Published Feb 21, 2014
Our friends at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) released background material and an update on what is known as the "Bingham Wind Farm Project."
We deeply appreciate their advocacy and commitment to the preservation of the Appalachian Trail.
Last year, Blue Sky West (BSW), a subsidiary of First Wind applied for a permit to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a 62-turbine wind power generation facility in Bingham, Mayfield Township and Kingsbury Plantation.
Due to its proximity to the Appalachian Trail, MATC reviewed the initial project proposal and objected to its visual impact, particularly as viewed from the Pleasant Pond Mountain and Moxie Bald Mountain viewpoints, two high-value vista points on the A.T. in this region.
We also recognized that under existing Maine law, DEP is limited to only considering visual impacts of a wind facility to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail up to an eight mile distance; the BSW project is not located within eight miles from any major A.T. viewpoint.
As the application process unfolded throughout 2013, MATC joined with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Mountain Club to work with BSW to lessen the impacts of the project on the surrounding view shed.
As a result of these conversations:
MATC recognizes First Wind's efforts at further protecting land from development near the A.T. corridor.
With these provisions in place, our focus will shift to mitigate local impacts on the land near Bald Mountain Pond, Moxie Bald Mountain and Pleasant Pond Mountain.
MATC's approach is striking a balance between protections of the A.T. with regard to the objectives of the State of Maine for increased renewable energy.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, and Appalachian Mountain Club
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