Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement

BP Wind Energy Cape Vincent Wind Power Project February 2011

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BP Wind Energy

Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Cape Vincent Wind Power Project
February 2011 Project No. 0092352 Cape Vincent, New York

Todd H. Hall, P.E. Partner-in-Charge

Phil Ponebshek Project Manager

Environmental Resources Management Southwest, Inc. 206 East 9th Street, Suite 1700 Austin, Texas 78701 T: 512-459-4700 F: 512-459-4711

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION 1.1 PROJECT OVERVIEW AND DEFINITIONS 1.1.1 Proposed Action 1.1.2 Operation and Maintenance 1.1.3 Power Generation 1.1.4 Operational Safety DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION PLAN 1.2.1 Construction Related Transportation 1.2.2 Site Preparation 1.2.3 Installation of Turbines 1.2.4 Installation of Collection and Transmission System Components 1.2.5 Environmental Management Plan 1.2.6 Complaint Resolution Process 1.2.7 Decommissioning PROJECT ALTERNATIVES 1.3.1 Project Site Selection 1.3.2 Project Alternatives Evaluated PROJECT PURPOSE, NEEDS, AND BENEFITS 1.4.1 Project Purpose and Need 1.4.2 Project Benefits

ESI 1 1 7 10 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 23 23 24 24 26 30 30 32 35 35 35 35 38 38 39 39 39 40 40 41 41 42 42 42 43 43 46 46

1.2

1.3

1.4

2.0

ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 2.1 GEOLOGY: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 2.1.1 Regional Geology and Topography 2.1.2 Project Area Geology and Topography 2.1.3 Seismic Activity 2.1.4 Soil Liquefaction GEOLOGY: IMPACTS 2.2.1 Regional Geology and Topography 2.2.2 Project Area Geology and Topography 2.2.3 Seismic Activity 2.2.4 Design Considerations SOILS: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 2.3.1 Soils 2.3.2 Agriculturally Sensitive Areas (Agricultural Districts) 2.3.3 Agricultural Activity 2.3.4 Steep Slopes SOILS: IMPACTS 2.4.1 Impacts 2.4.2 Drainage Features 2.4.3 Mitigation

2.2

2.3

2.4

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2.5

2.6

2.7

2.8

2.9

2.10

2.11

2.12

2.13 2.14

2.4.4 Post-Construction Monitoring 50 2.4.5 Restoration 51 2.4.6 Complaint Resolution 51 WATER QUALITY: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 51 2.5.1 Ground Water 52 2.5.2 Surface Water 53 2.5.3 Storm Water Runoff 58 WATER QUALITY: IMPACTS 58 2.6.1 Ground Water 58 2.6.2 Surface Water Impacts 59 2.6.3 Stormwater 63 2.6.4 Mitigation Measures 64 2.6.5 Site Restoration 65 WETLANDS: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 66 2.7.1 Methodology 66 2.7.2 Results 67 WETLANDS: IMPACTS 75 2.8.1 Project Components 75 2.8.2 Permanent Wetland Impacts 77 2.8.3 Temporary Wetland Impacts 79 2.8.4 Mitigation Measures 87 TERRESTRIAL AND AQUATIC ECOLOGY: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 96 2.9.1 Vegetation 96 2.9.2 Wildlife 105 TERRESTRIAL AND AQUATIC ECOLOGY: IMPACTS 114 2.10.1 General Impacts to Local Habitats 114 2.10.2 Threatened and Endangered Plant Species and Significant Ecological Habitats 117 AVIAN RESOURCES: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 120 2.11.1 Avian Surveys 122 2.11.2 Bat Surveys 126 2.11.3 Grassland Birds – Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Upland Sandpiper and Henslow’s Sparrow 128 2.11.4 Comparison to Other Wind Projects 129 AVIAN RESOURCES: IMPACTS 132 2.12.1 Potential Impacts to Migratory Birds 133 2.12.2 Potential Impacts to Breeding Birds 133 2.12.3 Potential Impacts to Bats 134 2.12.4 Potential Impacts to Federal Threatened and Endangered Species 136 2.12.5 Impacts to Grassland Birds 136 2.12.6 Mitigation 137 VISUAL RESOURCES: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 138 VISUAL RESOURCES: IMPACTS 143 2.14.1 Visual Impacts Assessment Methodology 143 2.14.2 Visual Impacts Study Area 144 2.14.3 Visual Mapping 144 2.14.4 Overall Visual Impacts 146 2.14.5 Turbines and Lighting 151
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2.15

2.16

2.17

2.18

2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22

2.23

2.24

2.25

2.14.6 Classification of Visual Impacts 2.14.7 Shadow Flicker Impacts 2.14.8 Regional Visual Impacts 2.14.9 Visual Impacts to Specific Resources 2.14.10 Affected Viewers 2.14.11 Permanent Visual Impacts 2.14.12 Mitigation Measures SOUND: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 2.15.1 Fundamentals of Sound Analysis 2.15.2 Ambient Sound Levels in the Project Area 2.15.3 Regulatory Noise Limits SOUND: IMPACTS 2.16.1 Project Construction Sound Impacts 2.16.2 Project Operations Sound Impacts 2.16.3 Pure Tones 2.16.4 Proposed Mitigation CLIMATE AND AIR QUALITY: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 2.17.1 Climate 2.17.2 Air Quality 2.17.3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions CLIMATE AND AIR QUALITY: IMPACTS 2.18.1 Construction 2.18.2 Operations 2.18.3 Proposed Mitigation COMMUNICATION SIGNAL FAA OBSTRUCTION STUDY: METHODOLOGY AND EXISTING CONDITIONS COMMUNICATION SIGNAL STUDY: IMPACTS 2.20.1 Types of Potential Impacts TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION: IMPACTS 2.22.1 Design Criteria 2.22.2 Coordination with Transportation Officials 2.22.3 Regional Transportation Issues 2.22.4 Local Transportation Issues 2.22.5 Mitigation LAND USE AND RECREATION: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 2.23.1 Land Use 2.23.2 Recreation 2.23.3 Zoning 2.23.4 Coastal Zone Management LAND USE AND RECREATION: IMPACTS 2.24.1 Land Use 2.24.2 Recreation 2.24.3 Zoning 2.24.4 Coastal Zone Consistency SOCIOECONOMICS: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 2.25.1 Population and Housing 2.25.2 Economy and Employment 2.25.3 Municipal Taxes
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152 154 158 160 165 166 166 168 168 169 175 175 175 177 193 193 194 194 195 196 196 196 196 199 200 203 203 207 208 208 209 210 215 219 220 220 222 227 228 228 228 233 233 234 234 234 235 238

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2.26

2.27 2.28

2.29

2.30

SOCIOECONOMICS: IMPACTS 239 2.26.1 Population and Housing 239 2.26.2 Local Economy and Employment 239 2.26.3 Municipal Budgets and Taxes 241 2.26.4 Impact of Project to Local Real Estate Prices 241 DECOMMISSIONING 243 HEALTH AND SAFETY 243 2.28.1 Emergency Services 244 2.28.2 Health and Safety Planning 245 2.28.3 Fire Safety Planning 246 2.28.4 Design Requirements 247 2.28.5 Ice Shed 247 2.28.6 Other Safety Considerations 248 CULTURAL RESOURCES: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 249 2.29.1 Setting 250 2.29.2 Documented Prehistoric and Historic Archeological Sites250 2.29.3 Documented Historic Structures/Properties 251 2.29.4 Archeological Survey 251 2.29.5 Historic Structures/Properties Survey 252 CULTURAL RESOURCES: IMPACTS 253 2.30.1 Impacts to Archaeological Resources 253 2.30.2 Impacts to Historical Resources 254 2.30.4 Mitigation Measures for Archaeological Resources 258 2.30.5 Mitigation Measures for Historic Structural Resources 260 263

3.0 4.0

UNAVOIDABLE ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LOCAL SHORT-TERM USE OF MAN’S ENVIRONMENT AND THE MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY

265

5.0 6.0

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES 267 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS AND BENEFITS 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 CUMULATIVE IMPACT ANALYSIS GEOLOGY SOILS WATER QUALITY WETLANDS TERRESTRIAL AND AQUATIC ECOLOGY AVIAN AND BAT RESOURCES VISUAL IMPACTS IMPACTS TO SOUND IMPACTS ON AIR QUALITY IMPACTS TO COMMUNICATIONS AND AVIATION IMPACTS ON TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION 269 269 273 273 273 274 274 274 275 278 281 281 281

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6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 7.0

LAND USE AND RECREATION IMPACTS SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS HEALTH AND SAFETY CULTURAL RESOURCES

282 283 284 284

IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED ACTION ON THE USE AND CONSERVATION OF ENERGY 287 REFERENCES 289

8.0

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TABLE OF CONTENTS (Cont’d) APPENDICES A B C D E F AGENCY CORRESPONDENCE CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION PLAN – Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. November 30, 2010 Complaint Resolution Plan PRELIMINARY GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING REPORT - Terracon November 19, 2010 WEST SURVEY REPORTS Avian and Bat Studies – November 28, 2007 Acoustic Bat Surveys – December 23, 2010 Raptor Migration Surveys – December 15, 2010 Grassland Breeding Bird Transect Surveys – December 17, 2010 Report on Indiana Bat Sampling at Ten Sites – June 2008 VISUAL RESOURCE ASSESSMENT – Saratoga Associates – January 17, 2010 BACKGROUND SOUND LEVEL SURVEYS - Hessler – March 8, 2008 LICENSED MICROWAVE REPORT – COMSEARCH – November 15, 2007 AVIATION OBSTRUCTION DETERMINATION EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN SITE SPECIFIC HEALTH, SAFETY, SECURITY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN PUBLIC ARCHAEOLOGY FACILITY REPORT – SUNY November 29, 2007

G H I J K L M

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TABLE OF CONTENTS (Cont’d) List of Tables 1.1-1 2.1-1 2.3-1 2.5-1 2.5-2 2.7-1 2.7-2 2.8-1 2.8-2 2.8-3 2.8-4 Required Permits and Approvals Geotechnical Boring Study Results at Cape Vincent Dominant Soil Types on the Project Area Water Use for Jefferson County, 2000 Ground Water Contamination in the Project Area Wetlands Types Within the Cape Vincent Project Boundary Common Vegetation Species Found in Cape Vincent Project Boundary Permanent Wetland Impacts of the Cape Vincent Project Temporary Wetland Impacts of the Cape Vincent Project Avoidance and Minimization Measures Taken for 2010 Access Road, Collection Line, and Project Facility Layout Summary Comparison of Wetland Impacts: 2008 Project Layout to 2010 Project Layout State-Listed Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plant Species and Significant Ecological Communities in the Vicinity of the Project Area New York State Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Wildlife Species in the Vicinity of the Project Area Summary of All Rare, Threatened, Endangered, or State Species of Concern Birds Seen at Cape Vincent Project Area During All Avian Surveys, April 2006- July 2010 Summary of Sensitive Species Observed During the 2010 Breeding Grassland Bird Transect Surveys (Trans.) and as Incidental Wildlife Observations (Inc.) Within Cape Vincent Wind Resource Area; May 20 – July 9, 2010. Viewshed Coverage Summary Nighttime Viewshed Coverage Measured L90 Sound Levels at Integer Wind Speeds Construction Equipment Sound Levels by Phase Sound Power Levels at Integer Wind Speeds (80 meter hub height) Turbine-Induced Sound Pressure Levels Predicted for Participating and NonParticipating Residences During a 7 m/s or Greater Wind Maximum Turbine-Induced Sound Pressure Levels Predicted for Participating and Non-Participating Residences at Varying Wind Speeds Predicted Attenuation from Residential Building Walls/Windows

2.9-1 2.9-2

2.11-1

2.11-2

2.14-1 2.14-2 2.15-1 2.16-1 2.16-2 2.16-3 2.16-4 2.16-5

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2.18-1

Estimated Annual Emissions Reductions That Would Result from the Proposed Project Broadcasting Towers in Vicinity of Cape Vincent Project AADT Volumes for Study Area Highways (2004 Data)

2.19-1 2.21-1

2.22-1 2.22-2 2.22-3 2.22-4 2.23-1 2.23-2 2.25-1 2.25-2 2.25-3 2.25-4 2.25-5 2.25-6 2.30-1 2.30-2 6.1-1

Design Criteria to Accommodate Oversize/Overweight Load Vehicles Description of Highways along Regional Haul Routes Description of Roadways along Local Haul Routes Required Roadway Modifications along Local Haul Routes Land in Farms – Jefferson County Land Use within the Project Area Population in the Project Area Housing in the Project Region in 2000 Project Area Employment by Industry and Class of Worker in 2000 Leading Agriculture Products in Jefferson County, 2002 Unemployment and Income in the Project Area Municipal Tax Rate and Levy Data Summary of Historic Structures Requiring Additional Evaluation Historic Structure Impacts and Cumulative Impacts Operating and Proposed Wind Power Projects in Cape Vincent Area

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List of Figures 1.1-1 1.1-2 1.1-3 2.6 2.7-1 2.8-1 2.8-2 2.8-3 2.13-1 2.14-1 2.14-2 2.15-1 2.15-2 2.15-3 2.15-4 Project Location Map Proposed Cape Vincent Wind Power Project Boundary Turbine Lighting Plan Streams and Waterbodies Map Wetland Resource Boundary Area Assessment Delineated Wetland Crossings of the 2010 Project Layout Comparison of 2008 and 2010 Project Layouts Potential Wetland Mitigation Areas Seaway Trail & New York Coastal Zone Boundary Vegetated Viewshed – Maximum Turbine Layout 85 WTGs Vegetated Viewshed – FAA Lighting Layout 45 WTGs 10 Minute L90 Sound Levels at All Monitoring Positions-Summer 2007 Monitoring 10 Minute L90 sound Levels at All Monitoring Positions-Winter 2007/2008 Monitoring Regression Analysis of Sound Levels vs. Wind Speed-Summer 2007 Monitoring Regression Analysis of Sound Levels vs. Wind Speed-Winter 2007-2008 Monitoring Cape Vincent Wind Power Project Noise Impact Modeling, 3 m/s Wind Cape Vincent Wind Power Project Noise Impact Modeling, 4 m/s Wind Cape Vincent Wind Power Project Noise Impact Modeling, 5 m/s Wind Cape Vincent Wind Power Project Noise Impact Modeling, 7 m/s Wind Microwave Pathways and Radio Transmission Towers in Vicinity of Cape Vincent Wind Project Proposed Regional Haul Route 1 Proposed Regional Haul Route 2 Proposed Regional Haul Route 3 Proposed Regional Haul Route 4 Agricultural Districts in Jefferson County USDA NASS Landcover/Landuse State Managed Lands Map Zoning Designations Active and Proposed Windfarms in Cape Vincent Area Cumulative with Acciona Project Design Condition: 7 m/s Wind

2.16-1 2.16-2 2.16-3 2.16-4 2.19-1

2.22-1 2.22-2 2.22-3 2.22-4 2.23-1 2.23-2 2.23-3 2.23-4 6.1-1 6.9-1

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List of Acronyms ºC ºF AADT APE AR ASL BCA BMP CFR CO CO2 CWA cy dB dB(A) DEIS DNL ECL EIA EMI EPFPP ERP FAA FAC FEIS FERC FWA g GHG GHSSER HMANA HPI hrs HSSE HUC Hz IBA IH km kV kWh Leq m/s met MMT MSL MW degrees Celsius degrees Fahrenheit average annual daily traffic Area of Potential Effect Agricultural Residential above sea level Bird Conservation Area Best Management Practice Code of Federal Regulations carbon monoxide carbon dioxide Clean Water Act cubic yards decibel A-weighted decibels Draft Environmental Impact Statement day-night-level Environmental Conservation Law Energy Information Administration electromagnetic interference Emergency Preparedness and Fire Prevention Plan Emergency Response Plan Federal Aviation Administration Federal Advisory Committee on Wind Energy (USFWS) Final Environmental Impact Statement Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Freshwater Wetlands Act gravity Greenhouse Gas Getting HSSE Right Hawk Migration Association of North America Historical Perspectives, Inc. hours Health, Safety, Security and Environment Hydrologic Unit Code hertz Important Bird Area interstate highway kilometers kilovolt kilowatt-hours average sound pressure level meters per second meteorological million metric tons Mean Sea Level megawatts

