As concerned parties watching Apex’s maneuvers we’ve been sidelined for a while now. This portion of the Article 10 process has shut the public out of vital information about Lighthouse Wind. What can we do?
One thing for sure we can do is to make our comments known about Apex’s Stipulations document by May 9. Let the Department of Public Service know that despite this long informational drought we are still “engaged” and paying close attention.
If you want to see some of the comments that have already been submitted, they are posted on the DPS website here:
Need some pointers on making your own comments? Go to
http://saveontarioshores.com/public-stipulations.html. There you can find instructions for writing your concerns and sending them along to the right parties.
Betty Wolanyk had some excellent observations about the shoddiness of Apex’s Stipulations and she made this presentation to the town boards about the glaring deficiencies:
General Overview of Lighthouse Wind Stipulations – A Sloppy Document
During the two-year stipulations phase of the Lighthouse Wind project only parties were permitted to comment on the documents and the process was to be kept confidential. Citizens had to endure two years of the Apex PR campaign of billboards, advertisements and free hotdogs trying to sway the local public to support industrial wind in its backyard while the public was not included in the stipulations process.
What did we get after two years of waiting? Only the first 97 pages of this 290-page document are Apex drafted text. There are references to items such as diversion ditches or swales (used in hilly terrain not flat lands such as Somerset and Yates), forest preserve lands, and the stated need to address the Adirondack Park Master Plan that are irrelevant to our towns. This indicates that this writing was originally intended for another project, perhaps Galloo Island in the Thousand Islands where Apex has another project.
As you read through these 97 pages there are formatting issues that make reading the document difficult to follow. At the end of the 97 page document there are a number of appendices that are not listed in the Table of Contents and not reasonably numbered.
The last 128 pages are various scanned-in documents from the Army Corps of Engineers Manual for assessing visual impacts dated 1986 and 1988. Much of this outdated information is inappropriate because it refers to hilly and/or mountainous areas with directions to limit impact based on that terrain.
This is not a professional presentation and provides another example of the slipshod performance of Apex. If they cannot complete a consecutively numbered sensible document that addresses the terrain and facts presented by our town, why on earth would anyone allow them to build an industrial wind turbine complex anywhere?
What can we learn from the Lighthouse Wind stipulations documents?
The stipulations document provides us with a bit of insight and counters much of what Apex and the wind industry have claimed. Here are a few examples:
For years the wind industry has denied that stray voltage affects and/or damages livestock – yet Apex acknowledges that possibility on page 12 letter d.
Apex and its supporters deny that the wind industry creates any form of pollution, yet on page 23 Apex acknowledges “construction debris, waste oils, woody debris, and sanitary wastes” during construction will be dealt with. “During operation, wastes may include waste oils, lubricants or chemicals associated with the use and maintenance of turbines and electric transformers”.
And on page 24: “Spill management plans will also include the identification of chemicals and oils to be stored on-site and spill response plans for addressing any substance-specific response measures required. This will include any oils contained in operating equipment, including electrical transformers at turbine sites and at collection and interconnection substations.”
The wind turbine industry denies any health impacts of sound and infrasound, although Apex acknowledges its existence on page 25. In fact pages 29- 42 (14 pages of the report) address all of the processes involved in addressing noise issues. This is a significant portion of the original text of the stipulations; it is obviously a significant issue.
The wind turbine industry denies any health impacts of shadow flicker. But Apex acknowledges its existence on page 25 and 26 including photosensitive epilepsy, a condition specifically denied by the wind industry.
Apex stated to the Yates Town board that the second set of MET towers were to be the last. However, on page 14 it indicates that there will be both temporary and permanent MET towers. Permanent meteorological towers have never been mentioned in either Somerset or Yates Town Board meetings or planning board meetings.
The wind industry denies that industrial wind turbines are deadly to bats and migrating song birds or are particularly deadly to eagles, owls, hawks and other birds of prey. Yet on page 55 Apex indicates that the project application will include an application for a permit to kill endangered species such as the bald eagles that live in the project area.
These are just a few observations that can be made in reading and commenting on the Lighthouse Wind stipulations. It is a tough slog through this document but SOS has made it easier by breaking out specific segments that can be more easily read and understood. Please take the time to visit the SOS website.