motion dated July 31, 2013.
Dan’s Mountain Wind Force went into great details of their pathetic failed partnership and business plan, dysfunctional management skills, and bankruptcy/financing problems with Edison Mission Energy in this Motion. As they mentioned, US Wind Force, LLC use to own Dan’s Mountain Wind Force; however, US Wind Force does not exist today. So now we have a new player, Laurel Renewal Partners, LLC (Laurel) with two old names from US Wind Force, owning Dan’s Mountain Wind Force.
Laurel’s newest deal with Exelon is of no comfort; no information is available about the location of the 25 turbines, size, make and model of the turbines, and where the turbine will be manufactured. US Wind Force used the turbines from the Dan’s Mountain Project for the Pinnacle Project in Mineral County, WV; the noises from the Pinnacle Project’s turbines were so bad the residents filed a lawsuit. The residents won an out of court settlement and US Wind had a “Gag Order” imposed.
With Laurel having already negotiated the sale to Exelon, when the Dan’s Mountain Project is built, I am certain environmental issues and storm water management will be of minimum importance and every short cut will be taken in construction to maximize their profits.
Since US Wind Force does not exit, all the “MEMORANDUM OF LEASE” and “MEMORANDUM OF WIND ENERGY LEASE AND AGREEMENT” filed at the Allegany County Court House, with the land owners, are not valid. US Wind Force/Dan’s Mountain Wind Force reneged on these lease agreements (by their admission in the Motion, page 6), thus, owe back payments to the landowners and have to “consummate negotiations with property owners to obtain the necessary authorizations.” The Maryland Public Service Commission granted an eighteen month extension from March 12, 2012 to September 12, 2013. On page eight, Laurel Renewal Partners states, “negotiations with leaseholders and other landowners are ongoing”. Financing was not in place eighteen months ago and is not in place now; not having these agreements signed at this time, proves the lack of support and readiness to advance to the building stage. The project has gone backwards; it is not a “viable” project.
I take issue with the claim that the “political atmosphere at the County appears to be supportive” for the Dan’s Mountain Project because it is not true. In the Cumberland Times-News, dated Wednesday, August 07, 2013, article (Dan’s Mountains Wind Force requests more time to start building), Commissioner President Michael McKay stated, “I don’t know where they get that. This set of commissioners is not going to be getting into undoing or trying to change requirements already set. The community has already had that conversation. This issue was put to rest by the previous board. It’s not on our agenda.”
Laurel has an illusion of a wind turbine farm on Dan’s Mountain. However, as a resident of one of the 225 homes located within the one mile radius of the project (Document A), I can confirm that no one wants to hear the noise, feel the vibration, and see the flickers from the turbines. A home is the largest investment a family has; no one wants that investment devalued, made unsellable and unlivable. We choose to live in Allegany County for the environment and quality of life. That is the reason the county residents banded together to get Code Home Rule Bill No. 2-09 passed on June 4, 2009. This bill was passed “to protect the safety and well-being of Allegany County … to provide additional protection for the public and adjoining landowners from development of wind energy devices.” Laurel needs to move the project to a less populated location that meets the criteria outlined in Code Home Rule Bill No. 2-09. As of January 4, 2012, there are sixteen (16) out of twenty-three (23) counties in Maryland with wind turbine ordinances; we are not the exception, we are the standard!
Approximately three of the turbines are located in the LaVale Region Comprehensive Plan, approved October 2007. On page 2-12, paragraph 3.c., it states: “New communication towers and wind energy conversion systems (e.g., wind turbines and associated features) will be prohibited.” Dan’s Mountain does not address this issue in the Motion, but Allegany County will not amend this document either; Allegany County residents do not want to lose Maryland’s highest ridge tops of wildlife and trees.
I sent a letter to Governor Martin O’Malley, dated November 07, 2008, asking for his help in protecting the residents of Allegany County concerning wind turbines; I received a reply, dated March 19, 2009, which states, “Although I understand your concerns, this issue would best be handled by local officials in Allegany County. I am forwarding your correspondence to the Office of Allegany County Commissioner James Stakem… where this matter can be addressed.” This county has addressed the issue of wind turbines’ separation distances, setback requirements, electromagnetic interferences, decommissioning, groundwater protection bond, and supplemental safety provisions in Code Home Rule Bill No. 2-09. I am quite certain if your Honor’s home was located within a mile or ever two miles of a wind turbine farm, you would want all of these provisions in place. By extending the start construction date a second time for the Dan’s Mountain Project, you will be trying to undermine and manipulate our American rights to protect our quality of life and the democratic process of self government by the people.
In conclusion, I requested you to please, do not place the Motion of Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, LLC to Extend Construction Start Deadline on the agenda for the August 28, 2013, Administrate Meeting, and do not extend the September 12, 2013 deadline for the start of construction date. This project lacks credibility, financing, and support from the residents and the elected county officials. None of the codes, regulations or comprehensive plans will be changed to accommodate this project.
K. Darlene Park, Allegany County Maryland
Allegany County Commissioner Michael McKay
Allegany County Commissioner William Valentine
Allegany County Commissioner Creade Brodie
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