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RE: GALLOO ISLAND WIND, LLC. Case No.

15-F-0327
Date: December 5, 2016
Document title: Disregard_Hounsfield_Findings.PDF
Submitted by:
Clifford P. Schneider, pro se
47243 Wood Cliff Drive
Wellesley Island, NY 13640
(315) 215-4019
clif.schneider@gmail.com

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December 5, 2016
Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess
Secretary to the Commission
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350
Mr. Kevin Casutto
Presiding Examiner
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350
and
Mr. Michael Caruso
Associate Examiner
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350
RE: GALLOO ISLAND WIND, LLC. 15-F-0327
Dear Secretary Burgess, Presiding Examiner Casutto and Associate
Examiner Caruso:
I am writing to address the issue of the intended use of the previous
Hounsfield SEQRA record in the current Galloo Island Wind proceeding
by the applicant Apex Clean Energy. More specifically, two points need
clarification: 1) using the previous Findings statement as a reference
by Apex and 2) the lack of any new avian studies proposed by Apex.
At the July 28, 2016 Pre-application Conference ALJ Caruso noted the
applicants reliance on previous Hounsfield wind project SEQRA record,
including the Findings statement1, and asked Apex Clean Energy attorney
Mr. James Muscato what is the intention of the applicant here in
bringing in all the previous (Hounsfield) documents?2 Mr. Muscato
explained NYSDEC was the lead agency that approved the DEIS and FEIS
and prepared a Findings statement. Mr. Muscato responded certain of
the reports as I mentioned before are data points that are being
referred to in the other reports that have to be prepared as part of
the requirements for Article 10. Mr. Muscato told the examiners that
1

New York Dept. Environ. Cons. 2010. State Environmental Quality Review
(SEQR)FINDINGS STATEMENT March 3, 2010. Case No. 15-F-0327. Filed 9/6/2016.
2

Case No. 15-F-0327, Pre-Application Conference Transcript, July 28, 2016,


beginning p. 30.
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the applicant will build on top of that with additional studies. ALJ
Caruso followed by asking Mr. Muscato, But the conclusions (Findings)
will not be? Mr. Muscato replied,correct.
However, in spite of Apexs assurances the Hounsfield Findings would
not be a part of this proceeding, there were 25 references to NYSDECs
Findings statement in the applicants Preliminary Scoping Statement
(PSS)3, 10 of these related to wildlife issues alone. ALJ Caruso and
Mr. Muscato are both correct to conclude that the previous Hounsfield
Findings Statement has no place in this proceeding.
Biased Hounsfield Findings Statement:
In addition to procedural reasons for dismissing NYSDECs earlier
Findings, the Hounsfield Findings Statement has no place in this
proceeding because it is biased and understates avian collision risks.
The following are just two examples that demonstrate the Findings
statements bias:
For the potential impacts on the avian community of Galloo Island,
NYSEC relied heavily on an avian risk assessment report4 provided by
the applicant at the time, Upstate NY Power Corp. The importance of
avian resources was highlighted on the first page of the risk
assessment:
The primary avian concerns for the Hounsfield project versus
other wind projects in New York involve its 1500 m proximity to
the large waterbird colony on Little Galloo Island
The principal specie nesting on Little Galloo is the Ring-billed Gull,
over 70,000 birds were estimated to nest there in 2008. Audubon cites
Little Galloo as the largest nesting colony of Ring-billed Gulls in
North America. Relative to the issue of the potential for collision
mortality for Ring-billed Gulls, the Avian Risk Assessment predicted:
"Substantial collision fatalities of Ring-billed Gulls might
occur at the Hounsfield project if gulls continue to make
foraging flights across the Island once the project is
built." (p. 17)

Galloo Island Wind Energy Facility PSS. Case No. 15-F-0327. Filed 6/6/2016.

