LCAR Legislators’ Responses to VCE’s Public Records Act Request

Videos of LCAR Wind Noise Rule Hearings: 6/8/17, 6/22/17, 8/3/17, 10/12/17, 10/26/17.  In total LCAR spent 10 hours and 20 minutes on the PUC’s wind noise rule.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 2.46.02 PMOn October 16, 2017, Vermonters for a Clean Environment filed Public Records Act (PRA) requests with the eight legislators who serve on the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules.  This was an unusual action for VCE to take because in the past, legislators did not respond to PRA requests.  On Oct. 18, 2017 VCE held a press conference in the Vermont Statehouse announcing the filing of the PRA requests.

We took this extreme (to us) step after sitting through eight hours of hearings before LCAR on the Public Utility Commission’s Wind Noise Rule where most members’ questions were entirely focused on protecting the industry.  The legislative intent in instructing the PUC to conduct rule-making was to produce sound standards that are more protective of Vermonters than the standards previously applied.

We witnessed interactions between industry lobbyists and LCAR members throughout those eight hours of hearings, and decided it was important to shine some sunshine on the relationship between Vermonters’ elected representatives and the wind industry’s lobbyists.

Five members of LCAR chose to take the extra 10 days allowed by law.  Below are the responses VCE received by the Oct. 30 deadline.  The cost was $94.50.  Each of the legislators’ responses are separated by two lines, and there are eight in total, numbered to make it easier to follow.  Separate responses within each legislators’ sections are separated by one line.



1. SEN. VIRGINIA LYONS

From: Helena Gardner <HGardner@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: Public Records Requests submitted yesterday, Oct. 16

Date: October 17, 2017 at 9:48:44 AM EDT

To: “vce@vce.org” <vce@vce.org>

Ms. Smith, 

On behalf of Rep. Chestnut-Tangerman and Sen. Lyons, and pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 318(a)(5)(B) and (5)(C), I am asserting 10 business days to respond to your October 16 PRA request, and will try to respond by the end of the day on Monday, October 30. 

Best,

Helena

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


From: Helena Gardner <HGardner@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: Response of Sen. Lyons

Date: October 27, 2017 at 11:16:34 AM EDT

To: “vce@vce.org” <vce@vce.org>

Annette,

In response to your October 16 Public Records Act request, on behalf of Sen. Lyons, attached are the records in her custody that are responsive to your request.  

Sen. Lyons decided to provide you these records even though she could have asserted arguments to withhold them.  She reserves the right to assert such arguments in the event of a future Public Records Act request.  Her decision to provide the records should not be construed as impairing the right of any member or office of the General Assembly to assert such arguments or to claim any applicable exemption or privilege in the future.  

Best,

Helena 

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


IMG_0191IMG_0192IMG_0193IMG_0194IMG_0195IMG_0196


IMG_0189IMG_0190


IMG_0171


From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Date: Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 2:58 PM

Subject: Wind sound – follow-up

To: senatorginnylyons@gmail.com

Hi Ginny, 

Thanks again for taking a few minutes to talk through the next steps on wind sound. The rest of our conversation with Mark was good, we primarily focused on the substance of the objection. In terms of next steps, I believe Mark will be touching base with other members of LCAR to understand where others are, and then reaching out to Aaron to ask him to begin drafting an objection. 

Attached is our testimony. I just wanted to re-share specifically the sections where we talked about the sound limit and the justification that would support LCAR specifically objecting to anything lower than 42 decibels: 

“In regards to the sound limit, Mr. Cotter, the Board’s counsel, repeatedly stated at the last hearing that 45 dB(A) is fully protective of public health, in clear recognition of the scientific consensus concluding the same… As the Board recognized, the research does not support setting a limit on sound lower than 45 dB(A) exterior for public health reasons.

“The Board also claimed that the nighttime limit was set to achieve the WHO recommendation of 30 dB(A) interior when accounting for attenuation. However, the evidence does not support an exterior limit of 39. First of all, the Board cites multiple sources (WHO, FHA, EPA) that find 10 dB(A) is the minimum appropriate outdoor-indoor attenuation value (windows open). Further, the WHO’s 30 dB(A) interior recommendation, which the Board exclusively relies on as the basis for their level of 39 dB(A), is an 8-hour nighttime average. This rule, in contrast, requires measuring 1-minute periods of sound from a wind project. Given wind’s inherent fluctuations over time, a 1-minute interval under this protocol would necessarily result in a higher measured sound output than the 8-hour interval used here by the WHO. Because of this, if the WHO were instead recommending an equivalent 1-minute standard, it would necessarily be higher than 30 dB(A). Thus, even looking at the lowest attenuation figure of 10

dB(A), the resulting appropriate limit would necessarily be higher than 40 dB(A) (more than 30 dB(A) plus at least 10 dB(A) is inherently more than 40 dB(A)). On top of that, the Board’s standard is set at 100 feet from the façade of the house (not the immediate exterior as the WHO and others consider). And again, the WHO themselves, along with every other study cited by the Board in its considerations, finds that 45 dB(A) exterior is fully protective of public health. Combined, evidence on public health and attenuation supports a nighttime exterior limit of 42-45 dB(A).” (pgs 3-4) 

In addition, here is the summary of the studies the Commission referenced in their filing documents supporting the rule (this chart is from the presentation we gave at the Commission’s technical workshop in May. As we reference in the quote above, the recommendations for 40 dB(A) Lnight,annual would support a 45 dB(A) Leq standard as well, so even though the decibel limit is lower, those studies in fact support 42-45 dBA as well.

Study

Health Recommendation

Annoyance Recommendation

Vermont Department of Health

40 dB(A) Lnight,annual

35 dB(A) Lnight,annual

WHO 1999 Guidelines

45 dB(A) Leq

Included in health recommendation

WHO 2009 Guidelines

40 dB(A) Lnight,annual

Included in health recommendation

EPA Levels Document

45 dB Ldn indoor

Included in health recommendation

Health Canada

Up to 46 dB(A)

No recommendation, however [35 – 40) dB(A), 10% of participants experienced annoyance.

Mass. DEP

Varying by land use from 37 dB(A) in residential areas to 45 dB(A) in Villages, mixed use (and higher in commercial and industrial lands)

Included in health recommendation

Council of Canadian Academies

No recommendation

No recommendation

Let me know if you have any further questions! 

Thanks,

Sarah

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate

802-223-5221 x17

sarah@vpirg.org 

Vermont Public Interest Research Group

141 Main St, Ste 6

Montpelier, VT 05072


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From: Virginia Lyons <VLyons@leg.state.vt.us>

Date: Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 12:24 PM

Subject: Re: REV et al re LCAR on Wind Sound Rule

To: Adam Necrason <adam@necrasongroup.com>

Cc: Ginny Lyons <senatorginnylyons@gmail.com>, Rebecca Ramos <rebecca@necrasongroup.com>

Adam- 

Thank you. As you know LCAR’s jurisdiction extends to legislative intent, whether the rule is arbitrary or whether the rule is capricious. I look forward to hearing REV’s testimony relating to these issues.

We can certainly discuss any further questions that I may have after hearing the testimony. 

