No-spin zone: Pomfret OKs anti-Lake Erie turbine resolution

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford The Pomfret Town Board at its April 10 meeting.

The Pomfret Town Board has joined several other local lakeshore municipalities in coming out against power-generating wind turbines in Lake Erie.

The board passed a resolution against the turbines at its meeting last week. The measure was basically the same as one passed by the town of Dunkirk’s government recently. Pomfret’s resolution passed by a 4-1 count, Christopher Schaeffer voting “no.”

“We get our drinking water from there. I’m not willing to take chances with that lake,” said Deputy Town Supervisor Ann Eckman.

The resolution declares that “Lake Erie is a vital part of the way of life for the shoreline communities (and) contributes to the economy of the area through tourism; residents and visitors enjoy fishing, boating, wind surfing and jet skiing in Lake Erie.” Also, the lake “is the source of drinking water for many communities along the lake shore.”

It’s stated that “wind energy development in Lake Erie will adversely affect all of the uses mentioned above, and fish, birds and wildlife dependent on Lake Erie for habitat.”

Mark Twichell spoke to the Pomfret Town Board about a resolution against wind turbines in Lake Erie. The board passed the resolution, 4-1.

The resolution, like similar ones enacted by municipalities throughout Western New York, is backed by Citizens Against Wind Turbines In Lake Erie (CAWTILE). Fredonia’s Mark Twichell, a CAWTILE member, spoke to the Pomfret board in support of the resolution.

He said that the federal Environmental Protection Agency just stated that polyfluorinated alkyl substance (PFAS) concentrations above four parts per trillion in drinking water should be addressed at treatment facilities. “We know that PFAS is found in the microplastics shed by wind turbine blades at the rate of upwards of 136 pounds per year per turbine, as found by an independent Scotland university study,” he said.

Twichell said offshore turbines also pose risks from accidental spillage of resources needed for the machinery. He added that the “economic and energy policies of New York State are firmly under the control of one party influenced by wind solar energy lobbyists and the most extreme climate change advocates.”

Twichell ended his speech by bashing one of his favorite targets, State Sen. Pete Harckham. Harckham proposed a pilot project for Lake Erie offshore wind turbines last year.

“Last August, Harckham visited the site of a proposed solar facility which is opposed by the host town located just outside his district. He heard concerns for water quality and agricultural soil protection,” Twichell said. “Harckham then wrote a letter to the (state) in opposition to the project. His words include these, ‘We cannot exchange an energy crisis for a food crisis, a water crisis or a conservation crisis.'”

Twichell then cheekily showed a photo of what the Kensico Reservoir in Harckham’s Westchester County district might look like with wind turbines on it.


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