Opponents appeal decision on Sheffield wind project to Vermont Supreme Court

first_imgAppellants filed a notice of appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court of therulings by the Vermont Environmental Court to reaffirm a stormwaterconstruction permit for UPC Vermont Wind’s Sheffield project.‘It is our belief that the Environmental Court’s rulings are based oncritical misinterpretations and applications of Vermont laws involving theWater Quality Standards (VWQS) and the issue of who has the burden ofproof,’ said Stephanie Kaplan, attorney for the appellants. ‘Thedecision is inconsistent with Vermont legal precedent, with legislativeintent, and if allowed to stand eviscerates the VWQS when it comes tostormwater, which cannot be permissible under the Clean Water Act.’The citizens argue that the most significant error the Court made wasruling that monitoring of streams during construction and applying thenumerical standards and anti-degradation requirements of the VWQS are notpractical or necessary in the context of stormwater. The presumption thatstormwater construction permittees that comply with Best ManagementPractices automatically therefore comply with VWQS creates a veryfar-reaching precedent that cannot be allowed to stand.‘What it means is that the State of Vermont is knowingly putting at riskand willingly trading off unique headwater stream ecosystems including thenative brook trout and other species that inhabit them. These ecosystemsexist only in isolated pockets across Vermont’s mountain landscape,’said Paul Brouha, a retired fisheries biologist and one of the appellantswho live adjacent to the project.last_img

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