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Somerset County Wind Turbine Delay Gets Legislative Approval

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says he still has misgivings about a bill to set a 13-month moratorium on the development of tall wind turbines within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in southern Maryland.

O'Malley wouldn't say Monday if he would veto legislation that has been sent to his desk. But the governor, who is a strong supporter of wind energy, says, "I have yet to conclude that windmills are quite the threat to Naval air radar that those advocating for this ban have concluded."

O'Malley says he's going to keep trying to understand where common ground can be reached.

Lawmakers have approved a delay to wait for a study on how wind turbines could affect radar use around the turbines.

Credit msa.maryland.gov
Senator Jim Mathias (D-Worcester)

Senator Jim Mathias

Maryland State Senator Jim Mathias said he was unhappy with the measure approved by the Maryland General Assembly that would impose a moratorium of over a year on the Somerset County wind project.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times that it was particularly stressful because the rural areas of the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland often work together.

The southern Maryland representatives including the House Minority leader Steny Hoyer pushed for the legislative moratorium argued that the wind turbines needed to be studied because of their impact on radar at the U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.