Winds Harvest has chartered a bus to take Prattsburgh
residents to the Town of
In actuality there are some pretty major differences between the projects. In Fenner there are only 20 turbines. In Prattsburgh, between the Ecogen project and the Global project there will be one hundred or more. The “farms” will be intertwined.
Even more important is that the governing board in Fenner believed that wind turbines should be subject to special permits because wind turbines represented a new use of land and buildings. By issuing special permits, the planning board had an opportunity to determine whether each individual wind turbine would create unforeseen problems. The Planning Board wanted to reserve the right to deny permission if the problems could not be overcome.
Space does not permit me to list all of the criteria for wind turbines in Fenner, but here are a few highlights:
Individual towers must be located so that the level of noise produced is no more than 50 decibals at a neighbor’s boundary line. Note that Global Winds has said they would site towers in Prattsburgh so they would be 50 decibals or higher at a neighbor’s house. Ecogen has said the same.
In Fenner the governing body is concerned about beauty to the extent that they say that no power plant can be installed in any location where it would detract from the view of a recognized scenic viewshed as viewed from any public road right-of-way or publicly owned land. In Prattsburgh we have been told that it is selfish to care about scenic views.
In Fenner, AFTER the FAA determines the lighting requirements, there has to be on-site field testing as a prerequisite for a building permit. The Planning Board takes into account the effect of the lighting on residential LAND up to 2000 FEET from EACH tower. In Prattsburgh we’ve been told that it doesn’t matter if the strobe lights impact on a neighbor.
In Fenner they specifically say that all power lines from the turbines to substations must be underground. In Prattsburgh there will be above as well as underground transmission.
Anyone who wants to build a turbine must provide proof to the town of liability insurance and the town determines the amount of insurance to be carried by the applicant. In Prattsburgh we are relying on the good faith of the wind companies.
The Town Board also spelled out safety requirements and procedures in case of accidents and they addressed the potential problem of interference with television and radio transmission.
As we all
know, the town board in Prattsburgh has declined to
take a regulatory role in this project.
Global Winds Harvest and Ecogen can come here
and do whatever they feel like doing wherever they have gotten people to sign
leases. They will be making a tremendous
amount of money for their companies, while
The people in Fenner recognized that it makes no sense to destroy the environment while attempting to save it and they regulated the project to that end. Who is going to regulate it for Prattsburgh?
Very truly yours,
John Cole, DEC
Matt Brower, NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets
Mr. Jim Sherron, Steuben County Industrial Development Agency
Mr. Robert P. Alexander, FAA
Ms. Ruth Pierpont, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Ms. Amy Dlugos,
Mr. Lane Clute, Town of
Mr. John H. Smolinsky, NYS Dept of Public Service
Mr. Harold McConnell, Town of