‘No web loss!’ Don’t reduce down forests to construct solar sites

An example of clear-reducing to construct a solar field.

As residents of Hamden, we heartily help solar tasks to meet the demand for electricity. Such tasks reduce our dependence on burning soiled fossil fuels to get electricity, a way that produces the extreme carbon dioxide (CO2) driving international warming. a good deal more suitable to get clear and renewable power from solar panels!

youngsters, we have to oppose PETITION NO. 1425 made to the Connecticut Siting Council by allotted solar building (DSD), a solar-power offshoot of general electric powered and Blackrock based mostly in Schenectady, N.Y on behalf of their customers, the CSCU (Connecticut State schools & Universities). We applaud CSCU’s want to buy solar energy; despite the fact this particular mission has a major flaw. It entails clear reducing 12 acres of timber in a woodland!

As all of us comprehend, forests sequester carbon and mitigate the starting to be consequences of local weather alternate. The September 2020 record from the Governor’s Council on local weather alternate (GC3) Forests Subgroup presents as a exact priority the adoption of a state coverage of “no net loss” of forest. “hold forest AS FORESTS.” related to this proposed facility, the Hamden Tree commission writes: “This inspiration to clear reduce and chip over 12 acres of mature, mesic hardwood woodland it truly is on steep slopes and consists of wetlands may have gigantic antagonistic permanent environmental impacts.”

The steep slope, with some areas exceeding 25% slope, invites erosion. in accordance with the Regional Water Authority letter to the Siting Council, the soil types at this web site are “totally erosive.” DSD’s environmental report suggests that the developers can with ease manage erosion and storm water on web page. but the DSD has yet to deliver, as of November 12, a full set of storm water runoff fashions required by means of Connecticut’s branch of energy and Environmental insurance plan (DEEP).

The Gaylord Mountain proposal design.

The cost of forest ecosystem features have to even be considered. A woodland is no longer just a bunch of bushes but a organic neighborhood of interacting organisms and their actual atmosphere. certainly one of the most important ecosystem features supplied by means of a wooded area is the coverage of ingesting water resources. The wooded area and its wetlands filter runoff that helps clear the water we drink. This solar assignment is in a drinking water supply watershed: the watershed of Eaton Brook which flows to the Mill River, which flows downstream to the Lake Whitney reservoir. This reservoir is an active drinking water source for the South Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA) consumers.

The best solution to protect consuming water is to protect forests. The environmental document for this photo voltaic mission does not even mention what watershed the project is observed in or that it is in a source water coverage area. this is a huge omission! as the RWA writes in its testimony “This solar assignment will effect in an irretrievable loss of forestland that protects the affected RWA sources of supply in the Mill River watershed.” moreover, the Hamden Tree commission testimony addresses countless different ecosystem features and makes the element that “this parcel is a critical element of a forested corridor that connects the Naugatuck State wooded area and adjacent Regional Water Authority watershed with sleeping significant State Park and Mill River Watershed.”

The entire dialogue in the public session on November 17 focused on how to get popularity of what the task representatives  again and again called a “difficult web site.” This “challenging web page” is, basically, an inappropriate web site for a photo voltaic facility so that it will result in the destruction of 12 acres of trees!  The Q and A session overlooked the value and price of the advantages of the trees being removed, and the dreams of the local and state community within the face of an present and starting to be local weather disaster.

As of the November 17 public listening to, DSD had no longer contacted Hamden emergency responders for their concepts on advantage challenges they might have to face given a photo voltaic facility at this region. We discovered that if Hamden’s first responders couldn’t cope with an issue, DSD personnel would have to go back and forth from big apple to Hamden to handle it. This demonstrates a significant failure to respect the reality of intense climate routine we are actually experiencing and the need to believe about expertise emergency routine and plan for them as has been the focus of the GC3 working organizations.

We call upon the Siting Council to require the petitioner to discover a extra acceptable location for this facility. Such alternative locations exist in Hamden that could be supported with the aid of the neighborhood and would not threaten nature’s basic ally in the combat against local weather exchange – – our timber. This may still no longer be a call between forests and photo voltaic. We want them both.

So, for local, state-large and indeed global explanations we oppose this specific solar mission, and speak to upon the Siting Council to reject the petitioner’s request. You, as a involved citizen, can still write in opposition to the construction of this photo voltaic facility in a wooded area  to the CT Siting Council through December 15  and to your Connecticut legislators in support of a State “No web Loss” of woodland policy.

Elizabeth L. Langhorne and Diane Hoffman live in Hamden.

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