Old Bird, Inc., 2009. Avian Risk Assessment For The Hounsfield Wind Energy
Project On Galloo Island, Jefferson County, NY, prepared for Upstate New York
Power Corp., February 2009, pp. 24
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NYSDEC in its Findings statement copied verbatim the sentence from the
Avian Risk Assessment with one exception, they removed the word
substantial. I used a strike-though to emphasize NYSDECs
alteration:
"Substantial Collision fatalities of Ring-billed Gulls might
occur at the Hounsfield project if gulls continue to make
foraging flights across the Island once the project is
built." (p. 20, Findings Statement)
Removing substantial completely alters the meaning, and exposed the
intent to downplay potential impacts. By substantial any reader could
conclude there could be many Ring-billed Gull collision fatalities,
i.e. hundreds, perhaps thousands. The deletion by NYSDEC changed the
meaning to suggest some or few fatalities might occur, thereby
downplaying environmental risks.
NYSDEC also understated avian collision impacts for thousands of
spring migrating birds and bats over Galloo Island in 2008. In the
Spring Radar Study provided by the consultant Stantec Consulting5 , it
concluded, The mean passage rate at the Project area was observed to
be at the high end of the range of passage rates documented at other
regionally proximate, inland sites that use similar survey methods and
equipment6 . However, NYSDECs Findings reported, The results of the
spring radar surveys fall within the range of other surveys conducted
in the Northeast that used the same methods, data analysis procedures
and equipment. Regrettably, both Stantec and NYSDEC failed to inform
the public that collision risk of migrating birds and bats was likely
substantial since the passage rates were not only at the high end of
the range, but were the highest (by 15%) of 30 spring studies
referenced in Table 8 of Stantecs report.
It appears NYSDECs intent was to diminish any reference to
substantial collision risks. Both of these examples altered the
meaning and intent of the original studies and expose NYSDECs bias
toward project approval. The Findings Statement should therefore not
only be procedurally disqualified, as suggested by examiners, but it
should also be disregarded for inaccurate citing of avian collision
risks. Downplaying risks also suggests there may be other examples in
the Findings of inaccurate assessment of environmental risks from the
project.
5

Stantec Consulting. 2008. Spring 2008 Radar Survey Report For the Hounsfield
Wind Project On Galloo Island, New York. Hounsfield DEIS. Appendix P4. 89pp.
6

Section 2.4 Conclusion. p.24.

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For the Filed Document record, I also attached my August 15, 2016
letter regarding NYSDEC's support and collaboration with the
Hounsfield Wind Farm developer, previously submitted under Public
Comment.
No New Studies Proposed by Apex:
At the same July Pre-Application Conference ALJ Casutto asked Mr.
Muscato, I would think they (the Hounsfield studies) would need to be
updated from eight years ago or ten years ago? Mr. Muscato replied,
Right.
Unfortunately, Mr. Muscatos suggestion that the previous Hounsfield
studies will be updated and built upon by Apex was misleading. A
review of Apexs PSS reveals that, other than a few studies done in
2015 prior to Apexs purchase of the project from Hudson Energy, no
new studies are planned by Apex. Since acquiring the Galloo Wind
project Apex has undertaken no new avian studies, nor does Apex plan
on beginning any new avian studies for their Article 10 project
proposal. It appears Apexs intent is to rely solely on the previous
Hounsfield work as well as some partial update of previous studies.
According to Apexs PSS, there will be no building upon previous
studies as Mr. Muscato suggested.
To better inform the examiners and participants of the studies needed
to complete this record, I have summarized in Table 1 the Hounsfield
studies in 2008-09, the Hudson studies in 2015, and the avian
assessment needs based on NYSDEC guidelines and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service comments. For comparison I included Apexs response
to these needs.
The surveys conducted in 2008-2009 for the Hounsfield Wind Farm SEQRA
review covered a broad array of issues and topics. In addition, some
of the surveys had both spring and fall segments. In 2015, the
previous owner of the Galloo Wind project, Hudson Energy Development,
undertook an additional breeding bird, diurnal movement, bat and avian
risk assessment surveys (Table 1).
NYSDECs guidelines7 for assessing wind power recommends enhanced,
multi-year surveys for sites such as Galloo Island close to Great
Lakes shoreline and close to avian migratory corridors. U.S. Fish and
7

NYSDEC. Guidelines for conducting bird and bat studies at commercial wind
energy projects. June 2016. 35pp.
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Wildlife Service (USFWS)in its review of Hounsfield surveys in 2008


recommended additional survey effort, too (Table 1).
Table 1. Avian survey inventory and needs assessment for Hounsfield
and Galloo Island Wind project applications. Table values are yearsseasons of survey work.

