Just two months ago, the Town of Catlin in Chemung County was considering a law that would regulate energy companies who want to build wind farms in town. Now some neighbors are hoping for a local law that would instead ban wind farms entirely.
At the Catlin Town Hall meeting Thursday night, the possible ban was discussed, but town leaders say it might not be in the best interest of the town. Town Supervisor Laverne Phelps says because of some state laws, an outright ban might not be enough to keep the wind farms away. He says a local law would protect the town from energy companies looking to capitalize on area properties.
“Article 10 in New York State takes over rule of the entire project so the town loses home rule control and that’s the biggest concern that the town has and I have, is the face that we’ll lose home rule control,” he says.
Phillips says a local law would help regulate companies like Florida-based Nextera Energy who wants to build wind farms in Catlin. Nextera already has 30 agreements signed from neighbors who want to lease their property and get the revenue that comes with it, but some neighbors have concerns. Noise, loss of scenic landscape, and environmental issues were just a few of the topics addressed Thursday night. One neighbor says discussion tonight is at least a step in the right direction.
“I’m very happy that we’ve come to terms with the township, they can start to see our point of view. We’ve done a lot research and we’ve brought that research to them,” Catlin resident Patricia Collins says.
The Schulyer County town of Dix, next to Catlin, is also considering a wind turbine proposal. The town supervisor says if Dix allows wind farms and Catlin does not, there is a possibility a wind energy company could overturn any ban the town of Catlin puts into place.
The proposal for a local law now heads back to the planning board for a review and update.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding