Welcome to FairWindCT

Final CT wind regulations approved on April 22, 2014:

http://www.ct.gov/csc/lib/csc/pendingproceeds/regulations_wind/final/windregs-20140422-approvedversion_markups.pdf

For more information on the wind regulations, please visit the CT Siting Council website: http://www.ct.gov/csc/cwp/view.asp?a=962&Q=487246

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FAIRWIND CT’S MULTI-YEAR EFFORTS
REWARDED AS WIND REGULATIONS PASS

Final Approved Regulations Contain More Protections Than Other Versions, 
But Some Work Remains

HARTFORD, CT – April 22, 2014
Following final passage of the first statewide industrial wind turbine regulations for Connecticut, the advocacy group FairWindCT today thanked state legislators on the Regulations Review Committee, especially its co-chairs Representative Selim Noujaim and Senator Andres Ayala, Jr., Ranking Members and others who took a deliberative approach to understanding the issues and concerns voiced by stakeholders and kept the regulations process moving forward. Addressing the concerns of stakeholders in a meaningful and transparent way is no easy task. Joyce Hemingson, President of FairWindCT says “The conversation with legislators will continue. The regulations passed today are not perfect, but do give protections that were not there when we started.”
Hemingson adds “The main purpose of our laws is to be protective of public health and safety. A setback distance of 1.5 times the height of an industrial wind turbine from property lines would allow placement too close to homes. We hope that developers will choose to stay away from homes. Other states have learned the adverse effects of inadequate setbacks.”
From its inception in December 2010, FairWindCT called for state-wide industrial wind regulations. On January 3, 2011 then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal added his support during a meeting and press conference with FairWindCT and other citizens’ groups, stating “ Renewable sources of energy such as wind should be encouraged, but we must be very careful as to how and where, so as to prevent any adverse health and safety impacts on neighborhoods or on the environment generally.” At the time, the CT Siting Council was in the process of evaluating 3 wind farms – one in Prospect and two in Colebrook – with no industrial wind regulations in place.
A Massachusetts judge recently ruled that two 397-feet-tall industrial wind turbines in Falmouth must be shut off from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and shut off all day on Sundays and three major holidays — Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day — to protect the health of homeowners who live about a quarter-mile (1320 feet) away.
Noise control expert Stephen Ambrose, who has worked on power plant noise issues for thirty years, notes that noise from conventional power plants can be contained inside a structure or neighboring residences can be fortified against such power plant noise. Wind turbine noise is different — it cannot be contained and neighboring residences cannot be modified to protect public health from this noise. “Distance is the only solution,” says Ambrose and numerous other noise control experts around the world.
Hemingson says, “Connecticut deserves good regulations on setbacks and noise. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recognizes that Connecticut has fewer wind resources than other states, but we still need to be protective of our citizens.  We encourage our state’s lawmakers to consider these ongoing issues and FairWindCT will look forward to working with the legislature, regulators and the administration in this regard.”
For more information on FairWindCT, please visit www.fairwindct.com, contact us at info@fairwindct.com, or call Joyce Hemingson at 860-379-6425.
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A setback distance of 1.5 x the turbine height is not enough!

738 feet will not protect your family from the noise and shadow flicker of a 40-story industrial wind turbine.

Why does the CT Siting Council refuse to listen to the public and our legislators? It has dragged its feet for 2 1/2 years with 4 drafts of industrial wind regulations that do not protect public health and safety. If the Council wants support, then write good regulations! Learn from the experience of other towns in New England — Falmouth, Fairhaven, Scituate, Sheffield, Mars Hill. Learn from other countries, such as Ireland, which is promoting setbacks of 10 times the height of a turbine to protect homes from noise and shadow flicker.

Why should unlimited shadow flicker be allowed anywhere on your property except at an “occupied structure location?” Why is the Council giving itself the ability to approve more than 30 hours of shadow flicker per year at an occupied structure? Why should this agency be allowed to decide that some property rights begin inside your home, not at property lines?

