Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from New York
The public information program that was held at the Thousand Islands Central School on Sept. 25 was attended by Jefferson County residents who wanted to learn more about industrial wind turbines. The program was put together by a group of citizens from the Cape Vincent, Clayton, Orleans, Lyme and Brownville areas who saw a need for a program like this. ...The public needs to be informed of how our quality of life would be affected and reminded that we are not in an Empire Zone so the profits here would not be close to what was gained in Lewis County.
The windmills Windforce LLC are proposing to put on Dan's Mountain are over 400 feet tall the blades are 150 feet long. You will be able to see the windmills from almost everywhere in Allegany County. There are currently only two buildings in Baltimore larger, one in Pittsburgh and one in Cleveland. Do you want our Western Maryland Mountain side destroyed only to bring a profit to an out of town company?
The local debates over wind power are driven in a part by a vacuum at the state level. There is no state law governing where wind turbines can be built or how big they can be. That leaves it up to town officials, working part time and on advice from outside lawyers, some of whom may have conflicts of their own. Two Franklin County towns, Brandon and Malone, have passed laws banning the wind turbines. But the issue remains unresolved in Burke, population 1,451, where two Town Board members recused themselves from the issue this year because they had leases with wind companies, leaving the board deadlocked.
"Listen," John Yancey says, leaning against his truck in a field outside his home. The rhythmic whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of wind turbines echoes through the air. Sleek and white, their long propeller blades rotate in formation, like some otherworldly dance of spindly-armed aliens swaying across the land. Yancey stares at them, his face contorted in anger and pain. He knows the futuristic towers are pumping clean electricity into the grid, knows they have been largely embraced by his community. But Yancey hates them.
For decades dairy farmers have wrested a living from the Tug -- accepting lives of wind-swept hardship with little prospect of much change. Then, a few years ago, change roared onto Tug Hill. Overnight it seemed, caravans of trucks trundled onto the plateau and for a couple of years the village was ablaze with activity. Today, 195 turbines soar above Tug Hill, 122 metres high, their 40-metre-long blades spinning at 14 revolutions per minute. The $400-million Maple Ridge wind project, the largest in New York state, brought money and jobs and a wondrous sense of prosperity. But the windmills also came with a price -- and not just the visual impact.
A longtime landowner and farmer reproached the town board Monday for its apparent opposition to commercial wind tower construction. ...Orleans County Legislator and environmentalist Gary Kent respectfully rebuked Dudley's comments, as did a a handful of local and county residents. The price of hosting wind turbines will be diminished property values, Kent said. He cited his recent visit to Naples, N.Y., where a real estate agent told him that homes are selling for tens of thousands of dollars below their assessed value since the wind farms started going up. If turbines go up in Orleans County, he bets the same will happen here, too.
Currently, the wind law is designed to accommodate the noise levels expected by the developer PPM Energy. These levels are measured at the outside wall of a resident's home, disregarding one's property line, and are unhealthy. Federal guidelines state that an appropriate level of noise in a bedroom during sleep is 24dBA (A-weighted decibels). However, our current local laws allow noise levels to reach 50dBA. State guidelines in New York state that an increase of 6dBA above normal background will cause complaints and should be avoided. According to the guidelines, an increase of 20dBA is intolerable. ...We have shown our local government that placing 62 turbines in a four- by five-mile populated area is harmful to residents. To date the town leaders in Clayton continue to ignore the plea from residents to protect us.
Various people with various opinions, all wishing to find out more information and ask questions about the 142-megawatt, 95-turbine wind project planned for the agricultural areas of Cape Vincent. BP Alternative Energy held an open house Wednesday to inform people of the potential project. The company detailed where they would build roads, place transmission lines and most importantly, put up turbines. ...This project is in the middle of a SEQR process. Environmental, visual and sound studies could be done as early as October.
When St. Lawrence Wind submitted its draft environmental study to Cape Vincent, there was no assessment considering the viewshed impact from the St. Lawrence River. This is astounding and negligent considering much of Cape Vincent's economy is tourism based on water recreation. Many people will view this industrial wind plant from the water.
Several residents in the town's wind district are worried that construction of massive windmills will cause contamination of their wells. The wind district sits on limestone bedrock, under which lies an underground aquifer that supplies the water. ...The state Department of Environmental Conservation made comments on the groundwater issue during the state environmental quality review comment period for Iberdrola's Horse Creek Wind Farm. "Because water enters the carbonate rocks rapidly through sinkholes and other large openings, any contaminants in the water can rapidly enter and spread through the aquifers," it said.
Tourists have long treked to the region to see the Niagara River plunge as far as 188 feet over the Horseshoe and American falls. But what if windmills taller than the falls is deep soared above the city's skyline? A company founded by Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano has approached city leaders about building wind turbines on old industrial sites in the city. While the company sees economic opportunity, the prospect exists for millions of tourists to see windmills on the horizon of Niagara Falls. "The issue for us is one more of aesthetics than anything else," said Thomas J. DeSantis, senior planner for the city. "Is it OK to put a 600-foot wind generating station at Falls and First streets? Probably not. "I think because we're Niagara Falls, and because we have certain scenic and national resources that are important to us, that we'll want to try to protect them in some small way, we'll want to look at those issues."
