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County Lawmakers Maintain Wind Project Impact Statement Needs More Work
Friday, January 11, 2013
County Lawmakers Maintain Wind Project Impact Statement Needs More Work

Cortland County Lawmakers have once again determined that the draft environmental assessment for the proposed Crown City industrial Wind Project is inadequate and needs more work, but the list of deficiencies is getting shorter.

Yesterday, the legislatures Agriculture and Planning Committee passed another resolution declaring the latest draft environmental impact statement for the industrial wind farm to be incomplete. This is the third time lawmakers have rejected the document.

The latest rejection was based primarily on comments and concerns from Democratic Legislator Kathy Arnold as well as ongoing concerns about the wind turbines potential impact on the counties new $16 million dollar emergency communications network.

Earlier this week representatives from the project developer T-C-T Renewables, Motorola the company building the new radio system, members of the County Communications Advisory Board, and Comm search a company specializing in radio frequencies and radio systems sat down to discuss the wind towers potential impact on the emergency radio system.

According to Legislator Kevin Whitney who has been actively involved with the radio project, there is no guarantee that the wind towers won’t impact the radio system, but engineers indicated that if there is interference the county’s transmission equipment could be moved and relocated onto weather towers that T-C-I will their erect as part of their project. Whitney cautioned that there is no guarantee that would solve the problem.

Arnold says T-C-I is attempting to answer the outstanding questions in their project review, but the communications system impacts remain a concern.

T-C-I is looking to place nearly 50 500 foot tall power generating turbines on land in the Towns of Cortlandville, Solon, Truxton, and Homer. The proposal has divided landowners and neighbors, those in support of the $200 million dollar project see it was a way to generate clean renewable energy and potentially offset rising tax burdens with lease and pilot payments. While those against the heavily subsidized project see it degrading property values and not providing a reliable energy alternative.

Following yesterday’s meeting T-C-I representative Brett O’Conner says the company remains committed to at least moving the environmental review forward and getting the public feedback on the project.

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