Borrello aims to halt ‘reckless rush’ for turbines in lakes

Wind turbines are up in Arkwright, with more expected in Chautauqua County.

In an effort to protect the ecology of our freshwater lakes, clean water supplies and national security, Sen. George M. Borrello has introduced legislation (S.6314) to place a moratorium on the building or placing of permanent or semi-permanent wind turbines in bodies of freshwater in New York State.

“I drafted this legislation to protect our freshwater lakes from becoming industrialized by massive wind turbines,” Borrello said. “Our greatest natural and environmental resource is our freshwater lakes. These lakes, and the communities that cherish them, should not be sacrificed on the altar of the boondoggle green energy agenda.”

“In their zeal to appease radical special interests, and those who profit personally and politically, Governor (Andrew) Cuomo and his allies in the Assembly and Senate would allow the installation of massive 460-foot industrial wind turbines in the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario without considering the impact on the environment, human health or national security,” Borrello said. “This reckless push to industrialize our freshwater lakes is more about promoting a false political agenda than doing anything meaningful to reduce carbon emissions.”

“Industrial wind turbines are a serious threat to our lakes and the local economies and quality of life that they support. They are also a threat to human health. More than 11 million people rely on Lake Erie for their drinking water. Lake Erie’s lakebed sediment contains hazardous contamination from New York’s industrial past. It’s safe as long as it isn’t disturbed. Excavating the lake bottom and pouring millions of tons of concrete into the lake along with metal, fiber glass and toxic chemicals for the construction of industrial wind turbines will no doubt threaten our drinking water supply and the ecological balance of the lake,” Borrello said.

“Evidence suggests that wind patterns generated by these turbines also have the potential to spread pools of toxic algae through larger portions of the lake, and the constant vibration from wind turbines will negatively impact our commercial and recreational fishing as well as threatening the future of our world-class fisheries,” Borrello added.

“The Department of Homeland Security has invested millions in high-tech radar systems to protect New York’s border along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario,” Borrello said. “These systems are designed to detect drug smugglers, human traffickers, terrorists and others attempting to enter our country illegally. The radar ‘shadow’ created by industrial wind turbines will undermine the reliability of this important national security system and may render it useless.”

Borrello said his legislation is also designed to protect lakeshore communities from being abused and steamrolled into accepting industrial wind farms off their shores they don’t want or need.

“These projects won’t benefit the communities where they would be located in any way, they will only harm them,” Borrello said. “Upstate already has 88 percent zero-emission electricity generation. We are already green! The industrialization of our lakes is designed to benefit the New York City area, where more than 70 percent of the electricity is generated from fossil fuels. Upstate New York’s natural resources should not be put at risk for New York City’s insatiable need for energy.

“Unfortunately, the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, which I voted against, works to silence local communities opposed to these industrial wind projects. These folks deserve a chance to be heard.

“I will not allow the Governor and his radical supporters to destroy our beautiful lakes, quality of life and economy to support a false narrative that will do nothing to truly address climate change. New Yorkers deserve better than this crony capitalism disguised as environmental policy.”

Senator Borrello’s wind turbine moratorium bill (S.6314) is under review by the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.


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