Mar 23, 2017

Maine bill could allow ocean windmills to dominate Gulf of Maine viewsheds

AUGUSTA.  A bill coming before the Maine Legislature today could prevent the citizens of dozens of coastal towns from objecting to having their ocean viewsheds dominated day and night by ocean windfarms' siting within eight miles of their shores.  Listen to 3/23/17 public hearing  recordings  (first hour)

This due to the bill's adoption of a thirty year old  incomplete and seriously flawed list of scenic viewsheds of "state and national significance".

LD 901 "An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Determination of a Wind Energy Development's Effect on the Scenic Character of Maine's Special Places"  does this by enshrining  an outdated and never completed complete  list of coastal Maine's  'official' scenic locations as the only locations deserving of a minimum 15 mile distance for viewshed protection

Ron Huber executive director of Friends of Penobscot Bay warned that  LD 901  would effectively prevent the citizens of more than a dozen coastal towns from objecting to having their ocean viewsheds dominated  by turning windmill blades by day  and by blinking red lights at night."

In Huber v BPL, 2011, Knox County Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm  was forced to make the absurd declaration that Monhegan lacks any scenic viewsheds of state or national significance, including the island's immensely popular Lobster Cove and Christmas Cove,  beaches reachable solely on foot, 

"These viewsheds are the subjects of 100s if not thousands of paintings, sculptures poems  and other paeans  to the island's seascape" Huber said.  But they are officially deemed insignificant because Maine Coastal Program  made never finalized its 1987 survey of scenic resources along themidcoast  Maine coast.

 Completion requires "field verification"  of aerial map. This was never carried out as noted in the Monhegan scenic map from page 128 of the 1987 report.

"The Environment asnd Natural Resources Committee should table  LD 901 and  direct Maine Coastal Program to update and complete its scenic survey of Midcoast Maine, including Monhegan, first,"  Huber said,   "Otherwise ocean windmills will be allowed to dominate Gulf of Maine viewsheds off Maine  with no accountability to the towns and cities whose viewsheds they would  economically and physically dominate."

Huber also said he hopes that  Maine Aqua Ventus' leaders Jake Ward and  Habib Dagher of the University of Maine  won't renege on their oft-repeated promises to site floating windfarms far enough from shore for the curvature of the earth to mask the renewable energy platforms'  blinking light arrays .

"Dr Dagher is an honorable man," Huber said Surely he'll keep his word ."


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