I took a run this weekend over to Ellenburg and Clinton, N.Y., to see 121 wind turbines at work. These are the 400-foot behemoths installed over the fall and winter by Noble Environmental Power. They're the first of nearly 400 towers planned for this windy stretch of scrub and farmland just south of the Canadian border. We've been arguing about wind energy in Vermont for more than five years now. ... Only two conclusions were inescapable: First, a wind project undoubtedly transforms the landscape, for better or worse. Second, seeing a wind "farm" at work won't settle the argument over "better or worse."
Blades have started spinning here, as wind turbines are being placed on line. Allison Finley, public affairs manager for Noble Environmental Power, said seven wind turbines were running this week, all in the Ellenburg Windpark. "Right now, they are working to energize and commission the wind parks," she said. "More will come online in the following days." Each of the 121 turbines in Ellenburg and Clinton must be synced with the grid, and electrical-collection systems need to be energized before startup. ..."If I had known they'd do all this, I never would have put so much into this place," [resident Al Barcombe] said, as blades from six turbines sliced through the air behind his barn. "I don't think I'll stay." Barcombe refused to sign any leases with Noble. The closest turbine is about 500 feet from his property line. "They look closer than they really are," he said, walking toward them. "I don't see nothing beautiful about 'em."
Not there, please. The Town Council added its voice to the discussion on the path of transmission lines from the Galloo Island Wind Project. The proposed path for the transmission line calls for it to make landfall in Henderson and run south through Ellisburg on its way to a bigger line in Parish. At its meeting Thursday night, the council voted 4-0 for a resolution opposing the path through the town's prime agricultural lands, but supporting any efforts to find a suitable site either east or west of the proposed path.
Two Adirondack-based environmental groups have come out against the installation of windmills atop Gore Mountain. The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Council say their reasons for opposing the windmills range from aesthetic concerns to setting a poor precedent. ...David Gibson, executive director of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, and John Sheehan, spokesman for the Adirondack Council, said they are waiting for the Barton Group to submit a complete application to the Adirondack Park Agency before making more specific comments on the project. The Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks is also waiting to see specifics before taking a position, said Michael Washburn, the North Creek-based organization's executive director.
Plans to run power from a wind turbine project in Lake Ontario through Oswego County are meeting surprise and resistance. "It'll ruin my property value," said Kathleen Schneider, who with her husband owns 55 acres on Castor Road in Albion. The Schneiders received a letter last month from Upstate NY Power Corp. telling them they would be contacted about selling a right of way on their land. They threw it out. Later they learned that Upstate NY Power has applied to install 77 wind turbines on Galloo Island, 12 miles off the shore of Lake Ontario. ...Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann, R-Altmar, was upset that no one involved in the project told the county. "They haven't bothered to contact us," he said.
A recent letter about the Jordanville Wind Project oversimplifies the opposition of the Holy Trinity Monastery and others to the location of the proposed wind farm. The monks are not selfishly choosing serenity over clean energy. Rather, their concerns speak to a larger issue: the impact of industrial-scale wind turbine projects on New York's historic, scenic and cultural resources. In fact, the Preservation League of New York State named the Holy Trinity Monastery to our Seven to Save list of endangered places this month in part to call attention to the need for statewide siting standards for wind energy projects.
While some North Country communities are fighting over whether to allow wind power on their land, one Jefferson County town not only wants a wind farm, it's also fighting with the state over who should be in charge of the environmental review of the project. The Hounsfield Town Planning Board wants to make sure the Galloo Island Wind Project moves ahead quickly since it will mean big money for the town. As a result, the town wants to be the lead agency for the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review Process). However, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants to be in charge of the of the process, which town officials believe will delay the project and the revenue that it will generate.
I have been a resident in the town of Arkwright for almost 10 years. In my opinion, the town board meeting was not an indication of "the community coming together." A community is not together because the town supervisor declares that to the local media to sway public opinion. A community does not come together when proposing ideas and addressing important concerns to the leaders of our town is looked at as "confrontational questions" and "obvious objections." This is not about who agrees with wind power and who disagrees with wind power. The community is divided because Horizon is a huge company, no longer an American company, that has come into a small town with landowners desperate for money, in a society that no longer supports local farming, and a town board basing decisions on financial gains and nothing more. The result: 47 gigantic wind towers up to 330 feet and a turbine size of up to 300 feet, in an area that was considered residential/agricultural a year ago and has since been switched over to industrial zoning.
The Preservation League of New York State has jumped into a wind-project controversy in Jordanville, naming the Holy Trinity Monastery to the group's annual list of New York's most-threatened historic resources: ``Seven to Save.'' The nonprofit group says tranquility at the monastery, which sits on 750 acres in southern Herkimer County, would be ruined if a proposal to site about 50 wind turbines in the area ever moves forward. ``The Holy Trinity Monastery is of extraordinary historic, religious and cultural significance, but it is currently threatened by an industrial-scale wind energy project,'' Jay DiLorenzo, the nonprofit organization's president, said Friday. Panoramic views and contemplative quiet will disappear from the surrounding countryside if wind tubines are erected as proposed by Iberdrola, DiLorenzo said.