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Prattsburgh wind turbines: Hearing on permit law to be held by mid-July

A public hearing on a proposed permit law regulating wind energy in the town will be held by mid- July, the Prattsburgh Town Board said Monday night. Board members took more than an hour during a special board session Monday night to scrutinize the proposed law, designed to set permit fees for wind turbines erected in the town.

PRATTSBURGH - A public hearing on a proposed permit law regulating wind energy in the town will be held by mid- July, the Prattsburgh Town Board said Monday night.

Board members took more than an hour during a special board session Monday night to scrutinize the proposed law, designed to set permit fees for wind turbines erected in the town.

The town is the site of proposed wind farms by two energy companies, Ecogen and First Wind.

A representative of Ecogen who attended the meeting said the proposed guidelines are too restrictive.

"We're going to have to fight back," said Robert Burgdorf, an Ecogen attorney.

First Wind announced in December it was delaying plans for its 50-turbine farm for a year, citing the faltering national economy as the reason.

In addition to its current plans to set up 16 turbines in Prattsburgh and 18 turbines in the neighboring town of Italy, Ecogen is reportedly considering a second phase of wind farm construction.

Town Councilman Steve Kula said the board should use a draft drawn up in February, since later versions had included input from Ecogen.

Kula said board members did not need to consider Ecogen's interests because the conditions of the permit... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

PRATTSBURGH - A public hearing on a proposed permit law regulating wind energy in the town will be held by mid- July, the Prattsburgh Town Board said Monday night.

Board members took more than an hour during a special board session Monday night to scrutinize the proposed law, designed to set permit fees for wind turbines erected in the town.

The town is the site of proposed wind farms by two energy companies, Ecogen and First Wind.

A representative of Ecogen who attended the meeting said the proposed guidelines are too restrictive.

"We're going to have to fight back," said Robert Burgdorf, an Ecogen attorney.

First Wind announced in December it was delaying plans for its 50-turbine farm for a year, citing the faltering national economy as the reason.

In addition to its current plans to set up 16 turbines in Prattsburgh and 18 turbines in the neighboring town of Italy, Ecogen is reportedly considering a second phase of wind farm construction.

Town Councilman Steve Kula said the board should use a draft drawn up in February, since later versions had included input from Ecogen.

Kula said board members did not need to consider Ecogen's interests because the conditions of the permit law do not apply to Ecogen's current plans.

"So let's not use it to suit Ecogen. Let's use it to suit ourselves," Kula said.

Proposed changes included:

• Permits must be renewed if a turbine has not been constructed two years after the original permit has been issued. Currently, all other building permits must be renewed after one year.

• Any plan to replace a defective turbine must be overseen by an independent engineering firm paid for by the developer.

• Setbacks for meteorological towers will match the height of the towers.

• Setbacks from property lines for wind turbines will be twice the height of the tower, or 1,000 feet.

• The developer must show interconnections between turbines to avoid potential issues with eminent domain.

• A clause stating the permit law does not apply to the current Ecogen project.

A proposed change dealing with the issue of noise was tabled for further discussion.

Burgdorf told the board the firm's sound expert, Peter Guldburg, dismissed the proposed noise standards as "impossible."

Burgdorf said the standards would prevent any new business from setting up in the

town and pointed out federal laws ensure all industries are dealt with equally.

Board members had expected an independent noise consultant to attend the special

meeting, but Town Supervisor Harold McConnell said he had not been able to contact one. McConnell said he had seven referrals for the board's review.

The board agreed to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to review the draft in its final form, after which it is expected to call for a public hearing and pass the law within 10 days.

Burgdorf said the draft would be reviewed by Ecogen's legal counsel.


Source: http://www.steubencourier.c...

JUL 3 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20955-prattsburgh-wind-turbines-hearing-on-permit-law-to-be-held-by-mid-july
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