STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Two members of the American environmental movement yesterday put a little wind in the sails of Borough Hall’s proposal to build electricity-generating wind turbines at the old Fresh Kills landfill.
“Turning what was once a landfill into a multiple-turbine wind farm is a bold plan that should be used as a model in other cities,” said Patrick Moore, a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace who is now chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.
Moore and Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmental Association, met with Borough President James P. Molinaro and top staffers yesterday in Borough Hall to voice their support.
Both men are advisers to the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA), a coalition of businesses and labor and community groups that looks to ensure the New York area has an ample and reliable electrical supply.
Molinaro said yesterday that City Hall has been receptive to his plan, but he added that “lots of things remain up in the air,” including how control of the 2,100-acre landfill, which is slated to become a park, will be divided between the city Parks and Sanitation departments.
“There’s no logical reason why people should oppose it,” Molinaro said of the turbine proposal.
He wants concrete action on the wind farm “that can’t be reversed” before he leaves office at the end of 2009, lest his Borough Hall successor decline to pursue the project, Molinaro added.
Wind energy is “good for Staten Island’s economy and environment,” McDonald said.
“Speaking as a chronic acute asthmatic, Borough President Molinaro’s initiative is not only a welcome change, but is necessary to improve the air quality of New York City,” he said.
Moore said the only way the U.S. can move away from reliance on fossil fuels and reduce pollution is by generating more hydroelectric, nuclear and wind-generated power.
He said AREA would use its contacts in government and elsewhere to lobby on the project’s behalf.
“We have a strong voice,” Moore told the Advance. “A strong network.”
“We’ll need you to weigh in,” Molinaro told the environmentalists. “We’ll let you know where and when.”
By Tom Wrobleski
21 September 2007
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