Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources Response to VCE’s Investigation of GMP’s Lowell Wind

In July, 2016, VCE investigated the stormwater systems and ecological health of Green Mountain Power’s Lowell Wind site.  A reporter (not associated with VCE) sent the investigation to the Agency of Natural Resources.  On Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, ANR’s General Counsel sent the following information to VCE, with the following message indicating the state finds no issues and thinks everything is fine.  We believe the state of Vermont is covering up the failures of the stormwater system as implemented by GMP for the Lowell wind project.

Note that the state agency staffer who was responsible for the system in the first place, Kevin Burke, is now the one blessing its performance, along with a staff person for GMP.  This is no way to conduct science.  Let’s get an group of independent stormwater experts to take a look and see if they agree.  Except, nope, GMP controls the site and won’t let anyone who knows something do their own review.

Hello Annette:

The Agency’s Compliance and Enforcement Division conducted a site visit of the Lowell Wind project on September 29, 2016 and has just recently completed its investigation of VCE’s complaint re the Lowell Wind project’s stormwater system.  At this time, the Agency is not pursuing any enforcement action.  If you would like to request a copy of the investigation report when it is finalized, please let me know.  

Your request related to the Deerfield stormwater permits is still under review.   

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Jen

EEO INVESTIGATION REPORT

Comments:

8/11/16 SoS search CEEO McVeigh

Business Information

Business Details

Business Name: MOOSE MOUNTAIN FORESTRY, LLC Business ID: 0008617
Business Type: Domestic Limited Liability Company Business Status: Active

LLC Subtype: Member Managed Did the LLC have members at the time of filing? No
Business Description: TIMBER/FORESTRY MANAGEMENT Fiscal Year Month: 12
Date of Incorporation / Registration Date: 05/17/2002

Designated Office Business Address: 529 MEEK ROAD, PO BOX 80, LOWELL, VT, 05847, USA Designated Office Mailing Address: 529 MEEK ROAD, PO BOX 80, LOWELL, VT, 05847, USA
Citizenship / State of Incorporation: Domestic/VT Last Annual Report Year: 2015

Principals Information

Name/Title:

Physical Address:

BEN C WILEMAN III /Member PO BOX 80, LOWELL
JENNIFER WILEMAN/Member PO BOX 80, LOWELL

Registered Agent Information

Name: CLAUDINE C SAFAR ESQ
Physical Address: 156 BATTERY ST, BURLINGTON, VT, 05401, USA
Mailing Address: 156 BATTERY ST, BURLINGTON, VT, 05401, USA

Trade Name Information

Trade Name Business ID Business Status
KINGDOM FIREWOOD 0240736

—————————————————

09/28/16, I met with Kevin Burke WSMD. Kevin reported that he had recently been to the subject property and that he was aware of the recent concerns reported by the complainant. Kevin reported that during his site visit he found a minor deficiency in one of the storm water infrastructure devices, a level spreader. Kevin said that he had discussed this with Green Mount Power Kingdom Community Wind Supervisor (GMP) Preston Gregory. Kevin was satisfied that the minor issue was in the process of being corrected. Kevin said that he would be in contact with GMP and returning to the site to review the above mentioned for close out.

09/29/16, I met with Preston Gregory at the Kingdom Community Wind site in Lowell. Preston escorted me to all of the wind tower sites located at the facility. Preston also showed me the storm water infrastructure sites at the facility.

I did not see anything at the site that appeared to be a water quality issue. I did not see any tree mortality beyond what I thought to be normal forest mortality. I noticed that there were some dead and/or dying/compromised tress and woody growth at or near the road edge and at or near the storm water devices. I believe that the trees and woody growth may have been effected in the construction phase of the facility. The compromised root systems and scuffed trunks could be the cause of the very few trees that looked compromised. I would also note that we have been in drought conditions this year. The overall health of the forested area at the site appeared to be normal.

I asked Preston about the use of herbicide at the site. Preston said that the GMP uses herbicides to control woody growth under the power /transmission lines and for invasive control. Preston said that both VT Department of Agriculture, VT Fish and Wild life, VT Forest Parks and Recreation are involved in the herbicide application permitting and application at the site. Preston said that GMP uses licensed applicator sub-contractors for the application of the Herbicides.

Closed.

 

 

PROGRAM INVESTIGATION REPORTS

Program:

WSMD 02b Stormwater – Permit Violations

Investigator:

EEO SMITH

Notes:

 

 

INCIDENT DETAILS

Number:

16EC00878

Related:

Town:

Lowell

County:

Orleans

Date:

Time:

Description:

water is getting misplaced and trees/habitats are dying – in violation of the issued stormwater permits

Comments:

From: michael bielawski [mailto:bielawski82@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 4:48 PM
To: David K Mears
Subject: pictures of Lowell Mountain

Dear David Mears,

I understand that you were DEC Commissioner when the Lowell Stormwater permits were issued. There is concern by the Vermonters for a Clean Environment that this project is not working out the way it’s supposed to and that water is getting misplaced and trees/habitats are dying. Can you please look at these photos and respond to these allegations for my news story please. Thank you,

Sincerely,
Michael Bielawski
bielawski82@yahoo.com
518 545 6547

Directions:

Edward Drive

Kingdom Community Wind/Lowell Mountain Wind Farm

 

SUBJECT PROPERTY

Grand List:

2015

Town:

Lowell

Owner 1:

MOOSE MOUNTAIN FORESTRY LLC

Owner 2:

Mail:

PO BOX 80
LOWELL VT 05847

Location:

Description:

1776.99 ACRES

Acres:

1776.99

Span:

36011110756

Parcel ID:

160003.

Category:

Woodland

Residential:

T

 

 

ALLEGED VIOLATORS

Name:

Age(+/-):

DOB:

Gender:

Company:

MOOSE MOUNTAIN FORESTRY LLC

Title:

Address:


VT

Mail:


VT

Span:

Parcel ID:

Email:

Home:

Cell:

Work:

Rep:

DBA:

VT BusinessID:

0008617

 

 

COMPLAINANT

Complainant:

Michael Bielawski

Company:

Vermonters for a Clean Environment – maybe?

Title:

Address:


VT

Mail:


VT

Span:

Parcel ID:

Email:

bielawski82@yahoo.com

Home:

518 545 6547

Cell:

Work:

 

 

INCIDENT TRACKING

Received:

8/11/2016

Contact:

Alyssa Schuren

Date:

8/11/2016

Input By:

Sean McVeigh

CIR:

Citizen Complaint

District:

7

 

 

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About vermontersforacleanenvironment

VCE's mission is to raise the voices of Vermonters and hold corporations accountable for their impacts on our people, our land, our air and our water. We are united in the belief that Vermont's future lies in conserving its clean, rural, small-town environment. We have joined together to pursue the common goals of encouraging economic development with minimal environmental impacts and preserving Vermont's natural beauty. VCE is committed to providing facts and information so that people can make informed decisions. We encourage your participation.
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