BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Monday, April 8, 2013

BUYER BEWARE ~ BP's Shameful record in Cape Vincent

 BP’s sordid history in Cape Vincent began with their signing many of our town officials and their families to wind leases and good neighbor agreements, knowing this would create blatant conflicts of interest. This is a violation of the town’s ethics code and NY State law. BP’ has stated lofty intentions with their Cape Vincent wind project however their actions tell a different story…

BP’s Cape Vincent Wind’s development manager wrote a letter to the Town of Cape Vincent and the Article 10 siting board. Each letter had the same theme.

Chandler: BP Wind Energy has already been engaged with the local community for years on the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project and such work should not be ignored.
Additionally Chandler added: the proposed Zoning Law would effectively prohibit wind generation from being sited within the Town. The Town has already evaluated potential impacts from the Cape Vincent St. Lawrence wind farm projects and made favorable findings.

The favorable findings that BP’s Chandler speaks of resulted from BP and Acciona tampering with the Local Legislative Process.

In 2006 both BP Energy and Acciona Energia began the permitting process for two proposed industrial wind projects in Cape Vincent. At the time we had no provision in our zoning law to regulate or guide wind development. After two aborted attempts at drafting a wind law by previous town lawmakers, a committee convened in 2010 for a third try. The committee consisted of a representative and leader of a local wind leaseholder group as well as wind lease holding town officials.
At the February 5 and 6, 2010 meetings, with the assistance of the Town's consulting acoustical engineers, Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Sudbury, MA, the noise section of the draft wind law was completed . It followed the NYSDEC guideline that no new noise source can exceed background sound by more than 6 dBA, but it also included details for measuring background sound and compliance testing that is missing in the NYSDEC policy.

Contrary to BP's assertion, they did NOT support development of our wind ordinance.
 The wind law committee had reached a consensus at the February 2010 meeting but through the efforts of BP and their leaseholders that agreement was sabotaged.

Shortly after the May 2 wind law meeting began Beth White, committee member and spokesperson for the leaseholder group, suggested picking 50 dBA for a noise limit rather than what the committee had agreed to at the previous meeting. At this point she began discussing economic impacts. White explained that a 50 dBA noise limit would have financial benefits to the community. White presented a spread sheet containing facts and figures to support her claim.
Bottom line a less protective wind law would mean bigger money for the community and lease holders. The lease holding committee members agreed with White blindsiding the other committee members.

May 5, 2010 Three days after this travesty of a meeting, BP’s Business developer, Jim Madden sent a letter to the Cape Vincent Town Board containing data prepared by BP; coincidentally it was the same spread sheet with the same data that White had claimed as her own.

Madden: “The Town of Cape Vincent has been working on developing a wind ordinance for almost two years now. Through this time, BP Wind has supported the development of a wind ordinance so that expectations for siting, construction and operations of wind farms can be clearly established and uniformly enforced. However, despite recent efforts, it appears that a wind ordinance will not be implemented this year, largely due to a lack of agreement on noise limits.”

Additionally Madden wrote “As the limits are tightened, there will be a reduction in the number of turbines and reduction in economic benefits.”

Comparing Madden’s data to that presented by White at the committee meeting, it is clear that she was acting as an agent for BP to thwart the efforts of the committee.

This is only one example of how “BP Wind Energy has been engaged with the local community for years on the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project.”

BP’s Noise Consultant Misrepresented Background Sound: Hessler Associates, Haymarket, VA was retained by BP Wind Energy to complete summertime, background sound study within the project boundaries of BP's Cape Vincent wind power project.
Because there were concerns early on among local citizens that the developer’s noise report was misleading, the Wind Power Ethics Group (WPEG) contracted Dr. Paul Schomer, of Schomer and Associates, Inc., Champagne, IL, to conduct an independent study and review of BP/ Hessler's report.

Schomer's report uncovered a number of questionable practices. One sound level meter was less than 100 ft. from a marshaling yard for heavy construction equipment being  used for a water line project.

Hessler suggested  this site is typical for residences along Rte. 12E .
Additionally, Hessler claimed that insect noise,  elevated background sound levels and would provide a natural making noise that, would minimize wind turbine noise impacts.

Schomer, however, disagreed: The presence of insect noise does nothing to mitigate the wind turbine noise; the measurement of insect noise only masks and obfuscates the truth.”

Schomer concluded by stating, ““Hessler’s BP study for the Cape Vincent Wind Power Facility appears to have selected the noisiest sites, the noisiest time of year, and the noisiest positions at each measurement site. Collectively, these choices resulted in a substantial overestimate of the A-weighted ambient sound level, 45-50 dB according to Hessler.”
 In contrast Schomer found background sound levels were 30 dBA averaged for night-time, daytime and evening. Night-time levels in Cape Vincent averaged 25dBA

BP’s sordid history in Cape Vincent began with their signing many of our town officials and their families to wind leases and good neighbor agreements, knowing this would create blatant conflicts of interest.
 This is a violation of the town’s ethics code and NY State law.
BP’ has stated lofty intentions with their Cape Vincent Wind development however the facts speak for themselves.

BP has left a profound mark on our community, tearing apart families, friendships, and ripping the fabric of our community to shreds.


Anonymous said...

White and others who have publicly brought the wrong information that ruins home values, health and lifestyles might be help accountable in the future as they are now in other wind towns. They claimed they did their own economic study, too. Where and when was that done?

Support the defense funds...and legal actions funds that will be necessary to protect the Thousand Islands.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this reminder of the behavior of BP.

Take control of your investment in Cape Vincent.

Review the PSS that BP submitted to the PSC.

Sent your comments about the PSS to both BP and PSC - due by April 19!

Sent your donation to the Bloggers Defense Fund.

Sit back and feel accomplished.

Anonymous said...

I think the comments are due by April 18

Anonymous said...

Who is responsible for the disaster that has befallen Cape Vincent? Is it BP, and Acciona, sure to some extent. They are predator corporations with no moral compass, to be sure, but this is what they do. They are businessmen.

Why not lets put the blame squarely where it belongs?

When the applications for wind development were presented to the town several years ago, there were three men who held positions of leadership on the three boards that govern our community development.Tom Reinbeck- town supervisor, Rich Edsall- planning board chair, and Ed Bender-zoning board of appeals chair.

These three men were responsible to the citizens of Cape Vincent. It was their duty as elected and appointed leaders to uphold the laws enacted in the name of the citizenry.

Instead of holding the Cape Vincent Comprehensive Plan up to the light and using it as a shield against harmful and improper development ,as is it's purpose, they buried it in the dark and invited the two predators into town to rape this community.

Just think of what has evolved due to this betrayal and dereliction of duty by these three local officials, entrusted with our future.