I just watched the first official Article 10 wind energy decision in NYS (for the proposed Cassadaga wind project). Unfortunately the Article 10 Board approved that project.
In my opinion, there is an extraordinarily important lesson to be learned from the Western NY citizens who were inflicted with this bad news.
Citizens need to be clear that the number one reason for going through the Article 10 process is this:
to defend a well-written genuinely protective local wind ordinance.
In this situation, there was no such local wind ordinance to defend, so the Article 10 result was effectively pre-determined.
Note that the Article 10 chairman specifically stated that he was supporting the preliminary hearing conclusions as:
“The proposed project is consistent with all local laws.”
For citizens to assume that a Article 10 preliminary hearing judge (or the Article 10 Board) would impose new regulations (i.e. effectively over-ruling an inadequate local wind law), is exceptionally speculative and literally a one-chance-in-a-million shot.
Remember that we are the very people advocating Home Rule rights, so expecting the state to strengthen (i.e. over-rule) an inadequate local law, is an inconsistent position to take.
There are other lessons to be learned here, but none make any difference if citizens do not make sure that they start with a quality protective local wind ordinance.
In my opinion (as a non-attorney) the bottom line message from today’s Article 10 result:
without the five (5) regulations properly written into a local wind law, the chances for success in the Article 10 process are essentially nil. (Here is a chart showing how sample NYS communities currently stand in this regard.)
Let me know any questions.
john droz, jr.
physicist & citizen advocate