SOS says facts, not personal attacks, should be focus on wind project debate

Posted 24 April 2017 at 8:04 am


Knowledge is important when contemplating development in your community and there is a lot of information about industrial wind turbines available.

When researching, it’s important to look at the source of information and what that source has to gain. Most of us, even when making everyday purchases and even more so when making a costly purchase, research, look at reviews and get references. The same approach is even more essential when a project that has the potential to have significant impacts on your life is being proposed.

Save Ontario Shores, Inc. (SOS) was founded in January of 2015 as a response to the Lighthouse Wind project. Our mission has been to research and present information other than what has been, and continues to be, disseminated by the developer, Apex Clean Energy.

Our reasons for opposition are many.

The loss of Home Rule in New York State is of primary concern because, if our town boards could make the decision about this project, Apex would have already left the area. Multiple surveys of citizens as well as elections in the towns of Somerset and Yates show the majority of individuals oppose the project. But Article 10, put in place in 2011, has given the power to a siting board in Albany to decide whether this project is approved. The majority of that board is made up of appointees by Governor Cuomo.

SOS is concerned about the impact this project would have on our health and quality of life. People around the world are suffering because industrial wind turbines have been constructed near their homes. We have spoken to many of these individuals; we have read or watched their stories. An increasing number of them were not opposed to the turbines until they began operating and negatively impacting their lives and health.  They warn us not to trust the words of the wind developers. Developers have a great deal of financial gain at stake and once the turbines are operating, no amount of citizen complaint is going to bring them down.  The cost is too great.

Other issues include potential negative impacts on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission will be making the ultimate decision on whether the base remains open. It will be up to the commission to determine whether industrial wind turbines taller than 600 feet would impede future missions.

It is well-documented that the southern shore of Lake Ontario is a major migratory pathway for raptors, songbirds and bats. Studies by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have shown that the height at which these birds migrate would be directly through the path of the turbine blades. USFWS has been in favor of renewable energy and so its warning of severe impact to birds should be given great weight.

Many of us feel that any tax or PILOT contribution from Lighthouse Wind would be more than offset by these negative factors.

As this debate continues, seek out the facts and let’s not resort to personal attacks. Nothing productive can come of that.

Pam Atwater


Save Ontario Shores, Inc.