Blumenthal urges wind farm regulations

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 6, 2011, 11:32am


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Richard Blumenthal, in what appears to be his final statement as Connecticut's attorney general, says the state must develop standards to regulate wind farm developments.

Blumenthal, who assumed his new office as a U.S. Senator this week, said the state must do so to protect the environment and quality of life, while promoting green energy projects.

The longtime state attorney general, following a meeting on Monday with representatives from Save Prospect and FairWindCT, said the state lacks adequate standards to address a surge of proposed wind turbines. The president of Save Our Seashore, a Cape Cod based organization involved with wind development projects in Massachusetts, also attended the meeting.

These groups are fighting wind turbine developments, including a plan by BNE Energy of West Hartford to build 400-foot turbines in Colebrook, North Canaan and Prospect. The groups are concerned about the impact on natural resources, noise pollution and quality of life.

Blumenthal called new green energy projects "critical" -- but noted they must be sited appropriately to avoid significant damage to the environment in the region.

"Wind turbine farms may be well intended, but should also be well sited," Blumenthal said in a statement. "Green energy will undermine its purpose if we fail to develop sound standards to protect against damage to the environment and quality of life.

"Wind farms may have a place and purpose -- but not at the cost of destroying pristine forests. These projects must be subject to scrutiny and sound standards. Clear standards will provide certainty to businesses seeking to build wind farms in Connecticut, encouraging their development in sites that meet those standards.

He added, "Renewable sources of energy such as wind should be encouraged, but we must be very careful as to how and where, so as to prevent any adverse health and safety impact on neighborhoods or on the environment generally."

Blumenthal said he plans to continue to work with state lawmakers and citizens groups to develop sound principles for the siting of renewable energy projects.

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