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Ontario Bays Initiative calls for more wind impact studies

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CHAUMONT — Ontario Bays Initiative, a Chaumont-based land trust, is calling for more studies on wind farm impacts, echoing similar concerns raised by other local nonprofits and government entities.

In a letter submitted to the state Public Service Commission, OBI’s board chairman, James O. LaPlante, said the area is part of the Northeast Flyway, which hosts thousands of migrating avian species — many of which are endangered and/or threatened.

“While we support the concept of renewable energy, we have serious concerns regarding the construction of industrial scale wind turbine projects in this area until more extensive studies are done, and more accurate statistics are gathered,” he said in the letter,

BP Wind Energy’s proposal to build a 124-turbine wind farm in Cape Vincent has been drawing concerns from local land and environmental conservation groups such as the Thousand Islands Land Trust and Save the River, Clayton.

Cape Vincent’s town government also has been calling on the state to halt wind project siting reviews until long-term regional studies on infrasound and low-frequency noise impacts are conducted.

Citing a similar movement in Wisconsin, Cape Vincent officials are reaching out to municipalities across the state for their support on a resolution asking the state PSC to consider a wind moratorium until noise issues are properly evaluated.

Ontario Bays Initiative also asks that the state siting board uphold local zoning laws during the review of BP’s wind project application.

“As a ‘home rule’ state, our local municipalities are working long and hard to ensure the preservation of our heritage, the welfare of our residents and the best land use for our area. We respectfully request the Article X siting board carefully consider the wishes of our local officials, and if allowing the installation of industrial wind turbines, do so only within the scope of our Cape Vincent comprehensive plan and zoning laws,” Mr. LaPlante’s letter said.

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