Cohocton, NY town supervisor letter to First Wind on turbine noise

Cohocton, NY permitted First Wind (formerly UPC Wind) to construct two wind energy facilities in the town on private land. Noise complaints started almost immediately after the turbines became operational. has been notified that the below letter was sent by Cohocton's town supervisor to First Wind.

Town of Cohocton
P.O. Box 327
15 South Main St. Cohocton, NY 14826

April 1, 2009

Paul Gaynor, C.E.O.
First Wind
85 Wells Avenue
Newton, Massachusetts 02459

Re: Cohocton and Dutch Hill Wind Projects

Dear Mr. Gaynor:

As you should be aware, noise from First Wind's installation and operation of the Clipper Windpower 2.5MW Wind Turbines in the Town of Cohocton has been and continues to be the subject of extensive scrutiny by the Town, including the Town's Code Enforcement Office and its technical consultants, and extensive complaint by the Town's residents. As the Town's Supervisor, and as a non-participating resident of the Town, I can tell you that many of the complaints received prior and subsequent to commercial operation of the projects in January 2009, were merited.

I have discussed this matter at length with the Town's Code Enforcement Officers and technical consultants, and the Town Planning Board. I have also met with various personnel of First Wind, and spoken with other members of the Town Board and Town personnel who have had conversations with the Clipper Windpower personnel who were recently in Town apparently at the direction of First Wind to investigate noise related issues. It is my understanding, based upon these conversation, that while the Cohocton and Dutch Hill wind projects may be producing noise levels of 50 decibels or less at the non-participating property lines being monitored, actual noise levels at and near non-participating residences and other property lines may be exceeding the levels which were modeled by First Wind's consultants during the Planning Board's review and consideration of the project applications.

Although the Town was willing to stand patiently beside First Wind during construction, anticipating that operation of the projects would eliminate certain noises from the Clipper 2.5MW Wind Turbines, the Town will not stand idle during operation of the projects if the projects are not in total compliance with all of the Town's local laws, the conditions of the special use permits issued to First Wind's subsidiaries, or the terms of the agreements between First Wind's subsidiaries and the Town. Accordingly, First Wind should immediately contact the Town and its consultants to explain why noise from operation the projects is exceeding the levels modeled during review of the projects, and whether, when and how First Wind and/or Clipper Windpower,anticipate remedying the situation.

The current state of affairs in Cohocton, insofar as the wind projects are concerned, is unfortunate for Cohocton, and should be unacceptable to First Wind and Clipper Windpower. Thank you.

Jack Zigenfus
Supervisor, Town of Cohocton

Cohocton Town Board
Cohocton Town Clerk
Cohocton Office of Code Enforcement
Cohocton Planning Board
Peter Gouldberg, Tech Environmental
Richard T. VenVejrtloh, LaBella Associates, P.C
Doug Hastings, LaBella Associates, P-C.
Todd M. Mathes, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP
Cathy Hill, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP
Douglas Perte, C.E.O, Clipper Windpower
Patrick Caramante., First Wind

APR 1 2009
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