Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Associated Press
LOWELL, Vt. — Six people were arrested Monday after they blocked the construction road leading to the top of Loweåll Mountain, where construction is under way on a wind power project.
The first wind turbine components arrive at the Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell, Vt., on July 16.
The protesters lined the path at about 7 a.m. to prevent workers and trucks from reaching the area where Green Mountain Power contractors are building the wind-energy project.
"A whole line of trucks were up here, as many as 30 workers and nine trucks, and we blockaded them," Keith Ballek, one of the people arrested, told the Burlington Free Press. "Another truck tried to squeeze through, and we blockaded him."
The protesters object to the 21 wind turbines being built along the Lowell Mountain ridgeline because they believe the project is marring a pristine mountain for no environmental benefit.
Green Mountain Power said the presence of the protesters on the construction site created a safety hazard, added costs and strained law enforcement resources. It noted the project was supported by 75 percent of Lowell voters who cast ballots on the issue on Town Meeting Day 2010.
"It is regrettable that a small group has once again resorted to illegal actions," the company said in statement.
The arrested protesters were charged with unlawful trespass. They were identified as Ballek, 56, of Sheffield; Raymond Micklon, 50, of Craftsbury Common; William Roddy, 66, of Barton; Dennis Liddy, 64, Westfield; Meredith Jones, 63, of Irasburg; and Carol Irons, 71, of Albany. They are all do in court on Sept. 25.
Last month a group of protesters briefly prevented a truck from delivering turbine parts to the mountain.