Articles filed under Impact on People from New York
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.
Plans to run power from a wind turbine project in Lake Ontario through Oswego County are meeting surprise and resistance. "It'll ruin my property value," said Kathleen Schneider, who with her husband owns 55 acres on Castor Road in Albion. The Schneiders received a letter last month from Upstate NY Power Corp. telling them they would be contacted about selling a right of way on their land. They threw it out. Later they learned that Upstate NY Power has applied to install 77 wind turbines on Galloo Island, 12 miles off the shore of Lake Ontario. ...Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann, R-Altmar, was upset that no one involved in the project told the county. "They haven't bothered to contact us," he said.
I have reviewed the environmental impact statements of several local communities that are considering approval of large wind farms in their localities. The only acoustical measurement that I see in their analyses deals with measuring an averaged noise level over the affected area. These draft environmental impact statements do not evaluate the annoying noises that rapidly change in noise level, such as the cyclic whooshing noises produced when the turbine blades pass by the support pedestal or the transient noises produced at turbine cut-in or cut-out or those periodic noises produced by the turbine gearboxes. Nor do they document the presence or absence of significant annoyance potential of low-frequency noises or vibrations which are known to be a very significant problem if the noise levels are high enough.
A recent letter about the Jordanville Wind Project oversimplifies the opposition of the Holy Trinity Monastery and others to the location of the proposed wind farm. The monks are not selfishly choosing serenity over clean energy. Rather, their concerns speak to a larger issue: the impact of industrial-scale wind turbine projects on New York's historic, scenic and cultural resources. In fact, the Preservation League of New York State named the Holy Trinity Monastery to our Seven to Save list of endangered places this month in part to call attention to the need for statewide siting standards for wind energy projects.
I have been a resident in the town of Arkwright for almost 10 years. In my opinion, the town board meeting was not an indication of "the community coming together." A community is not together because the town supervisor declares that to the local media to sway public opinion. A community does not come together when proposing ideas and addressing important concerns to the leaders of our town is looked at as "confrontational questions" and "obvious objections." This is not about who agrees with wind power and who disagrees with wind power. The community is divided because Horizon is a huge company, no longer an American company, that has come into a small town with landowners desperate for money, in a society that no longer supports local farming, and a town board basing decisions on financial gains and nothing more. The result: 47 gigantic wind towers up to 330 feet and a turbine size of up to 300 feet, in an area that was considered residential/agricultural a year ago and has since been switched over to industrial zoning.
The landscape along the rolling hills of Cohocton and nearby towns is beginning to change. Towering windmills standing 420-feet high are beginning to emerge along the Dutch Hill ridges near Interstate Highway 390. ...Opponents charge the mammoth turbines are inefficient generators of electricity and threaten the welfare and rural character of the county. Supporters argue the projects supply renewable energy and provide financially struggling towns with significant revenues. In Cohocton's case, town officials expect to receive $500,000 annually for the next 20 years as the projects' host. But despite the potential financial benefits to the towns, opponents in several towns have filed lawsuits against the projects.
The sky above this rolling Mohawk Valley farmland is a battleground between golden onion-shaped domes of the nation's largest Russian Orthodox monastery and sweeping wind turbine towers intended to harvest clean power. On Friday, a statewide historic preservation group sided with Holy Trinity Monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, where monks fear a proposed wind farm a mile away will disturb contemplative religious life. "The monastery is of extraordinary historic, religious and cultural significance, but it is currently threatened," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League of New York State. The group named the monastery as one of its seven historic sites statewide in need of protection.
The Fallsburg Planning Board will consider granting a special permit to Sullivan County Community College to build a 250-foot tall wind turbine, despite vocal opposition at a public hearing last week. ...Two models are being considered for the propeller turbine, which would be built about 150 feet behind the main campus building, above the geothermal field. One proposed model has three blades, the other has two. Because the two-bladed turbine would be slightly louder, engineers cited its noise levels. The center of the blades would record a decibel level of 99, on par with a chainsaw or subway.
Though Burke has since changed the draft ordinance to extend the setback to 1,400 feet, Sullivan says Malone is hoping for more. "We'd like to see a mile," Sullivan said in an interview Sunday. "It's based mostly on research from Europe. That's a safe distance so you don't get adverse health effects on people - migraine headaches. Sleep disorders or seizures in people who are susceptible to them." ..."I'd hate to see someone's property value drop 20 to 50 percent, and, because they don't live in the town with the towers, they would have no say," Sullivan said. "As far as I'm concerned, that's taking away someone's property without due process."
Does the Town of Enfield have the right to construct an industrial site that will harm a neighboring municipality? Who will defend the rights of Hector and Catharine residents to clean water and an unpolluted lake? These are issues that must be confronted now, before the pollution occurs. Enfield, Catharine and Hector must address these issues immediately and put in place wind farm statutes and regulations that respect each other's lives, borders and rights as neighbors. We all can appreciate the need for cleaner energy. However, we do not have the right to expose our neighboring municipalities to the drainage, runoff pollution and threat to water tables (not to mention the health effects of the noise and shadow-flicker) that will accompany Enfield's industrial wind farm.
