GMP Asks For More Time To Obtain Conservation Easements

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(Host) Green Mountain Power says it’s under a tight schedule to build a Northeast Kingdom wind project. So the company has asked state regulators to give it more flexibility and change conditions in its state permit.

The Public Service Board required that the company obtain conservation easements to protect wildlife before construction begins. But GMP wants more time to meet that requirement. It wants the deadline extended until after construction but before the project begins operation.

Dorothy Schnure is a company spokeswoman.

(Schnure) "We’re going to be protecting hundreds of acres of wildlife habitat. And it takes some time to get the land and close on the deals. I think anybody who’s done a land closing knows you can’t really do it in three weeks. So we will get it done; we have just have asked the board to have until the plant begins to operate."

(Host) Attorney Brice Simon represents opponents of the project. He says Green Mountain Power has had much longer than three weeks to secure the land deal.

(Simon) "Are they saying they should be allowed to have greater impact on the environment with less mitigation than other projects? They knew in January  that the Agency of natural resources wanted this mitigation."

(Host) GMP wants to build 21 turbines, each about 400 feet tall on a ridgeline in Lowell. Opponents have also filed objections to the permit. They say the Public Service Board has underestimated the noise impact of the project.

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