The Council has already shown it doesn’t care about the land behind your house — it approved placing the tip of 492-feet-tall industrial wind turbines 14 feet and 9 feet from single family residential lot lines in Colebrook. The Council has already shown it doesn’t care what happens on abutting preserved land when it approved placement of 492-feet-tall industrial wind turbine 150 feet from the property line of Beckley Bog, a National Natural Landmark in Norfolk owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Connecticut’s noise law dates to 1978, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is charged with monitoring noise and developing regulations. During the 2013 legislative session, DEEP tried to eliminate the law; this year, the governor’s office tried to eliminate both the regulations and DEEP’s responsibility for them. It is a fact that industrial wind turbines make noise. Who in government will take responsibility for regulating this noise and ensuring that setbacks are protective of health and safety? A distance of 738 feet will not protect your family from a 40-story turbine. The laws of physics are the same everywhere — if almost twice that — 1,300 feet — doesn’t work for people in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts, it’s not going to work in Connecticut.

The CT Siting Council has submitted the 4th draft of wind regulations to the Regulations Review Committee for its April 22, 2014 meeting. The Council refused to change the setback distance once again. If approved, these would be the most lenient industrial wind regulations in New England. Contact Co-Chairs Representative Selim Noujaim and Senator Andres Ayala and urge them to insist on a larger setback.

Email Committee Members
Ayala@senatedems.ct.gov
paul.doyle@cga.ct.gov
Duff@senatedems.ct.gov
Len.Fasano@cga.ct.gov
Rob.Kane@cga.ct.gov
Angel.Arce@cga.ct.gov
Clark.Chapin@cga.ct.gov
Vincent.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov
Dan.Fox@cga.ct.gov
Robert.Megna@cga.ct.gov
Selim.Noujaim@housegop.ct.gov
Terrie.Wood@housegop.ct.gov
Elissa.Wright@cga.ct.gov

Mailing address for members of the Regulations Review Committee:
(name) Legislative Office Building Hartford, CT 06106

Members of the Regulations Review Committee:
Senator Andres Ayala
Jr. Senator Paul R. Doyle
Senator Bob Duff
Senator Leonard A. Fasano
Senator Robert J. Kane
Representative Angel Arce
Senator Clark J. Chapin
Representative Vincent J. Candelora
Representative Daniel J. Fox
Representative Arthur J. O'Neill
Representative Selim G. Noujaim
Representative Terrie Wood
Representative Elissa T. Wright

This EASY TOOL allows you to log-in online and email the entire Regulations Review Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly with just a few quick clicks!

1. Go to: http://www.statehouseassociates.com

2. Click on the Client Bill Tracking tab at the top

3. At the login page, please enter the username "FairWindCT" and the password "turbine"

4. Once logged in, mouse over the "Email" tab located at the top-left of the screen. Then click on "Committee" from the drop down menu that appears. Then select "Regulations Review Committee" and click "Done" at the bottom.

5. Users will then be brought right into an email form that is automatically populated with the email address of every legislator on the Regulations Review Committee. Users can then simply fill in their information and email as appropriate, and just click send when complete! Make sure you include your own email address in the from field.

6. In addition, users can find and email their own individual State Legislators. Once again, mouse over the Email tab, then click on My Representatives, and then enter your zip code. An email form will be brought up that is automatically populated with the email address of your individual State Senator and State Representative. Again, you can simply fill in your comments and email them as appropriate. Make sure you include your own email address in the from field.