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MWh NEC NFPA NLCD NO2 NOI NOx NRCS NRHP NWCC NWI NYISO NYNHP NYS NYASS NYSDAM NYSDEC NYSDOH NYSDOS NYSDOT NYSDPS NYSERDA O&M OPRHP OS/OW Pa PAF Pb PILOTs PM POI PRHPL PSC PWL ROW RPS RTE SC SCADA SDEIS SE SEQRA SHPO SO2 SPCC SPDES SPL SPPP SRIS

megawatts per hour National Electric Code National Fire Protection Agency National Land Cover Data nitrogen dioxide Notice of Intent nitrous oxide Natural Resources Conservation Service National Register of Historic Places National Water and Climate Centers National Wetlands Inventory New York Independent System Operator New York Natural Heritage Program New York State New York Agricultural Statistics Service New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets New York State Department of Environmental Conservation New York State Department of Health New York State Department of State New York State Department of Transportation New York State Department of Public Service New York State Energy and Research Development Authority operations and maintenance Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation oversized/overweight pascal Public Archeological Facility lead payments-in-lieu-of-taxes particulate matter Point-of-Interconnection Parks and Recreation, and Historic Preservation Law Public Service Commission sound power level right-of-way Renewable Portfolio Standard rare, threatened or endangered State-listed Species of Special Concern supervisory control and data acquisition Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement State-listed Endangered Species State Environmental Quality Review Act (New York) State Historical Preservation Officer (Office) sulfur dioxide Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Stormwater Pollution Discharge Elimination System sound pressure level Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan System Reliability Impact Study

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ST SUNY SWPPP USACE USDOE USDOI USDOT USEPA USFWS USGS VRA W WCFZ WHO WMA

State-listed Threatened Species State University of New York Stormwater Pollution Protection Plan United States Army Corps of Engineers United States Department of Energy United States Department of the Interior United States Department of Transportation United States Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service United States Geological Survey Visual Resource Assessment watt Worst Case Freznel Zones World Health Organization Wildlife Management Area

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY BP Wind Energy North America, Inc. (BP Wind Energy) proposes to install and operate the 134 MW Cape Vincent Wind Power Project (the Project) in the Town of Cape Vincent in the western portion of Jefferson County, NY. The proposed Project will be developed entirely on private land, and will aid the State of New York in meeting the renewable energy goals of the state Renewable Portfolio Standard as well as the “45 by 15” clean energy goals for the state. The Project will also reduce the need for construction of new fossil-fueled generation within the state, and will result in reduced emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Island School District, the Lyme School District and Jefferson County. Project Description The Project will consist of 84 wind turbines placed within a 13,400 acre area. The Project components which are addressed in this assessment include: • 2-3 permanent meteorological towers to be spaced across the project area; • Temporary ancillary construction facilities, including two concrete batch plants, and cleared areas for equipment laydown, construction parking, and construction management trailers; • 84 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines; • A 3-acre permanent operations and maintenance (O&M) center; • 21 miles of access roads; • 43 miles of primarily underground electrical interconnections between turbines and a project substation; • A 3-acre substation; • A ½-mile aboveground 115 kV transmission line to carry power from the project substation to the St. Lawrence Wind Project transmission line, and • 115 kV transmission lines to be strung alongside 7 miles of the St. Lawrence Project transmission line to carry power from the project to National Grid’s proposed Rockledge Substation. In addition, project development will also involve upgrades to local infrastructure to accommodate the expected weight and size of vehicles hauling construction materials. This Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) replaces the Draft EIS submitted December 7, 2007, and describes existing conditions within the anticipated Project Area and identifies potential impacts of Project construction and operation. Existing conditions and the potential effects (beneficial and adverse) are described in Section 2 along with proposed techniques for impact mitigation. Unavoidable significant adverse impacts

Lake Ontario Regional Map

Purpose and Need The purpose of the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project is to add significant new capacity for generation of renewable energy to the New York State power system, to generate revenue for local landowners and for residents of the greater Cape Vincent community, and to generate money which can be used for PILOT payments to the Town of Cape Vincent, the Thousand

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are addressed in Section 3 and cumulative impacts are detailed in Section 6. At the time of the original DEIS filing, BP had not yet completed the project layout, and no studies of the proposed areas of disturbance had been completed. Siting and layout for the facility have now been completed, and this SDEIS includes an assessment of the impacts which result from the following levels of land disturbance: • 60 acres for turbine construction sites • 104 acres for onsite access road construction and improvement • 106 acres for public roadway improvements • 57 acres for construction of electrical interconnects • 3 acres for a permanent Project substation site • 8.4 acres for a central laydown area, including construction management and parking • 13.2 acres for two concrete batch plant sites • 3 acres for the permanent O&M facility • 4 acres for a ½- mile long overhead 115kV transmission corridor At the end of the project life cycle, project equipment will be decommissioned and removed, and the project site will be restored to its original condition. Project construction is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2012 and be completed by the end of the year, and will include the following stages: • Grading and preparation of ancillary construction facilities; • Improvements to local road systems • Construction of access roads; • Construction of turbine tower foundations and turbine installation; • Installation of the underground electrical collection system; • Construction and installation of the substation and operations and maintenance facilities; and
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Plant commissioning.

Project Layout

Various health and safety, emergency response, public interaction, and environmental protection and control plans have either been developed or are in the process of development. These plans will be shared with the Town of Cape Vincent prior to construction. A workforce of 200 will be required during construction and to the extent possible workers will be hired from the local labor pool. During normal operations, BP Wind Energy will maintain a local workforce of 10 employees for operations and maintenance purposes. The project will generate significant economic benefits for the region, including not only the economic stimulus generated by the construction and O&M workforce, but also through landowner payments, and PILOT payments to the Town of Cape Vincent, the Thousand Island and Lyme School Districts, and Jefferson County. As noted above, the SDEIS evaluates existing conditions and the potential impacts from project operation and construction on specific resources. BP Wind Energy commissioned a number of site specific studies, including:

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Spring and fall avian migration studies; Migratory raptor point count survey; Breeding bird point count survey; Migratory season AnaBat sampling; Summer resident bat AnaBat sampling; Summer bat mist netting studies; Grassland bird survey; Leaf-on (summer) and Leaf-off (winter) ambient noise monitoring; Visual impacts analysis; Flicker analysis; Wetlands reconnaissance study; Wetlands delineation study; Ecological field survey; Blanding’s turtle habitat survey; Archeological Resources Phase 1A and Phase 1B field studies; Historical/Architectural Resources “Area of Potential Effect” analysis; Microwave Pathway analysis; Geotechnical survey; Karst feature survey; Traffic impact analysis and road improvement needs assessment; FAA and DOD airspace obstruction analysis; and FAA lighting study.

will be mitigated by a number of practices recommended by the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets, including prevention of erosion through adherence to a site-specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, post-construction restoration and revegetation, where necessary topsoil segregation, and location of construction footprint to minimize agricultural impacts. As a result, turbine locations are anticipated to cause a permanent disturbance only to 0.03 acres of USDA Prime Farmland, and 0.45 acres of Farmlands of Statewide Importance. Water Quality Surface water in the Cape Vincent area will not be significantly impacted by the proposed Project. There will be a very small increase in impervious cover, and thus the Project should have little impact on groundwater recharge or surface water runoff rates. During construction, erosion and sedimentation control measures would be used to reduce sediment runoff from construction sites, and detailed investigations will be conducted prior to construction to determine site-specific features (for example, karst sinkholes) which should be avoided or protected during turbine and infrastructure placement.

Geology and Soils The surface geology in the Project Area largely consists of limestones, shales, sandstones, and dolostones covered by 020 feet of silty clays. Much the site has exposed bedrock, regularly fractured by joints. No large structural folds or faults in bedrock have been observed in the Project Area. The site has a low probability for seismic activity, soil liquefaction or landslides. Construction, including if necessary blasting, is not expected to cause significant impacts to site geology. A small amount of soil currently under agricultural production will be occupied by the placement of turbines and other longterm infrastructure; however, land immediately adjacent to the turbines will not be taken out of cultivation. Impacts to soils

Local Wetland Feature

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Wetlands Prior to submittal of the DEIS, field reconnaissance studies were conducted over the Project Area, and 12% of the area was found to be covered by wetlands or waterbodies, primarily Palustrine Forested wetlands dominated by trees 20 foot in height or taller, mainly consist of silver, red, and sugar maples. Utilizing these studies, a turbine array plan was developed in a way to largely avoid impacts to wetlands, particularly to forested wetlands which cannot be practically restored and whose boundaries were easily identified via reconnaissance type surveys. Wetlands impacts minimization continued through multiple iterations involving BP identifying workspace or corridors for turbine construction, access roads, and electrical transmission, followed by location-specific wetland delineation activities in order to map out any other wetland impacts – often to scrub-shrub or emergent wetlands – that could result from the Project. As wetland boundaries were identified, BP to the extent feasible relocated workspaces and corridors outside the mapped boundaries, and additional surveys were performed. In total, BP contracted wetland delineation experts spent over 1500 hours during 2010 an effort to map and determine appropriate avoidance measures for wetlands at Cape Vincent. This resulted in temporary construction-related wetland impacts being reduced to a final total of 2.84 acres, while permanent impacts were limited to 1.07 acres (0.01 acres of Palustrine forested wetlands). BP is submitting a complete Joint Permit Application satisfying the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Article 24 and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 404 processes. This application includes proposed BP’s strategy for minimizing impacts to wetlands and waterbodies, as well as proposals for compensatory
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mitigation. The Article 24 and Section 404 processes must be completed prior to construction taking place on the Project that will impact waters of the US or the State of New York. Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Most of the land which will be disturbed during construction of the Project will be open uplands, primarily in use as the pasture land: hay fields and reverting hay fields which constitute over 50% of the land in the Project Area. These lands have historically supported a high level of human activity, diminishing the quality of the habitat for sensitive species. There are no federally listed plant species occurring within or in the vicinity of the Project Area, but six state listed species were observed during prior ecological surveys in the area, or have been documented to be present in the area. The single terrestrial species of concern within the site is the Blanding’s Turtle, a statelisted threatened species for which habitat was found during ecological surveys at the site. The Lake Sturgeon is found in waters immediately downstream of the Project. Project design and work practices are expected to preclude any impacts to the Blanding’s Turtle or Lake Sturgeon.

Blanding’s Turtle As with wetlands, the Project footprint has been modified throughout the siting process in order to reduce or eliminate impacts to sensitive species or habitat, including four
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state listed Significant Ecological Communities - Silver Maple-Ash Swamp, Calcareous Pavement Barrens, Limestone Woodland, and Sinkhole Wetland – found in the vicinity of the project. Additional measures to further protect these species may be implemented based on NYSDECs response to the BP Article 11 Permit application. Construction activities will disturb the local ecology of the site, but adherence to a Site Specific Environmental Management Plan including restoration provisions will mitigate those impacts. Avian and Bat Species Cape Vincent is near to the Point Peninsula Important Bird Area which is considered to be a critical winter concentration area for a number of species, including the state endangered Short-eared Owls, and its shoals are considered an important premigratory staging area for species including the state-threatened Common Terns. The Point Peninsula site and its offshore waters host tens of thousands of waterfowl. Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area adjacent to the site is also designated as a New York Bird Conservation Area, and supports a number of state listed endangered avian species. BP is working with the NYSDEC through the Article 11 process in order to obtain an Incidental Take Permit Application for statelisted species. This permit will specify measures to avoid and minimize impacts to state-listed threatened and endangered species, including the threatened Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, sedge wren and northern harrier, in addition to the endangered short-eared owl. For unavoidable impacts, the Project will complete a mitigation plan which results in a net-conservation benefit for the species included in the application.

Indiana Bat

Multiple studies for bats have also been conducted as well, and the federally-listed endangered Indiana Bat may be present within the Project Area. Under Section 7 of the federal Endangered Species Act, Federal agencies that are proposing to authorize, fund, or conduct an activity (considered a federal action), are required to consult with the USFWS to determine if the federal action is likely to adversely affect species listed under the ESA. The USACE issuance of a wetland permit is considered a federal action requiring compliance with the ESA, and BP is preparing a Biological Assessment for USACE which will include a thorough assessment of potential impacts from the project on the endangered Indiana bat and a conservation plan outlining measures that will avoid, minimize, and mitigate potential adverse impacts to Indiana bat from the project. Visual Resources The project area is characterized by agricultural fields, wetland marshes and small forested wetlands, with some clusters of residences at crossroad hamlets such as Rosiere and Saint Lawrence, and other residences and farm support buildings interspersed throughout the area. Measured from the ground to the tip of an extended blade, each wind turbine will be up to 426 feet high and visible from numerous locations in the surrounding area.

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The height and density of the turbines will make them a focal point and will change the visual character of the town. Since most visitors to the area are focused on the shore and the views to the water, the turbines will generally not affect the views from state parks and other properties along the coast. The exception to this will be at Long Point State Park where visitors will have a direct, unobstructed view of the Project.

Decommissioning and removal of turbines at the end of their life cycle will ensure that the project will not be a permanent visual impact. Sound Summer (“leaf-on”) and winter (“leaf-off”) ambient sound monitoring program was conducted at 7 sites across the project area in September and December, 2007. Over most of the site, wind speeds of 6-8 meters/second (m/s) correlated with measured ambient noise levels (calculated as L90’s) of 48-50 dB(A) during the summer and 34-40 dB(A) during the winter. Above 6-8 m/s wind noise continues to increase, but turbine noise does not, and therefore this wind speed is considered to represent a worst-case impact for turbine noise versus ambient sound levels. At the 80-meter hub height, the GE 1.6-100 turbines which will be used for the Project are expected to produce between 100-105 db(A) at wind speeds of 6-8 m/s. Site specific modeling was completed to assess the impact to various local receptors, particularly residences, over a range of wind speed conditions. Presently, the Town of Cape Vincent has no local noise regulations or guidelines for wind power facilities. However, BP Wind Energy undertook an extensive process of evaluating various turbine array plans in conjunction with noise modeling exercises in order to reduce the impacts to local residents, a process which played a major role in the reduction of the project size from the originally proposed 140 turbines down to the current 84. The GE 1.6-100 turbines were also selected because of their lower sound pressure output versus other available turbines at the wind speeds typical for Cape Vincent.

Visual Simulation

A preliminary visualization study is included in the SDEIS identifying sensitive receptors which could be visually impacted and qualitatively assessing the impact of the Project on those receptors. These include potentially historically valuable resources identified by the NY Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), and surveys have been completed to assess the impacts to historical resources on a site by site basis. The reduction in the number of turbines at the site from the originally planned 140 down to 84 has reduced the potential visual impacts from the Project. Other mitigation measures which could be implemented may include use of colors and non-reflective turbine and tower coatings to reduce the visual contrast with the background sky, and screening turbines where there are specific concerns over visual impacts to specific resources.

