EDITOR: Detailed review of the Heritage Wind LLC Public Information Plan (PIP) as submitted to the New York State Department of Public Service by APEX Clean Energy has proven quite interesting in a very troubling way. The PIP can be found under case number search: 16-F-0546 at http://documents.dps.ny.gov.
APEX Clean Energy has proposed Heritage Wind, a 200.1 Mega Watt Industrial Wind Project, for the Town of Barre. On Sept. 23, APEX submitted their PIP, which included a very interesting and troubling set of maps. These maps show not only the ground zero project area, but also the proposed study area. The study area is a buffer zone of 5 miles around ground zero in all directions. While the ground zero project area is within the Town of Barre, the buffer zone study area includes the following Towns and Villages:
• Towns of: Barre, Albion, Elba, Oakfield, Byron, Bergen, Basom, Alabama, Shelby, Ridgeway, Gaines, Murray and Clarendon
• Villages of: Albion, Elba, Oakfield, Medina, Holley, Fancher, Eagle Harbor, Knowesville
Additionally, this project is in close and adjacent proximity to: Town of Yates (3 years into the Lighthouse Wind Issue); Village of Lyndonville (3 years into the Lighthouse Wind Issue); Town of Waterport; Town of Kent; and Town of Kendall.
By comparison, the APEX’s Lighthouse Wind Proposal includes the following Towns and Villages, all three years into the issue, as a part of the original project and/or study area:
• Town of Somerset – original project/study area
• Village of Barker – original project/study area
• Town of Yates – original project/study area
• Village of Lyndonville – original project/study area
• Village of Olcott – study area
• Town of Newfane – study area
• Town of Hartland – study area
• Town of Ridgeway – study area
• Town of Carlton – study area
It is noted that both the Lighthouse and Heritage Wind PIP’s include language that indicates the study area potentially becoming part of the project area. Yates and Somerset have leaseholders with signed leases within the study area and beyond the ground zero project area. Additionally, the buildable areas for these two projects may very well involve land in six of Orleans County’s 10 towns.
So, in one fell swoop, APEX has succeeded in pulling almost all of Orleans County into the “wind turbine war” via submission of these two project proposals.
For those who are hearing of the Heritage Wind Industrial Wind Turbine Project for the first time, you will hear and read many positions, on wildlife, environment, human health, quality of life, property value decline and promised tax reductions as the project moves forward. These positions will come from those representing both sides of this issue. When everyone has stated their positions, you will need to ask yourself one question: “Am I willing to accept the potential risks to: wildlife, environment, my family’s health, quality of life and property values if this project is built?”
It is important to remember that turbines, once built, will not go away. They will not be torn down if you are negatively impacted by this proposed project.
This letter is not written to scare or upset. It is written to warn, inform and urge everyone in Orleans County to get educated and conversant on this project now. Much is at stake. Please heed the warning.
John Riggi, Councilman, Town of Yates
James Simon, Supervisor, Town of Yates