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Supervisors appreciate Cuomo’s setback standard for turbines

It is with professional appreciation that we extend this note of thanks to Governor Cuomo for taking a courageous stand establishing a state-wide 30-mile setback standard for industrial wind turbine emplacements. Clearly, he understands the adverse impacts of poorly sited industrial wind turbines on human health, the environment, property values, the economy and quality of life.

According to the transcript published in The Legislative Gazette, in his Jan. 10, 2017, State of the State address at Farmingdale State College, Mr. Cuomo stated the following: “I’m calling on LIPA [Long Island Power Authority] to approve a 90 megawatt wind farm. It’s enough to support 50,000 homes. They will not be visible from the beach. They will be 30 miles southeast of Montauk. Not even Superman standing on Montauk Point could see these wind farms.”

To whom did Mr. Cuomo make this statement? According to the Watertown Daily Times, he was addressing: “Well-heeled Long Island summer residents who want green power but do not want their views of the ocean to be dotted with 550-foot high turbines.”

It is good to know that Mr. Cuomo is stepping forward to protect the aesthetic viewsheds of our fellow New Yorkers living in the Hamptons on Long Island. We agree with Mr. Cuomo regarding the critical importance of protecting beautiful landscapes for property values, tourism, recreation and economic development.

We, the undersigned town supervisors from upstate New York, represent constituents in towns on the Lake Ontario littoral and the Thousand Islands. We may not represent “well-heeled millionaires of the Hamptons” but we do represent rural New York residents who are overwhelmingly objecting to wind projects in order to protect their property values and viewsheds. They don’t want to live next door to industrial-scale wind energy factories. They don’t want to see the red-blinking lights atop the turbines, all night, every night for the rest of their lives. Nor do they want to be subjected to the audible and inaudible noise the turbines produce. We look forward to Mr. Cuomo publicly stating that all New Yorkers are equal and that we should all be provided the same environmental justice protections, not just the millionaires on the Hamptons.

We heartily thank Mr. Cuomo for ensuring that we now have what the State of New York considers a reasonable wind turbine setback, a setback that protects people, wildlife, the environment and quality of life of all New York’s residents. A 30-mile setback from industrial wind turbines is now the standard.

Thank you, Governor Cuomo.

Daniel M. Engert is the town supervisor in Somerset, James J. Simon is the town supervisor in Yates, David M. Storandt Jr. is the town supervisor in Clayton (Jefferson County) and John J. Culkin is the town supervisor in Henderson (Jefferson County).