Arrowwood Environmental, LLC (Arrowwood) was retained by Georgia Mountain Community Wind, LLC (GMCW) to assess the potential impacts of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind Project (The Project) upon water quality and the natural environmental. Specifically, this report evaluates the Project's potential impacts on Outstanding Resource Waters, Headwaters, Floodways, Streams, Shorelines, Wetlands, Rare and Irreplaceable Areas (RINA), and Necessary Wildlife Habitat and Endangered Species.
The proposed Project site, depicted on Figure 1 of this report , is a 3/4 mile section of ridgeline between 1320ft and 1420ft above sea level on the top of Georgia Mountain, southeast of Arrowhead Mountain Lake, in the towns of Milton and Georgia, Vermont. The Project would involve the construction of 3-5 megawatt-sized turbines producing approximately 7.5 to 12 megawatts of power.
In addition to the wind turbines themselves, this Project would include a new 34 kV electric collection line that will carry power from the transformers at the wind turbines to a point of interconnection at the Husky Injection Molding facility entrance along Milton town highway (TH-5) North Road The collection line will be installed underground between the turbines along the ridgeline, and a 34.5 kV overhead electric collection line on 34-38' tall, single poles, spanning approximately 250'-300' is planned to extend from the ridgeline to North Road, then approximately 1450 ft. along North Road to connect with the existing transmission line. The corridor for the collection line will follow existing ATV trails where possible to minimize clearing area. The turbines will be accessed from the south along Ted Road which will require an upgrade (expansion) to the road intersection with West ford Road to accommodate construction equipment.
From the terminus of Ted Road, the access route will continue north to the turbines generally following an existing ATV trail. The ATV trail will be upgraded as needed to accommodate construction equipment. The applicant has defined a clearing zone, depicted on the Assessment Map in Appendix 1, within which the proposed turbines, access road, and underground transmission corridor would be contained. At this time, turbine selection has not been finalized and therefore the final project design is not complete. The proposed clearing area overestimates the actual impacts but presents the location within which the Project will be contained. The environmental impact assessment provided in this report focuses on the defined clearing area. The boundaries of the natural resources inventory area (~710 acres) are shown on the attached Assessment Map.
As a component of the Resource Assessment, Arrowwood met with the Agency of Natural Resources on three occasions (3/27/08, 5/15/08 and 11/17/08) to discuss the scope of the Project and the resources at the Project site. Two of the meetings were conducted in the field. Arrowwood also met in the field with the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss wetland and stream resources in the Project area.