Library filed under Impact on People from New York
From New York to the mountains of rural Tennessee, wind farms continue to spark controversy and debate.
Wind energy is expensive and those expenses are borne by the very residents that pay taxes that support the lavish incentives given by governments who want to ignore the facts. It destroys rural lands as mega-ton machinery compacts soils and ruins roads. It disrupts the community physically and also creates friction among people who used to live peacefully. Noise, infrasound, shadow-flicker, air pressure fluctuations, and a host of other issues are all too real.
More than 100 residents close to the proposed project signed a petition calling for increased setbacks. The project locates turbines about 1,000 feet from any occupied building and 225 feet from the property lines of non-participating landowners.
Kevin Sigourney, who is suffering the impact of EDPR's Jericho Rise wind facility sited in Chateaugay, NY, addressed the Hopkinton (NY) Wind Advisory Committee (WAC). Four turbines are directly behind Mr. Sigourney's home. Two are 1/3 of a mile away. The other two are 1/2 a mile a way. Mr. Sigourney explains how he is at the point where the noise makes living in his home unbearable.
Citizens opposed to a proposed wind farm in the towns of Hopkinton and Parishville have turned to the St. Lawrence County Legislature for help in blocking the controversial project.
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. ...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.
As part of the New York State Article 10 process for reviewing wind energy proposals, the Department of Health has submitted these scoping comments to the developer of the proposed Eight Point wind energy facility. Project developer NextEra plans to erect 32 wind turbines totaling 103.4 megawatts on land leased in the towns of Greenwood, West Union and Troupsburg and West Union in Steuben County, New York. The Department of Health has raised important questions regarding the cumulative impact of the project on health and safety given there are existing wind projects in the same general area. The cover letter addressed to NextEra is provided below. The full letter with comments can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Public Service Commission recently mandated that 50 percent of the state's power be generated by renewable sources by the year 2030. This goal requires up to 370 industrial wind energy facilities to be built.
"They say their windmills will be 500 feet high, but they may be more like 600 feet or more. That's five times higher than St. Mary's steeple," Grindstone Islander Chuck Ebbing stated. "I told our grandchildren that if we are not careful all they will see when they look at Clayton is a field of blinking lights," he told the board and audience at Dodge Hall, where the meeting was held.
As you well know, there are at least two sides to every story. When it comes to large installations of wind turbines, there are many. Many stories from Clinton, Lewis, Herkimer and Wyoming counties in New York. From Ontario, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Britain, France and places between and far beyond.
"Wind turbines sound like these innocuous ...They've left a trail of destruction, heartache, (and they) ruin towns, and I see why. If they really cared about the residents, they wouldn't sneak in and have you sign a confidentiality contract so that you can't tell your neighbor they're about to ruin your property, cause you so much stress from the noise, the strobe, the shadow flickering ... and the health effects. All around the world, there's a mass movement to stop it, and I think you've been duped," said Riggle.
It’s time for Apex to acknowledge its mistake: It chose an area that is too populated, an area rich in wildlife, natural scenic beauty and tourism; a place too close to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station; and a place in the middle of one of the largest migratory bird flyways in North America. It is time they listened to five different surveys, two town elections and the resolutions passed by three counties and two town boards. ...It is time to leave.