Best- 

Ginny

Senator Ginny Lyons 

On Jun 6, 2017, at 11:10 AM, Adam Necrason <adam@necrasongroup.com> wrote:

Sen Lyons,

We hope you are doing well.  We are contacting you to let you know that our client Renewable Energy Vermont, and others, will be raising objections to the Wind Sound Rule as arbitrary and contrary to legislative intent.   Please know we will present some information on the issue (which our legal people are still pulling together now) at the LCAR hearings and will welcome any follow up questions you have.

Thank you

Adam and Rebecca

REV

—-

Adam Necrason

Necrason Group, plc

Montpelier, VT

802-338-0792 (m)


From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Date: Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Subject: RE: summary of wind sound rule discussion

To: senatorginnylyons@gmail.com

Cc: bwalsh@vpirg.org

Hi Ginny, 

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any questions following our conversation a couple weeks ago, or on this document Ben shared summarizing our position on LCAR’s ability to object to this rule (attached again here). 

We’d love to jump on the phone with you tomorrow or Wednesday to walk through everything and answer any additional questions if you are available in advance of Thursday’s LCAR meeting. 

Let me know!

Best,

Sarah 

From: Ben Edgerly Walsh

Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 4:56 PM

To: Virginia Lyons <senatorginnylyons@gmail.com>

Cc: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>; James Dumont <dumont@gmavt.net>

Subject: summary of wind sound rule discussion 

Ginny,

Thank you again for taking the time to sit down with us the other day to discuss the Board’s proposed rule on wind sound. As we discussed, I’ve attached a summary of the major issues with the Board’s rule and their justifications for it. 

Let me know if you have any questions (Sarah is out next week, taking a well-deserved break), and if you would be able to check in sometime the week of the 5th, prior to the LCAR meeting. 

Thanks so much Ginny. 

Best,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23


From: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Date: Fri, May 26, 2017 at 4:55 PM

Subject: summary of wind sound rule discussion

To: senatorginnylyons@gmail.com

Cc: swolfe@vpirg.org, dumont@gmavt.net

Ginny,

Thank you again for taking the time to sit down with us the other day to discuss the Board’s proposed rule on wind sound. As we discussed, I’ve attached a summary of the major issues with the Board’s rule and their justifications for it.

Let me know if you have any questions (Sarah is out next week, taking a well-deserved break), and if you would be able to check in sometime the week of the 5th, prior to the LCAR meeting. 

Thanks so much Ginny.

Best,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23


From: Virginia Lyons <senatorginnylyons@gmail.com>

Date: Wed, May 24, 2017 at 4:47 PM

Subject: Re: Wind sound rule

To: bwalsh@vpirg.org

Cc: swolfe@vpirg.org

Sounds good.

Best- 

Ginny

Senator Ginny Lyons 

On May 24, 2017, at 4:30 PM, <bwalsh@vpirg.org> <bwalsh@vpirg.org> wrote:

Hi Ginny,

Sarah just got off the phone with Mark MacDonald, and he suggested the four of us meet together at 9 tomorrow. I assume that works for you? 

Thanks again,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Virginia Lyons [mailto:senatorginnylyons@gmail.com]

Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:29 PM

To: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Cc: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Re: Wind sound rule 

Ben-  

Good! See you tomorrow at 9. 

Best-  

Ginny

Senator Ginny Lyons 

 

On May 24, 2017, at 2:26 PM, <bwalsh@vpirg.org> <bwalsh@vpirg.org> wrote:

Hi Ginny,

Let’s go ahead and meet tomorrow morning. 9am in the cafeteria? 

I’ve also attached our comments on the earlier draft of the wind sound rule, in case they’re of interest. By and large, they’re still applicable – the rule didn’t change enough between the two drafts for our underlying analysis of its effect or justification to change. 

Thanks again for bearing with us in this scheduling. 

Ben


From: <jhanson@vpirg.org>

Date: Thu, May 18, 2017 at 10:43 PM

Subject: Fighting the PSB Wind Sound Rule

To: senatorginnylyons@gmail.com

Dear Senator Lyons, 

Please, please do everything in your power to prevent this wind sound standard from going into effect in Vermont and effectively banning future wind projects in the state! 

Your constituent,

Jack Hanson



2. SEN. MICHAEL SIROTKIN

From: Helena Gardner <HGardner@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: Oct. 16 PRA request to Sen. Sirotkin

Date: October 19, 2017 at 8:22:16 AM EDT

To: “vce@vce.org” <vce@vce.org>

Annette, 

Pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 318(a)(5)(C), on behalf Sen. Sirotkin, I am asserting 10 business days to respond to your October 16 Public Records Act request.  I will try to respond  on behalf of Sen. Sirotkin by the end of the day on Monday, October 30. 

Best,

Helena 

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


From: Michael Sirotkin <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: VCE Public Records Request

Date: October 30, 2017 at 4:59:59 PM EDT

To: Annette Smith <vce@vce.org>

Annette,

I have decided to provide you these records even though I could have asserted arguments to withhold them.  I reserve the right to assert such arguments in the event of a future Public Records Act request.  My decision to provide the records should not be construed as impairing the right of any member or office of the General Assembly to assert such arguments or to claim any applicable exemption or privilege in the future. 

Best,

Michael

Senator Michael Sirotkin

Chittenden County 

Vermont State House 

115  State St.

Montpelier,VT 05602

Mobile: 802 999 4360

Statehouse: 800 322 5616; 802 828 2228

Fax: 802 828 2424

Email: sirotkin.senate@gmail.com

Mail: 80 Bartlett Bay Rd. South Burlington, VT 05403


From: Adam Necrason <adam@necrasongroup.com>

Subject: LCAR Thursday; REV re Wind Sound Rule

Date: October 11, 2017 at 7:01:48 PM EDT

To: Michael Sirotkin <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Senator,

It is my understanding that Sen MacDonald is planning to move an objection to the Rule.

Attached, please find REV’s previously submitted LCAR comments on this matter.

Thanks

Adam

—-

Adam Necrason

Necrason Group, plc

Montpelier, VT

802-338-0792 (m)

necrasongroup.com


From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Wind sound

Date: October 4, 2017 at 11:08:32 AM EDT

To: <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Hi Senator Sirotkin, 

Given that wind sound will be back on the agenda next Thursday, I was hoping we might be able to find a time to connect this week. In case you didn’t see, our recent response to the Commission’s memo on the rules is attached here. I’d be happy to answer any questions that you have on the memo. 

Are you available tomorrow or Friday afternoon for a call?

Thanks!

Sarah 

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate

802-223-5221 x17

sarah@vpirg.org 

Vermont Public Interest Research Group

141 Main St, Ste 6

Montpelier, VT 05072


From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Checking in post-LCAR

Date: July 24, 2017 at 1:35:59 PM EDT

To: <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Hi Senator, 

Hope your summer is going well! We actually had a few days there with continuous nice weather, which I certainly enjoyed. 

I just wanted to reach out to check in following the last hearing and the postponement of the LCAR decision. Since we haven’t connected since our testimony, let me know if there are any outstanding questions. Also, I’d love to discuss what you think the next steps might be prior to LCAR taking action in October? 

Would you be around for a call or meeting in the next couple weeks?

