Several lawmakers argued the night-time noise limit seemed arbitrary or in conflict with the legislative intent of in a new state statute.
The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules will weigh in next week on standards that some say are so strict they would effectively end utility-scale wind.
Bennington County is the first in Vermont with an energy plan for siting wind, solar and other projects.
Among other things, the Department of Public Service wants the state, not the developer, to choose the contractor that will measure compliance with noise limits.
The developer says it will now comply with DMV registration for construction vehicles traveling on the road. But the board said registration doesn’t qualify as a “necessary permit.”
Clever marketing has induced some of us to engage in moral relativism, ethics without substance and environmentalism at the cost of its soul.
The board backed off somewhat from a stricter proposal before sending the new standards to legislators for review. Both supporters and opponents of wind power panned the rules.
The remaining question was whether to test inside the home of the woman who lodged the complaint, to see if noise levels might have been too high. The state decided there was no need.
Some say tougher standards are necessary to protect health and even lives, while wind supporters say the concerns are unfounded and the proposed limits would kill the industry.
A legislative committee determined that regulators overstepped with a new rule on net metering. Now the PSB will say how it plans to respond, while lawmakers consider an end-run.
The Public Service Board’s proposed rules are a significant reduction from the current limits and even from a “discussion draft” released in January.
The facility’s permit says it must shut down under those conditions. The fine resulted from complaints called in by residents who live nearby.
Leading headlines this year were the legal battle over the Vermont Gas pipeline and congressional pre-emption of Vermont’s GMO labeling law.
Developers would use computer modeling to determine where wind energy projects can be built without exceeding limits on how much noise neighbors hear.