Downeast Wind held a pre-application public information meeting on Thursday March 11, 2021. The meeting took place virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and included both telephone and online participation options.
Speakers and question panel participants for the event included:
- Robert Gee, Development Manager, Apex Clean Energy
- Brian O'Shea, Public Engagement Manager, Apex Clean Energy
- Mark Lyons, Director of Development, Apex Clean Energy
- Marcel Mibus, Senior Scientist, Apex Clean Energy
- Chris Weatherford, Director, Project Management, Apex Clean Energy
- Brian Martin, Director of Health & Safety, Apex Clean Energy
- Adam Gravel, Stantec
- Brett Hart, Sewall
- Jessica Wagner Kimball, TJD+A
- Dana Valleau, TRC
Public meeting handouts, presentation slides, and a full audio recording of the meeting can be found below, as well as the notice copy for the meeting.
NOTICE OF INTENT TO FILE & NOTICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL MEETING
Please take notice that Downeast Wind, LLC, with its principal offices at 366 US Highway Route 1, Columbia, ME 04623, Attention: Robert Gee, (207) 618-8979, is intending to file applications for a Site Location of Development Act permit, a Natural Resources Protection Act permit and a 401 Water Quality Certification with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to the provisions of 38 M.R.S.A. §§ 481-490, 38 M.R.S. §§ 480-A thru 480-BB, 35-A M.R.S. §§ 3401-3459, and 33 U.S.C. § 1341. The Applicant intends to file these applications (collectively “Application”) on or about March 22, 2021.
The Application is to allow for the construction and operation of the Downeast Wind project, a 126 MW wind energy development located in the Town of Columbia and the unorganized areas of T18 MD BPP and T24 MD BPP, in Washington County, Maine. The Project will include up to 30 wind turbines and associated infrastructure, including an operations and maintenance building, collector lines, a substation and switchyard, access roads, temporary and permanent meteorological towers, crane paths, and construction laydown areas.
The applicant will hold a public informational meeting to inform the public about the project and its anticipated environmental impacts and to educate the public about the opportunities for public comment on the project. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on in-person gatherings, the public meeting will be held by telephone and online means on Thursday, March 11, 2021, starting at 6:00 p.m. Interested members of the public may join by phone by calling (866) 416-5252. A live online version of the meeting audio and presentation slides will also be available at www.downeastwindfarm.com/meeting. Questions from the public will be taken both online and by phone. Area residents who are unable to access presentation materials online may request materials be sent by mail by calling (207) 618-8979 or emailing [email protected].
A request for a public hearing or a request that the Board of Environmental Protection assume jurisdiction over the Application must be received by the Department in writing, no later than 20 days after the Application is found by the Department to be complete and is accepted for processing. A public hearing may or may not be held at the discretion of the Commissioner or Board of Environmental Protection. Public comment on the Application will be accepted throughout the processing of the Application.
The Site Location application will include a request, pursuant to 12 M.R.S.A. § 685(1-A)(B-1), that the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) certify to the Department that the development is an allowed use in the subdistricts in which it is proposed and that the development will comply with applicable LUPC land use standards that are not considered in the Department’s review.
A request for a LUPC public hearing on the request for certification and/or petition to leave to intervene in any such hearing must be received by the LUPC in writing no later than 20 days after the request for certification is found by the LUPC to be complete and accepted for processing. The LUPC will consider the degree of public interest when determining whether to hold a public hearing, but the decision whether to hold a hearing is at the LUPC’s discretion.
If the LUPC holds a public hearing, members of the public also may offer testimony at the hearing without formally intervening in the hearing, and/or may submit written comments until the close of the record. A request or petition that is not timely filed will be denied unless the requestor/petitioner shows good cause for failure to file on time. Filing may be by electronic mail or facsimile if followed by receipt of an original signed document within five working days. The LUPC’s provisions for intervention may be found in Chapter 5, Section 5.13 of the LUPC’s rules, which are available at www.maine.gov/dacf/lupc/laws_rules/index.shtml.
If no public hearing is held, interested persons may submit written comments on the LUPC certification throughout the processing of the certification. Written public comments and questions on the request for certification may be mailed to the LUPC’s office in Augusta: Attn: Ben Godsoe, Land Use Planning Commission, 22 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333; emailed to [email protected], or faxed to (207) 287-7439.
For Federally licensed, permitted, or funded activities in the Coastal Zone, review of the Application shall also constitute the State's consistency review in accordance with the Maine Coastal Program pursuant to Section 307 of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1456.
The Application will be filed for public inspection at the Department of Environmental Protection's office in Bangor and the LUPC’s office in Augusta and Bangor during normal working hours. A copy of the Application may also be seen at the municipal offices in Columbia, Maine and the Washington County offices in Machias, Maine.
Written public comments may be sent to the Department’s regional office in Bangor where the application is filed for public inspection: Attn. Maria Eggett, MDEP, Eastern Maine Regional Office, 106 Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine 04401, (207) 941-4570 or submitted by e-mail at [email protected].