Articles from New York
Tensions are rising between those who support wind turbines in the town and those who do not, with at least one threatening phone call made and several signs vandalized. "It just seems we're all caught up in this whirlwind," said Del C. Hamilton, a member of Concerned Residents of Hammond, a grass-roots organization opposed to wind turbines.
Bath town board members last week took the first step towards a moratorium on commercial wind farm developments, directing town attorney Jeffrey Squires to draw up a local law establishing a six-month ban on commercial wind turbines. The unanimous vote came one month after town Supervisor Fred Muller asked board members to consider a moratorium.
Comments on the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm submitted to the state Department of Environmental Conservation criticize the project's effects on birds and animals and ask for public access. DEC collected 22 written comments on the draft environmental impact statement submitted by Galloo Island developer Upstate NY Power Corp. Oral comments were taken at two public hearings May 18. As lead agency, DEC collects comments and then determines whether the draft statement is complete.
Under the proposed regulations, noise levels also would need to fall to 40 decibels at receptors, such as dwellings or businesses. The ministry said a turbine with a sound power level of 106 decibels would have to meet a setback of 950 meters, or about 3,100 feet, from the nearest house or business.
My house and land is in Prattsburgh, across from turbine sites for the Ecogen wind project, and my wife owns adjacent property in Naples, Ontario County. I've heard some people say "what's happening in the hills with the wind turbines won't affect me." What these folks may not yet realize is that, if these turbines are allowed to damage the value of adjacent properties, their taxes will go up. And the first step in this one-two process has just started.
Elizabeth Booth wants the Arkwright Town Board to "go no further" with the Horizon Wind Farm development until the company agrees to sign a Wind Code of Ethics. At Monday's town board meeting, Booth said two companies operating in Chautauqua County which she identified as Noble Environmental Power and First Wind, have signed this code developed by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
The town of Hartsville is exercising its rights for more control over a environmental impact statement that will be done in connection to wind farm studies. Supervisor Steve Dombert said the town board unanimously passed a resolution to make a formal request to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The big blades have been welcomed by many, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, as they've gone up in the farm fields of Huron County in recent years. But a handful of people who live near some of the 46 turbines at a wind park in Bingham and Sheridan townships are now complaining about ongoing noise and rumble from the 300-foot-tall renewable energy generators.
The incentive money has been approved and the cement foundation has been poured for Mexico's first wind turbine, which is expected to be operating at some point this summer. The turbine will be erected on state Route 69 in the yard of Mexico resident, Vito Fleming, who anticipates experiencing a tall order of savings from the structure that will power his home.
The board of directors of the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency is expected to review a proposed agency policy Tuesday that will establish how much industrial-scale wind farms must pay to local taxing authorities during their incentive periods. The IDA provides tax exemptions for 10 to 15 years, along with other incentives, to developers seeking assistance and conduit loans.
The company has a detailed complaint resolution process which it made available Thursday to The Daily News. It also has a 24-hour telephone hotline for reporting turbine issues. "We encourage people if they have a concern that they should call that number, and we check it daily," said Project Manager Eric Miller. "We keep a log of who calls."
"Since we've owned this home, I had no health problems previously," says a somewhat sleepless Jessica Nuhn. "I'm a registered nurse -- a critical care nurse. I've got my bachelor's degree and I know about health. "Since the turbines have been spinning, I've had headaches ... The noise has kept me up at night, the noise gives me headaches, the noise crushes my sinuses." Nuhn says she's never had sinus problems before, and now she sees floating spots, for which she's seeing a doctor.
Gov. David Paterson met with four other governors of Mid-Atlantic states who joined together to announce on Thursday, June 5 the formation of a bureaucracy that will serve as infrastructure for future conservation and alternative energy projects in the Atlantic Ocean. The newly created Governors Mid-Atlantic Council on Oceans has the dual focus of preserving the natural habitats in and around the Atlantic Ocean while promoting "offshore renewable energy."
A Fenner windmill will be featured on the National Geographic Channel. Crews from the network's "World's Toughest Fixes" program visited the top of the Bellinger Road hill this week to film blade repairs on one of the turbines at the Fenner Wind Farm. ...The blade damage was attributed to lightning strikes, insects, precipitation and air resistance. The cracks in the 10-year-old blade got a little bigger since they were first reported, said Kevin Thompson of Skala.
In a letter to Town Council members dated May 29, ECCO's attorney, Gary A. Abraham, argued against a letter from Iberdrola to the town dated May 20. "Specifically, ECCO seeks by these comments to avoid town board action that might rubber stamp the most vacuous statements paraded before you by Iberdrola as findings of fact," Mr. Abraham wrote.
We, the people who love Orangeville do not choose to have our homes and recreational areas turned into an industrial zone for any amount of money! We do not choose to suffer from effects of high unbearable amounts of noise and turn our quiet countryside into an unsuitable place to raise our families as a result of now, introducing an industrial park that will intrude into our midst. ...It would seem that no stone should be left unturned in comprehensively examining the likely adverse impacts of large-scale wind facilities. Industrial-scale projects must be safely sited.
Businesses ranging from Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece law firm, Watertown, to Erie Boulevard Hydropower, Potsdam, likely will lose their Empire Zone tax benefits following Empire State Development Corp.'s announcement on the status of the 8,000-plus businesses enrolled in program. In the north country, the biggest losers are Erie Boulevard Hydropower in Potsdam's Empire Development Zone, which filed for about $9,035,000 in benefits. Maple Ridge Wind Farm, in Lewis County's zone, would lose $7,197,197 in tax benefits.
The Wind Energy Committee proposed on Wednesday increasing setbacks for existing structures, but allowing residents to build within 600 feet of a turbine. "If the tower is 600 feet from the property line and you have to be 1,200 feet away from an off-site residence, you just stopped me from being able to do anything on that part of my land," wind committee member L. Kay Davis said. "It gives people a chance to use their land more."
Iberdrola Renewables told town officials the recommendations from the town's wind committee would effectively eliminate Horse Creek Wind Farm. At the Town Council's meeting Wednesday night, the council, Planning Board and committee discussed the committee's recommendations. ...Iberdrola has proposed 54 turbines for Clayton and an additional eight for Orleans.
The Orleans Wind Committee will give the Town Council a rundown on its thoughts on flicker, setbacks and noise at a meeting Monday night. The committee, meeting Tuesday night, discussed how technical to be and what form to present its possible recommendations in. "I think they understand the issues but don't understand the technical lingo involved," member William DiTrinco said.