Thanks,

Sarah 

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate

802-223-5221 x17

sarah@vpirg.org 

Vermont Public Interest Research Group

141 Main St, Ste 6

Montpelier, VT 05072


From: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Subject: RE: wind

Date: June 14, 2017 at 1:53:00 PM EDT

To: <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Cc: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Great. Thanks again. We’ll see you then. 

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Michael Sirotkin [mailto:sirotkin.senate@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 1:52 PM
To: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Subject: Re: wind

10 should be ok,

Senator Michael Sirotkin

Chittenden County

Vermont State House

115  State St.

Montpelier,VT 05602 

Mobile: 802 999 4360

Statehouse: 800 322 5616; 802 828 2228

Fax: 802 828 2424

Email: sirotkin.senate@gmail.com

Mail: 80 Bartlett Bay Rd. South Burlington, VT 05403

 

On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 1:39 PM, <bwalsh@vpirg.org> wrote:

That would work, but ideally I’d like to have Sarah join us as well. She has an appointment that morning and isn’t available until 10. Would that work for you? 

If not, let’s go ahead with 9. And yes, Panera works. 

Thanks,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Michael Sirotkin [mailto:sirotkin.senate@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:17 AM
To: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Subject: Re: wind
 

can we do next tuesday at panera on shelburne road at 9am ?

Senator Michael Sirotkin

Chittenden County

Vermont State House

115  State St.

Montpelier,VT 05602 

Mobile: 802 999 4360

Statehouse: 800 322 5616; 802 828 2228

Fax: 802 828 2424

Email: sirotkin.senate@gmail.com

Mail: 80 Bartlett Bay Rd. South Burlington, VT 05403

 

On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 12:01 AM, <bwalsh@vpirg.org> wrote:

Senator, 

In advance of the next LCAR meeting, do you have a window or two where you would be available to sit down to discuss the wind sound rule? Sarah and I are available Thu and Fri afternoon this week, and can also make Mon-Wed of next week work, though that’s trickier on our end. 

Let us know. We’d appreciate the opportunity. 

Best,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Ben Edgerly Walsh
Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:11 AM
To: ‘Michael Sirotkin’ <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>
Cc: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>
Subject: RE: wind
 

Michael,

Of course. I’ve attached four documents.

          Most importantly, “LCAR Wind Sound Summary” lays out our concerns with the final draft rule and why aspects of the rule are both contrary to legislative intent and arbitrary.

          The “Response to Comments” document is from the Board (you’ll already have it in the LCAR packet), but this version highlights the key passages we reference in our summary document.

          The “REV Maps” document is the one that the Board references on p4 of their Response document, and we also reference in our Summary, under point two. We describe in the Summary why REV’s mapping here is overly generous and doesn’t fully account for how restrictive the details of this rule are.

          The “Stetson II Isopleths” document shows modeling from a wind farm in Maine, and how far back from the farm you would need to be to hit 39 dBA using the conservative modeling criteria in Maine’s rule. The Board’s proposed rule is even more restrictive in its modeling criteria and other details (beyond the 39 dBA number), but Maine is the closest equivalent. As you can see, to hit 39 dBA even under Maine’s modeling criteria, from parts of the wind far you would need to be 6000 feet away. This map is reference in point 2(d) of our Summary.

          Finally, I have I included our response comments from April. These should also be in your packet. I’m including them again here primarily because they dive into our technical and legal review of key aspects of the Board’s work in more detail. It’s also worth stating explicitly that the change from 35 dBA in the earlier draft to 39 dBA here does not alter in any fundamental way our analysis contained in these comments. Both standards are unworkable, and both are without sound legal or scientific justification. 

Let Sarah (who’s really our technical expert on this) and I know if you have any questions. And if you’re right (and I assume you are) that LCAR’s review will continue beyond tomorrow, we’d certainly still be interested in following up and meeting with you sometime next week. 

Thanks Michael. 

Best,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Michael Sirotkin [mailto:sirotkin.senate@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 10:27 AM
To: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Subject: wind
 

ben- got your message. I am out of town until tomorrow morning. while i dont think any decisions will be made tomorrow, i would appreciate receiving your thoughts before tomorrow’s hearings. thanks.

Michael

Senator Michael Sirotkin

Chittenden County

Vermont State House

115  State St.

Montpelier,VT 05602

Mobile: 802 999 4360

Statehouse: 800 322 5616; 802 828 2228

Fax: 802 828 2424

Email: sirotkin.senate@gmail.com

Mail: 80 Bartlett Bay Rd. South Burlington, VT 05403


From: Olivia Campbell Andersen <olivia@revermont.org>

Subject: REV Presentation – Wind Sound Today

Date: June 8, 2017 at 11:21:03 AM EDT

To: Michael Sirotkin <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Senator Sirotkin,

Emailing to share with you REV’s presentation at LCAR today on wind sound so that you can follow while participating by phone.  

Thank you for your consideration.

Best,

Olivia

Olivia Campbell Andersen  

Renewable Energy Vermont   |   Executive Director

802-595-5373  |  olivia@revermont.org

www.revermont.org    |  @RE_Vermont


From: Adam Necrason <adam@necrasongroup.com>

Subject: REV re LCAR on Wind Sound

Date: June 6, 2017 at 11:13:02 AM EDT

To: msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us, Michael Sirotkin <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Cc: Rebecca Ramos <rebecca@necrasongroup.com>

Senator,

We hope you are doing well.  

We are contacting you to let you know that our client Renewable Energy Vermont, and others, will be raising objections to the Wind Sound Rule as arbitrary and contrary to legislative intent.   Please know we will present some information on the issue (which our legal people are still pulling together now) at the LCAR hearings and will welcome any follow up questions you have.

Thank you

Adam 

REV

—-

Adam Necrason

Necrason Group, plc

Montpelier, VT

802-338-0792 (m)

necrasongroup.com


From: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Subject: RE: time to meet re wind sound rule

Date: June 1, 2017 at 1:29:05 PM EDT

To: <msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us>

Cc: <dumont@gmavt.net>

Resent-From: <msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us>

Senator, 

I wanted to loop back to you regarding sitting down to talk about the Board’s proposed rule on wind sound. When would a good time to meet be? I can make most any time tomorrow, Tue, or Wed work. 

Thanks in advance. 

Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23


From: Ben Edgerly Walsh

Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2017 3:11 PM

To:msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us‘ <msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us>

Cc: ‘James Dumont’ <dumont@gmavt.net>

Subject: time to meet re wind sound rule

Senator,

I’m glad we connected earlier today – and thanks for your willingness to sit down to discuss the Board’s proposed rule on wind sound. I could meet in the Burlington area before 1pm on Tue or Wed of next week, or after 1pm on Thu. Do any of those windows work for you? 

I’ve cc’d Jim Dumont, who we’ve been working with on aspects of this rule. Ideally I think it would make sense for him to join us, but given the tight turnaround that may not be possible. 

Looking forward to digging in more. 

Thanks again,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23


From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Wind sound rule

Date: May 17, 2017 at 2:22:52 PM EDT

To: <sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>

Cc: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Hi Sen. Sirotkin, 

As you’ve probably seen, the Board issued their final proposed wind sound rule yesterday. Since that obviously means LCAR will be taking it up soon, I wanted to share our public statement on the rule, copied below. 

