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Wind turbines meet resistance at County hearing

NYSPA President Richard M. Kessel ran into a buzz saw of controversy as communities along the western shores of Lake Ontario overwhelmingly rejected the plans. ...Over 55 speakers had signed up prior to the public hearing, wishing to have their opinions heard. With a three minute time limit per speaker, the 7 p.m. meeting moved quickly as the majority voiced various concerns in speaking out against the offshore wind turbine plans.

The Wayne County Court House was packed on Wednesday night for the public hearing for resident comments on the proposed New York Power Authority (NYSPA) plan to build a series of wind turbines. The offshore wind farm would be the first such freshwater installation.

On December 1, 2009 NYSPA released a request for proposals for the development of offshore wind power projects in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The size and exact location for these projects is yet to be determined. A map released by NYSPA depicts portions of the Lake Ontario shoreline in Wayne County as potential locations for offshore wind farms.

NYSPA describes the project as "a utility-scale offshore wind farm between 120 mw and 500 mw total capacity." The private development plans were suggested by NYSPA as an attempt to tap into a clean energy source and wean the American consumer off of foreign energy sources.

Some eastern New York State counties such as Niagara and Erie voiced support for the project. Job creation and clean energy were touted as solid reasoning behind the suggestions. After all, European countries have utilized offshore wind turbines as a vital source of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Wayne County Court House was packed on Wednesday night for the public hearing for resident comments on the proposed New York Power Authority (NYSPA) plan to build a series of wind turbines. The offshore wind farm would be the first such freshwater installation.

On December 1, 2009 NYSPA released a request for proposals for the development of offshore wind power projects in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The size and exact location for these projects is yet to be determined. A map released by NYSPA depicts portions of the Lake Ontario shoreline in Wayne County as potential locations for offshore wind farms.

NYSPA describes the project as "a utility-scale offshore wind farm between 120 mw and 500 mw total capacity." The private development plans were suggested by NYSPA as an attempt to tap into a clean energy source and wean the American consumer off of foreign energy sources.

Some eastern New York State counties such as Niagara and Erie voiced support for the project. Job creation and clean energy were touted as solid reasoning behind the suggestions. After all, European countries have utilized offshore wind turbines as a vital source of power for years. The flat, unobstructed, high wind capturing turbines seemed like a simple answer for future energy needs.

NYSPA President Richard M. Kessel ran into a buzz saw of controversy as communities along the western shores of Lake Ontario overwhelmingly rejected the plans. Kessel indicated refusal to allow these off shore behemoths would turn away thousands of manufacturing and service jobs for the Upstate area.

Prior to Wednesday night's meeting, both Oswego and Jefferson Counties to the east of Wayne County had already rejected the NYPA proposals. Kessel informed the Counties at a regional presentation of the project that the NYSPA would not build where there was opposition. Kessel said there were enough communities who wanted the project.

Sodus Supervisor Steve LeRoy had presented a resolution opposing the project, but it was tabled at the March 16th Board of Supervisors meeting in favor of obtaining input from the public prior to Board action. It was a forgone conclusion that the Board would probably reject the NYSPA proposal in the weeks leading up to the public hearing. LeRoy, as well as a host of other Board members, had received phone calls, letters and e-mails, the vast majority of which, opposed the plans.

Over 55 speakers had signed up prior to the public hearing, wishing to have their opinions heard. With a three minute time limit per speaker, the 7 p.m. meeting moved quickly as the majority voiced various concerns in speaking out against the offshore wind turbine plans.

Tom Agnello, President of the Blind Sodus Bay Association said his group opposed the plans on several fronts. A lack of solid information and disruption of sediments was highlighted.

Ken Redman said that getting permits for such an undertaking would be unbelievable, citing his six month battle just to get a retaining wall repaired. Al Isselhard from Wolcott cited the wind turbines as a hinderance to tourism.

"I see nothing but harm for what this project would bring. It would be nothing but a squatter on our Lake," said Mary Isselhard. She suggested a tar & feather party for Kesel on his proposals. The lack of any financial gain to Wayne County, the cost versus return, environmental issues all came out with the parade of speakers.

Frank H. Moses, Montezuma Audubon Center Director feared a disruption of bird migration and said if the plan was to come to fruition, a long term study of the wildlife impact would be necessary. Bill Ross from Williamson noted that its seems "green jobs" cannot exist without taxpayer money.

Not all residents were in opposition to the offshore wind turbines. John Watson of Wolcott said he favored wind generated power 100%. "I would like to see America become energy independent." Jim Wood from Sodus said that it was important to remember that the world is facing a crisis created by greenhouse gasses and it is our responsibility to create power where we can. He recommended that people keep an open mind to using wind power in the future.

Mark and Kass Vande from Sodus Point suggested that if Wayne County does not accept the project, somebody else would benefit from it. "We need energy independence," said Kass.

Following the public hearing, LeRoy again voiced his opposition. Butler Supervisor Dave Spickerman agreed with several speakers at Wednesday's public hearing that there simply was not enough information to reject all plans at this time. It was noted that although they were invited to speak before the Board and at Wednesday night's meeting, NYSPA representatives had declined to do so. Any Board opposition quickly evaporated as soon as Ontario Supervisor Bob Kelsch said the deadline for the NYSPA proposals was June 1, 2010. The Board then voted unanimously to reject any and all proposals for the NYSPA suggested proposals


Source: http://www.thetimesofwaynec...

APR 4 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25498-wind-turbines-meet-resistance-at-county-hearing
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