Welcome to home page of the Western Catskill Preservation Alliance (WCPA). The WCPA was formed in the late summer of 2006 to fight what we believe is an ill-conceived industrial wind energy project which will have a devastating impact on our rural lands and wilderness. The WCPA is concentrating its efforts in the Towns of Stamford, Roxbury and Gilboa where Invenergy, a Chicago based wind energy company, has proposed to build a industrial wind farm consisting of 34 turbines, each standing 410 feet tall.
The WCPA members include working families and retirees, full-time residents and second homeowners, professionals and farmers. If you would like to join our cause please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our home page provides regular updates on the status of the Industrial Wind issue. We also maintain a history of the updates so that newcomers can quickly learn about the issue.
To Friends of the WCPA,
I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to the summer….it will be here soon.
Well, it has now been quite a few years since we last heard from Invenergy. They have closed the office in Stamford and from what we understand they have not been pestering landowners to sign leases.
With all of your support we have clearly won all the battles we faced so far and now the question is, have we won the war?
Are they waiving the white flag on the project or not? I believe that Invenergy may never declare that the project is dead. Why? Because the project is considered an asset to Invenergy having gone through the SEQRA process; from an investor’s perspective this helps the company valuation. So I doubt they will officially close it down. But we certainly hope they do.
With that said, the WCPA is keeping its powder dry just in case they show up again. In the interim we are all enjoying not having to deal with what one of our supporters once said at a Roxbury planning board meeting, “…this is the craziest idea i have ever heard, are you guys nuts….”
Best regards to all of you. I hope to see you around.
Claims by the wind industry that another year-long extension of the production tax credit (PTC) would create American jobs are based on “self-serving industry interviews and unsupported wind capacity forecasts that have no credibility,” according to a recently completed study by the American Energy Alliance (AEA) and the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR).
Additionally, the report finds that analysis conducted for the wind industry by Chicago-based Navigant Consulting significantly overestimated the number of jobs that would be lost as a result of scheduled expiration of the PTC on Dec. 31, 2012. Congress voted to extend the subsidy at a cost of over $12 billion during last year’s fiscal cliff negotiations.
The study, “Inflated Numbers; Erroneous Conclusions: The Navigant Wind Jobs Report” lays bare the macroeconomic distortions and faulty modeling that the wind industry used to justify continued payments of its taxpayer-funded corporate welfare.
To Friends of the WCPA,
I hope you are all doing well and surviving this crazy winter weather.
Sorry for the long delay since the last update but not much has been going on. As you recall, we have been waiting for Invenergy to submit a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to the Roxbury Planning Board. The FEIS must respond to the 100+ comments/issues it received from the public meetings that we conducted 2 years ago when they submitted the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Over the past two years Invenergy has repeatedly stated that it was working on the FEIS and that it would be submitted in the next few months. They recently told some of our member landowners that they were going to submit the FEIS in March. Perhaps they will, but I am not holding my breath.
We have spoken with the Roxbury Planning Board and they have not heard from Invenergy and neither has their engineering firm, LaBella.
What we do know is this:
- Invenergy continues to try and sign up new landowners promising the project is going ahead with or without them – As stated above they are threatening to submit the FEIS without them in March. I view this as nothing more than “strong arm” tactics to scare landowners into signing.
- We also know that they are increasing their offers to close to $30k per turbine to sign up new landowners and will not consider increasing lease amounts for landowners who signed on earlier for far less amounts. This can’t be going over well with early supporters of the project. It also shows how desperate Invenergy is to sign new landowners.
- We also know that there is value to Invenergy to have a project like this one in their portfolio/asset base even if they never intend to move forward with the project. When Invenergy is valued for investment purposes, the Morseville project will have some value associated with it since it can be viewed by Investors as a real project that is in the SEQRA process. This is the reason we believe, Invenergy just won’t go away.
- We know that our landowner base is as strong as ever – providing they continue to stay together, the project will never proceed.
- Invenergy is saying that they have a new layout that routes turbines and substations around non-supporting landowners.
- With that said we know that Invenergy has reduced its office space in Stamford and no one from Invenergy has been seen for many months.