The details of this regulation are complicated, but Ben and I would love to sit down with you once the session actually wraps up to go over why this will be prohibit most if not all future wind projects in Vermont. 

We’ll be in touch soon. In the meantime – good luck up there! 

Best,

Sarah 

VPIRG Statement on Wind Sound Rules

On May 16th, the Public Service Board issued its final proposed rule on sound from wind generation facilities. The rule is the most restrictive in the country by a wide margin, and imposes a 39 dB(A) nighttime sound limit and a setback distance of 10x the height of the turbine. This rule will make most, if not all large wind projects unworkable in Vermont, taking this critical clean energy resource off the table. 

VPIRG Clean Energy Advocate Sarah Wolfe said this about the final proposed rule:

This rule, if adopted, would essentially hand the keys to Vermont’s energy policy over to the most extreme anti-clean energy voices in the state. The rule amounts to an arbitrary ban on the most cost-effective, renewable energy resource we have available, and VPIRG will continue to fight it.    

The Public Service Board heard from hundreds of Vermonters advocating for fact-based sound limits and a commitment to Vermont’s thriving clean energy economy. The Board not only chose to ignore those Vermonters, it exceeded its authority under Vermont law in doing so.

We expect to see this kind of policy out of Washington these days, but not Vermont. We need policies that will grow good jobs here while helping to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead this Board has proposed the most hostile state policy in the country to wind energy. 

The rule is now under consideration by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, who will determine by July 1st whether or not the rule meets legal requirements. 

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate, VPIRG

802-223-5221 x17 



3. REP. MICHAEL YANTACHKA

From: Helena Gardner <HGardner@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: Rep. Yantachka

Date: October 17, 2017 at 1:56:59 PM EDT

To: “vce@vce.org” <vce@vce.org>

Also on behalf of Rep. Yantachka, and pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 318(a)(5)(B) and (5)(C), I am asserting 10 business days to respond to your October 16 PRA request, and will try to respond by the end of the day on Monday, October 30.

Best,

Helena  

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


From: Helena Gardner <HGardner@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: Responsive records of Rep. Yantachka

Date: October 25, 2017 at 1:08:16 PM EDT

To: “vce@vce.org” <vce@vce.org>

Annette,

Attached are the records in Rep. Yantachka’s custody that are responsive to your Oct. 16 Public Records Act request.  Attachments to the gmail account emails were separated from the emails to which they relate during the transfer process. However,  they are attached, and I believe it is clear from the context the emails to which the attachments relate.    

Rep. Yantachka decided to provide you these records even though he could have asserted arguments to withhold them.  He reserves the right to assert such arguments in the event of a future Public Records Act request.  His decision to provide the records should not be construed as impairing the right of any member or office of the General Assembly to assert such arguments or to claim any applicable exemption or privilege in the future.  

Best,

Helena 

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


Subject: Follow-up on wind sound?
From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>
Date: 6/13/2017 1:27 PM
To: <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com>
CC: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Hi Mike,

I hope the rest of your trip was good and restful! Ben and I were hoping to get a chance to follow-up with you to debrief the last LCAR hearing and talk about what may be upcoming in the next. We’re happy to come your way, or do whatever works best for you.

What is your availability the rest of this week (we could also do next week, but figure it will be a little more hectic given the veto session)?

Thanks,
Sarah

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate, VPIRG

802-223-5221 x17


From: Olivia Campbell Andersen <olivia@revermont.org>

Subject: REV Presentation – Wind Sound Today

Date: June 8, 2017 at 11:18:47 AM EDT

To: Michael Yantachka <MYantachka@leg.state.vt.us>

Representative Yantachka,

Emailing to share with you REV’s presentation at LCAR today on wind sound so that you can follow while participating by phone.  

Thank you for your consideration.

Best,

Olivia

Olivia Campbell Andersen  

Renewable Energy Vermont   |   Executive Director

802-595-5373  |  olivia@revermont.org

www.revermont.org    |  @RE_Vermont


 

From: Adam Necrason <adam@necrasongroup.com>

Subject: REV re LCAR and the Wind Sound Rule

Date: June 6, 2017 at 11:13:47 AM EDT

To: Michael Yantachka <MYantachka@leg.state.vt.us>

Cc: Rebecca Ramos <rebecca@necrasongroup.com>

Rep Yantachka,

We hope you are doing well.  We are contacting you to let you know that our client Renewable Energy Vermont, and others, will be raising objections to the Wind Sound Rule as arbitrary and contrary to legislative intent.   Please know we will present some information on the issue (which our legal people are still pulling together now) at the LCAR hearings and will welcome any follow up questions you have.

Thank you

Adam and Rebecca

REV

—-

Adam Necrason

Necrason Group, plc

Montpelier, VT

802-338-0792 (m)


Subject: summary of wind sound rule discussion
From: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Date: 5/26/2017 4:59 PM
To: <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com>
CC: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Mike,

Thank you again for taking the time to sit down with us the other day to discuss the Board’s proposed rule on wind sound. As we discussed, I’ve attached a summary of the major issues with the Board’s rule and their justifications for it.

Let me know if you have any questions (Sarah is out next week, taking a well-deserved break).

Thanks so much Mike. Safe travels!

Best,

Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

Attachments-1/2017-05-26 LCAR Wind Sound Summary.docx


Subject: RE: our comments on the sound rule
From: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Date: 5/23/2017 9:25 AM
To: <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com>
CC: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately, we’re going to have to stick with 2:30 on Thursday. I appreciate you making the time for us. I hope it doesn’t screw up your trip prep too much!

Thanks again,

Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

From: Ben Edgerly Walsh
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 4:33 PM
To: ‘Mike Yantachka’ <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com>
Cc: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>
Subject: our comments on the sound rule

Hi Mike,

I wanted to make sure you had our comments on the earlier draft of the wind sound rule. By and large, they’re still applicable – the rule didn’t change enough between the two drafts for our underlying analysis of its effect or justification to change.

I’ll be in touch tomorrow.

Thanks again,
Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23


Subject: our comments on the sound rule
From: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Date: 5/22/2017 4:33 PM
To: <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com>
CC: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Hi Mike,

I wanted to make sure you had our comments on the earlier draft of the wind sound rule. By and large, they’re still applicable – the rule didn’t change enough between the two drafts for our underlying analysis of its effect or justification to change.

I’ll be in touch tomorrow.

Thanks again,
Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

Attachments/2017-04-27 Rule 5.700 Wind Sound VPIRG Technical Comments.pdf


Subject: Re: Wind sound rule
From: Mike Yantachka <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com>
Date: 5/22/2017 2:15 PM
To: “Walsh, Ben (VPIRG)” <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
CC: swolfe@vpirg.org

Ben and Sarah,
I don’t plan to stay in Montpelier for long afterward. As a matter of fact, my wife just told me I need to be in South Burlington before 1 PM. I can get to Montpelier around 9 AM, if that would work. Otherwise, it’ll have to be after 3 in So. Burlington or Shelburne.
If Tuesday or Wednesday works better in the Burlington area, maybe we could do that. It would be easier to arrange something by phone.

