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Wind projects: State needs to assume more oversight

State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo is investigating allegations that wind power companies improperly influenced local officials in Franklin County to secure permission to build wind turbines. He is also examining whether certain companies colluded to divvy up land and thus avoid bidding against each other. ...Northern New York should not become a rural wasteland at the mercy of wind development. Siting decisions for both turbines and transmission lines must be made carefully.

State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo is investigating allegations that wind power companies improperly influenced local officials in Franklin County to secure permission to build wind turbines. He is also examining whether certain companies colluded to divvy up land and thus avoid bidding against each other.

Conflict-of-interest questions have been raised in Cape Vincent, where some officials have contracts with wind power companies to build turbines on their land.

When the town of Hounsfield makes a decision to allow wind development on Galloo Island in Lake Ontario, the impact is felt in the town of Ellisburg, where transmission lines are needed to convey the power to the state's electrical grid in Parish. Ellisburg officials are pondering a zoning law that would require the lines to be placed underground so as not to interfere with farming or the beauty of the land.

Upstate New York is being inundated with wind power projects, raising a myriad of questions about where to build the turbines and transmission lines. The impact on local residents, summer residents, the environment, agriculture, wildlife, health and tourism are all concerns.

Mindful of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo is investigating allegations that wind power companies improperly influenced local officials in Franklin County to secure permission to build wind turbines. He is also examining whether certain companies colluded to divvy up land and thus avoid bidding against each other.

Conflict-of-interest questions have been raised in Cape Vincent, where some officials have contracts with wind power companies to build turbines on their land.

When the town of Hounsfield makes a decision to allow wind development on Galloo Island in Lake Ontario, the impact is felt in the town of Ellisburg, where transmission lines are needed to convey the power to the state's electrical grid in Parish. Ellisburg officials are pondering a zoning law that would require the lines to be placed underground so as not to interfere with farming or the beauty of the land.

Upstate New York is being inundated with wind power projects, raising a myriad of questions about where to build the turbines and transmission lines. The impact on local residents, summer residents, the environment, agriculture, wildlife, health and tourism are all concerns.

Mindful of economic benefits for land owners and communities, some upstaters have welcomed the new technology. Others appreciate America's need for alternative industries to fulfill the country's complex energy requirements.

But the imposing size of the wind turbines, their numbers and ability to alter a landscape are important considerations. Noise and health questions have been raised as well.

The state of New York has encouraged wind energy development throughout upstate. It could be a good industry for New York if handled properly.

But Northern New York should not become a rural wasteland at the mercy of wind development. Siting decisions for both turbines and transmission lines must be made carefully. The potential effect on local communities and their environs must be examined. Opponents to development as well as wind advocates should be heard.

Many of the decisions for wind development need to be made on a higher level than local government. Certainly there is a local government role. But when an initiative taken in one jurisdiction affects other areas, greater oversight is needed.

There should be uniform standards for siting and development of wind turbines. People making decisions that will impact communities for many years should be above any allegations of conflicting interests.

The state needs to assume a greater oversight role in the many aspects of wind power development. This must be done soon, as wind projects are being implemented and pondered throughout upstate. The state should take some leadership here.


Source: http://www.watertowndailyti...

SEP 14 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17084-wind-projects-state-needs-to-assume-more-oversight
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