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CPV Wind LLC — corporate saviors, or corporate criminals?

A lot of residents living in the proposed wind energy development area are getting really tired of the lies and criminal activities of Krista Gordon and CPV corporation in our neighborhood – and they haven’t even built any of their big ugly machines yet.

It all started with them sneaking around trying to buy easements and sign leases, one at a time, instead of approaching the local community as a whole with a public statement of their intentions. While the instigating landholders received contracts entitling them to thousands of dollars per windmill, per year, some unsuspecting retirees and elderly absentee landholders were lured into signing contracts entitling them to a mere $500 per year. But I suppose that’s not criminal ““ just sound corporate business tactics.

LIES AND DECEIPT

Krista Gordon’s presentation on Friday May 18 was another heaping pile of lies and misrepresentations. First, her handlers sorted all submitted questions and discarded all the difficult ones (our group submitted each question twice, to no avail).

Krista Gordon then claimed that our photos were depicting her turbines as 900 ft tall ““ all while she showed us photomontage shots angled to make the turbines look shorter than power poles strategically placed in the foreground. Not one of Krista’s photographs depicted any familiar building or landmark ““ or any type of tall structure other than turbines that might serve as a reference for their true height. In contrast, a careful review of the photo distributed on the ECEAC flyer reveals a familiar landmark ““ the cell phone tower on Golf Course hill ““ known to be 400 ft in height and clearly taller than any of our depicted turbines. Clearly, this was a conservative simulation, whereas Krista’s photos were obviously fraudulent. Notwithstanding, the turbines still looked ugly as sin.

There was plenty of other material in Friday’s presentation that merits de-bunking, but in the interest of space I will address only one other issue. We were shown pictures of several properties in Fenner New York that sold at increased prices over a five year period despite being located near the Fenner Wind Farm. Notably, no turbines were visible in the pictures ““ apparently they were wisely cropped out by the real estate photographer. The problem is that the Fenner Wind Farm could not possibly be less like the Hays Wind Farm.

Fenner Windfarm Study Area

There are only 20 turbines in Fenner (marked in green), they are only 150 ft towers, they are all in a central cluster on a ridge, and the minimum setback from houses is 4000 ft. with most homes at a distance of a mile or more (marked by the thin blue inner circle). In contrast, the proposed Hays wind farm is seven times larger, with towers 50% taller, and is scattered throughout established settlements. Furthermore, the nature of the terrain is very different ““ Hays has very flat terrain with virtually no tree cover so the visibility distance will be greatly increased.

CRIMINAL ACTS

In the early days of May, CPV corporation began spying on us unlawfully with road-side listening devices to try and record the loudest passing truck noises possible. I suppose that way, after they destroyed our environment visually and audibly, they would be able to tell us we already lived in a noisy place before the turbines went in. We called the Ellis County Sheriff and verified that permits were required for such devices, but no permits had been requested. CPV were asked to remove these devices several times before compliance was finally obtained.

Besides spying on our noise levels illegally, they have also been spying on our wind levels for at least four years. Back in August 2005, CPV (then DisGen) boasted in the High Plains Journal that they had a tower 400 feet tall to collect wind readings at the Hays site. You can read about it here:

http://www.hpj.com/archives/2005/aug05/aug29/WindfarmsmaygrowblownearHay.cfm

And here is the tower just northwest of the end of 180th Ave. north of Golf Course Road.

Hays MET tower

This tower truly is 400 feet tall. For reference, the hay bales in the left lower corner are each 5 ft tall.

CPV has up to ten more towers distributed throughout the area on private lands, each roughly 200 ft high. We checked with the local environmental office and found that no zoning permits were on file for any of these constructions, making each one a violation of local building codes. Who has the authority to enforce zoning regulations and why are they doing nothing to protect us?

A more serious infraction is that any structure over 200 ft. tall requires form 7460-1 to be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. We checked with the FAA. They have no records of any 7460-1 forms being filed for these towers. We helpfully provided them with exact GPS coordinates of 2 towers so they could investigate this federal offense.

Any structure more than 200 ft tall is required to have lights for aviation safety. Each violation is punishable by a fine of $1,000 per day. In addition to its low visibility, the 400 ft tower has 28 guy wires holding it up – you can barely see them in the picture.

Can you imagine what a hazard this tower poses to pilots of light planes such as crop dusters? It is so extremely slender as to be virtually invisible from any distance.

Hays MET tower close up

You can see that the instrumentation for the anemometers on these towers is powered by a small solar panel at the base. There is no power for lighting whatsoever. This is solid evidence that CPV corporation has been flaunting the law and endangering low flying aircraft such as crop dusters. This has been going on FOR SEVERAL YEARS now, so we are lucky that no pilots have been killed.

This company has not put up their first windmill in Ellis County and they have already broken various local and federal laws and endangered its citizens.

When will our local authorities start enforcing the law and making some arrests to protect the citizens?

Why does it fall on the citizens of this county to make their own criminal investigations and reports in order to protect themselves?

More importantly, in light of these ‘preliminary crimes’, how can our local government possibly entrust these corporate criminals to honor and protect this community throughout a $300,000,000 industrial development with all its attendant dangers?

Posted by J.P. Michaud

elliscoalition.blogspot.com

21 May 2007