Regards,
Mike

Rep. Mike Yantachka
Charlotte-Hinesburg (Chit 4-1)
http://www.mikeyantachka.com
(802) 233-5238

On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 9:57 AM, <bwalsh@vpirg.org> wrote:

Mike,

Thanks. I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to sit down and talk this over with you. I certainly understand that LCAR is a different kind of committee, but to be clear, the problems we see with this proposed rule are as much within LCAR’s explicit jurisdiction as they are policy-based.

Could we meet at 2 or 3 on Thursday? Actually, any time after 2 would work in Montpelier, and any time 3 or later in Burlington/Charlotte. We’re in Montpelier, but would be happy to come to you.

Thanks again,

Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23


Subject: Automatic reply: Wind sound rule
From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>
Date: 5/22/2017 9:40 AM
To: <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com>

Thank you for your email! I will be out of the office on Monday, May 22nd. I will respond to your email as soon as possible on Tuesday. If this is urgent, please text or call.

Best,
Sarah


From: Mike Yantachka [mailto:myantachka.dfa@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 9:40 AM
To: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>
Cc: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Subject: Re: Wind sound rule

Sarah and Ben,

On second thought, I would like to get your input on the proposed rules. I don’t know if you’re in Burlington or Montpelier, but I will be attending the LCAR meeting this Thursday at the statehouse from 10 until noon. Perhaps we could meet afterward in the cafeteria or offsite. If you are located in the Burlington area, perhaps we could meet in Burlington a little later that afternoon.

Regards,

Mike

Rep. Mike Yantachka
Charlotte-Hinesburg (Chit 4-1)
http://www.mikeyantachka.com

(802) 233-5238

https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B8KSWZL8oA4eRUpDQVliMi1CeEE&revid=0B8KSWZL8oA4eWERJS2hvK1A4YXZoRWk1Nng2dlhRM1IvZEpvPQ

On Sat, May 20, 2017 at 12:33 AM, Mike Yantachka <myantachka.dfa@gmail.com> wrote:

Sarah and Ben,

Thanks for the offer to meet. I’m not sure it would be appropriate to meet to discuss this. However, as a member of the committee that passed Act 174 asking the PSB to develop those rules, I know it was not the intent of most members of our committee to put a stop to wind development.

LCAR can reject a rule proposal for any of 3 reasons:
– the rule exceeds the authority granted by the legislature
– the rule is arbitrary
– the rule-making did not follow due process.

I intend to ask for the rationale used to determine the sound levels. What criteria were used? What studies were used to support them? Why are they so much more rigorous than any other sound limits?

There is a lot of objection based on “infrasound” waves and illness ascribed to the noise and other attributes of wind turbines. I have visited Georgia Mountain and Lowell Mountain as well as listened to testimony at length last year both pro and con. I have not found these to be convincing arguments. I will listen to the PSB’s testimony and hold it accountable as I decide how to vote on these rules.

I hope VPIRG, REV and others will also testify before LCAR. I suggest you provide your input in writing to LCAR at least 2 days prior to the meeting. Please provide references to any studies that would make your point. I would hope that the PSB’s decision is not based only on anecdotal evidence.

Regards,

Mike

Rep. Mike Yantachka
Charlotte-Hinesburg (Chit 4-1)
http://www.mikeyantachka.com

(802) 233-5238

https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B8KSWZL8oA4eRUpDQVliMi1CeEE&revid=0B8KSWZL8oA4eWERJS2hvK1A4YXZoRWk1Nng2dlhRM1IvZEpvPQ

 

On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 2:25 PM, <swolfe@vpirg.org> wrote:

Hi Rep. Yantachka,

As you’ve probably seen, the Board issued their final proposed wind sound rule yesterday. Since that obviously means LCAR will be taking it up soon, I wanted to share our public statement on the rule, copied below.

As we’ve discussed before, the details of this regulation are complicated, but Ben and I would love to sit down with you once the session actually wraps up to go over why this will be prohibit most if not all future wind projects in Vermont.

We’ll be in touch soon. In the meantime – good luck up there!

Best,

Sarah

VPIRG Statement on Wind Sound Rules

On May 16th, the Public Service Board issued its final proposed rule on sound from wind generation facilities. The rule is the most restrictive in the country by a wide margin, and imposes a 39 dB(A) nighttime sound limit and a setback distance of 10x the height of the turbine. This rule will make most, if not all large wind projects unworkable in Vermont, taking this critical clean energy resource off the table.

VPIRG Clean Energy Advocate Sarah Wolfe said this about the final proposed rule:

This rule, if adopted, would essentially hand the keys to Vermont’s energy policy over to the most extreme anti-clean energy voices in the state. The rule amounts to an arbitrary ban on the most cost-effective, renewable energy resource we have available, and VPIRG will continue to fight it.

The Public Service Board heard from hundreds of Vermonters advocating for fact-based sound limits and a commitment to Vermont’s thriving clean energy economy. The Board not only chose to ignore those Vermonters, it exceeded its authority under Vermont law in doing so.

We expect to see this kind of policy out of Washington these days, but not Vermont. We need policies that will grow good jobs here while helping to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead this Board has proposed the most hostile state policy in the country to wind energy.

The rule is now under consideration by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, who will determine by July 1st whether or not the rule meets legal requirements.

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate, VPIRG

802-223-5221 x17



4. REP. ROBIN CHESNUT-TANGERMAN

From: Helena Gardner <HGardner@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: Public Records Requests submitted yesterday, Oct. 16

Date: October 17, 2017 at 9:48:44 AM EDT

To: “vce@vce.org” <vce@vce.org>

Ms. Smith, 

On behalf of Rep. Chestnut-Tangerman and Sen. Lyons, and pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 318(a)(5)(B) and (5)(C), I am asserting 10 business days to respond to your October 16 PRA request, and will try to respond by the end of the day on Monday, October 30. 

Best,

Helena

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


Annette, 

In response to your October 16 Public Records Act request, on behalf of Rep. Chesnut-Tangerman, attached are the records in his custody that are responsive to your request.  

Rep. Chesnut-Tangerman decided to provide you these records even though he could have asserted arguments to withhold them.  He reserves the right to assert such arguments in the event of a future Public Records Act request.  His decision to provide the records should not be construed as impairing the right of any member or office of the General Assembly to assert such arguments or to claim any applicable exemption or privilege in the future.  

Best,

Helena 

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424

—————————————–

 Annette,

Please see below 2 additional responsive records that Rep. Chesnut-Tangerman just forwarded, which are transcripts of voicemail messages.  He sends his apologies for missing them earlier. 

Best,

Helena


 Voicemail from Sarah Wolfe on 8/4/17: 

Hi Robin. This is Sarah Wolfe calling. I’m just calling to check in on the discussion that happened yesterday at LCAR and where you’re thinking that discussion might end up in terms of scheduling for the upcoming hearings and meetings.

I’d love to chat with you some point today or Monday. I’ll try you again on Monday if I don’t hear from you. Thanks. Bye.


