Wind moratorium scrapped in favor of new environmental reviews - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Wind moratorium scrapped in favor of new environmental reviews

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

A controversial ridgeline wind moratorium is moving forward in the Vermont Senate, absent the moratorium part of the bill.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee Wednesday approved a modified version that calls for wind developments to be judged under the criteria of Act 250. That means they would need the approval of local communities. Under the current arrangement, the Public Service Board has sole authority over wind farm siting.

Supporters of the compromise language say it allows effected towns to have greater input and at the same time puts forward a bill that is more palatable for the House to consider.

"Some of us were kind of worried when the moratorium suspension language came out of the bill, but I think we met our end goal which was to have the planning process be properly vetted, so that if we're going to move ahead with this kind of construction, that it's properly sited and that the town and regional plans are followed," said Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex/Orleans counties.

Neither wind opponents nor supporters are entirely happy with the compromise. If approved by the Senate, it still faces an uphill slog in the House where key lawmakers want to wait for the results of the governor's siting commission before taking any action.

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