New York wind developments

Cattaraugus County seeks to preempt alternative energy tax breaks

The Buffalo News reports (9/6) on an effort by county legislators to preempt state tax breaks for alternative energy projects.

Cattaraugus County lawmakers rallied this week in support of a local law that would pre-empt the state’s automatic property tax exemptions for new wind power plants, solar energy systems and farm methane waste digesters.

Galloo Wind transmission lines to be underground?

The Watertown Daily Times (9/8) reports on an effort by Ellisburg (Jefferson County) to require the burying of transmission lines that would deliver to the grid electricity produced by the proposed Galloo Island wind farm.

A proposed local law to require new electric transmission lines to be buried will have a public hearing at 8 p.m. Oct. 2, the next Town Council meeting.

The council did not vote on the measure at its meeting Thursday night because the proposed zoning law amendment has not yet had a public hearing.

“I hope you realize how serious we are on this proposal,” said Daniel L. Rossiter, an Ellisburg farmer and proponent of the proposed law. “The proposal provides ou

Prattsburgh (Steuben County) wind project in court

Per WETM-TV (9/5), oral argument occurred in a lawsuit challenging the Prattsburgh (First Wind) wind project.

Friday lawyers for people opposed to the eminent domain proceedings went before a judge to try to stop it. Their lawsuit says the town supervisor, whose vote allowed the project to go forward has a conflict of interest, because he helped First Wind buy some land.

Utica newspaper calls for New York state zoning guidance

In light of state attorney general investigations into allegations of undue influence or potential corruption in the wind energy siting process, in an editorial the Utica Observer-Dispatch (9/8) called on state officials to step in to provide guidance to local officials. The state has been less involved in the siting process since the state’s Article X law expired more than five years ago.

Nothing damages the public’s trust in government more than the possibility that elected and appointed officials are benefiting personally from government action….The state must investigate all such conflicts to see if wrongdoing occurred. Local officials must act in a manner beyond reproach by turning down all entreaties from private wind-turbine developers dangling lucrative lease deals in front of them. And the governor, state Legislature and attorney general must study this entire approval process so that localities have clear guidelines within which to operate.

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