Maine Environmental and Health Organizations Announce Support for Bowers Wind Power Project

Groups Cite Health and Economic Benefits of Cleaner Energy

Environment Maine

PORTLAND—Five major Maine environmental and health advocacy
organizations today announced their support of the proposed Bowers
Wind Power Project, and the groups will be urging the Maine Department
of Environmental Protection to approve the 16-turbine wind project at
public hearings next week.

“These groups represent thousands of Maine citizens who support the
Bowers wind project because it will reduce pollution, create good
local jobs, protect wildlife, and help to move Maine into a cleaner
energy future,” said Glen Brand, Sierra Club Maine Chapter’s Director.

“As a public health organization we strongly support Maine’s
continuing transition to clean renewable energy,” said Ed Miller,
Senior Vice President for Public Policy for the American Lung
Association of the Northeast. “Reducing toxic air pollution from
fossil fuels is good health policy as well as good energy policy.”

“The Bowers Wind Project is a good project that will reduce pollution
and bring clean energy to Maine,” said Emily Figdor, Director of
Environment Maine.  “This is exactly the kind of wind project Mainers
support.  At the hearing, Environment Maine is excited to deliver a
petition supporting the project signed by 1,000 Mainers.  There’s very
strong support for this project.”

“Increasing the amount of renewable energy generated in Maine
continues to be an environmental priority and an economic advantage
for Maine,” said Sean Mahoney of the Conservation Law Foundation. “CLF
supports this project because we believe that it meets the statutory
and regulatory requirements, its location in a working forest is
appropriate and the project proponents have made significant efforts
to minimize the impacts of the project.”

“Maine Audubon supports wind projects that are sited and operated in a
way that minimizes impacts to wildlife,” said Sally Stockwell,
Director of Conservation at Maine Audubon.  “Because First Wind has
agreed to curtail operating turbines at low wind speeds to avoid
attracting and killing bats (whose numbers are already seriously
threatened by white-nose syndrome), we support the Bowers project.”

In addition to Sierra Club Maine, Maine Audubon, American Lung
Association, and the Conservation Law Foundation, the Bowers Wind
Project is supported by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, Sportsman’s Alliance
of Maine, Carroll Plantation, and the County Manager of Washington

The site of the proposed the 16-turbine, 48-megawatt Bowers Wind
Project in Penobscot and Washington Counties is on commercial
timberland that was clear-cut by previous owners and has no rare,
endangered, or threatened species.

Wind power reduces air and water pollution from burning fossil fuels.
Already, wind power in Maine avoids as much carbon pollution as is
emitted annually by 79,000 cars, according to a recent report by
Environment Maine.  Former Maine State Economist Charlie Colgan found
that just three wind power projects in Maine supported 240 jobs per
year and generated nearly $225 million in local investment during
development and construction of the projects alone.

Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection is conducting public
hearings on Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1 beginning at 6:00
p.m. at Lee Academy, 26 Winn Road in Lee, for the purpose of receiving
testimony from the general public.  Comments can also be sent to:
Department of Environmental Protection, Attn: Jessica M. Damon, 106
Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine 04401 or by email at
[email protected].