Voicemail message from Sarah Wolfe on 6/5/17: 

Hi Robin. This is Sarah Wolfe calling from VPIRG. I was hoping to get a chance to connect with you prior to LCAR this Thursday to talk about wind sound and share some of our perspective and what we have learned throughout this process. 

Ideally it would be great to do this in person, but given that time is short, potentially just over the phone. You can give me a call back at 802-272-1769. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks. Bye.


From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Checking in

Date: July 24, 2017 at 12:45:31 PM GMT-4

To: <rchesnut-tangerman@leg.state.vt.us>

Hi Robin,

Hope your summer has gotten a little more mellow post-veto session and the first couple wind sound hearings…  

I just wanted to reach out to check in following the last hearing and the postponement of the LCAR decision. Since we haven’t connected since our testimony, let me know if there are any outstanding questions. Also, I’d love to discuss what you think the next steps might be prior to LCAR taking action in October?  

Would you be around for a call in the next couple weeks?

Thanks,
Sarah 

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate

802-223-5221 x17

sarah@vpirg.org 

Vermont Public Interest Research Group

141 Main St, Ste 6

Montpelier, VT 05072


From: Adam Necrason <adam@necrasongroup.com>

Subject: REV re LCAR Rule on Wind Sound

Date: June 6, 2017 at 11:09:30 AM GMT-4

To: Robin Chesnut-Tangerman <rchesnut-tangerman@leg.state.vt.us>

Cc: Rebecca Ramos <rebecca@necrasongroup.com>

Rep C-T,

We hope you are doing well.  We are contacting you to let you know that our client Renewable Energy Vermont, and others, will be raising objections to the Wind Sound Rule as arbitrary and contrary to legislative intent.   Please know we will present some information on the issue (which our legal people are still pulling together now) at the LCAR hearings and will welcome any follow up questions you have.

Thank you

Adam and Rebecca

REV

—-

Adam Necrason

Necrason Group, plc

Montpelier, VT

802-338-0792 (m)


From: <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: RE: Wind sound rule

Date: May 24, 2017 at 2:26:04 PM GMT-4

To: <robinforrep@gmail.com>

Cc: <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Hi Robin,

Are you available tomorrow afternoon after LCAR (around noon) to talk more in detail about the wind sound rule? I see that it’s on the agenda for June 8th, so we were hoping we could catch you while you’re in Montpelier tomorrow.  

Let me know!

Best,
Sarah

 

From: Sarah Wolfe
Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:26 PM
To: ‘robinforrep@gmail.com’ <robinforrep@gmail.com>
Cc: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>
Subject: Wind sound rule
 

Hi Robin,  

As you’ve probably seen, the Board issued their final proposed wind sound rule yesterday. Since that obviously means LCAR will be taking it up soon, I wanted to share our public statement on the rule, copied below.

As we’ve discussed before, the details of this regulation are complicated, but Ben and I would love to sit down with you once the session actually wraps up to go over why this will be prohibit most if not all future wind projects in Vermont.

We’ll be in touch soon. In the meantime – good luck up there! 

Best,

Sarah

VPIRG Statement on Wind Sound Rules 

On May 16th, the Public Service Board issued its final proposed rule on sound from wind generation facilities. The rule is the most restrictive in the country by a wide margin, and imposes a 39 dB(A) nighttime sound limit and a setback distance of 10x the height of the turbine. This rule will make most, if not all large wind projects unworkable in Vermont, taking this critical clean energy resource off the table.  

VPIRG Clean Energy Advocate Sarah Wolfe said this about the final proposed rule:

This rule, if adopted, would essentially hand the keys to Vermont’s energy policy over to the most extreme anti-clean energy voices in the state. The rule amounts to an arbitrary ban on the most cost-effective, renewable energy resource we have available, and VPIRG will continue to fight it.    

The Public Service Board heard from hundreds of Vermonters advocating for fact-based sound limits and a commitment to Vermont’s thriving clean energy economy. The Board not only chose to ignore those Vermonters, it exceeded its authority under Vermont law in doing so.  

We expect to see this kind of policy out of Washington these days, but not Vermont. We need policies that will grow good jobs here while helping to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead this Board has proposed the most hostile state policy in the country to wind energy.  

The rule is now under consideration by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, who will determine by July 1st whether or not the rule meets legal requirements.  

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate, VPIRG

802-223-5221 x17 



5. SEN. MARK MACDONALD

From: Helena Gardner <HGardner@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: PRA request to Sen. MacDonald

Date: October 19, 2017 at 9:40:33 AM EDT

To: “vce@vce.org” <vce@vce.org>

Annette, 

Pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 318(a)(5)(B) & (5)(C), on behalf Sen. MacDonald, I am asserting 10 business days to respond to your October 16 Public Records Act request.  I will try to respond on behalf of Sen. MacDonald by the end of the day on Monday, October 30. 

Best,

Helena

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


Annette, 

In response to your October 16 Public Records Act request, on behalf of Sen. MacDonald, attached are the 2 records in his custody that are responsive to your request. 

Sen. MacDonald decided to provide you these records even though he could have asserted arguments to withhold them.  He reserves the right to assert such arguments in the event of a future Public Records Act request.  His decision to provide the records should not be construed as impairing the right of any member or office of the General Assembly to assert such arguments or to claim any applicable exemption or privilege in the future.  

Best,

Helena 

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


From: “swolfe@vpirg.org” <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: RE: Memo to LCAR regarding 17-P10

Date: August 28, 2017 at 1:00:46 PM EDT

To: “senatormark@aol.com” <senatormark@aol.com>

Hi Mark,

Thanks again for sharing this. Are you planning to have Aaron draft a rebuttal? Either way, would it be helpful to have a written filing/email from us outlining our rebuttal of their points again?

Thanks,

Sarah

 

From: “swolfe@vpirg.org” <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: RE: Memo to LCAR regarding 17-P10

Date: August 23, 2017 at 10:11:09 AM EDT

To: “senatormark@aol.com” <senatormark@aol.com>

Thanks so much!

 

From: Mark Macdonald [mailto:senatormark@aol.com]

Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 10:09 AM

To: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Fwd: Memo to LCAR regarding 17-P10 

Here it is. Mark M

—–Original Message—–
From: Aaron Adler <AAdler@leg.state.vt.us>
To: MacDonald, Mark <Senatormark@aol.com>
Sent: Wed, Aug 23, 2017 10:06 am
Subject: FW: Memo to LCAR regarding 17-P10

Per your request, here is Charlene’s msg with the PUC memo on the wind sound rule. 