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The current array plan was designed to meet the following predicted noise levels thresholds: • ” 48 dB(A) at any property lines for nonparticipating property owners • ” 47 dB(A) at the current residential structures of any non-participating property owners • ” 50 dB(A) at the current residential structures of any participating property owners The maximum modeled turbine sound levels noted above drop off as wind speeds decrease – for example, the maximum predicted noise level at any nonparticipating residence during a 5 mps wind is 43 dB(A).

through the project layout and the selection of turbines. BP Wind Energy will implement a complaint resolution procedure to assure that any complaints regarding operational noise will be adequately and efficiently investigated and resolved. Land Use Land use within the Project Area is primarily agricultural, with some residential clusters. There are a number of recreational resources in the area of the project, and the Village of Cape Vincent and the Seaway Trail are popular tourist destinations. Through project design and setbacks the project should have a minimal impact on these resources, although they may reduce the potential for future residential development during the life of the project. The proposed project will require a Site Plan Review by the Cape Vincent Planning Board and the combined St. Lawrence Wind Farm/Cape Vincent Wind Power Project transmission line will require review by the Lyme Zoning Board. Because of proximity to the NY Coastal Zone and the state permit actions required for the Project, BP has documented consistency with the New York Coastal Zone Management Policy. Traffic and Transportation BP undertook a significant study of transportation alternatives for transport of construction equipment and turbine components to the site, both on a regional level (evaluating regional haul routes from major shipping terminals) as well as on a local level (evaluating county and town roads within the project area). As a result, BP identified numerous local roadways which will require improvements needed such as pavement widening and intersection widening (in order to accommodate oversized loads) as well as improving the structural integrity of certain roadways through measures like upgrading culverts and increasing pavement thickness ( to accommodate overweight loads). BP is coordinating all planned activities with state, county, and local transportation
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Noise Modeling Output

Construction noise is expected to be disruptive, but comparable to other local noise sources regularly encountered for short periods of time in Cape Vincent, and is not considered a significant impact. Operational noise levels are not predicted to result in any adverse health effects to local residents, but may cause a nuisance situation under certain conditions. Mitigation measures, as noted above, have already been built into project design,

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officials, and has conducted environmental surveys to assess any impacts that may result during these roadway improvements. Much of the construction will take place during the summer season, when tourism substantially increases traffic in the Cape Vincent area, and BP will also work with local officials to schedule deliveries and equipment movements in order to minimize nuisance effects to local residents or to the tourist population.

avoid any impacts to microwave telecom pathways. An assessment of any impacts to Mars Hill or other broadcasting signals will be performed post-construction, and appropriate mitigation will be designed. BP has received clearances from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifying that the array plan will not interfere with FAA airways, vectoring altitudes, or critical radar installations, and there will be no impact to Department of Defense operations. A nighttime lighting plan has been approved by the FAA. Socioeconomics The proposed Project will provide a number of benefits to the local area. Anticipated local economic benefits include: • temporary and permanent employment during construction and operation; • increased local spending by Project employees; • increased revenue to the municipality through payments in lieu of taxes; and increased economic diversification in the county. Many of the landowners directly affected by Project development are farmers, who will directly benefit from the additional income that will be provided through lease payments for the use of their property for wind turbine sites. The lease payments will provide some relief from the cashflow fluctuations that are inherent in the agricultural industry by providing the farmers with steady guaranteed income, while at the same time ongoing current farming and grazing activities will be unaffected by wind farm operations. Cultural Resources BP has completed a Phase 1A survey of the site, and Phase 1B surveys at the site are approximately 70% complete at this time. BP is committed to working with the OPRHP in order to develop a schedule for completion of surveys and commitments to protect cultural materials during site construction. In addition, BP has completed an assessment of historically significant properties whose character
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Route 12E through Chaumont

Air Quality Electric power consumption is expected to continue to grow in New York in the coming decades, creating a need for additional power generation capacity. The project will recognize significant benefits to air quality over its life cycle, as it will reduce the need for additional fossil fired power generation. This includes annual reductions of emissions of smog precursors nitrogen oxides (280 tons/year) and sulfur oxides (360tons/year), the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (260,000 tons/year), as well as hazardous air pollutants including volatile organics and mercury. These benefits are considered a form of partial mitigation for other environmental impacts caused by the project. Communications and Aviation Safety Four non-Federal microwave telecom pathways cross the site, and the Mars Hill FM102.7 Broadcasting Station at Fox Creek Road and Route 12E may experience signal attenuation due to turbines. BP Wind Energy has laid out their turbines in order to
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could be adversely affected due to the construction of turbines in their viewshed and will work with the OPRHP to develop appropriate mitigation measures to reduce or compensate for those impacts. Health and Safety Health and safety concerns during project construction and normal operations are addressed in the site specific health and safety program, emergency response plan, spill prevention control and countermeasure plan and complaint resolution process, which are included as either appendices to the SDEIS or will be included in the FEIS. Specific operational health and safety concerns, including the possibility of ice shed, blade throw, and turbine collapse, are addressed by BP Wind Energy’s commitment to excellence in project design, construction, and maintenance, and by maintaining adequate setbacks from local residents and roadways to further reduce the risk to human health and safety that could result from any catastrophic event. Cumulative Impacts The SDEIS addresses potential cumulative impacts which will result to the region from the potential construction, within a 20 mile long band, of five commercial wind power projects. Along with the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project, wind farms in various stages of planning and permitting include the adjacent St. Lawrence Wind Farm in Cape Vincent, the Horse Creek Wind Farm in Clayton, and the Hounsfield Wind Farm on Galloo Island. Already constructed and operational is the Wolfe Island Wind Project on Wolfe Island (Canada) in the St. Lawrence River, offshore of the Town of Cape Vincent. The cumulative effects considered include: • Effects to regional and local transportation networks; • Effects due to construction and operation of multiple projects with industrial scale wind turbines;

• •

Effects due to construction and operation of a 115 kV transmission corridor; and Effects due to upgrading the National Grid transmission system if multiple projects being developed results in overloading of current grid capacity.

Cumulative impacts occur when the individual impacts of one project interact with the impacts of another project in a manner which compounds or increases the extent of an impact that either project would have on its own. Cumulative impacts of concern for the Cape Vincent Project along with the aforementioned projects include: • avian and bat populations – there is a concern that as more projects are constructed impacts to avian and bat populations may be more than additive, particularly if migrating birds lose the ability to migrate unimpeded from potential risk of collision. While this is considered unlikely due to the flight altitude of migrating birds, the additive impacts are still a concern for species of concern, particularly the Federally Listed Indiana Bat. BP Wind Energy is working closely with the USFWS and NYSDEC to develop a minimization and mitigation plan designed to reduce the likelihood of adverse impacts and minimize the Project’s potential contribution to significant cumulative impacts to these species. • visual resources - should all five projects discussed be constructed, the area in an approximately 13-mile radius of the town of Cape Vincent would include over 350 utility scale wind generating turbines each exceeding 390 feet in height. Traveling northward on Route 12E (the Seaway Trail) a driver would encounter a view of turbines while passing through virtually the entire route from Brownsville to the Village of Clayton, with turbines in the immediate foreground as they pass through the Cape Vincent Project after passing Three Mile Bay. The highest value local views (of Lake Ontario and the
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St. Lawrence River) will only be impacted by the offshore Wolfe Island and Hounsfield Wind Power Projects, and no cumulative impact will result from addition of the Cape Vincent Project to these coastal views. Thus, while the villages of Cape Vincent, Clayton, and Sackets Harbor all have Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs that include substantial visual components, as those programs primarily focus on views of the waterfront the addition of the Cape Vincent Project will not contribute to any negative cumulative impacts. • cultural resources - some historical properties, particularly those in the vicinity of the boundary of the Cape Vincent and St. Lawrence Projects, may encounter some cumulative negative impact, particularly if the radius of visual impact is greatly expanded due to the two projects. BP is working with the OPRHP to address visual impacts to properties with historical significance. • noise - while wind turbine noise may be perceptible at farther distances at levels slightly over background, from a nuisance perspective, noise levels approach significant nuisance levels at distances within 1,000 feet of a turbine. Therefore, BP’s Cape Vincent Project is only expected to cause potential cumulative impacts with the adjoining St. Lawrence Wind Farm in Cape Vincent, and only along the border between the two projects where some residences may be affected by turbines from both projects. Modeling of the impacts from both projects operating simultaneously indicates that in no case is this expected to result in a sound pressure level greater than 45 dB(A) at any residential structure on a property that is not part of either project; therefore, the cumulative impact to any individual receptor should not be significantly greater than the impact from either project operating independently. • transportation - Cumulative impacts to local transportation networks may result if both the St. Lawrence Wind Farm and the Cape Vincent Project are constructed
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simultaneously, due to the doubling of the volume of construction traffic. Current schedules indicate that this will not occur, but if construction overlaps both projects will coordinate with local officials to develop schedules that minimize impacts to local traffic patterns. • socioeconomics - Construction of the five projects will have cumulative benefits for the regional economy. Total construction cost for the four U.S. projects is estimated to be greater than $1 billion. Approximately 15 to 18 percent of this total is the expected to be spent locally, providing short-term construction jobs, as well as a smaller number of long-term operations and maintenance jobs. The local share of annual operating and maintenance costs is estimated to range between $1.8 million and $2.5 million, providing an ongoing economic benefit to the region. Local lease payments to participating landowners will enhance their ability to purchase additional goods and services, providing another secondary benefit to the local economy. The projects will also have a cumulative beneficial impact on municipal budgets and taxes, as the taxing jurisdictions will receive additional revenues from the projects in the form of PILOT revenues. This revenue could total over $5 million per year if all four projects are built, based on the PILOT agreement entered into by the Galloo Island project recently. On a long term basis, the potential for a combined addition of almost 600 MW of capacity to generate electrical power without the combustion of fossil fuels between the four New York projects will make a major contribution to the State of New York meeting their renewable power generation goals. Assuming a 30% annual capacity factor these projects will generate enough power to meet the electricity needs of almost 300,000 average New York households.

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1.0 1.1

PROJECT DESCRIPTION PROJECT OVERVIEW AND DEFINITIONS BP Wind Energy North America, Inc. (BP Wind Energy) proposes to install and operate the approximately 134-megawatt (MW) Cape Vincent Wind Power Project (the Project or Wind Power Project) in the town of Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, located in northern New York State (see Figure 1.1-1). The project will be developed entirely on private land, although some use and expansion of the public road system will be necessary to support Project development. The Project will include:

Four temporary meteorological monitoring towers (three 196 feet tall and one 164 feet tall), which have been constructed and are currently collecting data within the site boundary. At the completion of project construction, 2-3 permanent meteorological towers will be spaced across the Project Area; Construction-related temporary facilities, including two concrete batch plants, and cleared areas for construction parking, equipment laydown, and construction management trailers; Eighty four GE 1.6-100 wind turbines within an approximately 11,000-acre area in the town of Cape Vincent (see Figure 1.1-2); Approximately 21 miles of access roads that would connect each wind turbine to a town or county highway to allow equipment and vehicle access for construction and subsequent facility maintenance; Approximately 43 miles of electrical collection system to deliver electricity to a newly constructed project substation in Cape Vincent. Approximately 14 miles of the electrical collection system will be installed underground along the same right-of-way (ROW) corridor as the access roads; A three-acre operations and maintenance (O&M) center; A Project substation on a three -acre parcel; and A ½-mile 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to carry power from the Cape Vincent (Project) substation to the proposed St. Lawrence Wind Project transmission line, which will connect the Cape Vincent substation with National Grid’s proposed Rockledge substation, which connects to the New York State Transmission System.

• •

• • •

The following terms are used throughout this document to describe the proposed action. Project. In this document, “Project” refers to all activities associated with the construction and operation of the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project, and all components thereof, including but not limited to: wind turbines (e.g., blades, towers, generators, pads, and foundations); electrical collection lines and poles; trenches; access roads; related structures (e.g., substation); and ancillary construction related units and areas. The terms Project and Wind Power Project are used interchangeably in this document.

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Project Area. The Project Area is denoted by the outer boundary of the geographic area that includes all Project components, excluding the 115 kV transmission line to be strung along the proposed St. Lawrence Wind transmission structures. Turbine Cluster. A “turbine cluster” consists of two or more wind turbines in close geographic proximity that is served by a single system of access roads and collection lines. Turbine Site. A "turbine site” is the individual 100-foot radius location of a proposed wind turbine and monopole structures, including a foundation for that structure, a crane pad, and the surrounding area requiring clearing for laydown and construction. Area of Potential Effect. There are three uses of the term “Area of Potential Effect” (APE) used in the DEIS. The first represents an area of about 222 total acres within the 11,000-acre Project Area, or all areas that would be physically affected during Project development and/or operation. The APE is divided into turbine clusters that would be served by a series of access/service roads, the circuited electrical collection system, laydown yards, batch concrete plant sites, and the substation site. This is also referred to as the “historical APE.” Additional grid related components “downstream” of the interconnect of the Cape Vincent Project with the new transmission line being constructed for the St. Lawrence Wind Project, as well as the Rockledge substation and any transmission upgrades taking place downstream of the Rockledge substation are assumed to be taking place within established corridors and stations and are not included in the APE. A second use of the term APE refers to those portions of the Project Area where turbine noise may cause a nuisance (see Section 2.15 and 2.16). These portions are all within the Project boundary. For the cultural resource discussion (Sections 2.30.2 and 2.31.2) and visual impact analysis (Sections 2.13 and 2.14), the term “visual APE” is used to include areas both inside and outside of the project boundary that would be visually affected by the turbines.

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GIS File: Cape Vincent\GIS\projects\Cape Vincent state loc.mxd

Prepared by: S. King

Date: 1/18/2011

Project No. 0057356.02B

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Figure 1.1-1 Project Location Map Cape Vincent Wind Project BP Wind Energy

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GIS File: Cape Vincent\GIS\projects\Cape Vincent boundary map.mxd

Prepared by: M. Jones/S. King

Date: 1/18/2011

Project No. 0092352.03A

o

Canada

Legend
Proposed Turbine Array US/Canada Boundary Proposed Batch Plant Proposed Operations & Maintenance Facility Proposed Temporary Laydown Area Proposed Substation Proposed Project Boundary

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Figure 1.1-2 Proposed Cape Vincent Wind Power Project Boundary Cape Vincent Wind Project BP Wind Energy

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1.1.1

Proposed Action BP Wind Energy proposes to construct the Cape Vincent Project within an area of approximately 11,000 acres in the town of Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, New York. Land uses within the Project Area include a mixture of agricultural, residential and forested land. The Project Area also contains wetlands and surface waters. Current agricultural use is largely limited to hay production and pasture, although some row crops (e.g., corn) are grown in the area. Forested land within the Project Area varies from recently clear cut stands to late successional forests. Current and historical silviculture is evident throughout the Project Area. The Project Area is shown on Figure 1.1-2. BP Wind Energy is in the process of obtaining property interests for all desired parcels. BP Wind Energy has selected the final Project components based on several factors, including experience of the manufacturer, engineer, or vendor and suitability of the specific component to the specific location and wind resource. Figure 1.1-2 provides the array plan and location of ancillary facilities.

1.1.1.1

Turbines BP Wind Energy proposes to construct and operate 84 wind turbines. The GE 1.6100 turbines were selected based on the projected efficiency in the wind resource at this site, economy of scale, availability of service and replacement components, and the manufacturer’s reputation. The turbines will be three bladed, upwind, horizontal-axis wind units. The nacelle will be located at the top each tower and will contain the electrical generating equipment. The turbine rotor (blade) and the nacelle will be mounted on top of a tubular tower giving a rotor hub height of approximately 263 feet (80 meters), and a rotor diameter of 328 feet (100 meters). The maximum height for the turbine would be up to 427 feet (130 meters) when a rotor blade is at the top of its rotation. Once installed, each wind turbine will occupy a base approximately 14 feet in diameter. Disturbed ground at the base of the turbine will be restored and re-vegetated, except for a graveled fire break/construction area required around the base of each tower. Each turbine will be constructed on a parcel of cleared land occupying approximately one acre. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will include the drawings, specifications, and power curves of the turbines. BP Wind Energy will base the final design of each foundation on load information provided by the wind turbine manufacturer and the load bearing soil characteristics measured by the geotechnical test at each of the wind turbine sites. The typical foundation anticipated for the wind turbines in this Project would consist of a reinforced concrete spread foundation directly resting either on the soil at a depth of approximately ten feet below ground, or placed on top of and anchored into bedrock. The foundation would generally be an octagon, with a diameter of 50 feet and a concrete pier on the top of the mat extending to the ground level.

