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Wind farm project gets mixed reaction

Watertown Daily News|Steve Virkler|October 22, 2009
New YorkGeneralImpact on Wildlife

The 39-turbine Roaring Brook wind farm project in the town of Martinsburg received little public comment Wednesday. And the four people who did speak at the town Planning Board public hearing on the project expressed mixed opinions. "There is insufficient evidence to suggest that birds won't be displaced by Roaring Brook Wind Farm," said Chris K. Lajewski, the Northern New York land steward for the Nature Conservancy.


ROARING BROOK: Nature Conservancy wants more study on impact of Martinsburg turbines

MARTINSBURG - The 39-turbine Roaring Brook wind farm project in the town of Martinsburg received little public comment Wednesday.

And the four people who did speak at the town Planning Board public hearing on the project expressed mixed opinions.

"There is insufficient evidence to suggest that birds won't be displaced by Roaring Brook Wind Farm," said Chris K. Lajewski, the Northern New York land steward for the Nature Conservancy.

The conservation group continues to request that no towers be sited within one kilometer of protected lands and that more testing be done on the potential impact on birds and other animals, he said.

Mr. Lajewski said the developer has suggested the conservancy's proposed one-kilometer buffer would remove all but 10 turbines, but his organization estimated that a 26- or 27-turbine project still could be accomplished.

Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, is proposing the wind farm on 5,280 acres just south of the ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

     
ROARING BROOK: Nature Conservancy wants more study on impact of Martinsburg turbines

MARTINSBURG - The 39-turbine Roaring Brook wind farm project in the town of Martinsburg received little public comment Wednesday.

And the four people who did speak at the town Planning Board public hearing on the project expressed mixed opinions.

"There is insufficient evidence to suggest that birds won't be displaced by Roaring Brook Wind Farm," said Chris K. Lajewski, the Northern New York land steward for the Nature Conservancy.

The conservation group continues to request that no towers be sited within one kilometer of protected lands and that more testing be done on the potential impact on birds and other animals, he said.

Mr. Lajewski said the developer has suggested the conservancy's proposed one-kilometer buffer would remove all but 10 turbines, but his organization estimated that a 26- or 27-turbine project still could be accomplished.

Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, is proposing the wind farm on 5,280 acres just south of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm. Iberdrola is part owner of the existing 195-turbine wind farm.

The proposed wind farm would be next to 13,000 acres of land purchased in 2002 by the conservancy, which previously has expressed opposition to the project.

None of the approximately 15 other people in attendance took the opportunity to speak after Mr. Lajewski, prompting Planning Board Chairman Michael J. Colwell to call for a 10-minute recess. However, a few stragglers showed up during the recess, and a few more comments were forthcoming when the hearing resumed.

"I don't understand why anyone would accept this proposal," said Martinsburg resident Timothy Yancey.

Mr. Yancey referred to wind turbines as "monstrosities" and suggested that issues from the Maple Ridge project, including transformer oil spills, destruction of roads and wildlife habitat and impact on the Tug Hill's natural beauty, be addressed prior to approval of Roaring Brook.

"It's emotional for me," he said. "I have to live amongst them."

Martinsburg resident John Waligory, who has turbines on his property, said he also lives in the existing wind farm but still supports Roaring Brook.

"I can't see what problem it would present," he said.

"We've paid a good amount of taxes," said John Daskiewich, who owns property in the town. "I think this is a way to get some money back."

The town Planning Board, which earlier this month signed off on an environmental review of the project, will review the public comments and documentation submitted by Atlantic Wind.

The project is expected to be on the agenda at the board's regular meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 4, but no timetable for its review has been set, Mr. Colwell said afterward. "It's up to the board," he said.

Along with a special permit from the town Planning Board, Atlantic Wind must obtain a wetlands permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before moving forward with the Roaring Brook project.

The project would include 30 turbines on land owned by Zeager Partnership Ltd. of Middletown, Pa., while the other nine would be on adjacent parcels.


Source:http://www.watertowndailytime…

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