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Broome residents wind moratorium on Calpine proposal

Calpine Curbed! – Broome residents win moratorium.

At a standing room only public meeting in Deposit last Tuesday evening, August 13th, the Sanford Town Board heard intense public opposition to the planned imposition of huge industrial wind turbines in this rural area.

Jim Michalec, speaking for the Broome County Concerned Residents (BCCR), told the packed meeting that Calpine, the company behind the wind turbine proposal, had been secretive and failed in its duty to provide for public participation. Speaking to a crowd bedecked in distinctive yellow protest t-shirts, he also castigated the Board for keeping the turbine plans a secret from the town residents. He explained that “It was always in Calpine’s interest to avoid the public as much as possible, providing no information or limited information in its quest to establish a wind turbine facility. The strategy was two-pronged, the first securing leases with private landowners while the second was directed at the Sanford Town Board, seeking to obtain the land-use ordinances required for such a massive industrial project. Once accomplished, they could then deal with the public.”

Several other speakers pointed out that they only learned about this proposal four months ago, though the Town Board and the company had been making plans for the last several years.

Many speakers highlighted the raised health threats posed by the turbines, pointing out the risk of heart disease caused by the turbines’ vibrations. Concerns for the environment, deforestation, and fishing were cited. The impact on the special eagle population in our area was voiced by several.

The meeting was called to consider a recommendation from the Town’s Planning Board to adopt a moratorium, which would give the Town Board time to review and study laws on public health and safety. After hearing from the residents, the Board voted unanimously to pass the moratorium.

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