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Steuben wind developers agree to ethical code

A new Wind Industry Ethics Code is now in place in New York, with a total of 16 wind companies agreeing to abide by the document drawn up by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo office. The code calls for oversight through an advisory task force and "unprecedented transparency" to deter improper relationships between wind development companies and local government officials, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office Wednesday.

ALBANY- A new Wind Industry Ethics Code is now in place in New York, with a total of 16 wind companies agreeing to abide by the document drawn up by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo office.

The code calls for oversight through an advisory task force and "unprecedented transparency" to deter improper relationships between wind development companies and local government officials, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office Wednesday.

Developers with projects in Steuben County agreeing to the new ethics code include First Wind (towns of Cohocton and Prattsburgh), Ecogen Wind, LLC (Town of Prattsburgh), E.on Climate and Renewables North America, Inc. (Town of Hartsville), and Everpower Wind Holdings, Inc. (Town of Howard).

Pattern Energy Group Holdings, which now finances Ecogen, also signed the ethics code.

"Wind power has enormous environmental and economic potential for New York and it is critical that this industry continues to grow without the suspicion or shadow of public corruption or anything else outside the law," Cuomo said, in a prepared statement.

The code: • Bans wind companies from hiring municipal employees or their relatives, giving gifts of more than $10 during... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ALBANY- A new Wind Industry Ethics Code is now in place in New York, with a total of 16 wind companies agreeing to abide by the document drawn up by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo office.

The code calls for oversight through an advisory task force and "unprecedented transparency" to deter improper relationships between wind development companies and local government officials, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office Wednesday.

Developers with projects in Steuben County agreeing to the new ethics code include First Wind (towns of Cohocton and Prattsburgh), Ecogen Wind, LLC (Town of Prattsburgh), E.on Climate and Renewables North America, Inc. (Town of Hartsville), and Everpower Wind Holdings, Inc. (Town of Howard).

Pattern Energy Group Holdings, which now finances Ecogen, also signed the ethics code.

"Wind power has enormous environmental and economic potential for New York and it is critical that this industry continues to grow without the suspicion or shadow of public corruption or anything else outside the law," Cuomo said, in a prepared statement.

The code: • Bans wind companies from hiring municipal employees or their relatives, giving gifts of more than $10 during a one-year period, or providing any other form of compensation that is contingent on any action before a municipal agency

• Prevents wind companies from soliciting, using, or knowingly receiving confidential information acquired by a municipal officer in the course of his or her official duties

• Requires wind companies to establish and maintain a public Web site to disclose the names of all municipal officers or their relatives who have a financial stake in wind farm development

• Requires wind companies to submit in writing to the municipal clerk for public inspection, and to publish in the local newspaper, the nature and scope of the municipal officer's financial interest

• Mandates that all wind easements and leases be in writing and filed with the County Clerk

• Dictates that within sixty days of signing the Wind Industry Ethics Code, companies must conduct a seminar for employees about identifying and preventing conflicts of interest when working with municipal employees

The ethics code was the result of growing concerns regarding the industry's ethics in the state, especially in dealing with largely rural communities without zoning ordinances.

First Wind, formerly known as UPC and GlobalWinds Harvest, was one of two developers cited by Cuomo's office late last year for alleged ethical violations. First Wind operates a wind farm in the town of Cohocton, and has a 50-turbine project slated for the town of Prattsburgh..

The second developer cited by the AG last year, Noble Environmental Power, LLC, was the subject of an investigation by Franklin County District Attorney Derek P. Champagne.

Champagne is a member of the task force charged with monitoring whether the code is adhered to by developers. Other members of the task force include district attorneys from Monroe and Wyoming counties, and the executive directors of county and town associations.

Both First Wind and Noble signed the document earlier this year.

All four local developers have been the subject of numerous lawsuits filed by residents alleging improper conduct.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's office said investigations into any allegations is ongoing.

Among concerns raised by residents is the state's willingness to act against wind developers, given the mandates by both Republican Gov. George Pataki and Democratic Governor David Paterson to build wind facilities in the state.

The New York State Energy Research Development Authority estimates that wind power has the potential to provide 20 percent of the state's electricity demand and a 2005 report by the state

Comptroller's Office estimates the industry could add 43,000 jobs in New York by 2013.

Locally, developers have estimated each wind farm will hire two or three permanent workers.


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

AUG 2 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21541-steuben-wind-developers-agree-to-ethical-code
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