Regulation Review Committee member phone numbers
Legislator Office Phone
Senator Andres Ayala 860-240-8864
Senator Paul Doyle 860-240-0475
Senator Bob Duff 860-240-0414
Senator Len Fasano 860-240-8824
Senator Rob Kane 860-240-8875
Representative  Angel Arce 860-240-8585
Senator Clark Chapin 860-240-8800
Representative Vincent Candelora 860-240-8700
Representative Daniel Fox 860-240-8585
Representative Robert Megna 860-240-0516
Representative Arthur O’Neill 860-240-8700
Representative Selim Noujaim 860-240-8700
Representative Terrie Wood 860-240-8700
Representative Elissa Wright 860-240-8585

2012-054E Connecticut Siting Council CSC WIND REGULATIONS  The Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies is amended Sections 16-50j-2a, 16-50j-18, and 16-50j-92 to 16-50j-96, inclusive. (CLJ 5/1/2012) (AGA 3/26/2014) Rep. Arthur O’Neill/Rep. Elissa Wright

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Supreme Court Oral Argument
A video of the Supreme Court Oral Argument on February 21, 2014 in the case of FairWindCT et al. vs. the CT Siting Council and BNE Energy Inc. is available online at http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/show_info.asp?mbID=21060. Running time is 1 hour, 3 minutes.

Opinion: Connecticut deserves a good wind turbine law.

By Joyce Hemingson: Monday, December 2, 2013

The issues that have been raised about industrial wind turbines are not new. They date back to the legislature’s Energy & Technology Committee public hearing on Feb. 3, 2011, which led to the passage of Bill 11-245 in the last hour of the legislative session in June 2011.

I testified at that public hearing and listened to hours of testimony by others. The main concerns were setbacks from residences, noise, health, bonding for decommissioning and local input.

You will find the same concerns documented on the CT Siting Council’s website (www.ct.gov/csc) at its public forum on wind regulations held Oct. 13, 2011, and its public hearing held July 24, 2012.

The siting council had time to address these concerns before its first submission of regulations in October 2012, but did not.

It wasn’t until an April 8, 2013, meeting between FairWindCT, the Council of Small Towns and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities that the siting council agreed to correct the language regarding shadow flicker to allow 30 cumulative hours per year (rather than 30 hours from every wind turbine in a project).

After each of the three rejections by the Regulations Review Committee, the siting council had the opportunity to make changes and address the ongoing concerns expressed at meetings by committee members themselves — setbacks, noise, health, waiver provisions, decommissioning bonding, local input. The council instead addressed the more nuts-and-bolts issues raised by the Legislative Commissioner’s Office.

After the third rejection in September, the siting council chose to resubmit the same draft regulations. Why? The notion that regulations needed to be passed before Federal Production Tax Credits expire at the end of 2013 is a red herring. No new projects in Connecticut would have been able to complete the siting council process in time and then begin significant construction. The IRS has very specific rules on what constitutes eligibility for Production Tax Credits.

The siting council’s draft wind regulations are the most lenient of any New England state. They would allow wind turbines 492 feet tall to be sited 738 feet from residential property lines. Connecticut’s noise regulations also date to 1978, before the advent of industrial wind turbines. Unlike noise from conventional power plants, noise from industrial wind turbines cannot be contained inside a structure, and neighboring residences cannot be fortified against it. Noise experts know that the outdated levels allowed in Connecticut would cause widespread complaints if industrial wind turbines are placed in residential areas. Greater setbacks are the solution.

The main purpose of state statutes is to protect public health and safety. For example, a Massachusetts judge recently ruled that two 397-feet-tall industrial wind turbines in Falmouth must be shut off at night and all day on Sundays and three major holidays to protect the health of homeowners who live about a quarter-mile (1,320 feet) away. The sound produced by industrial wind turbines is regulated in Maine, which has the most installed wind energy of any state in New England.

It’s terrific to hear Connecticut legislators openly discussing energy policy as well as various energy options. Back in 2011 when the enabling legislation for wind regulations was passed, we didn’t even have a state energy plan. We are making progress, but let’s include all stakeholders in the process and put regulations in place that protect public health and safety.

Joyce Hemingson is president of FairWindCT, a nonprofit organization begun in 2010 to promote good regulations in Connecticut for industrial wind turbines over 1 MW. Her interest in industrial wind issues started when the first projects came before the CT Siting Council for Prospect and Colebrook. She has a B.A. in mathematics from Connecticut College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in botany from the University of Connecticut. She retired as director of publications for White Flower Farm in 2011.

