Consider all of the facts on proposed wind farm
There have been a number of letters from residents on or near the proposed windmill farm in Niagara County. Many comments have been negative, stating health, environmental, aesthetic and economic reasons, including devaluation of property.
With respect to health considerations, the Sierra Club, after review of the literature, states that there are no documented studies showing physical effects of wind towers on human health. At three football fields distant from a tower, the noise level is about that from a refrigerator. There is no epidemiological link between properly sited projects and human health.
The effect of wind towers on birds has been shown to be minimal. Cats bring many more bird deaths. There are no studies indicating damage to deer and other wildlife from wind farms. It is important that designated wetlands in the project area be strictly avoided.
Visual perception of turbines is somewhat subjective, but surveys of residents in the proposed project area have shown that a much higher percentage perceive that wind towers will enhance the appearance of the landscape. Look no further than the grand beauty of the windmills framed by the setting sun along Route 5.
One of the more important considerations is the predicted economic effect of the proposed project on property owners, schools and government entities. The Sierra Club states that there is no correlation of wind turbines to negative property values. The land to be leased (not owned) by the developers would provide lease income for 49 years. This does not mean that farmers or others could not use most of their land for dedicated purposes. Property owners cannot be forced to sign leases. The developer has already signed about 100 leases on 9,000 acres. Tax money would become available for school districts and local governments, thereby reducing taxes for property owners.
I do believe that a full-blown environmental impact statement should be prepared for a project of this magnitude. Wind farms and solar arrays are significant steppingstones to abatement of climate change and movement away from energy dependence on foreign oil, and coal-processing wastes.
Richard P. Leonard