The Town Crier

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The St. Lawrence view shed should be protected from industrial wind.

The following is a transcript of a discussion that occurred between Charles Ebbing of the Town of Orleans and Assemblymember Addie J. Russell at a recent Article X symposium at Jefferson County Community College. I transcribed it from the Steve Weed Productions video:

Chuck Ebbing:  Thank you for coming and talking to us and listening to us. We don't get enough of that and we really appreciate it. I have a question.  Why do we see industrial wind developed in such beautiful areas of beauty? Why is that? What are the natural areas in New York State? So, I went on Google and basically, they came up with ten items. The first one was Niagara Falls, the second one was Lake George, the third one was the Finger Lakes, the fourth one was the Thousand Islands, The Montauk Point, Hudson River, the Chimney Bluff which is on Lake Ontario, Letchworth State Park, and also the Catskills and the Adirondacks. 

Charles Ebbing of the Town of
Orleans agrees with Assemblymember
Addie J. Russell
that the St. Lawrence River
view shed should be protected
from industrial wind.
It's kind of interesting to look at this and say that all of those first ones that I mentioned are really adjacent to water. Either water coming through them or on top of them. All of these ten areas in the State consist of fantastic waterfalls and mountains, beaches, lakes, and rivers that offer visitors fantastic views and tremendous recreational activities. I say this another way, all of the ten areas in New York have fantastic view sheds. We all know what the definition of view shed is. It is basically what you can see. So, it seems incredible to me that we basically see the targeting of these areas for industrial wind. Addie, what you said, I think gets at the same thing. So, let me get to my question. What protection will Article X provide for these natural wonders of New York State? I know that  for instance that the Hudson River already has been designated as a scenic area of statewide significance.I don't know what that means other than getting a gold star. But, my point is do we have to go through this pain in each of these areas? And, they are going to be considered, I think. Any comments?

Assemblymember Addie J. Russell:  That's kind of been what I have been talking about today is specifically that issue. 

Chuck Ebbing:  I agree that's basically what you've been talking about.

Assemblymember Addie J. Russell:  That's absolutely what I'm talking about. I think that there are constituents in this state that if they exhausted intervener funds, I think they would spend the money to bring the legal argument forth to keep this area pristine, and make the argument that the view shed has to be protected. And, that's why I said be careful what you wish for because even if there is someone in this room that supports a project like what's proposed on Galloo, eight miles out to sea, with no near neighbors except for fish and the cormorant, you might feel differently about that project, if you are coming at it from unbiased. And if it was supposedly removed from the fly path and you demonstrate that it's not going to be like when you drive into Cape Vincent seen across the water, that the turbines are going to be much less intrusive on the horizon. Perhaps that passes muster, but I don't know if the folks downstate would consent to that. They would just  say no way, we can't take the chance.  I do believe probably this is it for industrial for industrial wind development (In this area) because of those scenic areas.