SWANTON — Community members are fighting for maximum participation in the Public Service Board’s review of Swanton Wind, as that review process becomes potentially more complex and certainly longer.
The board issued its ruling on who can participate under which criteria in early April. For example, any citizen participant falling under the Northwest Regional Planning Commission’s jurisdiction can participate in regards to the project’s “orderly development.”
But that’s as inclusive as the board’s order got in regards to citizen participation. Take Fairfield residents Sally and Bruce Collopy, for example, who applied for participation under several criteria.
The board interpreted the Collopys’ requests to participate regarding the project’s effect on floodways and its effect on shorelines as a request to participate regarding soil erosion. But the board denied the Collopys’ request to participate regarding Swanton Wind’s potential effect on system stability and reliability without evidence of why entities like Green Mountain Power cannot sufficiently represent those interests.
However, the board stated that “citizen intervenors” — the Public Service Board’s term for formal participants — “who qualify to participate on [an] issue must file a notification to that effect.”
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