Avian Species Surveys

Hounsfld
Completed
Surveys
2008-09

Hudson
NYSDEC
Completed Guideline
Studies
Expanded
2015

Winter Bird

Breeding Bird

Bird Inventory

Nocturnal Migrants (Radar)

Nocturnal Migrants (Acoustic)

Diurnal Bird Movement

Bat Risk Assessment

Avian Risk Assessment

USFWS
Recommend

Current
Survey
Needs

Apex PSS
Planned

2-3

>1

2-3

>1

>1

>1

>1

2-3

2-3

Responding to Apexs current PSS (comment no. 22), NYSDEC commented,


highly recommend(s) thorough wildlife, habitat, and wetland preconstruction surveys be conducted on site and in the surrounding area
over multiple years and during all seasons, following the most recent
USFWS and NYSDEC guidance. NYSDEC is urging Apex to step-up and
undertake a new, comprehensive series of studies, such as that
envisioned by ALJ Casutto.
Contrary to Mr. Muscatos response that Apex is planning to build on
previous studies, a review of Apexs PSS showed no new avian
assessment efforts were planned. The Apex PSS discussed various avian
assessment options, mentioning other efforts and the Hounsfield
Findings Statement, but they outlined no action and no new avian
assessments.
Recommendations:
Galloo Island and Little Galloo Island are a unique, and special Great
Lakes resource. There are a number of sensitive avian species and
habitats that are at risk with the scale of development proposed by
Apex. These resources demand close and thoughtful study. Apexs
reliance on the old Hounsfield Findings Statement and lack of any new
study represent a major deficiency in assessing avian risk at Galloo.

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To better inform the examiners and the Siting Board Apex should
consider the following:
1) The Hounsfield studies, or data points as Mr.
describes, are useful baseline studies. However,
Findings statement, so frequently cited by Apex,
opinion, compromised by NYSDEC policy-makers who
narrowly focused on climate change impacts.

Muscato
the Hounsfield
was, in my
were too

Section 1000.8 Water Quality and Coastal Certification Procedures


of the rules requires the applicant to file a Coastal Consistency
Review with the Department of State (DOS) at the same time it
files a project application. To help foster an impartial,
independent review by DOS, Apex should ensure there are no
references to the Hounsfield Findings Statement, and Apex should
also file a copy of its Coastal Consistency review as part of
this proceeding.
2) Finally, Apex needs to undertake a comprehensive series of
studies in 2017 to build on the previous work, not to rely almost
totally on the dated, eight-year old Hounsfield studies. Apex can
begin by outlining a better, updated program of assessment during
the ongoing stipulation phase with resource agencies.

Sincerely yours,

Clifford P. Schneider
Pro Se

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Previously submitted as "Public Comment" on 8/15/2016


