As my town begins the 2013 campaign rush for Cape Vincent Town Council seats, I have found that many Cape Vincent voters may believe that the industrial wind siting being proposed for the town is out of their hands now and in the hands of the New York State. Furthermore, the less-than-informed about Article 10 seem to believe that town officials are wasting their time and taxpayers money on an attorney who represents the towns Article 10 Advisory Committee.
According to information posted on the PSC website, British Petroleum is in the process of seeking Article 10 siting of its proposed 124, nearly 500-foot tall turbines, which will be seen from the Thousand Islands. A British Petroleum application has not been completed, nor submitted, and no application has been accepted or approved by the New York State Public Service Commission.
Last May at a PSC hearing held in Cape Vincent, PSC Judge Paul Agresta informed both parites that they are now in the stipulations stage of the Article 10 siting process. The stipulations stage encourages British Petroleum and the town of Cape Vincent to come to agreement or at least discuss certain terms prior to the submission of an Article 10 application. Items that were suggested for discussion by British Petroleum included local laws, turbine size, Wolfe Island, maps, scoping analysis, emergency response, noise, visual impacts, geology, shadow flicker and decommissioning.
Also at the May hearing, PSC Judge Agresta awarded intervening funding to the town to defray expenses for the experts necessary in assisting the town in diligently addressing those items. The intervenor funding included the services of attorney Paul Curtin, who is experienced in municipal law and had recently advised the town during its revisions of the Joint Village-Town Comprehensive Plan and zoning laws.
All of the industrial wind siting discussion items brought to the table by British Petroleum as part of the Article 10 stipulations requirement are very important to the citizens of Cape Vincent. And according to the direction handed down by the PSC judge, both the town and the developer should be involved with the Article 10 stipulations process.
To say that the proposed British Petroleum industrial wind siting is now in the hands of the state and is no longer the business or responsibility of the town of Cape Vincent public officials is misleading. For any Cape Vincent 2013 candidates to claim that Article 10 no longer involves the town of Cape Vincent and to say that an attorney is not necessary when dealing with Article 10 is not only questionable but might appear to be a disservice to the Cape Vincent taxpayers and voters who should become informed about the PSC Article 10 process before making their 2013 election choices.
Richard C. Wiley