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Civil engineer wraps up testimony in turbine hearing

Published September 11. 2018 12:20PM

Civil engineer Philip C. Malitsch’s testimony before the Penn Forest Township Zoning Hearing Board concluded after three nights and a total of nine hours.

Malitsch, who was called on behalf of the objectors, had provided an extensive review of the Atlantic Wind application and had pointed out his interpretation of errors, omissions and flaws in the application.

One ongoing sticking point in Malitsch’s testimony was that Malitsch is an adjoining property owner to the project and an objector.

Malitsch resides within 2,700 feet of a proposed wind turbine and is a party to a suit pending before the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas.

In that suit objectors are requesting that the court find the “deemed approval” of Atlantic Wind’s first application invalid.

During a rushed cross-examination at the conclusion of Monday night’s hearing, the objectors’ attorney Bruce Anders asked Malitsch about a complaint that was filed following his testimony regarding the first application.

“Was a complaint filed against you with the state board of ethics and was it related specifically to the testimony you gave as an expert witness?” Anders asked.

Atlantic Wind attorney Edward Greene objected to the questioning, saying that the two applications were separate proceedings, but the zoning board solicitor Michael Greek permitted the question.

Malitsch said that the complaint against him was anonymous, but that it was specifically centered on the Atlantic Wind testimony. He said that he met with the board and that no action was taken to censure him.

Malitsch also said, in an effort to ensure that his personal feelings were not clouding his efforts in his report and his testimony, he had sat down with the president and a vice president of his employer, Hanover Engineering, and reviewed his report.

Greene asked Malitsch who he was working for and who was paying him, and Malitsch answered “Anders” to both questions.

The hearing will continue at 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at Penn Forest Volunteer Fire Company No. 1.

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