The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has issued five environmental permits to Green Mountain Power Inc. for the construction and operation of a wind project on Lowell Mountain in Lowell, Vt.
The Kingdom Community wind project includes the installation of an access road and 21 wind turbines along the ridgeline, as well as the upgrade of a related transmission line.
The ANR issued the project two stormwater permits for construction of the access road, wind farm and associated transmission line; a state stormwater operational permit for control of stormwater discharges from impervious surfaces constructed at the site; a state wetlands permit for work in wetlands, including required mitigation activities; and a water-quality certification pursuant to Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act, issued in connection with the Section 404 permit issued for the project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Scientists from the Department of Environmental Conservation's stormwater, wetlands, rivers and biomonitoring sections, along with biologists from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, have evaluated the impacts of the project and recommended changes to the project and conditions in the 401 certification to ensure that existing mountain hydrology is adequately protected.
The ANR has also determined that the Vermont Water Quality Standards will be met, and overall mountain hydrology will be maintained.
In issuing these permits, the ANR has included several findings and conditions that were not in the draft permits. These findings and conditions were the result of the ANR's review of public comments and its own internal review of the draft permit.