Articles filed under Impact on People from New York
The fight over Alle-Catt shows how extreme New York’s energy politics have become under Cuomo. Over the past few years, the state’s regulators have outlawed hydraulic fracturing (and therefore, essentially all drilling for oil and natural gas) and have repeatedly blocked pipelines aimed at bringing more natural gas to the state. Cuomo’s appointees are now in “police-state mode” and is stripping small towns of their zoning authority because they stand in the way of adding more wind-energy capacity. Freedom and other low-income towns in rural New York are fighting to be free of Big Wind. Under Cuomo, those towns had better be prepared for a long fight.
ALBANY — The decision Wednesday by the New York State Siting Board to allow Invenergy to proceed with its proposed Alle-Catt Wind Farm in northern Cattaraugus and Allegany counties was met with dismay by opponents.
Members of the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, Inc., a group opposed to Ørsted and Eversource Energy’s South Fork Wind Farm project, have been pressuring the owners who want to bring an energy cable onshore at Beach Lane.
Construction workers reportedly from Indiana, Pennsylvania and Idaho have been working on the wind towers, even as non-essential work has stopped throughout the state.
As Guilderland works to amplify and strengthen its solar laws, Kovalchik recommends that the town also begin to work on creating a wind ordinance. He wants the town to join forces with other surrounding municipalities — New Scotland and the Hilltowns — to strengthen their voice, as the state gears up to take over the work of approving large-scale renewable-energy projects.
Across swaths of western New York, anti-solar sentiment has fomented in heated town hall meetings and has surfaced on lawn signs and in Change.org petitions. The movement has had some effect: At least a dozen towns in New York State have placed moratoriums on new solar projects, and several others are weighing temporary bans. Local officials have said that they need time to study the potential impact of the solar farms.
The conflict stems from the vacant-land myth: the notion that there’s plenty of unused land out there in flyover country that’s ready and waiting to be covered with wind turbines, solar panels, power lines and other infrastructure. The truth is that growing numbers of rural and suburban landowners are resisting these types of projects. They don’t want to endure the noise and shadow flicker produced by 500- or 600-foot-high wind turbines. Nor do they want miles of transmission lines built through their towns, so they are fighting to protect their property values and views.
“Lake Erie is simply too small to sustain any industrial offshore wind project,” said Rich Davenport of Tonawanda, who is active with several sportsmen’s groups, such as the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and the Western New York Environmental Federation. “The towers will displace water currents for quite a radius around each turbine, impacting nearby spawning shoals (even if sited away from spawning areas, you cannot avoid the current change), coupled with the massive amounts of infrasound, or low frequency noise, each turbine will generate while operating.”
But the push for more renewable energy has encountered considerable headwinds from opponents who claim upstate’s scenic beauty is being sacrificed for downstate energy needs. Aesthetics is just one of a several issues opponents have raised to fight what they deem as blights on the landscape.
In the letter, health officials will recommend that all cities, towns and villages within the county pass a proper wind law that restricts industrial wind towers, or IWTs, from being constructed within a mile and a half of any residence and generate 35 or fewer decibels in sound frequency.
Erie County Legislator John Mills explained he and his colleagues in the Legislature formulated a resolution to prevent putting wind turbines in Lake Erie. He noted there needs to be a permanent moratorium on these structures in the lake so the environment cannot be disturbed any more than it already has been. “We’ve got to get on the bandwagon with this and stay on the bandwagon because this reared its ugly head 10 years ago, and now it’s back again,” he added. “Do not disturb our freshwater, period. It’s really simple.”
"Wind has obviously been a focal point of the New York State climate strategy, and we've seen more projects being proposed across Western New York," said Ortt. "Advocacy groups have raised concerns about the public health impact of turbines, and we would like to get an understanding of what those are. I'm sure there are people here in the audience who would be directly impacted by these projects because they may live next door or live in close proximity to these turbines."
Wind farm urged to follow noise limits. Invenergy’s Number Three Wind Farm will have to consider the cumulative effect of noise made by neighboring wind farms, Maple Ridge and Copenhagen, pictured, when calculating its own noise impact.
Gary Abraham, the lawyer representing the Citizens Coalition and advocating for the concerns of the Swartzentruber Amish in the Farmersville area, also filed an extensive issues statement on a myriad of issues of concern to the coalition, including noise, wetland, seismic risk and other impacts. Abraham said, “These are not the Bliss and Eagle turbines. People who point to those and say, ‘hey, they are not that bad’, have no idea what they are talking about. These are up to 200 feet higher, 600 feet in total height. The town board votes in Freedom and Farmerville to put these 700 feet from residents’ property lines should be criminal.”
Of the combined 14 speakers in the two sessions, only one, Pinckney Supervisor Sherry Harmych, spoke in favor of the project. The others were all members of the Tug Hill Alliance for Rural Preservation, referred to as THARP. Half of those who spoke are part-time, seasonal or full-time residents in the project area. “It’s important they feel their voices can be considered when a decision is raised,” said Rebecca Sheldon, co-founder of THARP.
Citing factors like the noise, the light flicker, the confidentiality of the project, the experimental nature of the larger turbines, and even environmental and financial effects. Karl Katen, who petitioned locals, described why they were at the meeting "To prove this point that people in this area does not want these wind turbines.
On March 15, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, the law firm representing Specialties Company, LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana, filed mechanic’s liens against real properties in Arkwright under lease agreements with wind company EDP Renewables. According to lien documents, Akrwight Summit Wind Farm, with consent from the property owners, engaged the services of subcontractor White Construction, Inc., also of Indiana. ...Although the work has been completed, the mechanic’s lien says that White Construction has not been paid in full. “The total agreed price ...was $6,109,037.28 of which $3,548,568.30 remains unpaid."
Public concern and involvement did stop an ill cited major Industrial Wind Turbine project. The Galloo Project has fluctuated through several variations over the last 12 years. The withdrawal has come unfortunately, with the caveat that Apex is “open to initiating the project (again) when the time is right.” When does no really mean no! When does the bullying and harassment of a small rural community by huge billion-dollar companies stop!
The ongoing push by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his pals in the wind industry to cover rural New York State with industrial wind factories is a needless attack on our natural environment, and the health, safety and welfare of citizens and targeted communities.
Moreno-Caballero calls for even more stringent noise limits at night: “An outdoor limit of 45 dBA during the nighttime may not be sufficiently protective if residents have open windows, a condition that may occur during the summer and as a result outdoor limits should be between 40 dBA to 42 dBA Leq-8-hour.” No recommendation was made for average night noise exposure of wind turbines in the WHO-2018 guidelines as currently “quality of evidence … is too low to allow a recommendation.”