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Site Work For Wind Energy Project Being Monitored

December 10th, 2018

Environmental issues with a major wind energy generation project plotted across 7,000 acres in Hector and Harrison townships were reviewed at Monday’s meeting of the Potter County Water Quality Work Group. Each of the 24 turbine sites requires about 10 acres of timber-clearing and road construction in sensitive environmental areas where high-quality tributaries and wetlands could be affected, chairman Jason Childs reported. He said the Potter County Conservation District, Pa. Fish and Boat Commission, and Pa. Dept of Environmental Protection have all been monitoring the site work. Canadian energy giant Trans-Alta hopes to have tower construction completed by the end of 2019. The project is centered in the Dodge Hollow/White Knoll area off Rt. 49. Turbines will be nearly 660 feet high, which will rank them among the tallest in the world. For comparison, the Statue of Liberty measures 305 feet from the ground to the top of its torch. Developers struck a land surface use deal with the property owner, a forestland investment subsidiary of John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. Electricity will be fed into the grid through a First Energy line.

Also at this week’s meeting:

  • Darrell Davis from the Genesee Headwaters Watershed Assn. discussed a permeable pavement project that is being planned as an educational partnership at Northern Potter High School.
  • Danielle Rhea, the new regional water resources educator from Penn State Extension, introduced herself. Based in Jefferson County, she will serve a nine-county area. She previously was an agriculture conservationist in Allegheny County.
  • Charlie Tuttle, chair of the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition, reported on ongoing monitoring of public water sources across Potter County. She also said plans are being made to host a Pennsylvania Rural Water Association training session in Coudersport, with details to be announced.
  • Potter County Conservation District will be filling its dirt and gravel/low-volume road technician position later this month.
  • The annual Crops and Planting Clinic will be held Jan. 25 at the Tri-County Firehall in Ulysses.
  • Planning Director Will Hunt reported that there has been an outstanding response to an online survey for input on the Northcentral Pa. Tri-County Comprehensive Plan.
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