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Wayne Co. resolution to oppose Great Lakes offshore wind project  

Author:  | Economics, Environment, New York, Wildlife

RESOLUTION NO. 241-10: OPPOSE NEW YORK POWER AUTHORITY GREAT LAKES OFFSHORE WIND PROJECT (TABLED – 3/16/10)

Mr. LeRoy presented the following:

WHEREAS, the New York Power Authority (“NYPA”) released a request for proposals for the development of utility scale (120 mw to 500 mw) wind generating projects in the New York waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario; and

WHEREAS, the due date for proposals is June 1, 2010 with a project award date of December 2010; and

WHEREAS, NYPA has conducted preliminary wind resource studies, site screening studies, environmental studies and other technical studies with respect to the New York waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to investigate potentially feasible locations for wind projects; and

WHEREAS, these studies identify several scenic and environmentally sensitive areas off the Lake Ontario shoreline in Wayne County as suitable sites for wind turbines; and March 16, 2010 32

WHEREAS, NYPA has provided an incentive for said projects by committing to purchase the electricity it generates either through a long term purchase power agreement or through the outright purchase of the generating facility once it is operational; and

WHEREAS, the waters and shoreline of Lake Ontario consistently return millions of tourism dollars annually to the local economy through fishing, recreational boating, swimming, cottage rentals, hiking and biking, and local festivals and community celebrations; and

WHEREAS, Wayne County and its residents have worked tirelessly to improve water quality and rebuild public facilities so visitors and residents can continue to enjoy the unblemished beauty of our Lake Ontario shoreline and its beautiful sheltered embayments; and

WHEREAS, the establishment of massive wind farms off Wayne County’s Lake Ontario shoreline threatens Wayne County’s thriving tourism economy and the resulting revenues that local businesses depend upon; and

WHEREAS, within the proposed tower areas of Lakes Erie and Ontario are numerous submerged cultural resources for which New York State is responsible to protect and provide public access under the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987, and construction of wind towers will likely limit access to these historic resources for research and recreational purposes, and may pose a threat of destruction of these resources, and

WHEREAS, the proposed tower areas are also within the North American Flyway, one of the most significant bird migratory routes in the western hemisphere; and

WHEREAS, no study exists that measures the environmental impact or the actual economic impact to the local tourism economy should an offshore wind farm of this magnitude be established; and

WHEREAS, Wayne County supports the development of responsibly sited wind energy projects that do not pose significant environmental or economic impacts; and

WHEREAS, Wayne County also supports energy conservation as part of a responsible energy policy and urges the State of New York to continue to seek ways to reduce energy consumption, which could in turn reduce the need for energy generation over time; and

WHEREAS, Wayne County will not oppose other Counties should they wish to pursue wind energy off their Lake Ontario shoreline; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Wayne County Board of Supervisors is opposed to the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project as proposed by the New York Power Authority; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Wayne County urges the New York Power Authority to reject any and all proposals submitted for this project; and be it further

RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution shall be distributed to the New York Power Authority, the New York State Association of Counties, Governor David Patterson, Senator Michael Nozzolio, Assemblyman Robert Oaks, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYS Department of State Division of Coastal Resources, St. Lawrence County, Jefferson County, Oswego County, Cayuga County, Monroe County, Orleans County and Niagara County.

Mr. LeRoy moved, seconded by Mr. Lauderdale, to table the resolution until next month’s Board session on April 20, 2010. Upon roll call, carried. Motion was made by Mr. LeRoy, seconded by Mr. Lauderdale to schedule a public hearing to hear citizen comments regarding the proposed New York Power Authority Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. Motion carried.

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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