- We know that Invenergy is looking to raise $200m in capital to support its wind business – the markets have been very tough and venture capital on high risk businesses like Invenergy is hard to come by. Please see this link. http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4850990. Please note that they are looking mainly at China for investment capital since they can’t find any American based firms to invest.
- We know that Invenergy’s wind business is suffering and it appears that Invenergy is giving up on some of its project. Please see this link. Wind Watch: Brown County wind farm plan shelved
- In the unlikely event that Invenergy submits an FEIS, it is our belief that it will take LeBella (Roxbury’s engineering firm) at least 3-6 months to properly evaluation the FEIS, assess Invenergy’s response to the 100+ environmental issues that were raised by the public and then to report back to the Planning Board. The Planning Board can also decide to hold another Public Hearing which will a month or two (we will ask for this).
As always, the WCPA is prepared to fight this ill-proposed project to the end. We have no intention of backing off.
Thanks for your on-going support.
We will keep you posted.
To Friends of the WCPA,
I hope all of you are doing well.
I know its been a while since the last update but there hasn’t been much to report. Last we heard is that Invenergy moved to a smaller office in Stamford and representatives of the company are rarely seen. The last update I had from Invenergy which was about two months ago was that they were planning to submit the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) this November. However, I believe the reality of the situation is that capital (funding) in today’s market for such a risky project is scarce; hence, we can expect further delays. In any event, we asked our attorney, Peter Henner, to formally request that the Roxbury Planning Board require Invenergy to submit a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) given the amount of time that has elapsed since the DEIS was submitted. This is the right thing for the Planning Board to do to give the public a chance to review and analyze the most current plan. A copy of the letter is included below.
I feel that the more time that passes the better our chances of this project going away. However, my feelings don’t matter. I can assure you that the WCPA will remain vigilant and prepared to take them on should they decide to continue the process.
Thanks for your continued support!!
We’ll keep you posted.
ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW
P.O. BOX 326
CLARKSVILLE, NEW YORK 12041-0326
Fax: (518) 768-8235
WEB SITE: peterhenner.com
September 14, 2010
Roxbury Planning Board
P.O. Box 187
Roxbury, NY 12474
To the Planning Board:
As you will recall, I represent the Western Catskill Preservation Alliance (“WCPA”) with respect to the proposed Invenergy wind turbine project. On April 30, 2009, I wrote to the Board to express the WCPA’s concerns about the Board’s administration of the SEQRA process with respect to this project.
In my April 2009 letter, I specifically stated “a possible change in the project, such as a material change in location and number of turbines that are presently proposed, may require the preparation of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“SEIS”), subject to all of the rules and regulations set forth in 6 NYCRR Part 617 for the preparation of an SEIS.” Now, 17 months later, the Board should require the applicant to prepare an SEIS for the Board’s consideration, both to address a variety of outstanding issues, and to consider possible changes to the project and their prospective impacts.
The Board accepted a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”) in the spring of 2008. The Board has still not completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”). Although I understand that the preparation of the FEIS has been delayed because of the need to consider the voluminous comments that were received with respect to the project, and because of the need to perform additional studies, particularly with respect to possible adverse impacts on wildlife, the fact remains that the original DEIS is now more than 2 1/2 years old and, to a considerable extent, relies upon information that is now outdated.
The SEIS should update all of the information that was submitted in the original DEIS, add any new information, including the last two years of wildlife impact studies, and identify and analyze changes to the application that may be necessary as a result of any new landowner agreements that Invenergy has been able to negotiate, or, conversely, any changes that may be necessary because of sites for wind turbines that Invenergy now knows it will not be able to acquire.
In addition, the SEIS should address the inadequacies that were evident from the comments that were made on the original DEIS. Although the FEIS, if it was completed, would respond to these comments, I would respectfully suggest that the Board take the opportunity of an SEIS, to remedy deficiencies that have been identified in the DEIS. In particular, I note that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District and Riverkeeper, as well as the WCPA, sharply criticized the lack of detail in the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan that was included in the DEIS.