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The turbines will require lighting in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards to mitigate hazards to aviation. Aviation warning lights will be limited to those towers that are required to be lighted by the FAA, which are identified in Figure 1.1-3. There will be no lights during the day and there will be red strobes during the night with the minimum intensity and duration of time illuminated allowed by the FAA (see Sections 2.13 and 2.14). 1.1.1.2 Electrical System Electrical power generated by the wind turbines will be transformed and collected through a network of underground and overhead cables which will all terminate at the Project substation to be located within the Project Area. Each turbine will have an adjacent pad-mounted transformer, a short new maintenance road, and underground or aboveground electrical collection cables and communication lines. Power from the turbines will be fed through a breaker panel located inside the tower at the turbine base and interconnected to a pad-mounted step-up transformer. The pad transformers would be interconnected to underground cables, which would connect all of the turbines together electrically. The 34.5 kV feeder collection systems will bring the combined power output to a new single 115 kV collection substation. The collection cables will connect with larger feeder lines that would tie into the main substation. In locations where two or more sets of lines converge, pad mounted three-way junction terminals will be utilized to tie the lines together into one or more sets of larger feeder conductors. The Project will require approximately 42 miles of underground, and about one mile of overhead, 34.5 kV electrical power lines to collect all of the power from the turbines to the Project substation. The electrical power from the all 84 wind turbines will be stepped up to a transmission level of 115 kV and fed to an aboveground transmission line at the Project substation. The 115 kV/34.5 transformers will have a wye-wye-delta connection with both 115 kV and 34.5 kV sides wye-grounded. The Project substation equipment and control house will be contained in a graveled area of approximately 400 feet by 360 feet that is surrounded by a secured chain link perimeter fence. The Project substation will be located near the corner of Burnt Rock Road and Swamp Road (see Figure 1.1-2). All substation equipment, including instrument transformers, surge arresters, metering equipment, relay equipment, and communication equipment, will be set on concrete pads. An approximately ½-mile long aboveground transmission line will be constructed to connect the Project substation to a new 115 kV line which will be

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hung on the transmission towers being constructed to service the St. Lawrence Wind Project in Cape Vincent. Via this transmission corridor the Project will interconnect with the New York State Transmission System at National Grid’s proposed Rockledge Substation. The substation and overall electrical system will be designed and constructed in accordance with the Guidelines of the National Electric Code (NEC), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), and the host utility (National Grid) requirements. 1.1.1.3 Transportation Components There are two types of transportation components which will be constructed in support of the Project – access roads constructed within the leased properties, and road improvements within existing public ROWs. Approximately 21 miles of access roads will be improved or constructed within the leased properties, creating 104 acres of disturbance (including room for colocated transmission lines and drainage ditches). In addition, local public roads will be used for transportation of equipment, and there are places where improvements will be required to accommodate the wider turning radii of larger vehicles needed to haul larger turbine and tower components. This will create an additional 106 acres of disturbance. 1.1.1.4 Other Project Components In addition to the facilities noted above, BP Wind Energy will also construct the following facilities to support site construction and operations.

A new permanent O&M building will be constructed on an approximately 3acre parcel. The building would be used to house the permanent operating staff for the facility as well as monitors and other necessary equipment. This facility will be located on the south side of NY State Route 12E between Bedford Corners Road and Fox Creek Road.

Although the latest construction methods minimize the amount of concrete necessary for the foundation, it will still be necessary to construct one or two temporary 6.6 acre concrete batching plants within the Project area. Proposed batch plant sites include along Rosiere Road, immediately north of 12E, and on the north side of 12E near the intersection with Fox Creek Road (see Figure 1.1-2). During construction, staging and temporary short-term storage of construction equipment, cable, foundation parts, components, towers, blades, and nacelles will occur on site. The 8.4 acre temporary use and lay down area will be utilized for short-term staging and assembly of tower sections, nacelles, and rotors during the erection. This facility will be located along Rosiere Road (County Road 4), just north of the intersection with Favret Road.

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While these sites were selected partially in order to minimize the need for clearing of wooded areas, some surface vegetation will need to be removed, regrading of surface soils will be required, and soils are expected to be heavily compacted as a result of batching plant activities, including associated truck traffic. The batching plant and any excess concrete constituents are expected to be removed at the end of the concrete-pouring phase, and the sites for the batch plants and temporary use and laydown areas will be restored per landowner specifications post-construction. The O&M facility will be maintained through the life of the Project. Table 1.1-1 lists the local, state, and federal approvals and permits required. 1.1.2 Operation and Maintenance With the exception of downtime for preventative maintenance and/or malfunctions, the turbines will operate 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. Downtime for preventive maintenance and/or malfunctions may reduce the operating hours. The turbines will generate electricity only during times of sufficient wind. BP Wind Energy plans to operate the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project with 10 full-time employees. A facility manager will be responsible for all operations and maintenance of the site, including administration and direction of turbine maintenance with technical oversight, as required, by the manufacturer and operational coordination with the utility grid system and the local landowners. During the first several years, maintenance and repair of the wind turbines will be performed by GE staff under a warranty contract. Thereafter, seven employees will perform routine and unplanned work on the turbines and other facilities, while two administrative employees will manage the operations and maintenance office and administration. Large repair tasks will be accomplished using both Project employees and contractors. Routine maintenance for the turbines will include testing of lubricants for contaminants, changing of lubricants, calibrating and testing electronic systems, and tightening of bolts and components. Routine maintenance is generally completed on a scheduled basis by climbing the tower using the internal ladder and doing the work with normal hand tools and electrical testing equipment. Long-term maintenance may include replacement/rebuilding and cleaning of larger components such as generators and gearboxes, testing of electrical components, and refurbishing blades. Emergency work also may be required as the result of a system or component failure. Certain unplanned work such as blade repairs or repairs to other large components may require the use of a crane to complete the work.

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GIS File: Cape Vincent\GIS\projects\turbine_lighting_plan.mxd

Prepared by: M. Jones/S. King

Date: 1/10/2011

Project No. 0057356.02B

CANADA St Lawrence River

m

Cape Vincent

Georg Lake
Ri ve r

Lake Ontario

Ch a

Project Boundary Lighting Type

Chaumont Bay

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1 Miles

Figure 1.1-3 Turbine Lighting Plan Cape Vincent Wind Project BP Wind Energy

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Wind turbines do not require the use of water during operations. BP Wind Energy does not propose to use herbicides or pesticides to control vegetation or pests. The use of geotextile fabric and gravel construction, as well as the periodic use of the access roads by vehicles, should be sufficient to prohibit growth of unwanted vegetation. TABLE 1.1-1: Required Permits and Approvals
Reviewing Entity Local Agencies: Town of Cape Vincent Planning Board Town of Cape Zoning Enforcement Officer Town of Cape Vincent Highway Department Town of Lyme Planning Board Jefferson County Planning Department Jefferson County Highway Department County Agriculture(al) Development Authority Other Local Agencies New York State Agencies: Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Permit/Approval/Consultation Requirement State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) (Lead Agency) Review Site Plan Approval Zoning Permit Highway/Road Work Permits and Agreements Issuance of Building Permits/Certificates of Compliance Approval for transmission line routing Section 239-m Review and issuance of recommendations Highway/Road Work Permits Special Hauling Permit (oversize/overweight components) Notice of Intent Highway/road work permits Article 17 SPDES General Permit – requiring preparation of construction and operation phase Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs), and a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC)/Oil Contingency Plan. Clean Water Act §401 Water Quality Certificate Natural Heritage Program Consultation Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands Permit if needed Article 15 Use and Protection of Waters Permit Incidental take of New York listed Threatened or Endangered Species or their habitat under Article 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law Issuance of SEQRA Findings as an Involved Agency Determination of Consistency with coastal policies

Department of State (NYSDOS) Division of Coastal Resources NY Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Public Service Commission (PSC)

Highway Work Permit Special Hauling Permit (oversize/overweight components)

Interconnection Feasibility Study
Public Service Law, Section 68, Review Issuance of SEQRA Findings as an Involved Agency

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Reviewing Entity NY Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) NY Department of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Federal Agencies: US Army Corps of Engineers

Permit/Approval/Consultation Requirement Notice of Intent Issuance of SEQRA Findings as an Involved Agency Section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, Cultural Resources Consultation Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law 14.09 Clean Water Act §404 Wetlands Permit River & Harbors Act, §10 Nationwide Permit (aerial transmission line crossing the Chaumont River) Threatened & Endangered Species Consultation Obstruction to Aviation Review Lighting Review

US Fish & Wildlife Service Federal Aviation Administration

1.1.3

Power Generation As discussed in Section 1.1, the units to be installed at the BP Wind Energy Wind Power Project will be GE 1.6 MW wind turbine generators. Drawings and technical specifications for the selected GE 1.6-100 turbines are included as Appendix B. The annual production of energy by the Project is expected to be approximately 400 gigawatt hours per year. Power will be transmitted via Project collection lines to the electrical substation, which will be constructed by the Project and will serve to interface the Project’s electrical collection system to the Project transmission line. The Project will connect to the National Grid’s Rockledge Substation via a dedicated 115 kV aboveground transmission line, which will be strung along a 6.5 mile combination of dedicated and shared transmission towers. The transmission line will connect with the National Grid transmission system at the proposed Rockledge substation, which is planned to be across County Route 179 from the existing Lyme substation. Detailed studies to confirm these preliminary plans meet the grid requirements have been completed, pursuant to New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) procedures. On January 11, 2006, BP Wind Energy notified the NYISO of its intent to interconnect with the New York State transmission grid, which triggered the requirement to perform an Interconnection Feasibility Study, which was completed in October 2006. Following the Feasibility Study, the NYISO recommended the use of an outside consultant to lead the development of the System Reliability Impact Study (SRIS). BP Wind Energy retained Seimens PTI to perform the study and a draft SRIS was delivered to the NYISO in March 2007. Following receipt of comments from NYISO, Siemens PTI has performed additional analysis and submitted a revised SRIS to NYISO in December 2007. BP Wind Energy participated in the

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2008 Class Year Facilities Study, which was initiated in March 2008 and completed in January 2010. BP Wind Energy is currently pursuing an Interconnection Agreement with NYISO for this Project. 1.1.4 Operational Safety Reported data on ice throws indicates that ice fragments have been found on the ground from 50-330 feet from turbines and were in the range of 0.2 to 2 lb in mass1. In order to prevent ice from causing any potential danger, turbines will be located at least 1000 feet from any residences and 650 feet from any public roads. BP Wind Energy has included fire protection in the Project’s design, as well as in construction and operation procedures (see Section 2.29). Each turbine would be located on a parcel of cleared land occupying approximately one acre. The cleared land would be free of combustible materials, thus minimizing the potential spread of a fire should one start. Fire protection features of the turbines include components within the nacelle that monitor bearing, oil, and nacelle temperatures. These components would be connected to the turbine supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, which would monitor temperatures and automatically shut the turbine down and send an alarm to the control room if predetermined set points were exceeded. In addition, each nacelle and each service vehicle would be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Beyond the physical fire protection components of the facility, the Cape Vincent Project’s operations staff would be required to develop a site-specific Emergency Preparedness and Fire Prevention Plan (EPFPP) that would specify the actions to be taken by the site manager and staff should an emergency or fire occur. The EPFPP would be coordinated with the local fire departments and emergency response organizations and would identify the procedures and lines of communication in the event of a fire or other emergency. The substation will be secured within a locked and fenced area. The main transformer would incorporate an oil spill containment area and a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan will be maintained in order to protect local waterbodies and soils uncontaminated from any transformer oil spills. The SPCC will include procedures to address proper reporting, cleanup, and documentation of spills. In addition, the pad-mounted transformers located at each turbine site will be situated to provide six feet of clearance between the transformer and any other Project component. All transformers will be installed in accordance with industry standards.

1

Morgan, C., Bossanyi, E., Seifert, H., Assessment Of Safety Risks Arising From Wind Turbine Icing, 1998 Part of “Wind Energy in Cold Climates” developed under contract with UK Department of Trade and Industry.

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1.2

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION PLAN Project construction is anticipated to occur in a single phase. It is scheduled to start in the spring of 2012 and be completed by December, 2012. Construction will occur in several stages:
• • • • • •

Grading and preparation of ancillary construction facilities; Construction of access roads; Construction of turbine tower foundations and turbine installation; Installation of the underground electrical collection system; Construction and installation of the substation and O&M facilities; and Project commissioning.

BP Wind Energy anticipates that a maximum workforce of 200 will be required for Project construction. To the extent possible, workers will be hired from the local labor pool. All construction associated with the Project is expected to be completed over a 9 month period. Various environmental protection and control plans will be developed and shared with the Town of Cape Vincent before construction. These will include a construction routing plan, road improvement plan, dust control plan, public safety plan, and complaint resolution procedures. These plans and procedures are described further throughout the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS). Actions included in these plans and procedures will be reviewed, coordinated and approved by the Town prior to implementation, in order to assure that the impacts of Project construction on local residents are avoided, minimized, or mitigated to the extent practicable. A site survey has been performed to stake out the location of the wind turbines, access roads, electrical cables, substations, and areas for ancillary construction facilities such as the batch plants, laydown, and parking. BP has also commissioned a preliminary geotechnical investigation to identify subsurface conditions and allow development of final design specifications for the access roads, foundations, underground trenching, and electrical grounding systems. The geotechnical investigation involved a drill rig obtaining 30-45 feet deep borings to identify the subsurface soil and rock types and strength properties. Testing was also performed to measure the soil’s electrical properties to ensure proper grounding system design. A geotechnical investigation is generally performed at each turbine location, at substation locations, along the access roads, and at the O&M building site. Using all of the data gathered for the Project (including geotechnical information, environmental conditions, site topography, etc.), BP Wind Energy is developing a set of site-specific construction specifications for the various components of the Project. The specifications will comply with applicable codes and construction standards established by various industry practice groups. BP Wind Energy will also hire environmental monitors and conduct special training for contractors to assure that they are aware of all environmental
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protection commitments and permit conditions, and will be in compliance with such commitments and conditions. 1.2.1 Construction Related Transportation The heavy equipment and materials needed for site access, site preparation, and foundation construction are typical of road construction and high rise building projects and do not pose unique transportation considerations. The types of heavy equipment and vehicles required would include cranes, pile drivers, bulldozers, graders, excavators, front-end loaders, compactors, dump trucks, electric line trucks, water trucks, and heavy equipment maintenance vehicles. Typically, the equipment would be moved to the site by flatbed combination truck and would remain on site through the duration of construction activities. Typical construction materials hauled to the site would include gravel, sand, water, steel, electrical cable and components, fencing, and lumber, which are generally available locally. Ready-mix concrete might also be transported to the site. The movement of equipment and materials to the site during construction would cause a relatively short-term increase in the traffic levels on local roadways during the 9 month long construction period. Transportation logistics for the Project will require a substantial effort early in the planning process. The selected GE 1.6-100 turbine has blades that are approximately 164 feet in length, and transport of equipment this long will require special permitting. The weight of the nacelle will approach 230,000 pounds, also requiring special permitting. It is estimated that with components, and foundation and road materials, each wind turbine generator would require approximately 75 truck shipments of components, some of which could be oversized or overweight. In addition, erecting the towers and assembly of the wind turbine generators would require a main crane with a capacity likely to be between 300 and 750 tons, depending on the design. A 330-ton main crane would require 15 to 20 truckloads, including several overweight and/or oversized shipments2. A 750ton crane would require up to 50 truckloads. In addition, main crane assembly would require a smaller assist crane, and several assist cranes would likely be required for rotor/hub assembly. Cranes would remain on site for the duration of construction activities. During construction, a peak of 150-200 workers will be bussed to the site at any given time. Refer to Section 2.10 for a summary of traffic related impacts.

2

Wood, M., 2004, personal communication from Wood (Dawes Rigging and Crane Rental, Milwaukee, Wisc.) to F. Monette (Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.), May 4, cited in Final Programmatic EIS on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States, US Department of Interior, June 2005.

