[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Wind farm reviewers: Comment period over 

Despite criticism that its computer system for taking comments about the proposed Long Island wind farm was flawed, the federal agency overseeing the environmental review of the project said yesterday it won’t reopen the public comment period.

Residents, legislators and environmentalists had called on the Minerals Management Service to review the computer system, which agency officials acknowledged had flaws. The federal agency will use comments it receives to formulate guidelines for an environmental impact review of the wind farm.

Opponents say the 40 turbines standing 445 feet tall in the water 3 1/2 miles off Jones Beach will be an eyesore, kill migrating birds, disrupt navigation and harm underwater wildlife.

Supporters discount those arguments, and say the effects of global warming make projects like the wind farm imperative.

In an e-mail yesterday, Nicolette Nye, a spokeswoman for the agency, said the computer system, called OCS Connect, was “operational during the entire comment period.” A total of 207 comments were received online, compared with 1,875 via U.S. mail, she said.

People on both sides of the issue said they were surprised to hear so few e-mail comments had been received, particularly since the minerals service said e-mail was the preferred method for submissions.

“The number does sound a little low,” said Neal Lewis, executive director of the Neighborhood Network, an environmental group that supports the wind farm. He wrote a letter to the minerals service earlier this month asking officials to look into reported problems with the system. Nye earlier this month acknowledged that the system blocked some users when too many tried to submit comments at once. Another official, in an e-mail to a resident, acknowledged the system had “some weaknesses” and that the federal agency suffered from a “manpower shortage.”

Babylon Supervisor Steven Bellone earlier this month asked State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to investigate the process, calling the minerals service’s refusal to reopen the comment period “additional confirmation that this project has been placed on a fast-track for approval without sufficient regard for a rigorous environmental review.” A spokesman for Spitzer didn’t return a phone call. Bellone yesterday said he hasn’t heard back from Spitzer.

In any case, Bellone said, reported problems with the system and more recent revelations from the Interior Department’s inspector general of broader systemic problems at the agency have led the Babylon supervisor to demand that the minerals service be removed from oversight of the wind farm.

“It is now fairly clear that this agency is not prepared or capable of handling this [wind farm] assignment,” Bellone said, particularly in light of recent internal criticism of the department.

Lewis said his group asked those who submitted comments electronically to check the minerals service Web site to confirm their responses were published. “We don’t have any evidence comments were not posted,” he said, though he added, “We do have some concerns the whole process will work smoothly as we go forward.”

Members of the Save Jones Beach group, which opposes the wind project, said it handed out thousands of fliers urging residents to file online comments and were skeptical that the 207 counted by the minerals service represented the total.

Nye said her agency would still review comments received after the Aug. 21 deadline “to see if a new or unique concern is expressed,” though they will not be included in the service’s scoping report due out by October’s end.

Nye noted that “there will be more opportunities for the public to comment during this [environmental impact statement] process, including a 60-day commenting period following the publication of the Draft EIS in spring 2007 and at related public hearings on Long Island.”

By Mark Harrington
Newsday Staff Writer


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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Contributions
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky