Sen. Davis testifies in support of bill to amend expedited permitting for wind energy

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AUGUSTA – Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville testified before the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee on March 16 in support of LD 1810, “An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development.” His testimony was as follows:

“Good morning Sen. Woodsome, Rep. Berry and members of the committee on energy, utilities and technology. I am Sen. Paul Davis and I represent Senate District 4, which includes communities in Piscataquis, Penobscot and Somerset counties. I am here today as a cosponsor of L.D. 1810, ‘An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development.’

“This bill amends the laws governing expedited permitting for wind energy development by changing the definition of ‘expedited permitting area’ to mean specified places that are identified by rule and the eastern portion of Aroostook County and also all municipalities in Aroostook County that are wholly located south of the northernmost extent of Penobscot County, excluding Cary Plantation and Molunkus Township. The bill changes the farthest distance from eight miles to 40 miles from a proposed expedited wind energy development for which a visual impact assessment for potentially affected scenic resources of state or national significance may be required.

“This region of Maine is heavily reliant on the tourism industry. It is vital to the preservation of that industry and the preservation of our great natural resources in northern Maine that there is a visual impact assessment for not just eight miles, but the full 40 miles proposed. The massive structure of these windmills can have a major visual impact on a surrounding area beyond the current eight miles and it is important that we protect the natural beauty and economy of northern Maine. Thank you for your consideration of this bill.”

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