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Huffing and puffing


By Jean Paul Vellotti

LINDENHURST ““ The Long Island Power Authority’s proposed offshore wind park has some tough critics, but Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone may be tops.

The supervisor is accusing FPL Energy ““ builder of the proposed facility ““ of evading a comprehensive environmental review by the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency that has the power to permit the project.

“If this project moves forward it will permanently industrialize our coastline and potentially cause far-reaching environmental consequences,” Bellone said in a release prior to a public announcement this morning at Babylon Town Hall.

Bellone called FPL the Halliburton of wind power, adding FPL is avoiding the “kind of comprehensive analysis and regulation that this project demands.”

FPL has said that the project doesn’t require site specific environmental studies and that it can self-regulate itself.

Further, Bellone claims that FPL has said it alone should collect wind data, and that it doesn’t have to share the information with the government.

FPL did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

In a statement, LIPA said it “supports a complete environmental review off the proposed off-shore wind project. Given the all-time record breaking electric usage this summer, should we have a wind project on Long Island or continue to send our money to Big Oil or OPEC?”

In documents filed with the MMS, FPL said that field studies at the proposed location would be “hazardous and safety must be paramount.”

Bellone shot back, asking why it would be safe to build and operate a facility in this area.

“The stakes are too high with this project to allow a company like FPL to skate through the environmental review process,” said Bellone.