As I stated in my April 2009 letter, the WCPA understands that the Board is doing its best to fully comply with its legal obligations under SEQRA and to make a full and reasoned determination with respect to all prospective environmental impacts. We would like to take this opportunity to urge the Board to ensure that these impacts are fully considered by requiring an SEIS, both to remedy the deficiencies of the original DEIS, and to address any new impacts that may have been identified in the last 2 1/2 years.
Very truly yours,
Attorney for Western Catskill Preservation Association
c: Kevin Young, Esq.
Turbines Too Loud? Here, Take $5,000
By WILLIAM YARDLEY
Published: July 31, 2010
In Oregon, a company is offering checks to residents if they promise not to complain about noise from turbines.
Click here to read the rest of the article.
Not exactly an oil well blowout, but even “green” energy has its problems …
Click the images below to view them full size.
To Friends of the WCPA,
I hope you are all well.
This update will be quick. There is no news to report. Invenergy had said that they were going to be submitting the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to the Roxbury Planning Board in the December ’09 time frame. Here it is in May and they still have not issued it. Also, there has been very little activity at the office in Stamford. To the best of our knowledge the Roxbury Planning has not been given a revised date for the FEIS.
We really can’t do much more until the FEIS is formally submitted to the Planning board and has gone through a review process with LaBella (the town’s engineering firm).
I will keep you all posted.
Happy Mother’s Day!
To Friends of the WCPA,
I hope all is well.
Attached please find a letter that we sent to the DEP. The letter requests the DEP to consider a ban on industrial wind turbines in the NYC watershed. Feel free to pass this letter along.
Ice-tossing turbines: myth or hazard?
Wind project suspended after turbine fire
Mt. Storm turbine catches fire
Locust Ridge wind turbine fire still under investigation
Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to 31 December 2009
Cut wind turbine
WESTERN CATSKILL PRESERVATION ALLIANCE
PRESS RELEASE (Available for immediate release)
January 7, 2010
WCPA Challenges Turbine Setback Requirements
The Western Catskill Preservation Alliance (WCPA) has taken official steps to request the towns of Roxbury and Stamford to increase setbacks from wind turbines to a minimum of 1300 feet. WCPA attorney, Peter Henner, has formally requested that the towns revisit the ordinances governing the placement of Industrial Wind Turbines based on setback requirements defined by Vestas, the manufacturer of the V90 turbines being proposed for the Invenergy project. Henner Letter to Roxbury – Henner Letter to Stamford
The “Safety Regulations for Operators and Technicians – V90-3.0MW Turbines” manual published by Vestas and included in the Stamford Application and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is the safety manual for the V90 turbines being proposed for the project. The document states: “Do not stay within a radius of 400m (1300ft) from the turbine unless it is necessary.” – Vesta V90 Safety Manual
The Roxbury wind ordinance requires that a turbine be placed 1.5x the height of the turbines from a neighboring property line. The V90 turbines being proposed for the Invenergy project are 410 feet tall therefore establishing the setback to 615 feet, less than half the distance of the recommended setback as defined in the safety manual. In Stamford, the setback is 1000ft to a property line, 300 feet short of the requirement.
“This is pure and simple an environmental safety issue that needs to be addressed by the towns. As new and relevant information becomes available about industrial wind turbines the ordinances should be updated accordingly to protect its citizens” Says Ron Karam, WCPA president.
“There is also a deeper issue we are concerned about. Once Invenergy realized that the setback defined in the safety manual was greater than the setback defined in the ordinances and therefore would adversely affect the placement of the turbines, the safety manual was abruptly removed from the website that contained all of the application documents.” Says Karam, “When we asked Invenergy about it, they said that it was a confidential document and should not have been included. They also stated that the setback in the safety manual wasn’t really relevant.”
“If the towns do not change the setback requirement to property lines and turbines are placed within 1300’ of a neighboring property line, than that portion of the neighbor’s property will become un-usable or essentially condemned.” Say Karam, “Given this, we certainly hope the towns take the necessary action to revise the ordinances, adhere to the safety requirement and protect the property owners.”