The Cape Vincent Planning Board held a meeting on Jan. 26 for the public to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) submitted by British Petroleum (BP) and accepted by the Planning Board.
First, Tom Rienbeck, town supervisor, advised the board to stay the course, not be influenced by threats from people here, but to forge ahead with the wind energy project. Is he suggesting the board pay no attention to voters/taxpayers’ concerns, and accept a DEIS which clearly does not meet the intent of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)?
The SEQRA requires the EIS provide a means for agencies, program sponsors and the public to systematically consider significant, adverse environmental impacts, alternatives and mitigation.
With all things missing in the DEIS, there is no way to consider impacts. The DEIS protects BP, not us. There are no wetland delineations, no maps showing where the project will be, including placement, size and type of 140-plus turbines, two concrete batch plants and 18 miles of roads connecting turbine locations. Since they are deemed “utilities” can they be put across everyone’s property, like it or not?
Many valid concerns (no threats) were raised regarding sound, health, flicker effect, visual intrusion, waste water pollution, disruption of underground water sources, construction dust, torn up roads, inadequate bird and bat studies in such a sensitive area (Atlantic Flyway), no protection for threatened or endangered species, cumulative impacts of multiple projects, hostility amongst residents, lack of proper zoning and more.
Perhaps we would have faith in the board’s decisions if they would declare a three-month moratorium (as Lyme did), make sure proper zoning and setbacks are in place, help us find answers to our questions and concerns, and insist BP give us a proper DEIS, as required by law.
Carol A. Simpson
9 February 2008
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