United States

United States

Vermont says no to development on state-owned land

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Vermont will not allow industrial-sized wind turbines on state-owned lands. However, small 10 kW turbines will be "actively encouraged," says a new policy released by the state's Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). Small wind turbines to generate power for visitor centres, fish hatcheries or ski areas is acceptable, but any commercial wind power development on public land would be incompatible with the "purposes for which ANR designated these lands," the policy says. It does, however, leave the door open for future discussion. If a particularly good site for large-scale wind development was identified on state lands, the policy acknowledges it could be considered. State lands director Mike Fraser points out the policy applies to state-owned lands only and should not be interpreted as a general policy for Vermont as a whole. The state is in the midst of an informal but passionately debated statewide assessment of the pros and cons of modern wind turbines. Tom Broderick, head of a wind power opposition group called Kingdom Commons, hailed the ANR policy as a step in the right direction. "We're very pleased," he says. "It's a statement that the state feels their land should be protected from industrialisation." David Rapaport, vice president of East Haven Wind Farm, which hopes to construct a project in the region, says the decision will have no effect on the company's ultimate plans.

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