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1.2.2

Site Preparation Prior to placing fill for crane pads, site access drives, and other site features, BP will remove vegetation, topsoil, organic subsoils, and other unsuitable materials. Unstable subgrades will be removed and replaced with compacted structural fill or crushed stone as necessary; and the subgrade will be proofrolled with a rollercompactor. Structural or common fill may be placed to reach the required grade; structural fill will be imported to the site. The construction/access roads for the Project will be 16-foot wide gravel roads designed to meet the load-bearing requirements of truck traffic transporting concrete, gravel, and turbine components to the wind turbine sites over the life of the Project. During construction, an additional 10 feet will be compacted on each side of the gravel roads to allow for the additional construction traffic and crane movement. Following construction, these compacted areas will be de-compacted and seeded, leaving permanent 16-foot wide access roads. The required gravel road base section necessary to meet load-bearing requirements will consist of a sub-base course 6” thick, a base course 6” thick, and a surface course 6” thick. Sieve size and material properties for the courses are specified in New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Standard Specifications Table 667-1. Geotextile fabric will be used to separate the native soil/fill from the base material to prevent fine soil particles from migrating into the gravel base material and preserve road base integrity. Roads will be constructed with culverts as needed to maintain a water table elevation below the base material and to ensure roadbed stability. Roadside ditches will be constructed as dictated by the terrain to convey storm-water runoff away from the roadways. Roadway surfaces will be graded to promote drainage to the side of the road. In addition, where necessary, to meet the requirements of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SPPP), the ROW will be widened an additional 4 feet to accommodate runoff control Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as swales, hay bales, or silt fences. During construction periodic maintenance will be conducted such as filling in and grading eroded areas or low spots and clearing drainage ditches. To prevent access by the general public, construction/access roads will be gated where they intersect public roads and/or at such locations as required protecting landowner interests (e.g., livestock areas, accessible property lines, etc.). The tower and access roadway locations were developed based on data which was collected during biological, ecological, geotechnical, and cultural resource surveys. The area expected to be permanently disturbed by the Project is based on using existing roads to the maximum extent possible, and reducing them to a 16-foot service road width after construction.

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At the same time, improvements to public roadways which will facilitate the transport of turbine and construction equipment will take place as detailed in the attached Traffic and Transportation Plan (Appendix C). Clearing and grading of areas for turbine construction and ancillary construction activities will be required. These will include the areas noted in Section 1.1.1 above: • • • •

84 turbine sites totaling 60 acres 104 acres for access road construction and improvement internal to the site 106 acres for public roadway improvements 57 acres for construction of interconnects 8.4-acre central laydown area, plus construction management and parking two 6.6-acre concrete batch plant sites 3-acre permanent O&M facility 4 acres for aboveground 115 kV transmission corridor 3-acre permanent substation site

• • • •

The concrete batch plants will be constructed as soon as their sites are prepared, so that they will be able to produce concrete to support the rest of the site preparation process. The batch plant sites will receive batch plant equipment brought to the site on skids and set in place, raw materials stockpiles, and concrete trucks. In addition to tower foundations, foundations for the O&M building and any other on-site material storage buildings, as well as pads for each electrical transformer, will be poured. It is expected that all on-site buildings would be of modest proportion and require only slab-on-grade foundations, at the most augmented by frost-resistant perimeter footings. 1.2.3 Installation of Turbines Once the roads are complete on a portion of the site, turbine foundation construction will commence on that completed access road section. Foundation construction occurs in several stages including hole excavation, outer form setting, rebar and bolt cage assembly, casting and finishing of the concrete, removal of the forms, backfilling and compacting, and site restoration. Excavation and foundation construction will be conducted in a manner that will minimize the size and duration of excavated areas required to install foundations. Extra care will be used to ensure that topsoil and subgrade materials are kept separated and stockpiled where requested by the landowner so that the land can be returned to its original use. Dewatering is not expected to be required, but will be used where required to maintain the strength of the subsurface load-bearing materials.

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Initial activity at each tower site will involve stripping and stockpiling topsoil. Following topsoil removal, backhoes will be used to excavate a foundation hole. In agricultural areas, excavated subsoil and rock will be segregated from stockpiled topsoil. If bedrock is encountered and it is anticipated to be able to be ripped, it will be excavated with a backhoe. If the bedrock is not anticipated to be able to be ripped, it will be excavated by pneumatic jacking, hydraulic fracturing, or blasting. Blasting will be utilized only if the other potentially available methods of excavation are not practicable. BP Wind Energy anticipates that few, if any, turbine sites will require blasting. If blasting is required, it will be conducted in compliance with a Blasting Plan, and in accordance with all applicable laws and good engineering practices to avoid impacts to sensitive receptors. If blasting is proposed at a tower site, the nearest wells will be identified, and if necessary, pre- and post-blasting inspections of the wells will be conducted. Each foundation is anticipated to be approximately 10 feet deep, approximately 50-60 feet in diameter, requiring approximately 300 cubic yards (cy) of concrete. Once the foundation concrete is sufficiently cured, the excavation area around and over it will be backfilled with the excavated on-site material. The top of the foundation pedestal measures approximately 14 feet in diameter, and typically extends 6 to 8 inches above grade. During the Project construction phase, the large turbine components (i.e., tower sections, nacelle, and rotor blades) will be delivered to each specific turbine site, which will serve as the staging area for the erection of that turbine All turbine components will be delivered to the Project Site on flatbed or specialized transport trucks, and the main components will be off-loaded at the individual turbine sites. A large erection crane will set the tower segments on the foundation, place the nacelle on top of the tower, and following ground assembly, place the rotor onto the nacelle. The erection cranes will move from one tower to another along a designated crane path. It is assumed that crane movement will utilize existing public roads and Project access roads and will only traverse open fields without any permanent roads if and where conditions allow large equipment movement without significant soil disturbance. Exposed soils at restored tower sites and along roads and crane paths will be stabilized by seeding and/or mulching. 1.2.4 Installation of Collection and Transmission System Components In general, electrical interconnects (collection lines) will follow access roads, but will also follow field edges and cut directly across fields in places. Approximately 95% of the interconnecting lines are expected to be buried. Materials such as cable reels will be staged at the 8.4-acre central laydown area. Direct burial methods via cable plow, rock saw and/or trencher will be used during the installation of underground interconnect lines whenever possible. In

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general, cable may be buried 36 to 48 inches deep depending on soil conditions, depth to bedrock, and land use. A temporary footprint of vegetation and soil disturbance of up to 15 feet will result due to machinery dimensions and backfill/spoil pile placement. Agricultural topsoils within the work area will be stripped and segregated from excavated subsoil. Subgrade soil will be replaced around the cable, and topsoil will be replaced at the surface, immediately after installation of the cable. A cable plow can be used in areas of deep, usually tilled soils, installing bundled cable directly into the ground via a “rip” created by the plow blade. This disturbs an area approximately 24 inches wide and does not involve excavation of the soil. Generally, no restoration of the rip is required, as it closes in on itself following installation. Surface restoration can be achieved with a Bobcat or small bulldozer, which will ride over the rip, smoothing the area. Direct burial via a trencher involves the installation of the interconnect cable in a similar fashion to cable plow installation. The trencher or rock saw uses a large blade or “saw” to excavate an open trench that is approximately 24-inches wide and has a sidecast area immediately adjacent. The site is returned to preconstruction grades, as sidecast material is replaced via a Bobcat or small bulldozer. Where three or more cables run parallel through active agricultural fields, the topsoil will be stripped and stockpiled prior to cable installation, and replaced, regraded, and stabilized by seeding and mulching. Open trench installation may be required where there are unstable slopes, excessive unconsolidated rock, or standing or flowing water. Open trench installation is performed with a backhoe and will generally result in a disturbed trench 36 inches wide. Similar to a trench cut by a trencher or rock cutter, a Bobcat or small bulldozer will be used to replace soils and restore the grade. In order to avoid or minimize impacts to specific environmental or archaeological features, directional drilling may be used at specific locations following discussions with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO). At certain locations within the Project the 34.5kV interconnects may be routed aboveground due to engineering or environmental constraints. In these cases the collection cables will be strung along either wooden or steel pole structures. Above ground line wooden poles will be delivered from the staging area and installed in augured holes, backfilled with gravel, guyed where needed and anchored. The ½-mile long 115 kV transmission line connecting the Project substation to the newly constructed St. Lawrence Wind 115 kV transmission line will also be strung aboveground on wooden poles, which will be approximately 43 to 56.5 feet high. The ROW will generally be clear cut to a width of up to 100 feet, and additional trees which could damage the line will be removed as appropriate. It

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is assumed that no concrete foundations will be required, and that no permanent access roads will be built on the ROW. However, during construction, construction equipment will disturb up to a 20 foot wide corridor within the ROW. Miscellaneous hardware (ground rods, line vibration dampers, etc.) will be installed to complete the line construction. 1.2.5 Environmental Management Plan An Environmental Management Plan will be prepared to identify key project environmental information, instructions, and mitigation measures specific to the Project. This Plan will ensure that permit obligations, environmental mitigation and enhancement measures identified in this SDEIS and in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and requirements of any legal agreements (including landowner agreements) are established and implemented in the pre-construction, construction, and ongoing operation and maintenance phase of the Project. The Plan will include sections on: • • • • environmental protection measures during site preparation and construction; a post-construction restoration plan; environmental protection measures during turbine maintenance activities; and post-construction environmental monitoring and inspection.

Environmental protection measures for use during site preparation and construction will include a construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, which will also be included in the FEIS, as well dust suppression measures, solid waste disposal, invasive species control, and hazardous materials handling procedures. BP Wind Energy will appoint an Environmental Monitor to ensure that all site permits and mitigation measures required by local, state, or Federal Law or by contract are adhered to during the construction process. The Restoration Plan will describe re-grading and stabilization of temporary impacts to wetlands and streams, restoration of disturbed habitat, including replanting suitable species in wetlands, adjacent areas and streams, wetland mitigation project construction, stabilization of disturbed areas subject to the SPDES Stormwater General Permit, removal and proper disposal of temporary road materials, and regrading of soil in agricultural and forested areas in accordance with NYSDAM guidelines3 or other Best Management Practices, as well as post-construction restoration practices aimed at preventing invasive species. BP Wind Energy will prepare an O&M Plan for the Project including an environmental management component. The environmental management
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM), Guidelines for Agricultural Mitigation for Wind Power Projects.
3

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component will include considerations necessary as part of the ongoing Project maintenance. Measures applicable to turbine maintenance will include structure maintenance and cleaning, access road maintenance, and snow removal. The plan will also provide procedures to assess and minimize environmental impacts during major repairs, emergencies, and decommissioning. Post-construction environmental monitoring will include avian and bat monitoring programs, as well any ongoing conservation efforts related to wetland and species habitat restoration or creation included as commitments in the FEIS. 1.2.6 Complaint Resolution Process BP Wind Energy has prepared a Draft Complaint Resolution Process (see Appendix D) which documents BPs commitment respond to community concerns in a timely and effective manner via a structured process. Issue or complaints will be classified as Level 1 or Level 2, depending on whether they represent an emergency which poses an immediate and substantial risk to human health and the environment. This classification system is intended to enable responders to follow a set procedure appropriate to the risk posed by an issue to environmental and human resources. In addition, the process provides a method for addressing disputes, including establishment of a local Complaint Resolution Committee to act as arbiter of issues that are not resolved to the satisfaction of a complainant. Issues that may go before the Complaint Resolution Committee may include but not be limited to technical considerations, responsiveness on the part of BP, and standing on the part of the complainant. Any issues not resolved by the committee may be referred to the full Planning Board to determine if further measures are necessary to resolve the issue, or may be resolved through the legal system. Nothing in this process will preclude the Town of Cape Vincent from enforcing applicable local regulations or preclude any party from seeking due process through the court system. 1.2.7 Decommissioning The life expectancy of the Project is at least 30 years. Prior to construction, BP Wind Energy will establish a financial instrument which will ensure the availability of sufficient funds for removal of all Project components upon the end of the Project's operational life. While the current trend in the wind energy industry is to replace or “re-power” older wind energy projects by upgrading older equipment with turbines that are more efficient, it is BP Wind Energy’s intent that the turbines will be decommissioned. This will require the following steps. All turbines, including the blades, nacelles and towers will be disassembled, and transported off site for reclamation and sale. The transformers will also be transported off site for reuse or reclamation. Oils and hazardous materials will be

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properly disposed of or recycled. Unless otherwise requested by the Town of Cape Vincent, the overhead transmission line will be removed and reclaimed, and the poles will be cut off at grade. All underground infrastructure at depths less than 36 inches below grade will be removed. All underground infrastructure at depths greater than 36 inches below finished grade (including the subsurface collection conductors, and foundations) will be abandoned in place. Areas where reclamation takes place will be graded to match adjacent contours, stabilized with an appropriate seed mix, and allowed to re-vegetate naturally. All road materials will be allowed to remain in place, unless directed otherwise by the individual landowners. 1.3 PROJECT ALTERNATIVES This section discusses Project alternatives and describes the processes which were used to select the Project site and the locations of turbines, roads, and interconnect and transmission lines within the Project Area. Project alternatives evaluated in this section include: alternative Project sizes; alternative turbine technologies; alternative road and interconnect designs; alternative transmission line routes and the no-action alternative. BP Wind Energy selected a Project Site through a systematic process that considered wind resources, existing roads and utility interconnections, willing landowners, community support, environmental constraints, and zoning and draft zoning land use constraints. BP utilized the selection process to evaluate both different potential project sites and different turbine locations within the chosen site as needed to develop an economically viable wind power project. 1.3.1 Project Site Selection Preliminary Screening A number of potential wind power sites in northern and western New York State were identified and evaluated as discussed below. Region of Interest. A region of interest for siting the Project was identified based on the suitability of wind characteristics including adequate speed, frequency and duration to make the project viable. Potential project sites were evaluated using topographic maps and the New York State Wind Resource Map produced by TrueWind in 2001 and updated in 2005. Generally, wind speeds averaging at least 7 meters per second (m/s) are needed for project viability. Based on the wind data, a region of interest along Lake Ontario in Jefferson County was identified that contains adequate wind resources for viable operation. Potential project sites were identified and investigated within this Project Area based on the following factors: Proximity to existing roads and transmission lines. A key consideration for wind project siting is the accessibility of an existing utility system to deliver the power generated into the energy grid. Use of existing transmission facilities minimizes environmental impacts associated with construction of new power
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transmission facilities, which would include clearing rights-of-way and other construction impacts. The National Grid 115 kV transmission system includes the nearby Lyme substation in Chaumont, which makes electrical transmission of project output possible. In addition, the proposed adjoining St. Lawrence Wind Project has a planned transmission corridor which passes through the Cape Vincent Wind Project and can be utilized to conduct power from the Project with no additional environmental disturbance. Transportation in and through Jefferson County and the towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme are supported by a well-developed system of local and county roads, as well as Interstate 81. The roads are suitable for delivery of the equipment needed to construct and maintain the Project. The Project Site also includes many existing farm roads. Improving these existing roads for Project access will largely avoid the need to disturb additional areas for new roads. Availability of Privately Owned Lands. The proposed Project Area is comprised of privately owned lands entirely in the Agricultural District of Cape Vincent. Many of the properties are larger parcels that are used for farming activities and have low population density making them attractive for wind energy development. Larger, sparsely settled parcels require fewer easements and less encroachment on residential uses. The project development manager met with landowners and residents of the community to determine whether there would be sufficient participation of landowners to develop a viable project. As a result of these discussions and meetings, the developer determined that there was sufficient support to proceed with initial site development for a wind project. Because BP Wind Energy is a private developer, project site selection is limited to those locations where it is able to enter into voluntary agreements with landowners for development. Presence of Environmental and Land Use Constraints. BP Wind Energy conducted a preliminary analysis of the Project Area to determine the environmental and land use constraints present at the potential project site locations. This analysis revealed that there was a relatively low potential disturbance to sensitive ecological resources, land and water resources, cultural and visual resources, and landowners at the proposed Project Site. Identification of Preferred Project Site and Turbine Locations. For those potential project sites that satisfied the preliminary screening criteria, further analysis was conducted to identify land use and environmental constraints that could potentially be “fatal flaws” in the project development. The specific resources addressed in the Fatal Flaw Analysis included:
• • • • • •

