Wind Company Wants to Continue Environmental Review Despite Missing Regulatory Benchmark
Despite assertions that the project is dead, the developers of a proposed industrial wind farm here in Cortland County say they want to continue moving the environmental review of the project forward.
Representatives of T-C-I Renewables, the company looking to put up nearly 50, 500 foot tall wind turbines in four Cortland County towns appeared before the Cortland County Agriculture and Planning Committee Thursday where they announced that despite failing to meet a November 1st regulatory deadline the company wants the county to continue its review of the draft environmental impact statement that has been prepared for the $200 million dollar wind project.
Last month the County legislature said the draft document was inadequate and refused to release the report for public review. Several lawmakers said they were uncomfortable with the document, particularly the portion of the report that deals with the wind towers potential impact on the County’s new 14 million dollar emergency radio communications network that is currently under construction.
T-C-I Development Manager Gareth McDonald says the company has invested a considerable amount of time and money into preparing the draft environmental report and supporting studies. McDonald says T-C-I simply wants to see the review come to some sort of natural conclusion. McDonald say the company is evaluating whether or not to reapply to state regulators in order to get the project back in line for those approvals should the wind project be approved at the local levels.
Republican Legislator Kevin Whitney who serves on the County communications Advisory Committee says until the county is given assurances by engineers and Motorola which is building the new communications network that this project will not have negative consequences on the radio system he does not see the County determining the draft wind report is ready for public review to move the process forward.
T-C-I’s assertion is that they have provided enough information to at least move the report to the next stage, T-C-I Attorney Kevin Bernstein with Bond Schoeneck &King says the draft report is only intended to identify potential problems and that the final details would come during the next round of review.
The communications advisory board and its experts are slated to meet with T-C-I on December 12th to see if the communications concerns can be resolved.