Do wind turbines lead to more forest fires?
By Clyde MacDonald, Special to the BDN • July 30, 2012 2:25 pm
Updated: July 30, 2012 7:01 pm
Our three Penobscot County Commissioners made an astute decision today when they decided to defer action on whether to grant an advance tax increment financing deal to the wind corporation that wants to build the Passadumkeag wind park in the Grand Falls area.
If the TIF had been granted, that news would have been used by the developer to claim in the application process before the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that it has substantial local support when, in fact, several landowners in the affected region raised questions and objections.
The danger of forest fires caused by burning wind towers was one of the unanswered questions that bothered the commissioners. Both the DEP and the Land Use Regulation Commission admitted early last year that they had approved all of Maine’s wind farms without any regard to the possibility of forest fires. They had not even contacted the state fire marshal for his input. Soon after, the DEP did make a perfunctory inquiry but received only a sketchy response.