Wetlands; Geology and soils; Threatened and endangered species; Avian and bat issues; Population density and existing land use; and Traffic and transportation.
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When no fatal flaws were identified, the wind resources were further verified through the installation of one initial meteorological tower and then three subsequent towers on the project site to collect site-specific data. These data were modeled to predict electrical production from each of the potential turbine locations. BP Wind Energy obtained agreements with landowners within the potential project sites that would allow for the construction of turbines, access roads, and transmission lines on their property. The preferred project site was not chosen until a sufficient number of landowners had expressed interest in the project that all of the desired Project facilities could be sited. Once most of the land leases were acquired, an area constraints map was developed to determine where turbines, roads, and transmission system components could be located within the Project site. To the greatest extent possible, areas were eliminated from consideration if they were located on a field verified NYSDEC or NWI mapped wetland or area that appeared to be “wet” based on a review of soils mapping and/or a site walkover. Areas were eliminated from consideration if they were located too close to a road, residence, or existing structure to maintain required setbacks, or too close to property boundaries. Following the selection of the GE 1.6-100 turbine, siting of individual turbines, as well as the associated roads and electrical collection system and other facilities, was completed and detailed maps are included in this SDEIS. To minimize impacts and the need for multiple roads and interconnection systems, to the extent possible, turbines sites were located in close geographic proximity to one another (i.e., a turbine cluster). 1.3.2 Project Alternatives Evaluated Project Size BP Wind Energy evaluated various project size alternatives but determined that a significant reduction in the Project’s generating capacity would jeopardize its financial viability. This is because wind generating projects have certain fixed “infrastructure” costs that are incurred regardless of the size of the project. For example, the cost of the utility interconnection and facility substation cost will not vary directly with the size of the facility. Consequently, the financial viability of a project depends on the ability to maximize electric generation to defray these fixed costs. Since wind is a fuel-free energy resource, the Project's main costs are fixed capital costs. In order to be competitive with other wind projects and other sources of electrical energy, the capital and other fixed costs per kilowatt-hour of output must be reduced as much as possible by maximizing project output. Some smaller wind energy projects that have been built have only been made possible because of large financial grants.

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Originally, BP had considered an array of up to 140 turbines. Due to various concerns, many having to do with providing adequate spacing between turbines to eliminate significant turbine noise impacts to residential structures within the site, the array was reduced to 84 turbines for this SDEIS. The 134 MW Cape Vincent Wind Energy Project is sized to defray its fixed costs, maximize its environmental benefits through the production of clean energy, and maximize local economic benefits through landowner easement payments, payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT), and other local economic benefits, all while reducing to the minimum extent practicable environmental and other impacts to the Project Site. Turbine Selection The wind industry is generally moving toward the use of larger wind turbine generators because they are more cost-effective than smaller machines (i.e., they have a more favorable ratio of rotor “swept area” to generator size). Smaller turbines are available; however, a larger number of smaller turbines would be required to produce comparable amounts of power with higher installation costs due to the greater number of foundations, roads, and associated facilities. This would also increase temporary and permanent disturbance to soils, vegetation, and water resources as the number of towers and the length of required access road and interconnect increases. Potential operational impacts (e.g., noise and avian mortality) would also likely increase with a larger number of smaller machines. In terms of visibility and visual impact, while smaller turbines might be marginally less visible, higher blade speed, higher density, and greater numbers could actually increase the Project’s visual impact. Use of a shorter tower would also reduce the efficiency of the turbines, as wind speed increases with height above the ground. Based on these factors, the larger turbines were determined to be optimal for the site. BP Wind Energy selected the GE 1.6-100 turbines on the basis of their performance in low wind conditions, and for their low noise output in range of the wind speeds present at Cape Vincent. These turbines have 1.6 megawatt generators and 100 meter diameter rotors mounted on 80 meter steel towers. Alternative Project Design The design and layout of the proposed Project components has been continuously evaluated since the decision was made to pursue a project in the Town of Cape Vincent. Various turbine models and layouts were evaluated in an attempt to maximize energy efficiency while minimizing adverse environmental impacts. The Project layout has been engineered to capture the area’s high wind energy, while minimizing wake effects on downwind turbines. Ultimately, the optimal siting plan for the turbines from a wind resource perspective is constrained by landowner agreements and setbacks and recognition of the need to protect sensitive resources such as wetlands, wildlife habitat, and agricultural land, and to provide adequate buffer between turbines and residential structures in order to eliminate significant noise impacts. The

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final proposed location of turbines and associated facilities reflects input and guidance received from landowners and project consultants focusing on cultural resource, noise, and ecological impacts, resulting in a carefully achieved balance of energy production and environmental protection. Impacts on wetlands will result from some stream crossings and some unavoidable wetland areas that are crossed by roads and/or collections lines. It was impractical for the project layout to be able to eliminate all impacts to wetlands, since complete avoidance would likely result in the need for of increased impacts due to the additional lengths of roads and trenching for electrical interconnects that would be required to avoid all wetlands. For every foot of road increased, there would be an increase of up to 60 square feet of disturbance to forest, farmland, and/or wildlife habitat. Each additional mile of road would add approximately 7 acres of soil and vegetation disturbance. The most efficient layout of roads between turbines will be from one turbine straight to the next. In addition to the increased length of roads within the Project Area, layout changes to further reduce wetlands impacts would require the construction of additional road entrances at existing public roads to access some of the turbines that would be inaccessible due to small wetlands or streams. This would create additional visual impact to the rural character of the area due to the numerous entrance roads cutting into forests and open spaces, and would create additional traffic impacts and general inconveniences to the local residents. Breaking the roads to totally avoid wetlands would increase the construction activity that would be visible from public roads. While it is anticipated that up to 95% of the electrical interconnect system will be buried, overhead lines may be used in places to span wetlands and streams, and to avoid installing multiple underground lines in certain locations. Not using overhead lines where appropriate has the potential to increase impacts to vegetation, soils, and wetlands. Adding some overhead line, as proposed, will reduce impacts to soil and water resources but will also increase visual impact. To minimize adverse visual impact, the majority of overhead lines will be carried on single wooden poles, similar in appearance to distribution lines that currently run along most of the roads within the Project Area. The overhead lines will be routed to minimize the need for right-of-way clearing and to avoid impacting agricultural land and farming operations. Permanent access road widths will be the minimum necessary to maintain the Project (anticipated to be 16 feet wide in most places) and were sited following consultation with local landowners and referring to state guidance for agricultural land conservation 4 in order to minimize loss of agricultural land and impacts on farming operations. Consequently, alternative project designs likely to pose equal or greater risk of adverse environmental impacts while yielding equal or less electrical output were rejected.

4

NYSDAM Guidelines.

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Transmission Line Alternatives The Town of Cape Vincent has directed BP Wind Energy to work with the adjacent proposed St. Lawrence Wind Power Project to develop a single 115 kV transmission line corridor to carry power from both projects to the Rockledge Substation. The original DEIS presented four alternative routings which were studied as a means of transporting power. Currently it has been concluded that utilization of the proposed St. Lawrence Wind Power transmission line [included in their Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)] represents the lowest impact alternative. As an option to stringing an aboveground transmission line to carry power from the project, BP Wind Energy studied the feasibility of using a buried transmission line. For a project of this size, this would require the transmission cable to not simply be buried, but to be encased in concrete. The resulting project would remove the transmission line from view, but would require an order of magnitude higher construction costs. In addition, underground placement would require disturbance to a number of wetland features which have already been identified. These wetlands would be crossed by spans under the proposed action, greatly reducing both short-term and long-term impacts to the wetland ecology. Finally, maintenance of an underground transmission line of this length would be very likely to incur higher costs of repairs during the project life, as well as requiring substantially greater impacts to the environment in the case of any line maintenance, repairs, or upgrades. No-Project Alternative Under the no-project alternative, no construction of wind power turbines and associated infrastructure will take place within this portion of the Town of Cape Vincent. Because of surrounding wind power projects which are currently planned, the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project being suspended would not wholly eliminate the visual impacts of wind turbines from the entire Town or region. In addition, an identical or very similar 115 kV electrical transmission corridor from Cape Vincent into the Rockledge substation would still be constructed to support the adjacent St. Lawrence Wind Power Project. Failure to add the significant amount of power which will be produced to the NY electrical transmission grid would result in additional consumption of fossil fuels to achieve the same level of electrical generation at other locations in the state. Over time, addition of a comparable amount of capacity will likely take place through the construction of new power generating capacity either in Cape Vincent or elsewhere in the state. In addition, State goals for increasing the renewable energy portfolio and decreasing the State’s dependence on fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, would not be met.

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1.4 1.4.1

PROJECT PURPOSE, NEEDS, AND BENEFITS Project Purpose and Need The purpose of the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project is to add significant new capacity for generation of zero emission renewable energy to the New York State power system, to generate revenue for local landowners and for residents of the greater Cape Vincent community, and to generate money which can be used to make PILOT payments to the Town of Cape Vincent, local School Districts and Jefferson County in excess of $1 million per year. The need for the project is real. While recent economic conditions have lead to a temporary downturn in energy demand, the long-term demand for electricity in the country as a whole is expected to continue to increase. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) US energy use declined during the recession in 2008-2009, due largely to declines in industrial consumption, but they project an increase in energy use in 2011 as the economy recovers, continuing to rise annually through 20355. In addition, the growing percentage of the population over age 65 increases the demand for healthcare and assisted living facilities and for electricity to power medical and monitoring equipment in those facilities. Although New York is the second most energy-efficient state in the continental United States on a per-capita basis, it is the fourth largest energy user6. New York currently obtains over 70 percent of its total energy supply from fossil fuels (5.7% from coal; 38.2% from Petroleum; 30.2% from natural gas), which are largely imported from abroad or out-of-state 7. In addition, when compared with the country as a whole, New York uses more natural gas and petroleum as a relative percentage of fuels used in electricity generation, 30 percent, compared with 16 percent for the country. In 2008 approximately 23% of New York electrical power was generated from renewable energy sources, with the vast majority of that generation capacity (18% of the total generation) resulting from hydroelectric power. New York has been working on expanding their renewable energy portfolio for years. The State Energy Plan in 2002 warned of the possible consequences of New York’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels, noting that gas, coal, and oil are largely imported from abroad or out-of-state, have significant long-term negative environmental impacts, and face ultimate depletion. In February of 2003, the PSC initiated a proceeding to explore the development of a Renewable Portfolio

5 US Department of Energy (USDOE):Energy Information Administration, AEO2011 Early Release Overview. 6 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), 2006-2007 Annual Report. 7 USDOE Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System 2008, Released: June 30, 2010.

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Standard (RPS). In 2004 the Commission issued an Order adopting an RPS, with a goal of increasing the proportion of renewable energy used by New York consumers from the then-current 19.3 percent to at least 25 percent by the end of 2013. As part of the 2004 Order, the PSC designated New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) as the central procurement administrator for the RPS Program. In early 2009 NYSERDA prepared and submitted an Evaluation Report, and based on that report in early 2010 the PSC expanded the RPS goal to increase the proportion of renewable electricity consumed by New York customers from 25 percent to 30 percent and extended the terminal year of the program from 2013 to 2015, thus formalizing a goal set by Governor Paterson, and reaffirmed in the 2009 State Energy Plan. These changes to the RPS program targets reflect the State’s continued commitment to support the development of various renewable energy technologies, and will help achieve New York’s ‘45 by 15’ clean energy goals. NYSERDA estimates that the 30 renewable energy projects from the first three Main Tier solicitations, supported under the RPS program, could generate more than $2.0 billion of in-state economic benefits over their 20-year expected economic life. These benefits are expected to come in the form of new trade and professional jobs, new property tax revenues to local taxing jurisdictions, royalty payments to landowners, purchases of construction materials and equipment rentals, and various other economic benefits. This estimate of benefits excludes consideration of economic spill-over affects associated with increased local income and increased property tax revenues. New York’s RPS program uses a central procurement model, with NYSERDA as the central procurement administrator. In exchange for receiving the production incentive, BP Wind Energy will transfer to NYSERDA all rights and/or claims to the RPS Attributes associated with each megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable electricity generated, and will guarantee delivery of the associated electricity to the New York State ratepayers. One RPS Attribute is created by the production and delivery into New York’s wholesale electricity market of one MWh of electricity by an eligible RPS resource. RPS Attributes include any and all reductions in harmful pollutants and emissions, such as carbon dioxide and oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. By acquiring the RPS Attributes, rather than the associated electricity, the RPS program ensures that increasing amounts of renewable electricity will be injected into the State’s power system, while minimizing interference with the State’s competitive wholesale power markets. Furthermore, while wind is an intermittent resource, wind energy facilities do not require backup generation from fossil fuel facilities to ensure reliability. A study conducted by NYISO and NYSERDA concluded that at least 10% of New York state’s peak demand levels could be met by wind power without adding

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any special measures except additional forecasting, which is currently being implemented.8 More recent studies by the state have noted that due to the concentration of development of wind generation in the western and northern regions of New York, accommodating additional sources of wind power will require additional measures such as: 9 • • • • • • • 1.4.2 Voltage regulation at the Point-of-Interconnection (POI) Low-voltage ride-through Power curtailment capability Ability to set power ramp rates Governor functions Reserve functions Zero-power voltage regulation.

Project Benefits Construction and operation of the proposed Cape Vincent Project would result in positive environmental, economic, and energy benefits. New York has projected economic benefits as a result of development of renewable energy. A study by NYSERDA determined direct economic benefits to the state resulting from the “first tier” of renewable energy solicitations to generate $2 trillion in direct economic benefits, from construction to the end of facility life. The “second tier” of solicitations, up through 2013, is anticipated to add another $2.6 trillion in direct economic benefits.10 Along with these expected economic benefits resulting from the RPS investments New York will enjoy cleaner air from the operation of these new renewable resources. The New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS) has estimated that achievement of the State’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) goal will reduce in-State emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by approximately 4.2 million tons per year. 11 In addition, NYSDPS modeling indicates annual reductions of nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by 4000 tons and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 10,000 tons (5.9%). It is estimated that operation of the Cape Vincent Project will contribute to these goals via the reduction of the need to generate 260,000 tons of CO2, 280 tons of NOx, and 360 tons of SO2 per year (see Section 2.18).

GE Energy. The Effects of Integrating Wind Power on Transmission System Planning, Reliability, and Operations; Report on Phase 2: System Performance Evaluation; March 4, 2005 9 New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Integration of Wind Into System Dispatch; October 2008. 10 New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) Main Tier RPS Economic Benefits Report, Prepared by: KEMA Inc. and Economic Development Research Group, Inc., November 14, 2008 11 NYSDPS. Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement In Case 03-E-0188 – Proceeding on Motion Of the Commission Regarding a Retail Renewable Portfolio Standard; August 26, 2004.
8

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The vast majority of domestic power generation is heavily reliant on water consumption for steam power generation or cooling, leaving energy production at risk during times of prolonged drought and also threatening fish and other aquatic species. Wind power generation does not require the consumption of water as a part of the power generation process. While tens of thousands of tons of pollutants avoided may seem abstract to many, the impact is very real to many New York residents. For example, with 6 million acres, the Adirondack Park is larger than the state of Vermont and includes hundreds of lakes, over 2,000 miles of hiking trails and New York’s tallest mountains. While thousands of guests come to the Adirondacks for its beauty and recreational opportunities, pollution has taken a serious toll on this area. Acid rain, caused by SO2 pollution from upwind coal plants in the Midwest and other sources, has caused widespread loss of forests in the Park, including red spruce and sugar maple, and 500 of the 2,800 lakes and ponds are too acidic to support the wildlife that once existed in them.12 Furthermore, most of these lakes and ponds have mercury levels so high that it is unsafe to eat fish caught there. This same story is playing out across the state and the northeast region. In addition to the wildlife impacts, these pollutants also cause significant human diseases each year, including bronchitis, pneumonia and other lung diseases.13 By reducing dependence on fossil fuels, wind energy also serves to reduce the negative impacts that fossil fuels have on the natural resources and health of all New Yorkers. Local economic benefits of the proposed project would include:
• • • •

Temporary and permanent employment due to construction and operation of the wind facility; An increased flow of revenue to landowners through leasing agreements; Increased commerce in Jefferson County due to spending by project employees, suppliers, participating landowners, and local merchants; An increased flow of revenue to the Town of Cape Vincent, the Thousand Island and Lyme School Districts, and Jefferson County through PILOT payments; and Local economic diversification via steady revenue stream provided to landowners and taxing entities from project.

