Apex overstates support for wind energy projects locally and elsewhere

Posted 10 July 2017 at 10:39 pm


What does Apex Clean Energy really care about your health?  Read on…

APEX Clean Energy attended the Clay County Iowa Supervisor’s Meeting on Tuesday, May 10th in order to discuss concerns raised regarding the Upland Prairie Wind Project currently proposed for Clay and Dickinson Counties in Iowa.  Presenting to the Board of Supervisors was Mr. Christopher Ollson, PhD, Senior Environmental Health Scientist at Ollson Environmental Health Management.

Mr. Ollson, you may remember, is the person that presented the following position in a 2011 peer-reviewed paper published in the Environmental Health Journal:

“Conducting further research into the effects of wind turbines (and environmental change) on human health, emotional and physical, as well as the effect of public consultation with community groups in reducing preconstruction anxiety, is warranted. Such an undertaking should be initiated prior to public announcement of a project, and could involve baseline community health and attitude surveys …”.

The importance of effects on human health and the need for public consultation prior to the announcement of a project are common-sense goals that all can support.  However, this is the same Mr. Ollson that stated the following regarding health studies, as a paid consultant of Apex, in a meeting with the Niagara County Board of Health in December of 2015:

“The company doesn’t have to do such a study and if people are concerned, they should see their local physician.”

Mr. Ollson, in 2011, as much as requires baseline health studies, prior to the announcement of a project, but just a couple of years later turns 180 degrees and declares; “never mind”.

He further indicated that the Clay County Board of Supervisors must consider the State of Iowa’s experience, as a whole, before making a decision on the project.  The unstated, but clear intent is that Upland Prairie Wind Project should be considered regardless of their own constituent’s local wishes.  Sound familiar?  Mr. Ollson and APEX have learned from New York’s own Article 10 process that they can by-pass localities and go right to the State for project approvals because New York State requires its constituents to subjugate local needs to a state-determined ‘greater good’.  As such, those most impacted by industrial wind turbine emplacement projects don’t count when compared with the whole of New York, where localities have lost the right to self-govern.

During the meeting, a petition was presented to the Clay County Board of Supervisors supporting Apex’s Upland Prairie Wind Project, and Apex indicated signing almost 100 signatures from the citizens in the area. By contrast Apex is trying to do the same in Yates and Somerset as they’re trying to do in Iowa.  That is, convince local governments that massive support exists, when really, only 54 leaseholders (some who do not even live in Yates or Somerset) and a handful of others actually support the project.

Mr. Ollson then told the assembled Board of Supervisors that a good noise level for their constituents would be 45 decibels. Considering that a jet engine in takeoff mode produces 105 decibels, the suggested 45 decibel maximum is synonymous with the noise produced by a lawnmower or tractor – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That level of noise is not quiet or even healthy for anyone living with this constant level of noise.

In closing, we must remember that Apex is a business that believes Governor Cuomo and the State are on their side.  As such, they will say and do anything to get their way.  Therefore, Governor Cuomo and the State Siting Board must support the Towns of Yates and Somerset in their opposition to the Lighthouse Wind Industrial Wind Turbine Emplacement Project.

Governor Cuomo are you listening?!

More to come.

John B. Riggi

Councilman, Town of Yates