Articles filed under Impact on People from New York
Hamlin residents who oppose a new town law regulating the development of wind farms have sued the town. The Hamlin Preservation Group and 39 town residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday in state Supreme Court against the law, claiming it will ruin Hamlin's rural nature and environment. The Hamlin Town Board unanimously approved the law at a contentious meeting April 24.
A longtime landowner and farmer reproached the town board Monday for its apparent opposition to commercial wind tower construction. ...Orleans County Legislator and environmentalist Gary Kent respectfully rebuked Dudley's comments, as did a a handful of local and county residents. The price of hosting wind turbines will be diminished property values, Kent said. He cited his recent visit to Naples, N.Y., where a real estate agent told him that homes are selling for tens of thousands of dollars below their assessed value since the wind farms started going up. If turbines go up in Orleans County, he bets the same will happen here, too.
Currently, the wind law is designed to accommodate the noise levels expected by the developer PPM Energy. These levels are measured at the outside wall of a resident's home, disregarding one's property line, and are unhealthy. Federal guidelines state that an appropriate level of noise in a bedroom during sleep is 24dBA (A-weighted decibels). However, our current local laws allow noise levels to reach 50dBA. State guidelines in New York state that an increase of 6dBA above normal background will cause complaints and should be avoided. According to the guidelines, an increase of 20dBA is intolerable. ...We have shown our local government that placing 62 turbines in a four- by five-mile populated area is harmful to residents. To date the town leaders in Clayton continue to ignore the plea from residents to protect us.
The Town Board recently agreed to collaborate on a letter to the state attorney general asking his office to intervene in a conflict between a Naples property owner and a company that plans to build a wind farm in Prattsburgh. The board wants the attorney general to require that windmills be set back far enough from the town line to allow Naples homeowners full use of their property.
In Vermont the parties are still waiting for a decision on the Sheffield project, which was argued before the high court in May. A clerk at the Supreme Court said Tuesday she has no idea when a decision might be announced. Meanwhile, the opponents of big wind in western New York believe they are finally getting the recognition they deserve with this month's announcement by the AG's office in Albany.
Several residents in the town's wind district are worried that construction of massive windmills will cause contamination of their wells. The wind district sits on limestone bedrock, under which lies an underground aquifer that supplies the water. ...The state Department of Environmental Conservation made comments on the groundwater issue during the state environmental quality review comment period for Iberdrola's Horse Creek Wind Farm. "Because water enters the carbonate rocks rapidly through sinkholes and other large openings, any contaminants in the water can rapidly enter and spread through the aquifers," it said.
Concern about noise impact on neighbors again delayed a vote to allow residential windmills in the Town of Ithaca. At a Monday night meeting, the Town Board voted 4-3 to send the law back to committee. Town Supervisor Herb Engman and board members Pat Leary and Bill Goodman voted against, hoping to get the law passed Monday. ...Board member Rich DePaolo called the change in the law a "loophole" that would potentially allow "the noisiest windmills in the quietest areas." "I think it applies the law unequally, based on where you live," DePaolo said.
Tourists have long treked to the region to see the Niagara River plunge as far as 188 feet over the Horseshoe and American falls. But what if windmills taller than the falls is deep soared above the city's skyline? A company founded by Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano has approached city leaders about building wind turbines on old industrial sites in the city. While the company sees economic opportunity, the prospect exists for millions of tourists to see windmills on the horizon of Niagara Falls. "The issue for us is one more of aesthetics than anything else," said Thomas J. DeSantis, senior planner for the city. "Is it OK to put a 600-foot wind generating station at Falls and First streets? Probably not. "I think because we're Niagara Falls, and because we have certain scenic and national resources that are important to us, that we'll want to try to protect them in some small way, we'll want to look at those issues."
Blades have begun to turn on 121 wind turbines here and in neighboring Ellenburg, a 35-minute drive northwest of Plattsburgh. Saturday, they turned with a soft whush, whush, whush. "Whush, whush, whush, all day long, all night long - I moved here because it was so peaceful and quiet," groused Allen Barcombe as he pointed to the nearest tower, jutting up 400 feet into the sky behind his house. ...The New York turbines, in two projects developed by Noble Environmental Power, are the first of nearly 400 expected to go up in five towns on a windy plateau just south of the Canadian border. When completed, the development about 90 minutes from Burlington will represent the largest concentration of wind turbines in the eastern United States.
The foreign-owned companies that are rushing to put 406-foot industrial wind turbines in our beautiful Thousand Islands area are not thinking about our safety or welfare or even about helping the environment. They just want to line their pockets with your tax dollars. The industrial wind turbines are subsidized with your federal and state taxes as well as surcharges collected from your electric bill. They will not reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil since we do not use much oil to make electricity. ...The towns of Clayton and Orleans said that it's OK to put a 406-foot industrial wind turbine 500 feet from your property line or 1,250 feet from your home. That is too close for our health and safety.
I took a run this weekend over to Ellenburg and Clinton, N.Y., to see 121 wind turbines at work. These are the 400-foot behemoths installed over the fall and winter by Noble Environmental Power. They're the first of nearly 400 towers planned for this windy stretch of scrub and farmland just south of the Canadian border. We've been arguing about wind energy in Vermont for more than five years now. ... Only two conclusions were inescapable: First, a wind project undoubtedly transforms the landscape, for better or worse. Second, seeing a wind "farm" at work won't settle the argument over "better or worse."
