Library filed under Impact on Landscape from New York
From an environmental standpoint, wind power creates a huge paradox. It does provide “clean fuel” benefits, but wind turbines also exact a heavy toll on the surrounding area. I recently traveled through the Carbondale section of Pennsylvania. Wind turbines have been allowed to flourish there. They are not simply part of the landscape. They are the landscape. Pure and simple, the wind turbines clearly, eerily dominate everything in that area.
Will sinkholes ultimately sink the proposed Jordanville wind project? Opponents of the project are hoping so. Members of the Advocates for Stark group are claiming the karst topography of the region could suffer serious environmental impacts from construction of the project’s 75 wind turbines, putting the water supply at risk. Karst topography is defined as an area of bedrock - usually limestone or dolomite - which is capable of being dissolved by surface water or ground water. Typical karst features include sinkholes, ravines and underground streams.
This aerial image was taken on July 30, 2006 and shows a portion of the land area following construction of Phase 1 of the Maple Ridge wind energy facility (near Lowville, NY). We are informed that several wind turbines have been erected within the area covered by the image after the photo was taken. Viewers can use the scale to estimate the approximate width cleared for a turbine base. Source: USDA's National Agricultural Imagery Program
Mr. Mackay is the Policy Director of the Preservation League of New York in Albany whose objective it is to protect the diverse and rich heritage of historic buildings and landscapes. He will speak on Tuesday, July 18, 2006, at 7:00 P.M. at the Homestead Event Center (the former Roxy Music Store), Batavia City Center, Main Street, Batavia, NY.
But I was sitting at my kitchen table in North Buffalo, far from the wind farms of the Southern Tier, and such distance makes for simple, black-and-white comprehension. There are places in Western New York where wind energy isn’t so clear a choice. Places with names like Perry, Sheldon and Arkwright, rural towns perched atop the high glacial ridges to the east and south of the city, whose landscapes might soon be dominated by hundreds of towering, 400-foot windmills. As wind companies eye their windswept fields and make overtures to local town boards, divisions run deeper and deeper between citizens who disagree on the merits of wind farm development in their backyards. In such locales, the gray areas of wind development come into sharp focus.
Eric and Kyle Hosmer of Howard address the Howard Town Board meeting Wednesday night and asked that a letter they read to the board be placed in the official minutes. The request was denied for the time being. As a courtesy, we are printing portions of that letter here.Editor's Note: The complete letter follows.
For those who live among the towers, the consequences of the development are palpable. The construction required building new roads and widening existing ones to make room for oversize vehicles. Hundreds of workers moved into town or stayed in trailers on the job site during the summer rush. The rural landscape was transformed into an industrial setting. Where stands of poplars and fields of corn and hay covered the plateau, the smooth lines of the light gray towers and steady rotation of the rotors now define the view. And the noises changed. The unobstructed wind has always been the dominant sound on the plateau. Now, the whoosh of the wind is mixed with the hum of the machines and a mechanical whomp of the blades turning.
This Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS) has been prepared for the Ecogen, LLC (Ecogen) Prattsburgh/Italy Wind Farm Project (Project) on the behalf of the Lead Agency, the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (SCIDA). The FGEIS is prepared pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR), Environmental Conservation Law, Article 8, 6NYCRR Part 617, and its implementing regulations.
People remember Tug Hill as gorgeous and wild. No more.
The decision to drastically alter our landscape will affect our quality of life, our wallets, and our grandchildren.
Wind turbines to produce electricity on a large scale – “wind farms” – are currently being proposed for parts of Tug Hill. Large-scale wind farms are a relatively new occurrence in the Northeast, and since they are new there are many questions that do not have clear answers.