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Lake Erie horizon cluttered with energy equipment? S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie is a hard ‘no’ 

Credit:  Jerry Skrypzak · June 20, 2024 · goerie.com ~~

On Tuesday, April 16th, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 254 sponsored by state Rep. Bob Merski, of Erie, D-2nd Dist., that would allow the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to lease tracts of lake bed land in Lake Erie to construct and maintain equipment for renewable energy. These devices would be used for developing wind, solar and kinetic (water power) energy.

Similar attempts at this type of development have been attempted off shore of Cleveland, Ohio, and also in the waters off New York state and have failed to come to fruition due to many factors involved. It seems apparent that our state legislators are not fully informed on the structure of Lake Erie, its importance to human health, and the threat to our drinking water, our fishery and our life that the construction or placement of these devices, structures or equipment could create.

The S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie has serious concerns for this type of development on one of the world’s most precious freshwater aquatic resources. While we strongly support efforts to develop an improved environment, there are far too many unanswered questions on this proposed legislation. Here are a few of them:

  1. The Pennsylvania portion of Lake Erie is currently awaiting federal designation as a National Marine Sanctuary to protect the region’s maritime heritage and protect a nationally significant collection of shipwrecks.
  2. There is no specific list of exactly what type of devices and/or constructed equipment will be placed in the lake. It indicates fixed or floating devices may be utilized but does not outline how construction will be completed or how large this equipment might be. Drilling into the lake bed to construct fixed devices is of extreme concern to us for several environmental reasons.
  3. There is no mention of how this generated energy will be transmitted to shore or how and where it will be received and stored once there.
  4. It is unclear what any of these types of human-made disturbances could do to the environment. Disturbing silt-buried toxins in the lake bed – and there are many types of them – could damage and destroy fish populations, wildlife and affect drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people depending on it for survival.

Lake Erie is a natural wonder enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people in some fashion each and every day and that has been the case for centuries. Anyone who has ever watched and been awestruck by our spectacular sunsets must realize there is only one body of water like Lake Erie on the planet Earth. It is unthinkable to imagine the horizon cluttered with manmade power-generating equipment. With our lake already dealing with invasive species, toxic algae blooms and climate change, why are we doing this?

As a fishing and conservation club of 2,500 members headquartered in Erie, Pa., we are totally against and shocked by any attempt to place power-generating devices or structures in Lake Erie.

House Bill 254 has now been moved to the Pennsylvania Senate where state senators will have a chance to review the legislation and decide if it should become law. If you share our concerns and fears, we ask that you contact your state Senate member and tell him or her how you feel.

Jerry Skrypzak is the president of S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie.

Source:  Jerry Skrypzak · June 20, 2024 · goerie.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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