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Wind energy is not a local issue. Small towns and schools don't have the high-priced lawyers and experts to evaluate a project or fight on their behalf when payment in lieu of taxes agreements are inked. Nor do they have jurisdiction on projects that might be just over the town or district line. Before New York began its push for renewable energy, it should have funded objective research into the proper siting of wind towers. Surely somewhere between 1,000 feet and 1 1/2 miles is a setback that most people and wind energy companies can live with. ...State lawmakers manage to issue a press release on every headline of the day, from sex offender registries to a proposal for a gas-tax holiday. They are strangely silent on the gradual, haphazard implementation of wind utilities across the state. The time of leadership has come and nearly gone.
Who decided they could put this industrial wind project in a residential/agricultural area? We are taxed under a residential rate, but live in an agricultural area.
How can the wind company propose measuring distances for safety from noise from the corner of our residence instead of the property line? Nowhere else in any zoning laws does this exception apply.
Who gave them that right to use our backyard as their buffer zone? ...The cost of ``free'' wind doesn't figure into it the astronomical cost to upgrade the transmission lines. The utilities passed that cost on to us!
We ask that the board study the issues objectively and find their own answers through independent research. There are better choices instead of spending upwards of $200 million for this project. The money could be better spent on education.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation made the right decision in naming itself the lead agency on the Galloo Island Wind Project.
Upstate NY Power Corp.'s plan to build 77 turbines on the mainly undeveloped island will have a major environmental impact on the immediate area. But the wind towers, transmission line and infrastructure will affect the region as well. ...This sets an important precedent for other wind power projects being considered in the region and state. The DEC is most qualified to conduct such reviews. It has the expertise and financial resources to take an independent look at the local, regional and statewide implications of such ventures.
It is a question of nature versus need, and livelihood versus landscape. The Scottish Government's rejection this week of plans for Europe's largest wind farm on Barvas Moor, on Lewis, has shown there are many shades of green.
Only a few years ago, the merits of the Lewis Wind Power (LWP) scheme were trumpeted high and wide. ...Since then, however, environmentalism has come in for increasing questioning and paradoxes have been revealed. The rejection of LWP - to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area - may be a taste of things to come. ..."Given the 'green on green' nature of the debate, opinion will doubtless remain divided over whether such a development would be a good, bad or indifferent development in Scotland."
Gov. O'Malley's decision to not allow wind turbines to be constructed on state forest lands was certainly good news for Garrett County. However, the fact that destruction of the last remaining bits of wilderness in Maryland was even seriously considered is a sad testament to how crazy the whole debate over wind energy in Western Maryland has become.
And let there be no doubt that wind developers will now be redoubling their efforts to construct ever-larger wind turbines on private lands wherever they can find landowners gullible enough to sign away their property forever and severely devalue their neighbors' property, for a few thousand dollars of annual rental income.
Since there are no regulations restricting the placement of turbines on private lands in Garrett County, and since the legislature in 2007 stripped away all Public Service Commission oversight, any wind developer, no matter how undercapitalized, incompetent, shady, or unscrupulous, may erect hundreds of turbines anywhere it chooses, at will.
This will become the fate of Garrett County if nothing is done locally to stop them. Fortunately, something can be done, if our public officials will only exercise the courage and good judgment their responsibilities of office dictate.
While we're sure the PDC has spear-headed many worthwhile ideas for Perry over the years, the immediate gratification mentality being displayed by the PDC in their pursuit of the quick buck in the case of wind is astoundingly short-sighted. The wind industry themselves says the life of a project may be 20 years. What then? ...A Bliss man recently told us that promises of reduced taxes for the area are also blown way out of proportion, as he's saving a whopping $54 a year compared to last year. ...What's really at stake here - that you simply can not put a price tag on - is peoples' quality of life! Sorry fellas, but our quality of life is NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE! As environmentalist Jon Boone said, "Perhaps people would be willing to sacrifice their quality of life on the altar of 'green' energy if it actually worked as they claim."
Members of Chatham-Kent council who have expressed some hesitation about the proliferation of wind turbines within the municipality are right to be worried.
According to the municipality's planning consultant, Chatham-Kent could receive proposals to build as many as "650 to 700 additional turbines," although just 200 to 250 turbines in Chatham-Kent AND nearby Essex County can be supported right now by the electricity grid.
Yet a land rush mentality appears to be sweeping through those companies ...But wind energy won't solve all of our energy challenges. Interest in their development was only launched by the McGuinty government four years ago, after the Liberals had won the election and had promised to close Ontario's coal-fired plants by 2007. It was a decision made entirely because of political idealism.
It was a rash promise, but part of the public's imagination was piqued by the idea of harnessing the wind.
Gov. Martin O'Malley is to announce his administration's long-awaited decision on Saturday in western Maryland about whether to allow wind farms in state forests.
State officials won't say what the decision is in this long-running debate, which has divided environmentalists and drawn overflow crowds to public meetings in western Maryland and in Annapolis. ...Some think he may announce a "split decision," saying that wind turbines may be permitted on state lands but only if they pass strict environmental review. The head of the Maryland Energy Administration, Malcolm Woolf, will be with O'Malley for the announcement, according to an invitation e-mailed to one person by Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin. That makes some think O'Malley's likely to give a nudge of some sort to wind power ...But others take heart from O'Malley's choice of locations for his announcement ...
As someone who fought against the erection of three 95 metre high turbines at Loscar Farm, I must say that I am at a loss with the decision of the Rotherham Planning Committee to sanction the go-ahead. ...At the final planning meeting, one councillor declared that they knew all about global warming because they lived at Catcliffe and had suffered as a result of recent floods! Does that qualify them as an expert on the subject?
Belief that the turbines will halt global warming is naive. They are built for the purpose of obtaining Government subsidies paid to developers.
