Testimony given to the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency
RE: The Shaffer Mountain Wind Project, 9/11/07
My name is Anthony B. Ciarlante, representing the Green Alternative Solutions Project, a grass roots organization promoting green alternatives, primarily in the field of energy, e.g. solar, hydro, and the wind production of electricity.
As promoters of alternative energy the Green Alternative Solutions Project heartily supports efforts like the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project which is a needed green alternative.
At first glance this wind energy alternative looks good, however, a closer look at the issues involved in the siting of the Shaffer Mountain Wind turbines - astride a prominent bird migration route for raptors, including the American Bald Eagle which has only recently been removed from the endangered species list this past June - gives one pause for concern.
We did a quick Internet search on the issue of bird mortality and wind farms, and we discovered some very alarming facts about the huge numbers of birds and bats being killed at wind farms all over the world.
A June 1, 2007 Associated Press story reported hundreds of kills at New York's Maple Ridge Wind Power Project.
The USA Today reported on nearly 5,000 annual bird kills at the Altamont Pass Wind Farm in California - mostly among raptors: eagles, hawks, and condors.
Similar stories are reported about wind farms in West Virginia, Canada and Great Britain.
Conservationists are only just beginning to do research on bat mortalities from wind farms - an issue which it seems has been largely overlooked until recently - and in West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Germany huge numbers of bats are being killed at wind farms.
Internet posted private and government white paper recommendations for the siting of wind farms strongly suggest that windmills NOT be sited along bird migration routes, because of the high numbers of bird kills reported in study after study, worldwide.
We at the Green Alternative Solutions Project believe that it's difficult to justify the positioning of the proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm along a principal migratory route.
Common sense dictates that erecting wind turbines in the path of migrating birds puts the birds at greater risk, and frankly, we are stupefied that the proponents of this project can't see that and are clinging stubbornly to their plan.
It is becoming readily apparent to us as we follow the history of this project that the PA Department of Environmental Protection is not acting in the best interest of protecting Pennsylvania's environment.
We at the Green Alternative Solutions Project are therefore opposed to the construction of the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project and have decided to bring our good offices to bear against its construction, as evidenced by my appearance at this hearing.
We believe that a more conservationist approach which protects the environment must be taken with the development of wind energy in this state and we are approaching the conclusion that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania needs to review, and strengthen, its oversight of the development of wind farms.
In conclusion, the Green Alternative Solutions Project will now seek out and support political candidates who understand that promoting a program which is popular and "green" at one level, with terrible consequences at another level, is NOT the right thing to do. We stand opposed to the construction of the wind farm on Shaffer Mountain and we are ready to support those who do.