DERBY – The Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) approved a 140-foot turbine in Derby despite the concerns from a neighbor and others and without holding a hearing as requested and without further investigation.
The PSB issued the Certificate of Public Good (CPG) July 11.
The turbine will sit on Michele Judd's property at the top of Herrick Road.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Edith Lindblom-Warthin, a concerned neighbor, said in an interview Wednesday. She feels the PSB misconstrued her concerns, which are more about sound issues than aesthetics. And she is wondering why she never heard a response from the PSB regarding her request for a hearing and had to learn about the decision by chance from others.
The turbine site is about 350 feet east of Lindblom-Warthin’s home, where she runs a bed and breakfast.
Judd’s father, Mike Judd, who lives just to the north of Lindblom-Warthin, already has a 140-foot turbine on his property, approximately 900 feet away.
Lindblom-Warthin says that at times she hears the turbine spinning and compares the noise to a small jet about to land. Often guests ask in the morning about the strange noises at night, and Lindblom-Warthin says it’s the wind turbine.
In its order, the PSB states that if it receives a written complaint of excessive noise, it “may conduct a site visit to investigate the complaint,” and may require Michele Judd to preform ambient and operating noise level measurements.
But Lindblom-Warthin says she wants that testing done before the turbine goes up, not after. "This is absolutely absurd.”
Prior to the issuing of the CPG, Lindblom-Warthin had voiced her concerns at a recent Derby Planning Commission meeting and wanted the commission to recommend that the select board intervene in the process. The commission seemed to have concerns at first, but nothing could be found in the town plan regarding the regulation of wind turbines other than that the town should support renewable energy sources. Planner Dave La Belle made a motion to not recommend that the select board seek intevenor status,and the motion passed 3-1.
Lindblom-Warthin and others question why the Town of Derby has so many regulations when it comes to structures and buildings but nothing concerning wind turbines.
At the planning commission meeting, several other residents voiced their concerns on what the future holds for the town in regards to wind turbines, and question if they will be popping up all over. Although the final decision is made by the PSB for wind turbines, the PSB takes into account local regulations.
Lindblom-Warthin is considering appealing the PSB decision.