As Cohocton wind turbines are being built skyward, local projects are still on the road to final approval. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency will discuss projects in Cohocton and Howard at its next board meeting, Dec. 20, according to Executive Director Jim Sherron. The board will mull over the final project resolution on the 51-turbine Cohocton and Dutch Hill projects at the meeting, and Sherron believes the board will put it to a vote. ...One project that has been quiet lately is the proposed Airtricity project in Hartsville and Hornellsville. According to Sherron and Airtricity Project Manager Bob Sherwin, the project is currently stalled.
John Rancich's proposed wind farm and set-back requirements have become issues of public interest at several town board and planning board meetings ...The wind debate in Enfield has primarily centered on the distance wind towers are set back from property lines. "I don't think it's proper to have windmills right on property lines," Fisher said. "I think there should be sufficient set backs for safety reasons."
Just after midnight Friday, Oct. 19, Willow - one of Denise Como's whippets - barked. Denise, one of the three-person team challenging Stark town board incumbents in the Nov. 6 election, heard an engine running. A truck door slammed, and the vehicle drove off down Ellwood Road toward Salt Springville. ...Down the road in Van Hornesville, Sue Brander is fearful Como, who moved up from Lakehurst, N.J., just four years ago with her husband, Richard Whritenour, was being punished for her politics. The Brander-Como-Reichenback team grew out of the Town of Stark's support for Community Energy/Iberdrola's Jordanville Wind Project, recently reduced from 68 turbines to 49. Landowners who stood to benefit from leases with the wind company have been irate about the opponents. "I'm saddened this has happened," said Brander. "It's certainly sobering to have a barn burned in this community under these circumstances."
The majority of the Gaines Wind Advisory Committee said at Wednesday's meeting that they don't believe wind energy is in the best interest of the Town of Gaines. ...Concerned Gaines residents filled the town hall to capacity Wednesday evening as they listened to prepared statements from each of the committee members listing worries about noise, costs, property values, vibration effects and the impact on wildlife. Of the eight-member board, two said they would be in favor of the 400-foot wind turbines. The remaining, including alternate Ted Swierznski sitting in for Royce Klatt, voiced opposition to the towers, while acknowledging their research is incomplete. "Federal and state subsidies are the only reason wind energy is taking a foothold in this country," said advisory member Marilynn Miller.
A crowded room of residents listened to guest speaker Jerry Borkholder, a Hamlin resident serving on the Wind Tower Committee who has spent hours researching the 400-foot turbines, as he spoke of the negative impact they have had in communities around the world. He called on residents of Orleans County to become informed and take action before it is too late. "Your job is to make sense out of something that, on the surface, makes no sense. ... If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," Borkholder said. "Wind developers lie. They mislead. ... They are very close lipped about what they are going to do."
Megan McElligott and Jason Gotte feel as though nobody is considering the possible negative impact of Airtricity’s plans to construct 55 to 80 wind turbines in the towns of Gaines and Albion within the next few years. To educate others about the environmental and economic impacts of the 400-foot towers, the couple will host an informational meeting Saturday at the Quality Work Life hall in Albion. Speaker Jerry Borkholder from the Wind Tower Committee in Hamlin, who is considered a local expert on wind energy issues, will address the topic and answer questions. “I’ve been on the Internet reading everything and anything I can and I’m really very concerned,” said McElligott, a home health care aide. “I don’t think this is the future. If this is the future, we’re going to have a lot of problems.”
Each time I've visited the Maple Ridge Wind Farm I've become more depressed about wind energy development. I could never seem to reconcile the professed benefits of these projects with their obvious adverse impacts. But today I learned the most valuable reason to oppose this industry. The Maple Ridge project site is 12 miles long by 3 miles wide. Up and down the roads we went today and I viewed this industrial power facility once again. In viewing the entire expanse of impacted area I couldn't help but notice that there was no sense of a living community - no routine life. No people walking their dogs, no hikers, no bicyclers, no children laughing and playing (school was out), no clothes hanging out to dry, no school buses, no dogs barking, and very few birds, no one on their four wheelers on their own lands enjoying the open air. There were no roadside stands selling pumpkins. The serenity of rural community life that we all know and love here in northern Jefferson County was strangely absent. In its stead, we saw massive machines everywhere we looked, on both sides of the road. This was Bill Moore's world and PPM literally owned it all.
A controversial proposed site for the placement of a wind farm in Enfield is the focus of public concern and debate. The issue in Enfield is not "green local energy." The primary issue is the responsible location and safe placement of commercial windmills (400 feet tall) and wind farms.
So I sit on my front porch wondering what this countryside will look like in the years to come. Will red lights that top off towers be across the horizon? Will there be a distinction at all between country and city? Will the stars forever disappear? Or will we all end up in darkness?
As a matter of introduction I am Mike Altonberg, Business Agent for The Ironworkers in Rochester. Four or five months ago I was told by UPC Wind management that there general contractor for the wind turbine projects in Cohocton & Prattsburgh would be hiring all local people for the building of the towers. At a meeting last Tuesday, in Cohocton, we were informed that things have changed and now all the workers will be brought in from out of state. The company, Mortenson Construction from Minnesota will bring workers from out west and local construction workers are locked out of all that work. All those wages paid will not be invested in our local economy but instead sent out west. Is that a slap in the face to all the hard working unemployed construction workers in our area? I've been told that UPC promised local governments (as they promote on there website) that it's important to hire locally but obviously not in our case! Now that the project is a go & they've been caught in a lie, how many more lies have they told? UPC should be escorted to the state line & told not to come back.