While some North Country communities are fighting over whether to allow wind power on their land, one Jefferson County town not only wants a wind farm, it’s also fighting with the state over who should be in charge of the environmental review of the project.
The Hounsfield Town Planning Board wants to make sure the Galloo Island Wind Project moves ahead quickly since it will mean big money for the town.
As a result, the town wants to be the lead agency for the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review Process).
However, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants to be in charge of the of the process, which town officials believe will delay the project and the revenue that it will generate.
“This is a huge project for us for the potential to eliminate town taxes, reduce our school taxes and have other benefits to us financially that we as town residents want to happen,” said Hounsfield Town Supervisor Jean Deroin.
However, DEC officials said their involvement as lead agency could actually speed up the process because it has all the necessary resources to access the environmental effects of the project, which officials say has implications beyond the town limits.
You’re going to have tremendous environmental impacts. You need dock approvals from us and it’s going to be a large docking operation because you’ll be bringing in very large pieces of equipment, maybe even some dredging, I don’t know,” said Region 6 DEC Director Judy Drabicki.
She said Galloo Island is the largest island in Lake Ontario and the DEC is very concerned about protecting it.
Upstate New York Power wants to build 77 turbines on Galloo Island.
25 January 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding