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Henderson suing over Galloo OK

The town of Henderson is asking a judge to annul the town of Hounsfield Planning Board's site plan approval for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. The Henderson Town Council filed a state Supreme Court Article 78 proceeding Friday at the Jefferson County clerk's office against Hounsfield, the project's developer, Upstate NY Power Corp., Seneca, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

HOUNSFIELD TARGETED: Council says site approval lacks environmental, public notice requirements

The town of Henderson is asking a judge to annul the town of Hounsfield Planning Board's site plan approval for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm.

The Henderson Town Council filed a state Supreme Court Article 78 proceeding Friday at the Jefferson County clerk's office against Hounsfield, the project's developer, Upstate NY Power Corp., Seneca, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Henderson claims, among other things, that DEC, as lead agency on the project under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, failed to take the requisite "hard look" at numerous environmental concerns covered by the act and that the agency has yet to release its findings on the matter.

The town also maintains that the Hounsfield Planning Board, among many other things, did not fulfill several public notice requirements before approving the site plan Jan. 6 and that Upstate's application was incomplete.

According to court documents, Henderson believes it has standing to bring the Article 78 proceeding because it "will be impacted by the wind project in a manner different than the public... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

HOUNSFIELD TARGETED: Council says site approval lacks environmental, public notice requirements

The town of Henderson is asking a judge to annul the town of Hounsfield Planning Board's site plan approval for the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm.

The Henderson Town Council filed a state Supreme Court Article 78 proceeding Friday at the Jefferson County clerk's office against Hounsfield, the project's developer, Upstate NY Power Corp., Seneca, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Henderson claims, among other things, that DEC, as lead agency on the project under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, failed to take the requisite "hard look" at numerous environmental concerns covered by the act and that the agency has yet to release its findings on the matter.

The town also maintains that the Hounsfield Planning Board, among many other things, did not fulfill several public notice requirements before approving the site plan Jan. 6 and that Upstate's application was incomplete.

According to court documents, Henderson believes it has standing to bring the Article 78 proceeding because it "will be impacted by the wind project in a manner different than the public at large."

The town contends that the project will affect residents' use and enjoyment of their property by exposing them to, among other things, significant visual impacts, noise impacts, contamination of their real property, decreased property values and other aesthetic impacts. Overhead transmission lines have been proposed within the town, although an alternative route for the lines was presented this week.

Galloo Island lies in Lake Ontario about 6 miles from Robert G. Wehle State Park in the town of Henderson and about 8 miles from Sackets Harbor in the town of Hounsfield. Henderson maintains that the wind farm will create "a blocked viewshed of the lake," with the view being a prime reason why people buy property along the lake or vacation at the state park.

DEC determined in April 2008 that it would be lead agency under SEQRA, and in May 2008 issued a positive declaration, requiring the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. It also issued a draft public scoping document, which was finalized in September 2008.

The agency accepted the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Feb. 27 and issued a notice of completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement on Dec. 23. Hounsfield's Planning Board gave the project conditional site plan approval Jan. 6, at which time DEC said it would release its findings and related permits Jan. 22. Henderson contends that as of Friday, the findings have not been released and that they should have been released before the Planning Board took site plan action.

"The SEQRA process has not been concluded until the lead agency has provided its written findings," Henderson contends in its court documents.

Henderson lists 28 reasons it believes DEC did not adequately consider environmental concerns related to land use, wetlands, avian and aquatic species and visual, archaeological and historic resources.

The town also maintains that the Planning Board failed to meet several public notice requirements leading up to the site plan approval and that the board did not file its written decision at the town clerk's office. Henderson also complains that a Freedom of Information Law request filed with the town in October seeking, among other things, all records held by the town relating to the project, went unanswered.

Henderson is asking a judge to declare that DEC failed to comply with SEQRA requirements and to vacate the Planning Board's site plan approval.

The proposed wind farm cleared a huge hurdle Tuesday when county legislators approved a $54 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency approved the agreement, which will provide payments to the county, town of Hounsfield and Sackets Harbor Central School District, on Thursday.

Legislators also passed a resolution promoting a transmission line route through Hounsfield to a substation on outer Coffeen Street in the town of Watertown.


Source: http://www.watertowndailyti...

FEB 6 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24506-henderson-suing-over-galloo-ok
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