NYSDEC Wind Collaboration. pdf
August 15, 2016
Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess
Secretary to the Commission
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350
Kevin Casutto
Presiding Examiner
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350
Dear Secretary Burgess and Presiding Examiner Casutto:
I am writing with concern for the future of one of the few islands within the Great Lakes, Galloo
Island. I am a retired biologist with the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation (NYDEC). Galloo Island was within the geographic bounds of my job
responsibilities. My last task before retiring was to guide studies evaluating the impact of doublecrested cormorants on Little Galloo Island. Galloo Island is a unique, irreplaceable natural
resource and one that deserves our collective protection.
My concern is NYSDEC's past support and collaboration with the wind industry, in particular
Upstate NY Power's Hounsfield Wind Farm proposal on Galloo Island. There were a number of
statements and comments from both Upstate NY Power and NYSDEC officials during the SEQRA
process (2009 - 2010) that suggested a close, collaborative partnership rather than an Arm's
Length relationship. The public expects NYSDEC to be independent from wind developers to
provide responsible oversight even though the two may have some similar, shared goals.
My major concern, and the reason I am writing, is NYSDEC's current relationship with the newest
wind developers of Galloo Island. The second iteration of developing a wind farm on Galloo Island
began with an Article 10 application by Hudson North Country Wind 1 LLC on June 16, 2015
(Case No. 15-F-0327). Subsequent to initiating the Article 10 process Hudson sold its interest in
the Galloo Island Wind Farm to Apex Clean Energy on December 18, 2015. Unfortunately, at the
outset of this second project proposal there is once again evidence of a close, collaborative
relationship. I believe there is sufficient evidence to indicate NYSDEC's advocacy role in
protecting valuable land and wildlife resources was compromised in its fervor for promoting
renewable energy, particularly wind.
The following list outlines some of the examples of NYSDEC's unusually close relationship with
the wind industry and Galloo wind developers:
1. NYSDEC's most vigorous advocacy for the protection of Galloo Island came from
Commissioner Grannis's Determination on Lead Agency for the Hounsfield Wind Project
(NYSDEC April 24, 2008). The importance of the Galloo Island resource was outlined in
detail for both its local, regional and statewide importance. The underlying intent was to
justify taking control of the SEQR process from local municipal planning authorities. One
of the points in Grannis's Determination was "...twenty-eight acres of the island were
conveyed to the DEC by the U.S. Coast Guard as a reserve for the conservation of wildlife
other than migratory birds." Remarkably, this was the last reference to the special

significance of NYSDEC's Galloo Island property. It was never mentioned again throughout
the entire SEQR process, nor in any Article 10 comments by NYSDEC.
2. NYSDEC also neglected to make public the fact if its Galloo Island lands were not used for a
wildlife reserve they would automatically revert back to federal ownership:"In the event
they are used for any purpose which is not compatible with the use and maintenance at the
property as and for the conservation of wildlife, the title thereto shall automatically and
immediately revert to the United states..." In spite of a stipulation that NYSDEC use and
manage their Galloo Island property as a wildlife reserve, NYSDEC did not take the
position that extensive industrial wind development of the island may be incompatible
with deed restrictions. The issue should have been publicized and discussed in the impact
and findings statements.
3. In the Hounsfield DEIS (Figure 1.2-1), where NYSDEC was the lead agent in the SEQR
process, Upstate NY Power's initial project layout specified WTG-1 placement and
associated cable and access road development within NYSDEC's wildlife reserve parcel at
the southern tip of the island (yellow trianglular outline). How could Upstate take such
license with NYSDEC lands and how could NYSDEC tolerate the cooperative association?

4. Not only was a turbine located on NYSDEC property in the project layout, but it was also
noted in the Hounsfield DEIS: "WTG-1 is proposed to be located on the State owned parcel
located at the south west end of the island." Both the map and description of Department
collaboration suggest developing NYSDEC's parcel on Galloo was a mutual agreement by
both Upstate and NYSDEC in early meetings and negotiations. This was a mistake in
judgment, not a typo or placement error on a map. Later, Upstate NY Power and NYSDEC
had the better judgment to remove all references to NYSDEC's collaboration, nevertheless
it sent a message the regulator and regulated had a close, unusual relationship.
5. On March 6, 2010 NYSDEC issued a 30-year license to Upstate NY Power for the take of
endangered/threatened species (including Bald Eagle) on Galloo Island. The license
allowed "the take of listed bird species incidental to the activities proposed by the licensee,
may occur through direct killing, harassment or disturbance of individual birds, destruction
of birds nests or the destruction or adverse modification of breeding, roosting and/or
foraging habitats during construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed wind

