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No Brimfield Wind wants local control


February 15, 2011
BRIMFIELD — Members of No Brimfield Wind have carefully monitored the activities of the state Legislature in its new session, keeping their eyes peeled for the expected refiling of the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act.

No Brimfield Wind is a group of residents who oppose Boston-based First Wind's proposal to construct eight to 10 wind turbines on West Mountain along the ridge near Steerage Rock. Some of the turbines would be nearly 10,000 feet in length, and residents have expressed concerns since learning about the proposal in June 2010.

Back in September, the group was pleased by the Board of Selectmen's unanimous vote to reject First Wind's offer to pay the town $30,000 for a detailed study of the project. Selectmen received 181 letters from residents asking them not to accept the money, according to Virginia Irvine, one of the organizers of No Brimfield Wind.

"Many people spoke out against the proposal at that September meeting, and I thought it showed how most of the town feels about an industrial wind project," Irvine said.

The Wind Energy Siting Reform Act, which was not passed before the conclusion of the previous legislative session in July, is supported by Gov. Deval Patrick and many members of the Senate and House of Representatives. As a result, many residents are anticipating that the bill will be refiled soon, although they hope the new version of the bill features language that will allow for increased local control.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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