 

CONNECTICUT SITING COUNCIL
Withdraws Draft Wind Regulations

This morning, the Regulations Review Committee (RRC) voted to accept the CT Siting Council’s withdrawal of their draft industrial wind regulations. The draft regs had been rejected 3 times previously, and submitted a fourth time unchanged for today’s vote.

The process going forward will be for the RRC co-chairs (Senators Andres Ayala and Selim Noujaim) and its ranking members to meet with the Siting Council to address concerns and then communicate with other members of the RCC. The goal is to bring back draft regs that can be supported and approved in a timely fashion.

Please take a moment to send a big thank-you to co-chairs Sen. Ayala and Noujaim for their leadership and willingness to get industrial wind regulations done right for Connecticut!

Ayala@senatedems.ct.gov

Selim.Noujaim@housegop.ct.gov

Best wishes and happy Thanksgiving,
Joyce Hemingson
President, FairWindCT

 

URGENT
CONTACT THE REGULATIONS REVIEW COMMITTEE

Please take action before Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 — email state legislators on the Regulations Review Committee before their meeting and tell them to REJECT the draft industrial wind turbine regulations for Connecticut. See below link for an easy tool that lets you email the entire committee at once. Our comments in December 2012, and again in May and September 2013 helped get the draft regulations rejected, but the CT Siting Council has submitted the rejected third version again, unchanged. We need to ask the committee to reject them once again!

The CT Siting Council resubmitted its rejected wind regs UNCHANGED to the Regulations Review Committee, which will vote on them next week on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. The Council’s draft regs have been rejected 3 times, yet it has not made changes to address the issues brought before them about setbacks from homes, noise, and the waiver of requirements by the Council. Health effects from living too close to industrial wind turbines were never considered.

A judge in Massachusetts ruled this week that the two 397-feet-tall turbines in Falmouth (installed about 3 1/2 years ago) must shut down from 7 p.m to 7 a.m Monday through Saturday and be shut off entirely on Sundays and 3 major holidays to protect the health of residents living about a quarter mile away.

The Council dismissed other issues, such as bonding and greater input from towns, as outside their jurisdiction. Connecticut deserves good wind regulations, based on best practices and current scientific and technical information. Please email or write a short personal note to members of the Regulations Review Committee this week (addresses are given below). Ask them to reject the draft regulations once again. Include the town you are from.

Thanks again and let me know if you have questions. Please forward this email to friends and family in other towns and urge them to write. This is an issue that affects every part of the state. Scroll down to use the EMAIL TOOL set up by our lobbyist, or copy and paste this block of individual email addresses for members of the Regulations Review Committee into your own email to them:

Mailing address for members of the Regulations Review Committee:
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106

Members of the Regulations Review Committee:

Senator Andres Ayala, Jr.

Senator Paul R. Doyle

Senator Bob Duff

Senator Leonard A. Fasano

Senator Robert J. Kane

Representative Angel Arce

Senator Clark J. Chapin

Representative Vincent J. Candelora

Representative Daniel J. Fox

Representative Arthur J. O’Neill

Representative Selim G. Noujaim

Representative Terrie Wood

Representative Elissa T. Wright

This EASY TOOL allows you to log-in online and email the entire Regulations Review Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly with just a few quick clicks!

2.  Click on the  Client Bill Tracking  tab at the top

3.  At the login page, please enter the username “FairWindCT” and the password “turbine”

4.  Once logged in, mouse over the “Email” tab located at the top-left of the screen.  Then click on “Committee” from the drop down menu that appears. Then scroll down and select “Regulations Review Committee” and click “Done” at the bottom.

5.  Users will then be brought right into an email form that is automatically populated with the email address of every legislator on the Regulations Review Committee.  Users can then simply fill in their information and email as appropriate, and just click send when complete! Make sure you include your own email address in the from field.

