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Cape Vincent, Lyme representatives question responsiveness of BP officials for wind farm proposal

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CAPE VINCENT — Town representatives echoed a common complaint Tuesday morning as they criticized BP Wind Energy for not answering their questions or providing enough information about its planned wind farm project.

The three-hour joint meeting between town officials from Cape Vincent and Lyme and representatives from the developer also included questions about the level of resident support for the proposed $300 million, 124-turbine project.

Cape Vincent Town Councilman Clifford P. Schneider claimed that the studies used by the developer were incomplete, and ran through a list of areas for further review as the developer moves toward filing a preliminary scoping statement necessary under the state’s Article X energy law.

Though the developer can submit the statement by mid-February, Richard F. Chandler, director of business development for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm said it would be filed by the end of March.

Among the areas Mr. Schneider highlighted as needing additional research were issues of turbine noise, sleep deprivation, turbine failure, shadow flicker and the cost of the facilities.

“We don’t want to be holding the bag here on our end,” Mr. Schneider said.

Other questions posed included whether the placement of turbines on a property would limit its use for recreational activity like snowmobiling or hunting.

Town officials also requested a list of landowners involved in the developer’s plan along with agreements from adjacent land owners.

John S. Harris, an attorney for the developer, said more information about the project would come as the scoping statement was finalized, and the developer’s application to the state was finalized.

The project’s support in the two towns was also questioned by several people.

Cape Vincent Planning Board Chairman Richard H. Macsherry said that only a small portion of the town “embraced” the deal, and that BP’s limited responses made it appear to him the developer didn’t want the project.

In the latter half of the meeting, Councilman John L. Byrne asked for an informal show of hands for those who support the wind farm, which was met with only one supporter.

Prior to the informal vote, Mr. Chandler noted that the project would not have been able to proceed without the support of residents in the form of agreements to let the developer use their land to place the turbines.

An Article X workshop will be held by BP Wind Energy at 6 p.m. today at the at the Cape Vincent Recreation Park on James Street.

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