Construction of the proposed project would result in the direct employment of up to 200 electrical workers, crane operators, equipment operators, carpenters, and other construction workers (with a total estimated payroll and benefits of $3 million) and generate an additional $15 million in local contracts for trucking,

12 Adiorndack Council Website Page on Acid Rain found at http://www.adirondackcouncil.org/acidraininfo3.html 13 Union of Concerned Scientists, http://www.ucsusa.org/

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gravel, concrete and construction-related services and $8 million in indirect local services. BP Wind Energy proposes to hire construction workers from within the local community, to the extent that qualified workers are available. Personnel specially trained in specific procedures for wind turbine construction would be brought in and temporarily housed in the area during the construction phase of the project. During plant operations, the proposed project would employ 10 full time employees, including skilled operators, management, and administrative personnel (with a total estimated payroll and benefits of $800,000 per annum). To the extent possible, BP Wind Energy would use and support providers of local services, suppliers, and area manufacturers during both construction and operation. The Project will provide revenues to the Town of Cape Vincent, the Thousand Island School District, the Lyme School District, and Jefferson County in the form of substantial annual PILOT payments for the first 20 years of the project operations. While a PILOT agreement has not been negotiated as of this date, Jefferson County recently approved a similar PILOT agreement with Upstate NY Power for the Galloo Island Wind project that provides base payments of $8500 per mega watt of installed capacity with an annual escalation and increased payments if power prices rise above $60 per megawatt-hour. Under this PILOT, the base payments alone for the 134.4 MW Cape Vincent Wind Project would total $1.14 million in the first year of operations. After 20 years, property tax revenues will continue to be recognized utilizing the full tax rates in effect at that time. These payments would result in a significant increase in local revenue for the taxing authorities. Additional value to the local economy would result from steady income through easement payments to farms and other landowners. Economic diversification ensures greater stability of the economy by minimizing financial high and low cycles associated with a specific industry. This effect is particularly important in rural areas, where more goods and services are imported and more dollars leave the region. Finally, all of the foregoing benefits will be provided without any corresponding increased burden on local school and other public services. For example, while the construction phase of the project will impact the local public roads due to the volume of heavy vehicle traffic, BP Wind Energy will enter into agreements with the Town of Cape Vincent and Jefferson County to ensure all public roads used are returned to the same or better condition than they were before construction, at no expense to taxpayers.

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2.0 2.1

ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING GEOLOGY: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING This section provides a general overview of the geology within the study area.

2.1.1

Regional Geology and Topography Jefferson County and other areas surrounding Lake Ontario are part of the Ontario Lowlands physiographic province. Elevations in the area range from approximately 75 meters above mean sea level near Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River (i.e., the study area) to approximately 200 meters above mean sea level near the southern boundary of the physiographic province (southern terminus of former glacial Lake Iroquois). The surficial geologic deposits in the Ontario Lowlands consist primarily of glaciolacustrine lake silts, clays, and fine-grained sands, with major areas overlain by glacial till or ground moraine.14 The surficial geology in the northwestern portion of Jefferson County is composed predominantly of glaciolacustrine silt and clay with smaller amounts of more recent deposits of alluvium, organic-rich swamp deposits, and glaciofluvial sand deposits. Bedrock at the surface may be seen in some coastal and inland areas and is composed predominantly of Ordovician period limestones, shales, sandstones, and dolostones.

2.1.2

Project Area Geology and Topography The Project Area is located in the Town of Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, New York where Lake Ontario empties into the St. Lawrence River. Within the Project Site, elevations range from a low of approximately 75 meters to a high of approximately 111 meters above mean sea level. This results in a maximum topographical expression of approximately 36 meters. Depth to bedrock within the site boundaries varies from exposed at the surface to an estimated maximum of approximately 7 meters below ground surface. Depth to bedrock in much of the Study Area is generally less than two meters. Near the shore of Lake Ontario southeast of Kents Creek and in the northeastern portion of the study area, bedrock is either exposed or within one meter of the surface. Recent alluvium in the study area is confined to active stream channels and is generally less than one meter thick. Organic-rich swamp deposits in wetland areas are generally less than 2 meters thick. The study area is underlain by three lithostratigraphic units listed in descending order (i.e., youngest to oldest):

14 New York State Office for Technology. 2004. Geologic Resources, Appendix A. https://www.oft.state.ny.us/SWNdocs/docs/Geologic%20Resources.pdf

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1. the Kirkfield Limestone (also called the Kings Falls Limestone); 2. the Rockland Limestone; and 3. the Chaumont Limestone. The Chaumont Limestone is the uppermost formation within the Middle Ordovician Black River Group. The Chaumont Limestone consists predominantly of massive, gray, fine-textured limestone that commonly contains silicified (i.e., “petrified”) fossils. It is a high-calcium limestone that weathers light gray and is more susceptible to karst formation that other limestones in the study area. The Chaumont Limestone is exposed at the surface only in the far northeastern portion of the study area. The younger Rockland and Kirkfield (Kings Falls) Limestones are the two lowermost formations within the Middle Ordovician Trenton Group. The majority of the study area is underlain at the surface by the Rockland Limestone. The Rockland Limestone consists predominantly of thin-bedded, argillaceous, medium- to dark-gray fine-textured limestone with calcareous shale interbeds. The Kirkfield Limestone consists predominantly of medium- to thick-bedded, medium- to coarse-textured limestone that is abundantly fossiliferous. Both the Rockland and the Kirkfield Limestones can contain up to 25 percent by volume of the mineral dolomite, which makes these bedrock formations less susceptible to karst formation that the relatively pure Chaumont Limestone (contains 0 to less than 5 percent dolomite). The structure of the bedrock in the study area is relatively uniform. Bedrock structure has a strike that is generally northwest-southeast with a regional dip of 1 to 2 degrees towards the southwest. All three bedrock formations exposed in the study area are regularly fractured by joints. The predominant joint sets in order of abundance are oriented approximately N70°E, N50°W, N30°E, and N15°W. Joint spacing is variable and generally ranges from 2 to 10 meters. Observed joint apertures generally range from 1 to 3 millimeters. Some solution enlargement of joints has been observed in the far northeastern portion of the study area in areas underlain at the surface by Chaumont Limestone. Solution enlarged joints with apertures up to 30 centimeters have been observed in the extreme northeastern part of the study area. Large structural folds or faults in bedrock have not been observed in the study area. A geotechnical investigation was conducted in the study area in which eight soil borings were drilled throughout the Project area to depths up to 50 feet below ground surface. Bedrock was encountered at depths of 8 feet below ground surface or above in four of the eight borings. Soil and rock samples were submitted for laboratory analysis of moisture content, Atterberg limits, grain size distribution, and unconfined compressive strength of rock. Results of this investigation are included in Appendix E. In general, subsurface conditions at the Project area can be generalized as described in Table 2.1-1.

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TABLE 2.1-1: Geotechnical Boring Study Results at Cape Vincent
Description Approximate Depth to Bottom of Stratum (feet) 2 to 18.5 Material Encountered Consistency / Relative Density Stiff to very stiff, occasionally soft

Lean clay, zones of high plasticity, grey (Glaciolacustrine Deposit) (1) Stratum 2 19 Silty gravel, with sand, Medium dense to grey-brown (Glacial Till) (2) very dense N/A Stratum 3 N/A (3) Limestone, fresh to slightly weathered, slightly to moderately fractured, medium hard, fine grained, gray to dark gray (Bedrock) (1) Topsoil and/or subsoil were encountered at the surface in each boring. (2) Glacial till encountered in JB-21 only. Occasionally, weathered bedrock was encountered above the competent bedrock surface. (3) Subsurface conditions were explored to a maximum depth of 50 feet below existing grade.

Stratum 1

In order to assess solution features in the Project area in more detail, ERM geologists visited 49 of the proposed wind turbine locations to document any karst features observed in the Chaumont and Trenton Limestone that underlie the project area. The Chaumont Limestone underlies the 22 northeastern most turbine locations and a large portion of the transmission line that runs from the study area to the Town of Chaumont. The Chaumont Limestone was noted for its karst features; therefore, an ERM geologist visited all proposed turbine locations placed on Chaumont Limestone as mapped by Johnsen. 15 The majority of exposures of the Chaumont Limestone observed did not reveal dissolution fractures. However, at five observation points, dissolution fractures in the Chaumont Limestone were measured to be several tens of feet long, with apertures from 3-inches to 24-inches in width. Four of these points were located approximately 0.1 mile to the east, southeast of proposed turbine 78, and one was located approximately 0.25 mile to the southwest of turbine 83 and approximately 0.25 mile to the southeast of turbine 82. Where the Chaumont Limestone was covered by unconsolidated materials, there were no surface expressions of karst features. The remaining turbine locations are underlain by the Trenton Group limestone. The limestone formations of the Trenton Group did not show a propensity for karst features; therefore, ERM field geologists field-checked only 33% of the proposed turbine locations overlying Trenton Group limestone. No dissolution fractures were observed in the study area. Near one turbine location, a possible sub-surface fracture zone was observed aligned along the predominant fracture
15

Johnsen, J.H., 1971. The limestones (Middle Ordovician) of Jefferson County, New York. New York State Museum and Science Service Map and Chart Series Number 13, Albany.

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orientation, but the presence of a large scale fracture zone could not be verified by the field team. 2.1.3 Seismic Activity According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which maintains records extending back to 1638, the most recent nearby earthquake occurred on August 24, 1998 southeast of Watertown, approximately 30 miles southeast of the Project area. This earthquake was measured at approximately 3.0 on the Richter scale, centered. The nearest recorded earthquake of this magnitude occurred on December 7, 1818, approximately 10 miles offshore in Lake Ontario, registering 3.3 on the Richter scale.16 Seismic Hazard Maps of the conterminous U.S. indicate that the study area has a low probability for seismic activity and bedrock shift during seismic events would be minimal. 17 The Seismic Hazard Map for New York State prepared by USGS rates the seismic hazard near the study area as a 2% or less probability over 50 years of peak acceleration exceeding 8-10% of the force of gravity (g). Although the risk of seismic activity adversely affecting the study area is relatively low, the potential for a significant seismic event should be accounted for during the design of a facility. Proposed tower locations should be set back from private residences, other structures, and non-project related overhead power lines at a distance greater than the maximum height of the tower. This would ensure that, in the unlikely event of structure failure due to significant seismic or other unanticipated activity, damage to adjacent residences or other structures would not occur. Similarly, the potential earthquake hazards for the region should be accounted for when designing the anchoring system for the towers. 2.1.4 Soil Liquefaction Soil liquefaction is a phenomenon often associated with seismic activity in which saturated, cohesion-less soils temporarily lose their strength and liquefy (i.e., behave similar to a viscous liquid) when subjected to forces such as intense and prolonged ground shaking. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), areas with the potential for soil liquefaction are “underlain by Holocene deposits which are likely to be non-cohesive, such as alluvial, lacustrine, and littoral deposits, and where the ground water table occurs within 10 feet or less of the ground surface, and where the USGS Open File Report 821033 indicates the area has a 90% probability that horizontal ground accelerations of 10% of gravity or greater would be exceeded in 50 years.” The USGS Open File Report 82-1033 indicates that, for the entire Project area and
16 Russell L. Wheeler, Nathan K. Trevor, Arthur C. Tarr, and Anthony J. Crone. 2001. Earthquakes of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada, 1638-1998, published by the USGS. 17 USGS, Seismic-Hazard Maps for the Conterminous United States, Map 2883, Sheet 1 of 6, Version 1.0

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surrounding region, there is a 90% probability that horizontal ground accelerations of greater that 4%g would not be exceeded in 50 years 18. In addition, according to the USGS (Map MF-2329, version 1.0, 1999), landslides are not known to occur in Jefferson County. The Project area is composed mostly of less than 10 percent slopes (often less than 5 percent) and the glaciolacustrine silt and clay units tend to be very thin. These data suggest that it is unlikely that soil liquefaction will occur in the study area. 2.2 2.2.1 GEOLOGY: IMPACTS Regional Geology and Topography The regional geology and topography are described in Section 2.1.1. Based on the limited spatial scale of the Project, construction and operation of the Project is not expected to result in negative impacts on geology and topography (on a regional scale). 2.2.2 Project Area Geology and Topography No significant impacts on geology are anticipated from construction and operation of the Project. Minor alterations to the turbine sites for grading and other construction activities will be required and it is anticipated that rock anchoring or blasting may be required in areas of thin soil over bedrock. However, these activities should not have a significant impact on Project area geology. Karst conditions exist in the Project area and their development may be accelerated by significant infiltration of water. A stormwater pollution discharge elimination system (SPDES) permit will be obtained prior to construction initiation in which stormwater best management practices will be developed specifically to protect the karst features at the site. Precautions will also be taken to seal potential pathways for water with concrete over exposed bedrock subgrades. Construction and operation of the project could impact small portions of the project topography where construction occurs in the following situations:

Surface soil could be compacted during construction of the turbines, crane pads, and support structures (i.e., access roads and underground power lines). Local topography around the turbines sites and roads may be changed to accommodate the requirements to construct and operate the turbines. Local drainage patterns may be impacted as a result of construction activities. The Stormwater Pollution Protection Plan (SWPPP) required as part of the

• •

Algermissen, S.T., D.M. Perkins, P.C. Thenhaus, S.L. Hanson, and B.L. Bender. 1982. Probabilistic estimates of maximum acceleration and velocity in rock in the contiguous United States. U.S. Geological Survey. Open-File Report 82-1033.
18

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SPDES permit will address these impacts. The SWPPP will take into consideration karst features in relation to the drainage patterns to ensure that karst development is not accelerated. 2.2.3 Seismic Activity As described in Section 2.1.3, the USGS states that no significant earthquake epicenter has been recorded within 50 miles of the Project Area and that the Project Area is not located within an active seismic region. No significant tectonic faults have been mapped in Jefferson County, and there are no known active faults (i.e., younger than 1.6 million years) in this region19. Although the risk of seismic activity adversely affecting the Project area is extremely low, the minimum setback requirements prescribed by the Town of Cape Vincent (at least 750 feet from any residential structures) provides a significant safety factor for a 427 foot tall tower/blade structure, ensuring that in the unlikely event of a turbine falling over, damage to residential structures would not occur. 2.2.4 Design Considerations As a result of the Geotechnical Engineering Report, the following design/construction recommendations were made:
• • • • • •

shallow foundations (between 7-9 foot below finished grade) are feasible for the site, given proper preparation of underlying native deposits or fill; where bedrock is encountered above 8 feet below grade, either excavate through bedrock to 8 foot level, or anchor foundations to bedrock; if excavating through rock, the top 1 foot may be mechanically removed; below this level, blasting is likely to be required; prior to placing fill for crane pads, access drives, and other Project area features, the contractor should remove topsoil and organic subsoils; native glaciolacustrine deposit is not suitable for re-use as structural fill because of high fines content, so imported fill should be used as needed; and blasting can be conducted with limited risk to structures and water wells, but further evaluation of Project area specific bedrock conditions should take place prior to blasting, particularly where turbines or trenches will be located within 1,000 feet of structures or wells.