Aaron Adler, Legislative Counsel

Vermont Legislative Council

115 State Street – State House

Montpelier, VT  05633-5201

p:  802-828-2236

Vermont Legislature

 

From: Charlene Dindo

Sent: Monday, August 14, 2017 2:20 PM

To: Aaron Adler; Amy Sheldon; BetsyAnn Wrask; Joe Benning; Linda Myers (lindakmyers@comcast.net); Lyons, Ginny; Mark MacDonald; Michael Sirotkin; Michael Yantachka; Michael Yantachka; Robin Chesnut-Tangerman; Virginia Lyons

Subject: FW: Memo to LCAR regarding 17-P10 

Good morning 

Attached please find a memo from the Public Utility Commission on 17-P10/Sound Levels from Wind Generation Facilities.  Sen. MacDonald would like a 5 minute committee discussion on Thursday, August 17.   No witnesses will be listed.  I will send you an updated agenda and the minutes of 8/3/17 tomorrow.  Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Charlene Dindo

Vermont Legislative Council

115 State Street

Montpelier VT 05633

(802) 828-5952

legislature.vermont.gov

  

From: Knauer, Thomas [mailto:Thomas.Knauer@vermont.gov]

Sent: Monday, August 14, 2017 1:07 PM

To: Charlene Dindo; Aaron Adler

Cc: Fink, Kevin; Cotter, John

Subject: Memo to LCAR regarding 17-P10

Dear Charlene –

At LCAR’s last meeting, Sen. MacDonald invited the Public Utility Commission to make a filing regarding the pending rule 17-P10 regarding sound levels from wind generation facilities.  Attached please find a memorandum from the Commission to LCAR in response to Sen. MacDonald’s invitation.  Please let me know if you would like us to provide paper copies of this memo. 

Note that I will be out tomorrow and Wednesday.  Kevin and John should be available tomorrow in case you have any questions.  Thank you,

Tom Knauer

Utilities Analyst

Vermont Public Utility Commission

112 State Street, 4th Floor

Montpelier, VT 05620-2701

802-828-2358

Thomas.knauer@vermont.gov



6. REP. AMY SHELDON

Annette,

Attached are the records in the custody of Rep. Amy Sheldon that are responsive to your Oct. 16 Public Records Act request.

Best,

Helena 

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


From: rebeccadramos@gmail.com [mailto:rebeccadramos@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Rebecca Ramos

Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2017 8:03 PM

To: Amy Sheldon <landslideamy@comcast.net>

Subject: Re: Good morning! 

Hi! So excited you are coming! 

And I am around all day . . . we could also catch up Tuesday day . . .Rebecca

Rebecca D. Ramos, Esq. 

Necrason Group

rebecca@necrasongroup.com

Cell 802.917.1008

33 Court Street

Montpelier, Vermont 05602

 

On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 10:24 AM, Amy Sheldon <landslideamy@comcast.net> wrote:

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for including me in the June 20th at 5:30 at VPIRG.  I will be there.

Tomorrow could be a good time for me to talk if you still want to.

Let me know re: time. I’m flexible.

A.

 

From: rebeccadramos@gmail.com [mailto:rebeccadramos@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Rebecca Ramos

Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 11:22 AM

To: Amy Sheldon <landslideamy@comcast.net>

Subject: Re: Good morning! 

Sounds good!! 

Love your prioritizing!! 

I can also give you the overview of the meeting on the 20th . . . 

rr

Rebecca D. Ramos, Esq. 

Necrason Group

rebecca@necrasongroup.com

Cell 802.917.1008 

33 Court Street

Montpelier, Vermont 05602 

 

On Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 9:54 AM, Amy Sheldon <landslideamy@comcast.net> wrote:

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for all this.  I’ll be around for the veto session but I leave for a NOLS course soon thereafter.

I am going to work and mountain bike this morning.  I’ll get back to you on the invitations.  I want to be there for both discussion and drinks on the 20th  but have to process/accept giving up another night at home before I leave for a month.

I am focusing my legislative energy on doing my due diligence on the wind rules before talking to others right now but I will talk soon.

Enjoy the best day ever!!

A.

 

From: rebeccadramos@gmail.com [mailto:rebeccadramos@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Rebecca Ramos

Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 6:25 AM

To: Amy Sheldon <landslideamy@comcast.net>

Subject: Good morning!

thank you for the nice visit the other day . . . always good/fun/enlightening to catch up. 

FYI – also hoping you would be interested in meeting the night before the veto session (the 20th) at VPIRG with the co-sponsors of the carbon pricing bills and other legislators who are concerned about climate change. Our conversation will be planning for 2018 session and beyond. It will start at 5:30 and we will be ordering dinner. The host is Energy Independent Vermont – which is a coalition of groups, including VBSR, VNRC, CLF, etc. 

We would love to have you there. Please let me  know if you want to attend! Or if you want additional information.

Also, it may be good to check in on the LCAR situation when you have a moment. I’m around all day if you want to chat. 

And, on the 20th, Lauren, SCH, and I am going out after for drinks if you want to join! 

oh – wait . . . did you tell me you were away during veto session???  

Rebecca 

Rebecca D. Ramos, Esq.

Necrason Group

rebecca@necrasongroup.com

Cell 802.917.1008 

33 Court Street

Montpelier, Vermont 05602


From: Adam Necrason <adam@necrasongroup.com>

Subject: LCAR re Wind Sounds Rules

Date: June 6, 2017 at 11:08:33 AM EDT

To: Amy Sheldon <ASheldon@leg.state.vt.us>

Cc: Rebecca Ramos <rebecca@necrasongroup.com>

Rep Sheldon,

We hope you are doing well.  We are contacting you to let you know that our client Renewable Energy Vermont, and others, will be raising objections to the Wind Sound Rule as arbitrary and contrary to legislative intent.   Please know we will present some information on the issue (which our legal people are still pulling together now) at the LCAR hearings and will welcome any follow up questions you have.

Thank you

Adam and Rebecca

REV

—-

Adam Necrason

Necrason Group, plc

Montpelier, VT

802-338-0792 (m)


From: “bwalsh@vpirg.org” <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Subject: RE: time to talk wind sound

Date: June 5, 2017 at 4:06:42 PM EDT

To: Amy Sheldon <ASheldon@leg.state.vt.us>

Amy, 

Great. I did as well, but hadn’t seen a confirmation.

Talk to you then.

Best,

Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Amy Sheldon [mailto:ASheldon@leg.state.vt.us]

Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 4:05 PM

To: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Subject: Re: time to talk wind sound 

Hi Ben,

I had us down for 3. 

Amy Sheldon

State Representative

Addison 1/Middlebury

 

From: bwalsh@vpirg.org <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 2:58:12 PM

To: Amy Sheldon

Subject: RE: time to talk wind sound 

Hi Amy, 

What is your schedule looking like tomorrow? Sarah and I are still free most of the day. I have a 1-2pm, but if that’s the window that works for you, you and Sarah can just talk – she’s deeper on the details of the rule than I am.

Thanks again for taking the time.

Best,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Ben Edgerly Walsh

Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 1:28 PM

To: ‘Amy Sheldon’ <ASheldon@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: RE: time to talk wind sound 

Amy, 

Thanks. The 6th sounds good. How about 3pm? And if that doesn’t work, I’m flexible all day except for 12:30-2:30. 

Best,

Ben 

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23

 

From: Amy Sheldon [mailto:ASheldon@leg.state.vt.us]

Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 9:44 AM

To: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Subject: Re: time to talk wind sound 

Hi Ben,

Let’s keep it simple and talk on the phone June 6th I’ll be here working.

Let me know what time works for you. 

