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Sierra Club states its support for Heritage Wind project in Barre

Posted 20 September 2020 at 3:15 pm

Press Release, Apex Clean Energy/Heritage Wind

BARRE – After an extensive review of the project’s public benefits and impacts, New York’s largest environmental advocacy organization has announced its support for Apex Clean Energy’s Heritage Wind project.

The Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, representing 46,000 members in NY state, gave the 184.8-megawatt wind farm proposed for the Town of Barre its stamp of approval after an evaluation by the Chapter’s local committee covering Orleans County.

The evaluation looked at several aspects of the project including any impacts on wetlands, forested areas, birds, and wildlife as well as community benefits and the project’s effect on agriculture and food production. Heritage Wind scored 14 out of 16 possible points in the evaluation, earning the project a strong endorsement from the group.

“The Sierra Club supports clean renewable energy,” said Ellen Cardone Banks, Conservation Chair for the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “We must phase out all burning of fossil fuels to hold off the worst effects of the climate crisis and to avoid further damage to our air and water. Burning coal, gas and oil to generate electricity degrades our soil and waterways, harms wildlife, including damage to habitats, and increases the suffering and costs of respiratory illness, besides fueling climate change.”

Heritage Wind submitted its Article 10 permit application earlier this year. If approved, the project would be expected to enter construction in 2022 and be operational by the end of 2023.

“We expect high standards of environmental protection and community benefits from renewable energy projects, and we examine concerns through the lens of scientific evidence rather than scare tactics and unsubstantiated rumors,” Banks said. “Before endorsing any specific utility-scale wind or solar project, we review all available evidence of wildlife protection, impacts on forests and food production, and provisions for community engagement, benefits, and available information on labor standards that provide family-supporting jobs. Applying these criteria to Heritage Wind, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter endorses the project plan and will be continuing to monitor the project on these standards as it goes forward.”

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