Tue August 7, 2012
Lowell Wind Project Protesters Continue Efforts to Disrupt Construction
Opponents continued their protests at the Lowell Mountain wind project Tuesday, a day after six people were arrested as they stopped construction at the site for half a day.
Activists spent Monday morning blocking workers and equipment from reaching the construction area along the top of Lowell Mountain. Tuesday many returned to hold a funeral for the mountain. The protesters believe the project is destroying a pristine ridge line and has little environmental benefit. Steve Wright of Mountain Occupiers says they want to send a message to Vermonters that mountains do not need to be destroyed to create effective climate change programs and adequate energy.
Protester Will Young’s biggest concern is the permitting process.
Town of Lowell Select Board Chair Richard Pion says the public was consulted and cast votes regarding the project. Pion says his constituents overwhelmingly approved the turbines and finds the protesters continued disruptions frustrating.
Green Mountain Power is building the turbines and calls the protests and arrests “regrettable”. Spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure says while work was delayed five hours on Monday, overall the project is ahead of schedule and on budget.
The 21 turbines will begin operating as they are completed throughout the fall. The first two are expected to be on-line within the next six weeks.