6.  In addition, users can find and email their own individual State Legislators.  Once again, mouse over the  Email  tab, then click on  My Representatives, and then enter your zip code.  An email form will be brought up that is automatically populated with the email address of your individual State Senator and State Representative. Again, you can simply fill in your comments and email them as appropriate. Make sure

you include your own email address in the “from” field, add a subject to the “subject” line, and write your message. Click send when complete.

With sincere appreciation,

Joyce Hemingson
President, FairWindCT

860-379-6425

URGENT — CONTACT THE REGULATIONS REVIEW COMMITTEE

Please take action THIS WEEK — email state legislators on the Regulations Review Committee before their Sept. 24 meeting and tell them to REJECT the draft industrial wind turbine regulations for Connecticut. See below for an easy tool that lets you email the entire committee at once. Our comments last December and again in May helped get the draft regulations rejected twice, but since the regulations have not changed substantially since then, we need to ask the committee to reject them once again!

Read entire Notice:   Wind_Regs_Alert_September_2013ed

 

Editorial ResponseedResponse

Read entire editorial response >>

An update from FairWindCT –

On May 28, 2014, the state legislature’s Regulations Review Committee once again voted to reject the CT Siting Council’s draft of industrial wind regulations. Thanks to all of you who sent comments to the committee. Concerns with setbacks from property lines, noise, shadow flicker, health, property values, lacking of bonding or performance surety, and the waivers (for setbacks, noise and shadow flicker) that the Council is giving itself were raised once again.

In addition, the Legislative Commissioner’s Office (LCO) questioned the deletion of the requirement for a natural resource impact evaluation report and analysis of compliance with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service recommended standards and guidelines and an analysis of compliance with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recommended standards and guidelines. The LCO recommended in its December 18, 2012 report that the regulations should “clearly state what standards and guidelines of each of these agencies are intended and to identify the applicable statute, regulation or publication where such standards and guidelines can be found.”

The LCO also questioned the Siting Council’s addition of a “Terrestrial Habitat Conservation Plan” and a “Marine Habitat Conservation Plan” without specifying what would be required in each, and when each type of plan must be submitted.

For the full record of the proceedings, go to the CT Siting Council’s web site  (www.ct.gov/csc) and click on the “Pending Proceedings” link, then scroll down to “Other CSC Proceedings” and click on Wind Regulations
(http://www.ct.gov/csc/cwp/view.asp?a=962&q=487246).

The CT Siting Council must revise the industrial wind regulations again, and submit them to the Attorney General’s office for review before they can be scheduled for another meeting of the Regulations Review Committee.

Margolis: Connecticut law exposes Vermont’s duplicity on energy credits

link: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/06/19/margolis-connecticut-law-exposes-vermonts-duplicity-on-energy-credits/

Starting Jan. 1, electric utility companies in Connecticut will no longer be buying renewable energy credits from Vermont wind and solar power projects.

A bill passed last month and signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy declares that power from Vermont projects “shall not be eligible for compliance with the renewable portfolio standards established (in the new law).”

The statute does not mention Vermont. But Jessie Stratton, the director of policy for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the new law effectively targets Vermont because “renewable generation sources counted elsewhere may not also be used to satisfy Connecticut’s RPS (renewable portfolio standards) requirements.”  read more >>

Supreme Court next stop for Colebrook wind farm fight

COLEBROOK — A local citizens group that opposes two wind turbine projects in town has taken its fight to the Supreme Court.

Nicholas J. Harding, a Hartford lawyer representing the group, Fairwindct, along with plaintiffs Michael and Stella Somers and Susan Wagner, said he filed a 60-page statement March 22.

The action follows a dismissal of their case by a New Britain Superior Court judge in October, and appeals subsequently filed in Appellate Court.

