CAPE VINCENT – The Town Planning Board on Wednesday gave the St. Lawrence Wind Farm several hoops to jump through before completing the environmental review for its proposed project.
The wind farm, proposed by AES Acciona Wind Power NY, would bring up to 96 turbines to the town. A second project, Cape Vincent Wind Farm, proposed by BP Alternative Energy, would bring 60 to 80 turbines to the interior of Cape Vincent and 30 to 60 to the neighboring town of Lyme. BP’s project is not yet in the environmental review stage.
Planning Board Chairman Richard J. Edsall said he drafted the requirements he handed down to St. Lawrence Wind Farm Developers Todd R. Hopper and Shawn A. Briggs.
The requirements were made after the board reviewed public comments on the wind farm’s draft environmental impact statement. A DEIS identifies adverse effects a development may have on the environment. A project can be turned down if adverse effects cannot be mitigated.
“I’m instructing you to read every single comment,” Mr. Edsall said.
The Panning Board also is asking the developers to submit a project map that adheres to setbacks of 1,500 feet from the village, 1,250 feet from non-participating residences, 1,000 feet from non-participating property lines and 750 feet from participating residences.
Mr. Edsall acknowledged that the Planning Board cannot legally make St. Lawrence Wind Farm adhere to the setbacks, as the town never passed a zoning law for turbines, but Mr. Hopper and Mr. Briggs indicated that their company would abide by the setbacks.
The developers are required to conduct visual-impact studies based on the adjusted turbine locations. The board also is requiring the company to conduct visual studies from the St. Lawrence River.
St. Lawrence Wind Farm also is required to work in conjunction with BP on any transmission lines.
“There will be only one transmission line leaving Cape Vincent,” Mr. Edsall said.
The board did not formally vote on acceptance of the impact statement. Mr. Edsall said there will be two more public hearings on the statement before the board votes on the document.
The Planning Board has had one public hearing on the statement, and will schedule the next hearing when it believes it has received enough information from St. Lawrence Wind Farm to hold one. A hearing is not anticipated this summer.
Mr. Hopper said the conditions set by the Planning Board were reasonable. The company expected that it would need to do more studies as the proposed turbine locations are adjusted, he said.
By Kelly Vadney
Publication: Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, NY)
Publication Date: 06/28/2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding