BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What are the chances that BP will...

During the Pre-application  Intervenor Funding conference May 21, 2013, case examiner and state Department of Public Service Administrative Law Judge Paul Agresta had this to say about BP's Cape Vincent Wind Farm  We’d like to see a case scenario that attempts to comply with the towns zoning law to the degree possible. 

 What are the chances that BP will attempt to comply with our zoning law, when the only reason they are pursuing their project through an Article 10 process is to bypass our zoning law.

  In a letter to the Town of Cape Vincent  BP project Developer Richard Chandler said the proposed zoning law is unreasonably burdensome  and will effectively prohibit wind generation from being sited within the Town. Chandler further stated that

The town has already evaluated potential impacts from the Cape Vincent and St. Lawrence Wind Farm projects and made favorable findings. The requirements of the Proposed Zoning Law, however, are
inconsistent with these findings. The requirements, setback provisions, exclusion areas, and noise
standards contained within the Proposed Zoning Law are highly restrictive and should be
substantiated by realistic and credible studies, consistent with other operational wind projects, and
in line with industry standards.

For years BP has engaged in various attempts to thwart the development of a wind law,  that properly address the siting of industrial scale wind turbines in Cape Vincent.  

 One example of BP's attempts to subvert the wind law process in Cape Vincent took place when  Jim Madden one of  BP's  former project developer's, was assigned to the Cape Vincent Wind "farm".

  Madden warned, both the Town Board and the Planning Board  that there were economic consequences .“When you put stricter regulations on noise and other setbacks, it has a direct effect on the number of turbines, which has a direct impact on the economic benefits to the community.”

Additionally, Madden  said that a restrictive zoning law would eliminate BP Alternative Energy's proposed wind farm in Cape Vincent. 
What Madden failed to mention was that British Petroleum was not concerned for the economic prosperity, or for the quality of life of the citizens of Cape Vincent.

Madden was pushing a zoning law that would allow 50 decibels at the property line. This number was proposed May 1 at the final wind committee meeting. At the meeting Beth White (Voter for BP) passed out  noise proposal recommending 45-decibel limit for a residence and a 50-decibel limit from property lines. She said she was unwilling to negotiate her proposal since it was a matter of economics Ms. White's basis for her proposal was that it was the wind industry standard and if we allow more noise, we get to have more turbines and thus make more money and we have to consider the money. 
she explained that, based on the Galloo Island Pilot, over twenty years, the School district would get 14 million, the county would get 9 million and the town would get 4 million.

Town council member Marty Mason supported Whites proposal by adding that we should make it 50 decibels for everything.

Town Council member Donald Mason agreed as well forcing a motion to accept Beth White's study. White seconded it.
  When it was discovered that the plan would  not be put to a formal vote because not all committee members were present ,Donny Mason asked if committee member Mickey Orvis could vote even though he was not there .

Voter for Wind Beth Whites proposal

■ Noise levels from turbines must not exceed 45 decibels at all residences and 50 decibels at non-participating residents' property lines.

■ 1,000-foot setbacks from non-participating property lines, participating dwellings and the centerline of Route 12E starting from the village to the town border with Lyme.

■ 2,000-foot setbacks from the centerline of Route 12E from the village to the Clayton town border and the high-water mark of Lake Ontario.

■ 600-foot setbacks from public, seasonal and non-seasonal roads.

■ Setbacks of 1,000 feet on top of 1.5 times the height of a turbine from the village line.

Town Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey said the noise levels over 40 decibels at both people's residences and property lines were unacceptable to him.

Planning Board member Andrew R. Binsley said the setbacks from non-participating residents' property lines should be 1,500 feet, 500 feet more than Ms. White's proposal, and that turbine setbacks from the village line should be at least 2,000 feet on top of 1.5 times the height of a turbine.

Richard H. Macsherry, a committee member who also disagreed with the proposal, said the five members who backed Ms. White should be more willing to compromise and impose regulations based on science rather than for economic gain.
"I think we've gone as far as we can. We've beat this up for years and I don't think we're going to get anywhere further," said Councilman Donald J. Mason, who supported Ms. White's suggestions.

Ms. White, Voter for Wind with financial interests dependent on the wind law noise criteria, said the town citizens are circulating a petition, gathering signatures from property owners of the wind overlay district to impose supermajority-voting requirements for council actions regarding wind.

She said the group hopes to gather signatures from owners of at least 20 percent of the properties in the overlay district to make it harder for the town board to adopt a more restrictive wind zoning law and terminate the proposed St. Lawrence and Cape Vincent wind farms.


Link here to read Maddens letter


Anonymous said...

No doubt about BP and Trieste's involvement in these shenanigans. They have been trying to subvert the Town and Villages Joint Plan from the night they sneaked into town. They have never bothered to consider what the town wanted, only what BP wanted. Their history of involvement in our town is 'do as we say' and to pay officials for their support of that principal.

Go To Hell BP!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wasn't that also the day the Donald Mason asked if Mickey could vote even if he wasn't here?

Anonymous said...

I want my money! I want my money, dammit!

Anonymous said...

Recently I had a conversation with a person who is a staunch pro windy claiming to have first had knowledge. He tried to convince me that they were here building the bases and the project was a done deal by the state. I believe he is telling a political tall tale. As pointed out, it is very important for voters to understand that the application is far from being submitted and question the candidates about what they actually do know about the Art. x process. We don't need people on the board who have no idea what Art. x is all about. Vote wisely for those who are active and do understand.

Anonymous said...

These are the people who have been supplying BP information that is potentially damaging to the health, safety and economic welfare of the many citizens. Good documentation that may become the subject of future legal claims and art. 78 actions.

Putting them back in power will lead to no good for the Cape.

Sour Grapes said...

You wrote,

"She said the group hopes to gather signatures from owners of at least 20 percent of the properties in the overlay district to make it harder for the town board to adopt a more restrictive wind zoning law and terminate the proposed St. Lawrence and Cape Vincent wind farms."

Gary King did submit the 20% petition. CV did revise the zoning law. The law was properly submitted to the Comptroller. The CGF and a supposedly pro wind blogger is vigorously trying to help bp blow holes in the zoning law. It appears they are hoping to influence the PSC in efforts for them to cast our law aside.

Anonymous said...

Keep a record of everyone who gives out information that may be proven later to be damaging to you. Even personal stuff like from real estate dealers and those who claim to speak for bp. Remember, it is in leases that the landowner is expected to help. Ok, but only if they tell the truth about impacts.

Anonymous said...

This is a no-brainer. BP decided to apply through the ART.10 process because the new Cape Vincent zoning law basically prohibits industrial turbines.

How could it possibly benefit BP to submit an application for a project that conformed to the law,when they have already declared that the law prohibits any project?

The only benefit could possibly be that they could prove to the PSC that the CV. Zoning law is overlyburdensome and unreasonable towards wind developers.

Anonymous said...


Considering the rapidly developing concerns in the Thousand Islands and considering the rational procedure your town used in developing their comp plan and zoning law I doubt the PSC would even consider an override. Unless it contains some overly burdensome statement like an outright ban since the start of the developer's action. There are places in NYS that welcome wind. Obviously the Thousand Islands is not one of them and I believe the PSC will avoid the area since it is not critical to NYS needs.

Pundt said...


Careful what you say if you are in the mode of defense of the law in the Art. 10 process.

I mean, wouldn't a law that basically prohibits turbines actually be overly burdensome?

Anonymous said...

Have you had enough yet of the numb nutted and the no nutted CFG members who are trying to instill hatred in the community with their dumb signs?

Anonymous said...

Art is right.
This zoning should be stricken from the books because Art proves it to be a waste and Mac and Brown to be in grave error.
Art and BP will prevail that it is overly burdensome and BP will succeed. Good job, Art. See you at the first up.

Anonymous said...

Come on Pundt, make up your mind.

On your own blog you say the zoning law allows turbines and is totally inadequate, now here you're saying it basically prohibits turbines and would be considered overlyburdensome, by ART.10.

Can't have it both ways just to satisfy which argument you're making.