A Superior Court ruled in favor of the Connecticut Siting Council’s approval of the turbine projects. West Hartford-based BNE Energy Inc. plans to build six 1.6-megawatt turbines [Dash] three on Flagg Hill Road and three on Rock Hall Road. Construction has not yet begun.

If they are built, they will become the first commercial wind farms in the state.

The Siting Council has sole jurisdiction over renewable energy projects that propose to generate more than 1 megawatt of power.

Fairwindct, Wagner and the Somers have said they are concerned the turbines will harm health, wildlife and property values. Harding has claimed the council lacked the jurisdiction to rule on the wind projects. He has argued the council should not have had the authority to rule until the state put regulations over wind turbine projects in place.

Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers has approved a permit for the turbines on Flagg Hill Road but not on Rock Hall Road because of the potential harm they could do to the historic preservation of Rock Hall, a luxury inn just off Route 44.

Letter to the CT Siting Council requesting a meeting >>

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Brief filed with the CT Supreme Court

Here is a copy of the brief filed with the CT Supreme Court in the appeals by FairWindCT from the decision of the CT Superior Court (Judge Cohn) of the Connecticut Siting Council decisions in the Flagg Hill Road and Rock Hall Road cases.

Unlike the Siting Council, unlike the Superior Court, the Supreme Court has consolidated the cases and asked for one brief to be filed covering both cases, not one brief for each case. To the extent there are distinctions, you will notice that they are highlighted in our filing.

You will also notice that there are references in the brief to (R.__). These are references to the official record. They will get filled in at a later time after the official record of the case before Judge Cohen is filed with the Supreme Court. At that time we will post a new version of the brief.

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Draft determination letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finds that BNE’s project on Rock Hall Road would have an adverse effect on Rock Hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  There is a 30-day comment period before their final ruling.  See Letter >>

Revised wind regulations that the CT Siting Council has submitted to the State Legislature’s Regulatory Review Committee. That committee will likely consider the regulations at its December 18 meeting.  see revised regs >>

Colebrook Wind Farm Opponents Lose, In a Flawed System:

October 03, 2012|Dan Haar: Opponents of the planned wind farms in Colebrook have lost their case in state Superior Court, as a judge said their claims that the six turbines, as tall as a 40-story building, would not unduly hurt the environment or harm the neighbors. read more >>

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UPDATED: Vermont’s Energy Options >> Utility Scale vs. Community Solutions from Energize Vermont on Vimeo.

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“Windfall” – NY Times Review Summary

We can all agree that energy independence is a worthy objective, right? Alternative energy sources like solar power can help free the United States from fossil fuels and the grip of unstable Persian Gulf states. And wind power — wait, not so fast, says “Windfall,” Laura Israel’s urgent, informative and artfully assembled documentary. An account of rural Meredith, in upstate New York, when wind turbines came to town, the film depicts the perils of a booming industry and the bitter rancor it sowed among a citizenry. — Andy Webster

See the Full New York Times Review »                               View Trailer >>

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6 Commercial Wind Turbines proposed for Colebrook!

The State of Connecticut and most towns, including Colebrook, do

not have regulations about wind turbines in residential areas.

There are no established setbacks from your home, your property line, or from roads and wetlands. Wind turbines are noisy and the sound travels over a mile. Those proposed for Colebrook will be as high as a 40-story building, and can affect health, property values, and the environment.

Both the State and towns need time to develop regulations about commercial wind turbines. The Colebrook applications are now before the Connecticut Siting Council (www.ct.gov/csc) and deserve a public hearing. We support a moratorium on any decisions placing them in residential areas until the issue is thoroughly studied.

Google Earth Approximations of Proposed Wind Turbines

6 Commercial Wind Turbines are proposed for 2 residential

areas of Colebrook.  Each Turbine is taller than a 40-story

building – up to 492 Feet!

The company proposing the turbines claims that the Connecticut Siting Council, rather than our town’s regulatory boards, has ultimate approval of applications.

The State and all towns need time to adopt regulations, and the people of our town and across the state deserve to be heard on this issue.

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