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County Legislature opposed to reduction in the scope of Jordanville wind project

The Herkimer County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday to fight the state Public Service Commission in its ruling to scale back the Jordanville Wind Project.

The proposed project is for the towns of Warren and Stark and called for 68 wind turbines capable of producing 136 megawatts of electric power. It encompasses 6,000 acres and includes associated facilities, access roads, overhead power lines, underground collection lines, construction staging area and operational structures.

On Aug. 23, the PSC issued an order to reduce the number of proposed wind turbines in the project by 19 turbines, which represents 33 percent of the turbines proposed to be located in the town of Warren and 25 percent of the turbines proposed to be located in the town of Stark.

Outrage from community members led them to petition and ask the legislature for a resolution on a re-hearing by the PSC about the Jordanville Wind Project.

The resolution states that the PSC ruling appears to be, in part, based on submissions by groups located outside of Herkimer County.

The town of Warren was designated lead agency for the purposes of the state Environmental Quality Review Act, with the consent of the state Department of Public Service. This gave Warren the authorization to review the project and determine the potential environmental impacts the project could have on the two towns and the region.

“It appears that this process that took place in front of the New York State Public Service Commission undercuts the position of the towns of Warren and Stark in this matter and in particular undercuts the position of the town of Warren, which was designated as lead agency,” the resolution states.

“I think it’s suicidal that an entity can influence (the Public Service Commission) up and down the state,” Legislator Dennis Korce said. “I hope some sharper minds will hear (the case) this time around.”

“This decision has to be reversed,” Legislator Robert Hyde added. “This project will be good for the towns and Herkimer County.”

On June 20 and 21, the towns of Warren and Stark issued special use permits to Jordanville Wind LLC, which was one step closer to having the wind farm be built in the towns.

Now the towns must wait for the Public Service Commission to grant a re-hearing on the project and hope the commission will reconsider the original order.

By Kim Dunne
Staff Writer

The Evening Telegram

4 October 2007