HAMMOND – An ornithologist told the Hammond Wind Committee on Monday night that Iberdrola Renewable’s industrial wind turbine project between Black Lake and the St. Lawrence River would be problematic for birds and bats.
William R. Evans, director of the nonprofit Old Bird Inc. in Ithaca, and Jennifer J. Caddick, executive director of Save the River, Clayton, called for a three-year moratorium on industrial wind development along the St. Lawrence River.
Based on migratory patterns of birds, the Canadian Wolfe Island wind project is the “worst sited build-out” Mr. Evans said he’s seen. He stressed the importance of placing turbines in places where their impact on native species will be minimized.
“I feel (wind developers) keep barging into sensitive areas and creating problems, and for the most part, state agencies are helpless” to stop them or to get involved at the local level, he said.
While each project is unique, a large body of water, such as the St. Lawrence River, is a prime location for flight patterns of migratory birds., Mr. Evans said. The Hammond site is particularly dangerous for birds.
Ms. Caddick told the committee the level of bird deaths near Wolfe Island has Save the River concerned about additional wind development.
“We feel much can be learned about the ecological impacts of Wolfe Island and applied to future projects,” she said.
Committee co-chairman Ronald R. Papke asked Iberdrola Renewables representatives at the meeting whether the company would share its migratory bird and bat studies. The company said the studies would be made available after the state Department of Environmental Conservation reviewed them.
The committee’s next meeting is Nov. 15.
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