project." An unusual feature of the permit was supplemental material attached to the
license that was prepared by Upstate NY Power Corp's attorneys, Young/Sommer LLC
(noted in the properties section of the file). They quoted the testimony of Jared Snyder,
Assistant Commissioner Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy1:"In fact, the NYSDEC
has underscored the salience that government should give to advancing policies addressing
renewable energys role in combating climate change and incorporating that policy in
agency decision-making by stating: Wind energy is a key component of a clean energy
future for New York. (pg. 4). Fighting climate change is without question the most
substantial environmental challenge facing this State, this nation and the world today.
Commissioner Grannis has made the fight against climate change a top priority. . . .
development of wind energy is vital to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Upstate NY
Power's attorneys go on to note: "As the NYSDEC has observed, decisions on wind projects
cannot proceed in a vacuum. Rather Agency decision-makers must take into account the
many policies that have been put in place that favor wind development and will heavily
depend on wind energy production in order to achieve critical State and Federal goals. 2" I am
left wondering why is the regulated party (i.e., Upstate NY Power) writing anything as part
of their take permit? This is questionable, being equivalent to someone writing conditions
to their hunting or fishing license. But, why did NYSDEC include this supplemental
material as an attachment to their license? This just adds more questions pointing to a
supporting relationship.
6. What Upstate NY Power attorneys' failed to share about NYSDEC officials' support of wind
in the 30-year take permit was the venue for their testimony. Assistant Commissioner
Snyder and Associate Counsel Sampson testified as interveners in a NYS Public Service
Commission Hearing regarding the merger of Iberdrola S.A. and Energy East (Case No. 07M-0906, see attachments). The above cited support appears crafted specifically to
influence the NYS Public Service Commission to endorse the merger, since Iberdrola was a
big, important player in wind development. Commissioner Snyder gives NYSDEC's fullhearted support for Iberdrola becoming bigger and more influential in NY energy markets,
"We support an outcome that would take full advantage of the potential offered by Iberdrola
for the siting of clean and renewable energy in New York. In its determination, we call on the
PSC to give due consideration to Iberdrola's experience exercise in developing renewable
energy." The intervention of NYSDEC in the Iberdrola hearing sends a message further
than just the PSC. It adds to the view that NYSDEC and wind developers are in proverbial
bed together. It also leaves me questioning if Galloo Island ever stood a chance for
protection rather than development.

The references are from testimony by the NYSDEC before the New York Department of Public Service
(NYDPS) on January 11, 2008 (Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy)
and in Briefs filed before NYDPS on April 11, 2008.

This point was not given proper attribution by Young/Sommer. It occurred in the testimony of NYSDEC
Associate Counsel David Sampson, April 11, 2008.

7. In the second iteration of industrial wind development for Galloo, NYSDEC again appears
to be represented as a cooperator, this time with Hudson Energy Development. In their
initial layout the WTG at the furthest southern tip of the island appears to be in or on the
border of NYSDEC's Galloo property.
8. Hudson North Country Wind 1 LLC (HNCW) also noted the cooperation of NYSDEC in their
project in the second wind project proposal for Galloo Island, Hudson's Article 10 Public
Involvement Program Plan (PIP, June 2015). Hudson noted it used regulations and
guidance from the Department of Public Service (DPS) to identify stakeholders, which
included "Host landowners who have a land agreement with HNCW." Hudson went on to
define host landowner and describe the types of agreements between Hudson and these
host landowners, "host landowners are landowners with whom the Applicant has entered
into a lease, easement or purchase option agreement." In Exhibit 5 of Hudson's PIP they
then list NYSDEC as a Host Landowner. Hudson also reported they had met with and
communicated with NYSDEC staff several times prior to submitting their PIP, so it seems
unlikely these cooperative agreements were oversights or typos in reporting. Similar to
what occurred in the Hounsfield project, NYSDEC later dropped any direct involvement in
Hudson's project, presumably after some public scrutiny.
In contrast to NYSDEC's overt support of Galloo Island industrial wind projects are two major
resource protection policies for Galloo Island that have been largely ignored by Department
policy makers. First is the 2002 Lake Ontario Islands Wildlife Management Area Management
Plan (LOIWMA). After NYSDEC acquired Little Galloo Island in 1998 NYSDEC decided to treat
Little Galloo Island, Gull Island and two parcels of land on Galloo Island as one Wildlife
Management Area to facilitate the coordinated management of all four offshore parcels.
The primary goal of LOIWMA is to, "Limit disturbance to colonial waterbirds on Little Galloo and
Gull Islands through posting,consolidation of research and management activities and other
protective measures." Little Galloo Island is the crown jewel in terms of colonial waterbird nesting
habitat (largest nesting colony of Ring-billed Gulls in North America). The wildlife reserve use
stipulation for the two Department parcels on Galloo Island is a good fit with the management
goals for Little Galloo and Gull Islands in LOIWMA
LOIWMA outlines a special implementation concern for Little Galloo and Gull Islands: "The
unique colonial waterbird resources found on Little Galloo and Gull Islands merit protection from
unregulated disturbance. Colonial nesting species are prone to colony abandonment from both