To zone four more plots of land for this use without first seeing a wind turbine in production in Chatham-Kent is a gross error, in my humble opinion.
An area close to Wheatley has already been zoned for wind energy.
Based on my technical background, I think it is of vital importance to first see this up and running over a period of time before we move forward with these new proposals. ...Only by pressing pause on the present proposal can you find out what is best for your customers - the citizens of Chatham-Kent.
Should the turbines be 500 meters or 750 meters from the nearest house based on their noise levels?
Should they be one kilometre from shorelines like Essex County is discussing?
The general public and public agencies have apparently missed an important story regarding Travis AFB that has occurred over the last year. In an extraordinary show of concern, base officials have issued four letters objecting to the continued addition of wind turbines to the Montezuma Hills wind resource area.
Air Force officials almost never make public statements about local land use issues, so these letters are highly unusual and show urgent concern.
However, these concerns have fallen on deaf ears with Solano County leadership. ...Simply put, the wind company went over the head of the local commander and went to higher levels to secure a deal. In return for $1 million to study how to mitigate the problem, and stating that 75 new turbines would not increase the damage that the 750 existing turbines have already done, higher HQ then directed Travis to withdraw objections.
As you now know from my last report, it appears likely that a final decision on Hamlin’s much debated wind turbine regulation law will come later this month. For nearly two years this clash of neighbors, farmers, and town leaders, has swirled about this Lake Ontario community. ...While it’s not addressed much in public, I’ve been told by some that an overly restrictive wind turbine law could open up the board to a lawsuit from farmers and landowners who feel their right to do what they want with their own land is being prohibited.
At the same time, a large number of concerned neighbors could consider legal action if they feel this local law doesn’t take into account their concerns about property values and quality of life.
I respectfully disagree with Councilor George's conclusions regarding the Emerson Avenue wind turbine project and the Gloucester Zoning Ordinance criteria. First, Section 5.22.3(c) clearly states that the location must minimize "adverse visual" impacts. The City Council certainly had visual impacts in mind, or they would not have approved including the word "visual."
Additionally, the applicant has not met all the criteria, because they are unable to meet the setback requirements. They are seeking an exception to the current law. If they truly met all the criteria, a waiver would not be necessary.
In his March 27 letter to this paper, Paul Mason chastises Cape Vincent anti-wind residents and taxpayers as rumor-mongers and blames them for the divide in the community. He essentially says we are uninformed. That is a generalized argument all its own. But he is correct on one score.
There is one thing, I must admit, we do not know for sure and I can't get an answer to at the St. Lawrence Wind Farm office. Perhaps he'd like to help us all out and give us the answer. Of all the members of the Planning Board, and/or any other board for that matter, how many members stand to profit from the wind farm? How much? Their families? How about state Sen. Darrel Aubertine?
I read the letter from by Paul C. Mason, Cape Vincent, "Uninformed Cape wind foes spread rumors." I may not have visited the office of the St. Lawrence Wind Farm, but I have attended their informational meetings and presentation of their Draft Environmental Impact Statement to the Cape Vincent Planning Board (which was incomplete) as well as the meetings held by BP and the presentation of their DEIS, which was also incomplete. ...When townspeople started to question how many, how big and where they were going to be placed, that is when everything got ugly. So now we are a town divided. Whose fault is that? Maybe it was the way it was done when they sneak behind closed doors. Maybe because it is a subject that divides families and friends. You cannot blame anyone who asks questions of these companies, after all the people who signed away the rights to their land for 20 to 30 years have lost their rights to question anything or anyone. So that leaves me. I still have all of my rights, and I intend to use them.
As for a suggested inconsistency by our locally elected permitting authority, Mr. Killian might care to read the public record on the Vantage Wind Project and see that any resident who may have had a concern about setbacks was satisfied with the project as designed. Our commissioners have been very consistent throughout the last six years of wind project permitting process. If concerns and/or objections were raised by the public, mitigations were explored - publicly. To date, the commissioners' only "hard" setback requirement was what is considered the "safety setback" that is determined by the turbine manufacturer. In the Kittitas Valley Wind Power project and the Desert Claim Wind Power Project, the overwhelming response by residents that would be affected was that they wanted greater setbacks due to impacts documented in the record. And in fact, most residents wanted 1 mile setbacks like most of Europe specifies; but the commissioners only suggested 2,500 feet. And even then, the commissioners stated that exceptions would be entertained.
The recent Planning Board vote against recommending a citizens petition (Article 29) permitting the erection of wind turbines in Harvard was a correct decision. It was clear that the board was not against wind turbines, but that any bylaw be developed with consideration to existing bylaws, abutters rights, impact on the town and strike a balance between a property owner's rights and all other parties. The Planning Board is in the best position to accomplish this after thorough research, input from the entire community and consistency with our current bylaws.
I'd like to recommend some light reading for long winter nights to residents of Randolph and Barbour counties, especially those folks along Harrison Avenue on the west side of Elkins. Download the AES Laurel Mountain Wind Project application from the Public Service Commission and pick a chapter. You might have to wait for this 1,381-page document. And the PSC has made it nearly impossible to download its three 10.4, 67.3 and 110MB-sized volumes on a dial-up connection, which the majority of effected residents have. The chapter I read last evening deals with shadow flicker ...I recommend that private landowners along the eight-mile route of the proposed project go the PSC Web site and do a little reading. They also might want to let the PSC know their feelings.
Tonight I'm going to tackle the chapter on bats.
We are not quibbling about the right of a person "to make a little money on his ridge top if he chooses to." We have serious concerns that the installation of 450-foot wind turbines along the scenic ridges of Garrett County will disrupt our economy and ecology in an irreversible manner.
We need for our commissioners to take a stand and protect our county from the wind industry.