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A sad day for Orangeville  

Credit:  By Lynn Lomanto | The Daily News | thedailynewsonline.com 23 July 2012 ~~

It seems appropriate to put this out to the public. We have lease holders with the Stony Creek Wind Farm Project that have given Invenergy the right to clear-cut their land. If they bothered to see what was done I do believe they would have a lot of despair.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation recommended that the woods and wetlands not be disturbed during the springtime. It was also recommended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that appropriate measures be taken to avoid any type of clear-cutting or construction during the springtime.

The photos you see are from Nesbitt Road. I do not understand why this was allowed. I spoke with Eric Duncan, from Invenergy at the Nesbitt Road site, just before the clear-cut was done and he told me Invenergy was contracting with Attica Package to have D&D Logging begin the road work on Nesbitt. There would be three roads cut on Nesbitt and one on Bantam Road. The road dimensions that were permitted stated 20 feet. How in the world is this 20 feet, maybe 100 feet in these pictures I have provided.

Overseeing the construction and excavation is Earth Dimensions, Scott Livingstone and Barbara Wagner of Stantec. Neither person was present when I and a friend stopped to ask Eric what was happening. I questioned the DEC as to why no one was monitoring and I was told that Scott Livingston of Earth Dimensions would be monitoring.

Of the reports I received from the DEC the dates on June 7 and June 8, 2012, were from Scott Livingston on Nesbitt Road and on June 4, 2012, at 3 p.m. on Bantam Road, done by Barbara Wagner of Stantec. The reports read, Barbara Wagner of Stantec, “on Bantam Road, project activities did not involve any regulatory activity (i.e., wetland impact soil disturbance requiring SWPPP measures).”

(No wetlands on Bantam Road?)

On June 6, 2012, Scot Livingstone wrote, “No work being completed at time of site visit. Initial work on Roads 4 and 11 and WTG 12 was completed previously. Appeared that some additional clearing work had been completed on Road 9 and WTG’s 10 and 11 but only minimal. Appears to be at least several days of work that needs to be completed on initial construction.”

(There was no time written.)

I find these reports very minimal and without reference to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

The nesting turkeys on Nesbitt Road were seen in the road totally disoriented. A deer was seen coming out of the cutting; it was lame on one leg. The deer fawns are born at this time and regulatory commissions had asked that a delay in any field cutting be accommodating to the wildlife. How many young birds, fawns and bats ended up in the piles of shredded trees? Why then if the turbines are not going to be constructed this year did they cut these very large holes in the forested areas? Could they not have waited until at least the late fall?

I guess, again, the FEIS is just paper and needs not be relied upon as a monitor. Invenergy, the lead agency and leaseholders have demonstrated that the contract is full of holes. Just like the hole that now exists on Nesbitt Road and Bantam Road.

I ask the leaseholders why they allowed this. If the FEIS says that turbines will be constructed on fields as not to disturb the forests, then why are they taking down the forests and putting access roads to the wind turbines that are in a field? I would ask the residents of Orangeville to please go to your next Town Board meeting and start asking some hard questions.

Nesbitt Road is the fly path for the American eagle and the eagles have been observed feeding on carcasses on this road. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the American eagle listed as protected. The bat population is severely at risk and again the FEIS and Invenergy agreed not to disturb the nesting of the bats during the spring. How disingenuous of Invenergy and the lead agency (our town councilmen) to allow clear-cutting in the spring.

I cannot imagine the devastation that took place for the wildlife. This is also a wetland. Where is the DEC! I am praying that the Protection Tax Credit does not go through. This is the worst disrespect of the natural habitat and wildlife that I have ever witnessed. It truly breaks my heart. Several of the Orangeville residents stopped to see what was happening. One resident commented, “I had to stop my car and I cried.”

If anyone can do something about the next 56 land clearings before Invenergy destroys our town, please step up and help this town, its residents and its wildlife. It has been documented that we will lose over 68 percent of our forested lands to this project. Once the woods and wildlife are gone everything changes.

Lynn Lomanto lives in Orangeville.

Source:  By Lynn Lomanto | The Daily News | thedailynewsonline.com 23 July 2012

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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