repetitive and inappropriate levels of disturbance." The fact Little Galloo is only one mile from
Galloo Island should have raised serious concerns, especially the blasting proposed on the Little
Galloo side of Galloo for a temporary harbor to off load turbine components. Disturbance and
abandonment risks to Little Galloo colonies are not only from construction, but may come from
the operation of the wind farm as well.
From the perspective of the Lake Ontario Islands Wildlife Management Plan, island-wide
industrial wind development for Galloo is not a good fit. The threats and risks associated with
construction and operation of a wind farm on Galloo and the near proximity of Little Galloo
should cause far more caution, since there is no guarantee that negative impacts from industrial
wind development will be nil. Yet NYSDEC, as lead agent in the SEQR application for Hounsfield,
not only approved the project, but also licensed harassment, killing, injury and habitat distruction
of endangered and threatened avian species on Galloo Island, including Bald Eagle. The taking
permit sends a clear message that efforts to abate climate change take precedence in NYSDEC's
managing the islands of Lake Ontario. It is hard to imagine a permit being issued for any other
type of industrial development project on Galloo Island where NYSDEC would have been so
supportive of the proposal.
NYS Open Space Management Plan: The second major policy directive affecting Galloo Island is
2014 New York's Open Space Plan. Open space planning began in 1990 with the intent to involve
the public in the process so that NYSDEC and NY Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation could make informed land acquisition decisions. Among the goals are the protection
of habitat, provide public access, and "to address global climate change by sustainable stewardship
of our forests for climate mitigation and adaptation."
A unique piece of the Open Space Plan was the formation and involvement of Regional Advisory
Committees. These committees identified important local projects "that encompass exceptional
ecological, wildlife, recreational, scenic, and historical values." The Region 6-9 Advisory Committee
considered projects requiring special protection for Lake Ontario, Lake Erie shorelines. One of the
resources the committee identified with special need and added protection was Galloo Island,
"Galloo Island, the largest undeveloped island on Lake Ontario, measuring approximately 3 miles
by 1 miles or 1,934 acres, is just one of the undeveloped islands worthy of attention." The 2009
draft plan also included the warning, "An example of current development pressures on these
shorelines is the proposed wind farm development on Galloo Island which will encompass the entire
island," however, the reference to wind farm development on Galloo as a threat was later deleted.
NYSDEC recognized the special scenic value of Galloo early in the process and was actively
involved in acquiring Galloo Island in order to afford the protections necessary to thwart
incompatible future development, such as wind farms. Unfortunately the purchase was never
completed due to staff changes and delays that failed to complete the purchase.
In NYSDEC's Open Space Plan there is a section that discusses the very conflict that faces us in
Jefferson County, i.e., conflicting land and energy policies :
"It is important to recognize that current State energy policies, which include exploration,
extraction, and transmission of natural gas, as well as emphasize developing alternatives to
fossil fuels, may directly conflict with key objectives of the State Open Space Plan. Specific
examples of these conflicts include much publicized potential adverse impacts associated
with high-volume hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) and development of transmission
pipelines, (but also impact of wind farms on scenic vistas and migratory birds and bats;
damming of rivers and streams for hydro power; and depleted soil productivity resulting

from monocultures of corn and other biofuel sources. It is, therefore, critical that our
compelling need for energy resources be advanced within the context of the
conservation goals identified in this Open Space Conservation Plan concurrent with a
comprehensive plan toward reduced energy consumption." (emphasis added)
The Open Space Plan and the Lake Ontario Islands Wildlife Management Plan both recognized the
conflicts between managing the islands of Lake Ontario and combating climate change. Those
plans also forewarned that NYSDEC's goals for climate change should not be advanced at the
expense of long-standing protections of critical, local resources.
Upstate vs Downstate - Energy Demand and Production:
In NYSDEC's rush to develop wind in Jefferson County and the North Country it is worth
considering how Galloo Island's development would fit into the bigger picture of New York's
energy future. The following are some essential facts that were missing in the discussion of
turning Galloo Island into an industrial wind power generation site:

