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Wind contracts raise concerns  

With Babcock and Brown moving swiftly throughout the area collecting contracts for possible windfarms, some Westfield residents are still questioning the project.

Janet Nass, a member of the Chautauqua County Citizens for Responsible Wind Power, addressed the Town Board at a recent meeting which County Executive Gregory Edwards attended.

“I have now been to two Babcock and Brown information meetings and have heard them spouting half truths and quarter truths,” Nass said.

Nass read an article from the San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Survey: Bird deaths up at site of No. Calif. wind farm,” by the Associated Press.

According to this article, “‘An annual survey shows that the number of dead birds recovered at an East Bay wind power farm jumped sharply last year and raises concerns that efforts to prevent protected species from being killed by whirling turbine blades aren’t working,’” Nass read.

“‘The number of dead golden eagles, burrowing owls, red-tailed hawks and American kestrels’ – they are only counting the four species – ‘found at the wind farm on the Altamont Pass rose nearly 90 percent between September 2006 and September 2007,’” Nass continued.

The official tally could be revised later, according to the article.

“A member of the board that reviewed this information is from the National Audubon Society, which Babcock and Brown repeatedly reports is on their side,” Nass said. “We have sent out letters and we intend to prove that that is not the case.”

Edwards, who attended the meeting as part of his plan to visit all the municipalities in the county throughout this year, addressed the issue of wind power from a county standpoint.

“Wind power is a local issue, it has always been left up to the town municipalities,” Edwards said. “I can say that in my observations, all the municipalities have been very thorough and methodical when dealing with these wind companies.”

Edwards addressed the state’s attempts to make any form of energy plant a state regulated entity.

“I think that’s the wrong direction,” Edwards said. “It’s even one step farther back from local involvement. My goal is to make sure the county has all the information available, good and bad, so that the most informed decisions possible can be made.”

By Shirley West

The Observer

8 February 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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