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Turbines at Deer Lake may drain the lake

Now that the New York State agencies have made a decision to allow the Bluestone Wind project to proceed, it is important for everyone to be aware of the deviousness and dishonesty of the Calpine corporation which is behind this plan, as they attempt to build industrial wind turbines above our homes in Deer Lake.

The company, which is planning to erect more than two dozen mammoth industrial wind turbines in the Sanford and Windsor area, last year attempted to stifle opposition from the people who live at Deer Lake with an offer to pave roads around the lake – but only if people living there agreed to surrender their constitutional right to oppose the turbines, and instead gave their unqualified support to Calpine’s project.

What this reveals is that Calpine is well aware of the fragility of this man-made lake, which straddles Windsor and Sanford. It is regarded as being particularly vulnerable to Calpine’s ambitious plan which would see a significant number of turbines erected on the hills overlooking the lake. They know their project will damage and even destroy our lake, and perhaps our water supply, but they wanted to bribe the residents here by trying to get us to agree not to sue them in return for some flimsy rewards that will do nothing to protect the lake or our water supply.

Construction work, which would involve blasting deep into the hillsides to build concrete foundations for the 650 foot high turbines, could destabilize the lake bed, which comprises a thin layer of gravel, causing the lake to drain.

The construction work could also impact the aquifer, blocking the flow of water to wells around the lake, making Deer Lake virtually uninhabitable, as most of us are dependent on wells for our water supply.

A draft contract was drawn up by Calpine’s lawyers which, if it had been accepted by Deer Lake residents, would have barred anyone living at the lake from opposing the wind turbines and would have committed the lake’s residents to co-operating with Calpine, via its local subsidiary Bluestone, in obtaining State permits.

One section demands no opposition. “Deer Lake, its Board Members and officers, serving in their official capacity, and members, agree that they (a) will not oppose the Project and (b) will cooperate with Bluestone’s efforts to obtain approval of all permits and licenses necessary to construct and operate the Project.”

That clause would effectively bar Deer Lake residents from exercising their constitutional right to free speech by forbidding any expression of opposition to the Calpine project.

Another clause in the draft contract would have effectively prevented any resident of Deer Lake bringing a legal action aimed at stopping the project by making the road building offer conditional on acquiescence to Calpine’s plans.

It read: ”None of the homeowners in Deer Lake’s homeowner’s association or their family members have brought any lawsuit or other regulatory action, including in connection with the Certificate against the Project”.

Fortunately, no one has taken the bait. The people who live at Deer Lake will continue to oppose this project and the State’s decision which will devastate our environment, threaten the health of those living nearby, and will not make any meaningful contribution to the vital work of reducing global warming.

Ed Moloney, Deer Lake Road, Windsor