Electric energy requirements downstate exceeded upstate beginning in 2001 and since
then annual growth in electric energy use is 11 times greater than upstate, with "an
increased need for additional energy resources in the downstate areas."(Energy to Lead,
2015 New York State Energy Plan, NYS Energy Planning Bd., vol.2, p. 27)

As of Spring 2014, twenty wind projects are operating with a rated capacity of a little more
than 1,812 MW (http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/40966.html).

None of the twenty wind farms operating in 2014 are located downstate, all are upstate
(http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/40966.html).

New York's Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have hydro-electric generating capacity of
3,300 MW (https://www.nypa.gov).

It is quite clear for those of us living in Jefferson County that there is an upstate-downstate
imbalance in renewable energy production and growing electric demand. Downstate is where
demand is greatest and growing, but where there is little if any renewable energy production none from industrial wind. At the same time upstate growth in electric demand is flat and a
fraction of downstate growth, all the renewable energy production in New York comes from
upstate. Moreover, the disparity in industrial wind energy production is not, as some might think,
related to the wind resources, as the map below shows.
The 50-m wind power map for New York identifies equivalent, if not better, offshore wind speeds
along Manhattan and Long Island than Galloo Island (U.S. Dept. Energy, National Renewable
Energy Lab., May 14, 2009). The added advantage of using downstate wind resources to meet the
growing demand for energy downstate is the proximity of supply and demand - there will be no
need for additional transmission lines scarring New York's rural landscapes.

Currently, there is a serious plan to develop a major wind farm project off New York's Atlantic
Coastline (New York Times, March 16, 2016). The plan calls for 194 turbines, each with a
nameplate capacity of 3.6 MW. This project makes far more sense than sacrificing Galloo Island,
an upstate resource highlighted as one that needs protection, not development.
Conclusion:
I believe NYSDEC's embrace of renewable energy, specifically wind power, over the last decade
has probably left much of the traditional management and preservation programs languishing,
Galloo Island being an excellent example. It has also left me questioning the line drawn between
overseeing development and cooperating with developers. The two examples highlighted, where
NYSDEC lands on Galloo were included in the initial plans for both Hounsfield and Galloo Wind
Farms, suggest that wind developers first stop at Environmental Conservation is the Office of
Climate Change. Why not begin with the lobbyists who helped Iberdrolas acquisition plans for
New York.
I feel NYSDEC needs to take a more pro-active stance in support of the Open Space Plan and the
Lake Ontario Islands Wildlife Management Plan. These policies were developed with strong, local
support and input. The Department needs to put them on the front burner. NYSDEC also needs to
recognize geographically that upstate New York has more than its fair-share of renewable energy
production and there are now plans in place where downstate projects can begin to tap into their
own abundant wind resource. This is where NYSDEC can be an advocate of the wind industry
without conflicting with important, local land use policies here in Jefferson County. I urge those in
NYSDEC who passionately want to develop wind power in New York to place development where
it is needed, not where they believe it will be tolerated.
I presume the composition of the Article 10 Siting Board was established to provide a diverse
composite of state agency perspectives, e.g. public health, energy production, agricultural policy,

environmental interests. I expect NYSDEC's representation on this board would be supportive


and protective of public lands and their scenic and natural resources. The public would not expect
NYSDEC to be a conspicuous supporter of the wind industry at the expense of our local natural
land and wildlife resources. For all of the above mentioned examples of collaboration, I believe
NYSDEC should step aside and not participate in any vote involving wind energy and signficant
environmental issues, such as Galloo Island.
Again, I emphasize that NYSDEC should revisit its local planning initiatives and more actively
support their goals and protections. This is what the public expects of the Department, not to
appear brother-in-arms of the wind industry. That role is more appropriately embraced by the
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, not NYSDEC.
Sincerely yours,

Clifford P. Schneider
NYSDEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader - Retired
Wellesley Island, NY
(clif.schneider@gmail.com)