This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Lawrence Windpower, LLC Community Relations and Complaint Resolution Plan
Community Relations We believe that many complaints can be pro-actively avoided by communicating widely and often with the community. If the community is made aware ahead of time of activities that could cause disruption, such as construction noise or slow vehicles – and therefore can make plans to avoid the disruption – the number of surprise disturbances will likely be lessened. Construction During development and engineering, and immediately prior to construction in any one area, St. Lawrence Windpower (SLW) will hold a public information meeting to discuss the details of the siting of improvements, transportation and construction plans and the schedule as it impacts town roads, neighbors or landowners. SLW will provide a Community Relations employee who is familiar with the locality and whose primary function is to communicate planned activities and act as a liaison between landowners and the Town, so as to minimize disruption to neighboring residents, landowners and the community at large. The Community Relations employee will also post regular project schedules in the Town offices of Cape Vincent and Lyme, and on a designated Project web page outlining to the general community Project construction activities and roads that will be affected. At mobilization of the construction crews upon receipt of all permits and approvals, SLW will hold briefing meetings with the management and supervision staff of all major contractors. Presentations will be given during these briefings to advise the contractors of the sensitive nature of wind farm construction and what is expected of them during construction. Key permitting agencies will be invited to make presentations at these briefings. Safety and environmental compliance will be critical elements of these briefings as well as permit and compliance requirements. Daily planning and safety meetings will be held each morning with the management and supervisory staff of all major on-site contractors.
Operations SLW intends to comply fully with Town laws and all conditions of the authorizing permits during the operation of the project, including all noise requirements. SLW will carry out project operations from an Operation & Maintenance building sited near Swamp Road. The building will be staffed during office hours and a Manager will be on-call on a twenty-four-hour basis. Each Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) that is in operation will be maintained in operational condition, subject to reasonable maintenance and outage conditions. Each WECS will be equipped with manual and automatic controls to limit the speed of the rotor blade to within design limits. Appropriate warning signs of high voltage or electrical shock will be posted at the base of each tower. SLW will work with the Towns and the landowners to ensure that the relevant safety information is publicly disseminated.
Complaint Resolution Plan Prior to construction, SLW will communicate to neighboring residents, the Towns and permitting agencies, the contact name and address of our Community Relations staff and our Construction Manager (and, prior to the end of construction, our Operations Manager). SLW will also publish a
1-800 number to the community that will be accessed within 24 hours by construction or operations personnel. Complaints from the Public will be addressed in the following manner: Written complaints shall be directed to SLW and responded to by SLW or their duly authorized representative within five (5) calendar days after receipt of any such complaint. SLW shall keep a log of any such complaints received, which log shall be reviewable by the Town Code Enforcement Officer upon request. 1. If the complaint includes the character or quality of the Wind Turbine sound, then any subsequent investigation shall use best practices to evaluate the overall level, tonal, and/or temporal nature of the Wind Turbine sound prompting the complaint. 2. Any complaints which cannot be resolved during the initial response shall be subsequently directed to the Town designee or, if there is no Town designee, to the Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board for investigation, and any such investigation shall be undertaken with the full cooperation of SLW. 3. If testing is necessary to investigate an unresolved complaint with respect to a particular Wind Turbine(s), such testing shall commence within ten (10) working days of the report of the initial investigation. If testing cannot be initiated within ten (10) days (exceptions granted for lack of appropriate atmospheric conditions), the Wind Turbine(s) causing the complaint shall be curtailed until the testing can be started. Testing shall compare actual sound measurements at the property line of complainant with and without turbine operation to confirm that SLW’s operation complies with applicable sound limits set forth in the special use permit issued for the project. SLW will curtail temporarily any Wind Turbine(s) that is the subject of the underlying complaint for such period as is needed to obtain sound measurements. The operating data including wind speed and direction, turbine output, and rotation speed for adjacent turbines shall be available upon request. 4. A copy of the test results shall be sent to the complainant and the Town within thirty (30) days of test completion. 5. After the investigation, if the Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board reasonably concludes that operational violations of any applicable permit conditions are shown to be caused by the Wind Energy Facility, SLW shall use reasonable efforts to mitigate such problems. 6. Continued complaints from the same landowner will trigger additional investigation only if the Town determines that nearby Wind Turbine operational characteristics have changed since the landowner's first complaint. In the event that SLW receives complaints either from neighboring residents, landowners or local businesses operations, SLW will promptly work directly with the complainant and the Town, if necessary, in the manner outlined above, to investigate and resolve the issue to the satisfaction of both parties. In the event that the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, or that an agreed upon solution is not under development within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, the complainant may refer the matter to the Complaint Resolution Board, as set forth below. SLW will make every reasonable effort to resolve all complaints. Complaint Appeal Procedure In the event that SLW is unable to resolve a complaint after completion of the complaint resolution procedures described above, the complainant may appear before a Complaint Resolution Board. The Complaint Resolution Board shall not hear any complaints for which the procedures described above have not been completed
The Complaint Resolution Board will consist of three members: an SLW designee, a Town Officer or Employee appointed to the position annually, and an independent third party expert. If a Town Officer or Employee cannot be appointed, then the Planning Board Chairman or his designee will be appointed. The independent third party expert member of the Complaint Resolution Board shall be mutually agreed upon by SLW and the Town appointee, individually for each matter considered by the Board. The independent third party may be required to submit a resume and be interviewed jointly by SLW and the Town, before mutual agreement of the independent third party’s appointment. The costs of the third party expert member of the Complaint Resolution Board shall be paid for by SLW, but the member shall remain independent. The Complaint Resolution Board shall hear the complaint within no more than thirty (30) days after the appeal is made by the Complainant, and a decision of the Board shall be rendered within thirty (30) days after the close of the complaint hearing. The decision of the Complaint Resolution Board shall set forth the manner in which the complaint shall be resolved and the reasons why such resolution is appropriate. In making such decision, the Complaint Resolution Board shall take into account the terms and conditions of the special use permit and approved site plans, and shall not require any resolution that is inconsistent with such terms. The decision of the Complaint Resolution Board shall be final and binding.