Waymart Neighbors Voice Concerns over Proposed Power Plant

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WAYMART, Pa. -- There is concern in Wayne County over a proposed hydroelectric facility. The energy company behind the plans only just started the process of seeing if it would work, and neighbors feel blindsided.

Several concerned residents plan to show up when Waymart borough council meets to voice concerns over the proposed Waymart West Pumped Storage.

The company behind the proposed facility has an initial permit from the feds, all before neighbors knew what could happen.

Before the fog burns off for the day, you can't make out the windmills on the mountain overlooking Waymart, but Elaine Lytle knows they're there and is now concerned what could end up joining them if Renewable Energy Aggregators has its way.

"Making a big pond down here, a big pond up there and they're going to pump the water up and down, big building in the back, so it's going to ruin everybody's views. I don't know how much noise it's going to make or any of that," Lytle said.

Lytle only found out about the proposed Waymart West Pumped Storage project through word of mouth. The company hasn't contacted her or her neighbors yet.

The company filed with federal energy regulators and got an initial permit to start studies on the project that would pump water between two reservoirs to make electricity.

"Definitely blindsided by it, no clue. We come upon the papers and were confused as to why we weren't notified."

Neighbors first heard of the proposed hydroelectric plant at the end of last year. Now as the weeks go by, there are more questions than answers about what that plant, if it comes to fruition, would mean for the homes and families.

"Is it going to affect our water, our zoning? Our property value won't be what it is now," said Barb Podunajec. "A lot of things to be concerned about."

Neighbors wonder why the energy company picked this spot, and if its plans are approved, what happens to everyone living here now?

"Our properties, what will it do with depreciation?" asked Don McDonough. "I know it's in the beginning. There's a major concern here in the community now."

The proposed hydroelectric plant would have to clear numerous hurdles locally, including buying or leasing the land from the current owners.

Those folks all still feel in the dark.

We reached out to the company near Philadelphia. No one returned our calls or email.

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