"Thanks for the assistance." Yes, that's the message Taylor Quarles, Apex Clean Energy's project manager, sent to the Millwright's Local 1163 the day after Somerset had its public hearing on its new wind law. Quarles was thanking the union for sending 40 to 50 union men to occupy seats, so many seats that Somerset Town Supervisor Dan Engert had to ask everyone in attendance at our small town hall to get back into their cars and drive over to the Barker school cafeteria, to reconvene the meeting, so that everyone could have a seat. These guys marched into our meeting with new hats from Apex -- embroidered with orange wind turbines -- and "Fear Not the Wind" stickers on their jackets. Quarles' letter of thanks of Feb. 2, the day after the hearing, to Brian Scruton, Millwrights Council Rep, stated that he was "personally grateful" for "our strongest showing ever for a public event." Quarles added "those who are opposed to progress in this area" (that's apparently anyone who opposes Apex's 620-foot industrial wind turbines here) "will stop at nothing in their attempt to keep renewable energy projects from coming to upstate New York. You heard the mis-information and the attacks on working people and the farmers of our area. Your ongoing support will be important as we move forward." Wait. People who oppose this project will "stop at nothing?" Now there's an accusation. We are not The Mob. We're just residents who don't want our raptors chopped, our lands blighted, and our residents' health possibly affected by hulking towers amid our homes. Yes, our voices are strong, but hey, when you work hard for what you have, and suddenly some Virginia company comes around and tells you what's going to go down in your neighborhood, you will speak out strongly. Quarles' letter also implies that if Somerset residents don't want wind turbines here that we are attacking "working people and farmers." We also work. We also appreciate the hard work of those who farm in Somerset. Now the Town of Yates has scheduled its own public hearing April 21 on its own newly revised wind law. Two surveys in that town revealed that Yates residents are also strongly opposed to Apex. The letter mentions"continued ongoing support". Is this a hint that Yates will see these and more union guys at this next hearing? Anyway, the Yates Town Supervisor is prepared, since he has scheduled the public hearing at the Lyndonville school auditorium. This way there will be enough seats, both for residents of Somerset and Yates, and for any out-of-town Apex "guests". Apex is trying hard to create the illusion of public opinion beginning to turn in their favor. There is good news in all of this: On March 28, former NYS Attorney General Dennis Vacco, presently the attorney for the Town of Somerset, has requested Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to begin a formal investigation of Apex Clean Energy for their deceptive business practices. There are more Apex hijinx. Anyone who wants interesting reading can view more of the accusations as well as the Exhibits -- like Quarles' letter -- on the NYS Public Service Commission's website, Case 14-F-0485. It remains to be seen whether Apex will clean up its act and follow NY State's Code of Ethics for wind companies, or continue business as usual, just skipping the telltale thank you notes. -- Christine Bronson is a Barker resident
I am tired of hearing from leaseholders that they should be able to do what they want with their land. I can’t put a small one story shed within 15 ft. of the property line with my neighbor but they should be able to put a 600 ft. industrial structure across the road from me? What is right or fair about that? These turbines will be lit, noisy, and create shadow flicker and infrasound; even Apex acknowledges some of the negative consequences, although they try to minimize them by calling them “annoyances”.
However, residents of Enfield, where the wind farm is planned, objected, saying they have health and safety concerns that have not been addressed. Mimi Mehaffey, of Bostwick Road, said she lives in an earth-berm passive solar house. “Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what more I could be doing to avert the doom of climate change,” she said. “[But] the health and safety issues with the wind farm are real. Slow down this process, and site the turbines correctly. Please allow the Enfield Town Board to work without interference.”
The original language resolved, "That the Tompkins County Legislature supports the development of the Black Oak Wind Farm Project without further delay." The "without further delay" was changed to "in a timely manner," to reaffirm that project was Enfield's decision and that the legislature was not trying to push the project forward without allowing the town time to do its due diligence.
Over 180 residents of Enfield have signed a petition asking the town to amend its laws regarding wind turbine noise levels, and to delay the project until these issues are addressed. “The residents who live where this project is being built are asking the Town of Enfield to pause long enough to review the law that was passed seven years ago.
If health impacts are reported by individuals after a project is in place, the burden shouldn’t be on a resident to prove that the project is the cause but rather, it should be the other way around. A developer should be required to conduct a health study and prove to the community in advance that there are no health impacts.
After hearing from Apex Clean Energy staff and consultants about why their project is completely safe, the Niagara County Board of Health voted Thursday to ask Albany for a full environmental review of the giant wind power plan. Apex, of Charlottesville, Va., wants to erect up to 70 wind turbines in Somerset and the neighboring Orleans County Town of Yates, under the corporate name of Lighthouse Wind LLC.
Opponents of the proposed wind power project in Somerset and Yates had their say, and then some, last week before the Niagara County Board of Health. ...the Town of Somerset, which is officially opposed to the project proposed by Apex under the name Lighthouse Wind LLC held a rally in Golden Hill State Park on Friday