CPV Kettle Wind, LLC, an industrial wind company, plans to build wind turbines on the top of Dunning/Evitt’s Mountain, which is a very prominent feature of the Dutch Corner Historic Agricultural District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. We don’t know many details about the project because the energy company is in the early stages of development, but we do know that an absentee landowner who lives in Maryland has leased over 1,000 acres along the top of the mountain for the industrial wind project. To date, no permits have been obtained for the wind project, so it is not too late to provide better protection for both the mountain and for Bedford County, PA residents.
Members of the Dutch Corner Historical Society and Juniata Valley Audubon Society worked hard over many years and raised significant funds to conduct the research needed to obtain the National Register listing. We are concerned that damaging the mountain and erecting wind turbines on top will degrade the historic character of the scenic and historic Dutch Corner Historic Agricultural District - the largest one in Pennsylvania. Because the mountain is so narrow, rocky, and steep, significant blasting and earth-moving will need to occur, in order to level the top of the mountain and make it wide enough for heavy equipment and turbine foundations.
The area planned for the wind project is also designated as a globally significant Natural Heritage Area which contains core habitat for several rare species. An industrial wind project will destroy and fragment this ecologically important forest.
Bedford County relies on tourism as an important economic asset for the well-being of the county. We fear that a large industrial wind project on top of Dunning/Evitt’s Mountain will negatively impact the positive experience that we want visitors to have when they visit the historic and beautiful rural countryside in Bedford County.
Consequently, we have asked the Bedford Township Supervisors to update their 10-year old wind ordinance since it is outdated and inadequate. Industrial wind turbines are now much taller (about 600 feet in our state) and louder, thereby reducing property values and creating health problems, in addition to degrading historic properties. It is illegal to prohibit wind development in Townships, but we’d like to see better protections for residents who would be impacted in the three townships if the wind project is built: Bedford, South Woodbury, and East St. Clair.
The updated ordinances would ensure that environmental and historic resources are protected for future generations and our local tourism economy.