Environmental groups form coalition to oppose Lighthouse Wind project

Posted 26 February 2018 at 6:16 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: A wind turbine is pictured on the Tug Hill Plateau in northern New York.

Press Release, Save Ontario Shores

A diverse group of organizations has joined forces to stop Apex Clean Energy’s Lighthouse Wind project, which has been proposed for the towns of Somerset and Yates.

The mission of the POWER Coalition (Protecting {Lake} Ontario’s Waterfront, Environment, and Resources) is to highlight the broad opposition to the current proposal by Apex to site up to 70, approximately 600-foot-tall industrial wind turbines along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

“We are in favor of renewable energy, but the Lighthouse Wind project does not meet our standards,” said Shawn Graff, vice president, Great Lakes Region, American Bird Conservancy.  “The American Bird Conservancy believes that the proximity to the lakeshore makes this project toxic for migrating birds, bats and raptors and this alone should be enough to stop the project. There are several environmental organizations who agree.”

Each member organization opposes this project based on one or more of the following concerns:

• That this project is being proposed in a major bird migratory corridor and will be devastating to large populations of birds and bats;

• Will visually degrade the waterfront, negatively impact tourism, and violate the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plans (LWRP) adopted by the towns of Somerset and Yates, and accepted by New York State;

• Disrupt hunting and fishing opportunities;

• Increase noise levels for local and seasonal residents;

• Possibly interfere with operations at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, potentially jeopardizing the future of the base in the next round of base closures.

It is the position of all POWER Coalition members that renewable energy is a legitimate and important goal for New York State to pursue.  But no energy project should ever be free of assessing and balancing all its impacts on other vital aspects of our environment, economy and quality of life.

The POWER Coalition acknowledges the importance of standards for the proper siting of these projects based on eliminating or significantly mitigating the negative aspects any project might present.  The POWER Coalition believes that the Apex proposal for Somerset and Yates fails to meet these standards and should be rejected by New York State.

POWER Coalition members include: American Bird Conservancy, Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club, Federation of Monroe County Environmentalists, Genesee Valley Audubon Society, Great Lakes Seaway Trail, Hawk Migration Association of North America, New York State Ornithological Association, Niagara USA Chamber, Orleans County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Rochester Birding Association, and Save Ontario Shores, Inc.

The POWER Coalition will continue to advocate for the withdrawal of this project through direct advocacy with government officials, by hosting forums, and disseminating information which will show the tremendous negative impact this industrial wind project will have on Niagara and Orleans counties’ lakeshore regions.

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