The Tompkins county legislature unanimously passed a resolution in support of Black Oak Wind Farm on Feb. 4, noting that the wind farm “constitutes a $40 million investment in clean, renewable energy,” is consistent with the County’s greenhouse gas emission goals, and that “the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap documents that wind energy has the potential to provide a significant portion of electricity demand within Tompkins County.”
However, residents of Enfield, where the wind farm is planned, objected, saying they have health and safety concerns that have not been addressed. Mimi Mehaffey, of Bostwick Road, said she lives in an earth-berm passive solar house. “Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what more I could be doing to avert the doom of climate change… (but) the health and safety issues with the wind farm are real. Slow down this process, and site the turbines correctly. Please allow the Enfield Town Board to work without interference.”
Robert Tesori, who lives closest to the wind farm site, said one turbine would be 975 feet from his house, and 190 feet from his property line. “The law is inadequate,” said Tesori. “All we’re asking is, ‘Work with us.'”
Mike Carpenter, of the Enfield town board, said that board had been poised to approve the wind farm when “a number of the residents said, ‘this is going to be an issue for us.’… In Europe, the setbacks (from large wind turbines) are getting to be in the kilometers range.” Carpenter added, “I’m not sure the Enfield town board would be able to do anything with the county’s resolution.”
Legislator Jim Dennis, who along with Dave McKenna represents Enfield, said “the only thing the measure indicates is that the Legislature supports renewable energy, which happens to be renewable energy in Enfield” and he noted that the County has no other role in the issue.
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