Amy 

Landline: 388-9278 

Amy Sheldon

State Representative

Addison 1/Middlebury

 

From: bwalsh@vpirg.org <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 5:44:08 PM

To: Amy Sheldon

Cc: lhierl@vermontconservationvoters.org

Subject: time to talk wind sound 

Rep Sheldon,

Thanks for taking a moment to talk yesterday after LCAR. I hope you’ll have a chance to review the rule next week, so we can connect the following. My Monday is fairly packed, but I could make any time Tuesday or Wednesday work. I’m not sure what Lauren’s schedule looks like. 

I hope you have a good weekend.

Thanks,

Ben

Ben Edgerly Walsh

Climate & Energy Program Director, VPIRG

(802) 223-5221 ext. 23


From: “swolfe@vpirg.org” <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Wind sound rule

Date: May 17, 2017 at 2:27:44 PM EDT

To: Amy Sheldon <ASheldon@leg.state.vt.us>

Hi Rep. Sheldon,  

As you’ve probably seen, the Board issued their final proposed wind sound rule yesterday. Since that obviously means LCAR will be taking it up soon, I wanted to share our public statement on the rule, copied below. 

The details of this regulation are complicated, but Ben and I would love to sit down with you once the session actually wraps up to go over why this will be prohibit most if not all future wind projects in Vermont. 

We’ll be in touch soon. In the meantime – good luck up there! 

Best,

Sarah 

VPIRG Statement on Wind Sound Rules 

On May 16th, the Public Service Board issued its final proposed rule on sound from wind generation facilities. The rule is the most restrictive in the country by a wide margin, and imposes a 39 dB(A) nighttime sound limit and a setback distance of 10x the height of the turbine. This rule will make most, if not all large wind projects unworkable in Vermont, taking this critical clean energy resource off the table.

VPIRG Clean Energy Advocate Sarah Wolfe said this about the final proposed rule:

This rule, if adopted, would essentially hand the keys to Vermont’s energy policy over to the most extreme anti-clean energy voices in the state. The rule amounts to an arbitrary ban on the most cost-effective, renewable energy resource we have available, and VPIRG will continue to fight it.   

The Public Service Board heard from hundreds of Vermonters advocating for fact-based sound limits and a commitment to Vermont’s thriving clean energy economy. The Board not only chose to ignore those Vermonters, it exceeded its authority under Vermont law in doing so.

We expect to see this kind of policy out of Washington these days, but not Vermont. We need policies that will grow good jobs here while helping to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead this Board has proposed the most hostile state policy in the country to wind energy.  

The rule is now under consideration by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, who will determine by July 1st whether or not the rule meets legal requirements. 

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate, VPIRG

802-223-5221 x17



7. REP. LINDA MYERS

Annette,

On behalf of Rep. Linda Myers, I certify that she has no records responsive to your Oct. 16 PRA request.

Best,

Helena



8. SEN. JOE BENNING

Annette,

Attached is the record in Sen. Benning’s custody that is responsive to your Oct. 16 Public Records Act request.

Sen. Benning decided to provide you these records even though he could have asserted arguments to withhold them.  He reserves the right to assert such arguments in the event of a future Public Records Act request.  His decision to provide the records should not be construed as impairing the right of any member or office of the General Assembly to assert such arguments or to claim any applicable exemption or privilege in the future.  

Best,

Helena 

Helena M. Gardner

Legislative Counsel and Records Officer

Vermont Office of Legislative Council

hgardner@leg.state.vt.us

W:   802-828-5950

Fax: 802-828-2424


From: Joe Benning <JBenning@leg.state.vt.us>

Subject: Re: Meet on wind sound?

Date: June 7, 2017 at 8:22:13 AM EDT

To: “swolfe@vpirg.org” <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Cc: “bwalsh@vpirg.org” <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Sarah:

Is there any possibility we can do this at 11:00am?  I had a court cancellation so I’m available at that time.  It would also enable me to get home to mow my lawn this afternoon.

Joe Benning

State Senator

Caledonia District

From: swolfe@vpirg.org <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 11:23:24 AM

To: Joe Benning

Cc: bwalsh@vpirg.org

Subject: RE: Meet on wind sound? 

Thanks, we will give you a call around 4pm on Wednesday. 

Best,

Sarah

 

From: Joe Benning [mailto:JBenning@leg.state.vt.us]

Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 9:38 AM

To: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Subject: Re: Meet on wind sound? 

That’s fine.  I’ll be at 626-3600 until about 5:15, at which point I have a meeting I have to be in that will last a couple of hours. 

Joe Benning

State Senator

Caledonia District

From: swolfe@vpirg.org <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 2:46:34 PM

To: Joe Benning

Cc: bwalsh@vpirg.org

Subject: RE: Meet on wind sound?

Senator Benning,  

Understood. We have a few commitments in Montpelier in Wednesday ourselves, so let’s plan to do it over the phone. I at least can do after 4pm on Wednesday (Ben may have to duck out early), if that works for a call?

Let me know.  

Best,

Sarah

 

From: Joe Benning [mailto:JBenning@leg.state.vt.us]

Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 2:18 PM

To: Sarah Wolfe <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Cc: Ben Edgerly Walsh <bwalsh@vpirg.org>

Subject: Re: Meet on wind sound?

Sarah: 

As you may have suspected, I’m back in my day job now that the session is over.  That means I’m a full time trial attorney.  I’m in court on both Monday and Tuesday of that week and cannot commit to anything on those two days.  At the moment, other than between the hours of 11:30am and 2:00pm, Wednesday is still open.  But due to my commitment between 11:30am and 2:00pm, which requires me to be in Lyndonville during that time, we’d either have to meet in my office or do it by phone.

I’m usually in my office by 7:30am and won’t be leaving before 4:00pm.  So if you have time to be here or call during those early morning or later afternoon windows, let me know. 

Joe Benning

State Senator

Caledonia District

 

From: swolfe@vpirg.org <swolfe@vpirg.org>

Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 1:55:05 PM

To: Joe Benning

Cc: bwalsh@vpirg.org

Subject: Meet on wind sound? 

Senator Benning,

I hope this finds you well.  

Ben and I were hoping to find a time to sit down with you and go over the wind sound rule that LCAR is reviewing on June 8th. We will also be coming in to testify, but given the technical nature of the rule, we thought sitting down together may help to more directly address some of our concerns with the rule, as well as answer any questions you’ve had while reviewing. 

I am out on vacation next week, but I will be back the week of the 5th and Ben and I would be available the 5th-7th for a meeting. Let me know if there’s a time in that window that would work for you. 

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! 

Best,

Sarah

Sarah Wolfe

Clean Energy Advocate, VPIRG

802-223-5221 x17


Annette: 

This is the first time I’ve had to answer a public records request, so please bear with me as I attempt to comply.  I have two email accounts, one personal and one legislative.  My personal account is the account by which I am making this reply. 

I have done a search of my personal email account using as search terms each of the names you have provided in the first paragraph of your request letter of today’s date.  I also used 17-P10 as an additional search term.  No responsive records exist in my personal email account.

With respect to my legislative email account, I have asked legislative counsel to conduct a search in accordance with your request.  I anticipate an answer shortly and will follow up with a separate email to you indicating what that search reveals.  My response will be directly through that legislative account. 

You have requested a response in writing.  Please advise as to whether email suffices for that purpose or you are seeking to have something more formal. 

Joe Benning

State Senator

Caledonia District

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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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