[A]fter they had brought a house in Depauville, they found out about the proposed Horse Creek Wind Project. They and their doctor believe that the turbines will produce similar low-frequency noises and those noises will interfere with his defibrillator. ...The low frequency noise range of these wind turbines could interfere with the proper functioning of Mr. Wilkie’s AIC defibrillator leading to shutting down of the device,” Carroll L. Moody, Mr. Wilkie’s cardiologist, wrote in a visit report. The plans for the development show one turbine within a half mile and nine within 1 ½ miles. In six months Mr. Wilkie had lived up here, he had not had an incident, his wife said. But 12 hours after he returned to Florida in March to finish moving and visit his doctor he collapsed. A second collapse led to a five-day hospital stay.
Supervisor Frank Duserick said the town of Naples is investigating what legal standing it may have to protest the placement of wind turbines planned for neighboring Prattsburgh. "We're not against wind towers," Duserick said. "But we are for appropriate placement of towers. Our concern is they should have put them a minimum of 1,500 feet from the town line." Ecogen of West Seneca, near Buffalo, has proposed building up to 53 turbines - though the number could fall to 31 if it switches from a 1.5 to 2.5-megawatt model - in Prattsburgh in 2009.
State Department of Agriculture and Markets law dictates that Dr. Daniel Melamed can have a wind turbine to produce power for his goat and sheep farm and the only aspect related to the apparatus that town officials can regulate is the height. That is the message attorney Robert Fitzsimmons conveyed to the town's Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) at an April 8 special meeting called to review Dr. Melamed's area variance application and supporting documentation for relief from the town zoning law's 75-foot-height limit. The meeting was also a continued public hearing on the matter. ...Farmer Ed Hull, Dr. Melamed's neighbor, said he did not understand why the doctor could not install more solar panels to produce more power instead of installing a wind turbine. Mr. Hull said he feared the noise and vibration from the wind turbine would present health risks to him and his family. "I live right across [from the wind turbine site]. Does one farmer trump another farmer? What if there are ill effects? Can you guarantee there will be no effects to myself or my family?" questioned Mr. Hull.
Hamlin residents weighed in on the possibility of a wind farm going up in their town. It would be the first in Monroe County. Town officials are proposing the turbines be set 1,200 feet from homes and 600 feed from the road. Many residents say they want them at least 1,700 feet back. ..."It doesn't belong in our town," said Hamlin resident Diana Hanley. "We have a wonderful town and this is just dividing it. If something divides this many people then it cannot be right." That is what concerns New York State Senator Jim Alesi. The republican believes wind farms would pit neighbor against neighbor and town against town. So Alesi has proposed a statewide moratorium until there is a comprehensive review.
Blades have started spinning here, as wind turbines are being placed on line. Allison Finley, public affairs manager for Noble Environmental Power, said seven wind turbines were running this week, all in the Ellenburg Windpark. "Right now, they are working to energize and commission the wind parks," she said. "More will come online in the following days." Each of the 121 turbines in Ellenburg and Clinton must be synced with the grid, and electrical-collection systems need to be energized before startup. ..."If I had known they'd do all this, I never would have put so much into this place," [resident Al Barcombe] said, as blades from six turbines sliced through the air behind his barn. "I don't think I'll stay." Barcombe refused to sign any leases with Noble. The closest turbine is about 500 feet from his property line. "They look closer than they really are," he said, walking toward them. "I don't see nothing beautiful about 'em."
I read the letter from by Paul C. Mason, Cape Vincent, "Uninformed Cape wind foes spread rumors." I may not have visited the office of the St. Lawrence Wind Farm, but I have attended their informational meetings and presentation of their Draft Environmental Impact Statement to the Cape Vincent Planning Board (which was incomplete) as well as the meetings held by BP and the presentation of their DEIS, which was also incomplete. ...When townspeople started to question how many, how big and where they were going to be placed, that is when everything got ugly. So now we are a town divided. Whose fault is that? Maybe it was the way it was done when they sneak behind closed doors. Maybe because it is a subject that divides families and friends. You cannot blame anyone who asks questions of these companies, after all the people who signed away the rights to their land for 20 to 30 years have lost their rights to question anything or anyone. So that leaves me. I still have all of my rights, and I intend to use them.
Kingston's public health department will lobby government for more research into the health effects of wind turbines. Dr. Ian Gemmill, Kingston's medical officer of health, says there hasn't been enough monitoring done to determine whether they're harmful. Gemmill made the declaration at a board of health meeting this week in response to residents who live near the proposed site of a wind farm to be built on Wolfe Island. The citizens had asked public health to assess the health risks associated with the turbines, but based on the information that is available, Gemmill said, there is nothing to indicate that wind turbines have any long-term effect on people's health.
Not there, please. The Town Council added its voice to the discussion on the path of transmission lines from the Galloo Island Wind Project. The proposed path for the transmission line calls for it to make landfall in Henderson and run south through Ellisburg on its way to a bigger line in Parish. At its meeting Thursday night, the council voted 4-0 for a resolution opposing the path through the town's prime agricultural lands, but supporting any efforts to find a suitable site either east or west of the proposed path.
Eminent domain could be used for turbine placement and total number of units, all in the name of feasibility and "the public good." Local laws, no matter how restrictive, will be irrelevant once eminent domain is unleashed. All three levels of government seem unable to deal with the issue fairly. The state is bent on producing 25 percent green energy at any cost, not protecting rural citizens' safety and individual rights. The county cares only about the money, how much they get and who controls it without any responsibility for health, quality of life and property rights of all taxpayers. Local governments (some) try, but are no match for billion-dollar companies promising thousands of dollars to landowners as fast as they can. Seduced by money that's lavished on them, some officials and landowners ignore problems while trying to railroad through projects before anyone knows what's happening.