In addition, specific engineering factors are included for foundation design, road base and drainage, and other construction considerations. These factors are included in other portions of this assessment – for example, archaeological field

19

USGS. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program - New York Earthquake Information. United States Geological Survey, 2002. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states.php?regionID=32&region=New%20York.

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surveys were conducted with the knowledge that construction roads would require up to 18” of road base below grade. Because of the nature of the surrounding limestone, additional recommendations were made to mitigate the potential for the development of karst conditions (e.g. cavitation) resulting from construction at the site. The development of karst conditions can be accelerated by the infiltration of water below grade, so Project design must control the infiltration of water around proposed structures. In addition, the study recommends that utility trenches be sealed in the vicinity of settlement sensitive structures in order to reduce the likelihood of infiltration and migration of water that could promote karst feature development. 2.3 2.3.1 SOILS: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING Soils The study area is comprised of 43 soil types; 35 of these soil types comprise less than 5% of the study area individually. Over 50% of the Project area is comprised of five soil types. These are primarily silty clays and rocky complexes or outcrops. Table 2.3-1 displays these soils and the percent of the Project Site that they comprise. TABLE 2.3-1: Dominant Soil Types within the Project Area 20
Percent of Project Area (%) 11.8 9.7 13.3 9.8 8.2

Soil Types Kingsbury silty clay Chaumont silty clay Benson-Galoo complex, very rocky Galoo-Rock outcrop complex Covington silty clay

The Kingsbury silty clay soils are characterized as very deep and somewhat poorly drained Alfisols. These soils are formed from lacustrine or marine sediments, and are found on nearly level to gently sloping lake plains21. These soil types have high shrink-swell potential and the erodibility factor for the fineearth component (Kf) of the top mineral layer is 0.49 on a scale from 0.02 to 0.69, where higher values are more susceptible to erosion. The Chaumont silty clay soils are moderately deep and somewhat poorly drained Alfisols. These soils formed in slowly or very slowly permeable clayey lacustrine sediments and are found on nearly level or gently sloping lake plains

20 21

SSURGO. 2006. NRCS Soil Survey Geographic data. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1989, Soil Conservation Service, Soil Survey of Jefferson County, NY.

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over limestone bedrock. These soil types have high shrink-swell potential and the Kf of the top mineral layer is 0.49. The Benson-Galoo complex soils are very rocky and are found on benches, ridges, and till planes. The Benson soils are shallow and somewhat excessively drained silt loam formed from loamy till underlain by limestone or calcareous shale. They are moderately permeable and shallowly underlain by bedrock at a depth of 10 to 20 inches. Shrink-swell potential in the Benson component is low, with a Kf for the top mineral layer of 0.32. The Galoo soils are excessively drained silt loams, with depth to parent material of very shallow. They consist of a thin layer of loamy till overlying calcareous sandstone bedrock. Bedrock is shallow at 2 to 10 inches. As with the Benson component of this soil complex, the Galoo component has a low shrink-swell potential, with a Kf for the top mineral layer of 0.32. The Covington silty clay soils are very deep and poorly drained soils formed of calcareous clayey glaciolacustrine or glaciomarine deposits. These soils are found in depressions on glacial like plains. The Covington soils have high shrink-swell potential and a Kf of 0.49. 2.3.2 Agriculturally Sensitive Areas (Agricultural Districts) Article 25-AA of NYSDAM Law authorizes the creation of local agricultural districts. These districts are established to protect and encourage the continued use of existing farmland by providing legal protection to farmers using sound agricultural practices. The Project area includes approximately 6,000 acres of farmland, a portion of which (approximately 31%) is considered to be within agricultural districts. Project construction activities will follow the guidelines of NYSDAM with regards to work within agricultural districts. 2.3.3 Agricultural Activity In general, approximately 58% of the Project area is classified by the 2005 Jefferson County Tax parcel data as agricultural. Of the total acreage in agricultural production, 57% of this is used for field crops, 19% is used for producing dairy products, 22% is vacant agricultural land, and 2% is under other agriculture uses such as horse, goats, and sheep farms. 2.3.4 Steep Slopes Areas with steep slope (usually defined as slopes >15 percent) in the study area are of concern because, when they are cleared of vegetation during construction activities, these areas may be subject to severe erosion during storm events. In addition, steep slopes may affect project activities by limiting the delivery and the use of heavy equipment. Furthermore, construction activities at these locations may be more involved since topography may need to be altered.

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To the extent practicable, the proposed facilities will be sited in relatively flat areas. A small amount of the study area has been identified as having slopes exceeding 15%. These areas total 0.3% of the study area and are located at various parcels across the Project area. Detailed maps depicting areas with slopes exceeding 15% and the location of the turbine sites will be gathered during the preparation of the FEIS. 2.4 SOILS: IMPACTS Construction activities such as clearing and grubbing, grading, trenching, excavation, movement of heavy equipment, and cleanup activities may affect soil. Potential soil and agricultural productivity-related impacts in the portion of the Project area on which construction will occur include: • • • permanent removal from cultivation (as part of turbine site, O&M site, substation, or permanent access roads); erosion; soil compaction and damage to soil structure resulting from construction equipment traffic (mainly where wet soils and soils with poor drainage exist); and introduction of stones or rocks from shallow bedrock areas into the topsoil as a result of excavation and construction activities.

To estimate areas of potential impact from the construction of the Project facilities, the Jefferson County soil survey and the USDA Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) were analyzed within the project footprint. The following sections describe soil constraints, potential impacts of project components on soil resources and agricultural productivity, and the mitigation measures that will be implemented during construction and operation to avoid or minimize impacts on soil resources. 2.4.1 Impacts Construction of the project may impact either on a temporary or permanent basis the following soils’ attributes: soil with high erosion potential; soil with high compaction potential; very poorly or poorly drained soils; shallow bedrock areas; soil with slopes >15%; prime farmland; and statewide important soils. Potential impacts from construction include: • • • • • soil compaction and rutting; erosion and sediment runoff during precipitation events; introduction of rocks into the topsoil, impeding agricultural practices; contamination due to leaks and spills from construction vehicle operation and maintenance; introduction of weeds or other invasive species; and

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loss of productive agricultural land.

Compaction and Rutting Rutting and compaction of soils due to travel of heavy equipment may occur on the proposed construction areas. These impacts are of particular concern in cultivated fields and may be more likely to occur when soils are saturated, moist, or poorly drained. In order to prevent this, grading and compacting will take place prior to transporting larger pieces of equipment to the Project. The Project construction contractor will minimize rutting and compaction by maintaining construction equipment and materials on project access roads. Heavier loads will be scheduled for delivery to the Project area when the ground is predominantly dry. Impacts during operation and maintenance of the Project are expected to be minimal, because activities will generally be limited to areas where project roads exist. In the case of necessary major turbine repairs, some work outside the boundary of permanent access roads and turbine sites could cause damage to soils; Section 2.7 describes mitigation measures to be implemented in order to reduce soil compaction or rutting during maintenance activities. Stony/Rocky Soils or Shallow-Depth-to-Bedrock Soils Introduction of stones or rocks into surface soil layers may damage agricultural equipment resulting in reduced productivity. Rock fragments and stones at the surface and in the surface layer may be encountered during grading, trenching and excavation, and backfilling. In addition, ripping of shallow bedrock during construction could introduce rock fragments or stones into the topsoil. Erosion and Sedimentation Short-term increases in erosion can occur as a result of the removal of vegetation during clearing and grading activities and the subsequent exposure of topsoil to precipitation and high winds. In addition, in areas where vegetation is slow to become reestablished, increased erosion can occur. Increased erosion of soils is of special concern adjacent to water bodies, where it can result in increased sedimentation. The potential for erosion is influenced by the grain size, slope, and drainage characteristics of the soils. Areas with level to nearly level slope and coarsegrained, well-drained soils are less likely to be eroded than areas with steep slopes or fine-grained, poorly drained soils. Construction activity is expected to have minimal erosion and sedimentation impacts on soil in the study area. Standard erosion control measures will be specified in the SWPPP in order to prevent the loss of soils through erosion, and the sedimentation of surrounding drainages and waterways with runoff from the construction site.

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Soil Contamination There is also a potential for soil contamination to occur during construction and operations as a result of spills or leaks of vehicle lubricants and fuels, as well as the lubricating oils contained in the nacelle of each turbine. This potential impact should be minor due to extensive requirements for spill prevention, countermeasures, and control that will be required and the limited occurrence of such situations. Soils can be contaminated by improper disposal of construction related materials as well. These may include pieces of wire, bolts, and other unused metal objects from the packing of turbine components, as well as excess concrete. These materials will be collected and removed from the project area. Weeds and Invasive Species Weeds and other invasive species may be introduced to croplands during movement of heavy equipment across the Project. Generally, equipment staging and operations will occur on cleared, graded, gravel construction roads free of debris. However, the equipment used to originally clear, grade, and excavate at the Project might collect various invasive plants and seeds and transport them to other areas. Accordingly, an Invasive Species Plan will be developed specific to the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project construction activities and included in the FEIS. The Invasive Species Plan will detail procedures such as equipment cleaning and vehicle tracking controls, which will help prevent the introduction of invasive vegetation to agricultural lands. Agricultural Productivity Another impact on agricultural land during construction activities includes the direct loss of any crops and pastureland grown at the time of construction. Because of the timing (spring through fall) of construction, some yields of crops grown within the Project area will be reduced due to the temporary disruptions due to the workspaces and access roads needed to support the construction activities. A potentially significant long-term impact of the Project on agricultural lands would include the loss, by conversion to nonagricultural uses, of prime farmland soils or soils of statewide importance and the loss of land within agricultural districts. Impacts to these soils are a major concern of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). As a result of the establishment of permanent turbine sites for the Project, the following types and amounts of classified soils will be permanently removed from cultivation: • • USDA Prime Farmland – 0.03 acres Farmlands of Statewide Importance – 0.45 acres

These totals represent a small fraction of the USDA prime farmland soils and farmlands of statewide importance in Jefferson County, and therefore this impact is not considered to be significant.

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As indicated previously, other soil impacts that can affect agricultural productivity include the introduction of rocks and weeds into the soil, the latter of which compete with the farmed crops for soil moisture and fertility, leading to lower crop yields. Soil fertility may decrease if mixing of soil layers occurs in areas graded or excavated during construction activities. 2.4.2 Drainage Features Surface drainage features that may be encountered during construction include watercourses that may be located within the study area and solution-enlarged joints in the far northeastern portion of the study area. Information on watercourses and solution-enlarged joints that may represent conduits for surface water flow are discussed in Sections 2.5 and 2.6. Other potential impacts that may occur include changes to the natural drainage patterns of agricultural lands. No areas of sub-surface drainage tile have been identified within the Project Area. If areas of potential subsurface drainage including drainage tile or solution-enlarged joints are encountered during construction, they will be avoided, protected, or completely restored. BP Wind Energy will mitigate these potential impacts where necessary, including installation of culverts and water bars to maintain natural drainage patterns. In addition, where project roads are constructed or existing roads are improved, design of these roads will include drainage systems that should actually improve many of the existing areas where high erosion from run off currently exists. 2.4.3 Mitigation Compaction and Rutting Following construction, all disturbed agricultural areas that are outside the finished roadway and turbine sites will be decompacted to a depth of 18 inches with a deep ripper or heavy-duty chisel plow, in accordance with applicable regulations and NYSDAM guidelines. In areas where the topsoil was stripped, soil decompaction will be conducted prior to topsoil replacement. Following decompaction, rocks 4 inches in diameter and larger will be removed from the surface of the subsoil prior to replacement of the topsoil. The topsoil will be replaced to original depth and the original contours will be reestablished to the extent possible. Subsoil decompaction and topsoil replacement will be avoided after the months of higher precipitation, unless the landowners specify otherwise on a site-by-site basis. In the event of maintenance activities which require moving equipment larger than the permanent access roads to the turbine sites, measures will be implemented to reduce soil compaction off of improved roads and turbine sites. These may include the use of riprap or timber mats on saturated soils, organic mulch or residue on the soil surface, and restrictions on traffic and load

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placements within these areas. If activities are required off improved roads and turbine sites during conditions of extreme wetness, access will be limited until suitable soil conditions are restored. Stony/Rocky Soils or Shallow-Depth-to-Bedrock Soils To minimize or avoid this potential impact on the productivity of agricultural lands (croplands and improved pasture), for areas where large stones are present in the subsoil and not in the topsoil, the topsoil will be segregated and larger stones otherwise brought to the surface will be screened from the soil prior to backfilling activities. In areas where bedrock is present within excavated zones and brought to the surface, rocks 4 inches in diameter or greater will be removed from the surface of the topsoil in accordance with applicable regulations and NYSDAM guidelines. Erosion and Sedimentation Erosion control, re-vegetation, and maintenance plans will be produced and implemented by the Project Engineer to minimize these impacts. The details of this plan will be developed in conjunction with applicable guidelines (i.e., NYSDAM Guidelines) and will be included in the SWPPP that will be developed prior to construction, as required by the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges. Temporary erosion controls, including interceptor diversions and sediment filter devices (e.g., hay bales and silt fences), will be installed prior to initial ground disturbance. As required, temporary trench breakers will be installed immediately following trench excavation for cabling, and mulch or erosion control fabrics (e.g., jute netting) may be used on critical slopes or areas to control erosion. Temporary erosion control devices will be inspected on a regular basis and after each rain event to ensure proper functioning. During construction, the effectiveness of temporary erosion control devices will be monitored. The effectiveness of re-vegetation and permanent erosion control devices will be monitored in accordance with applicable guidelines. Temporary erosion control structures will be maintained until the affected areas are successfully re-vegetated. Following successful re-vegetation of construction areas, temporary erosion control devices will be removed. Seed Mixtures Areas within the study area disturbed during construction activities and where topsoil has been replaced will be seeded with appropriate seed mixtures to provide faster establishment of cover for erosion control and to optimize the success of restoration. All agricultural areas disturbed by the project will be seeded with a seed mix selected for compatibility with disturbed area vegetation types. Agricultural Productivity Soil impacts such as loss of organic matter, topsoil-subsoil mixing, deterioration of soil structure, and soil settling or slumping should be minimized by the use of

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special construction techniques. These impacts should be confined to the Project area and restoration will be performed to preclude any long-term effects. In particular, to minimize the impact of disruption of topsoil layers on long-term cultivation, topsoil will be segregated to the depth of the plowed layer and efforts will be made to maintain the topsoil layer in work areas. Soil compaction and erosion also may affect long-term farmland productivity. If this becomes apparent, machinery such as deep-shank, Paraplow, Paratill, or other specified equipment will be brought in to break up soil down to the depth of actual compaction. Precautions will be taken to minimize impact on cropland soils. Protective measures that will be employed include ensuring that topsoil-subsoil mixing does not occur and that compaction and other construction related results are avoided or mitigated. Topsoil will be removed first and stockpiled to ensure that it is separated from construction activities. The subsoil layer also will be stored separate from the topsoil and away from construction activities. All topsoil will be stripped from agricultural areas used for vehicle and equipment traffic and parking. All vehicle and equipment traffic and parking will be limited to the access road and/or designated work areas such as tower sites and laydown areas. No vehicles or equipment will be allowed outside the work area without prior approval from the landowner and, when applicable, the Environmental Monitor. If the excavated materials lack backfill requirements, BP Wind Energy will ensure that adjacent agricultural land is not used to replace the backfill. If imported soils are needed for this process, they will be similar in texture to the soils already present. Soil Contamination All pieces of wire, bolts, and other unused metal objects will be picked up and properly disposed of as soon as practical after the unloading and packing of turbine components so that these objects will not be mixed with any topsoil. Also, care will be taken during unloading and unwrapping of turbine components, to ensure that invasive species or insects are not introduced from the turbine components into the topsoils. Excess concrete will not be buried or left on the surface in active agricultural areas. Concrete trucks will be washed outside of active agricultural areas. BP Wind Energy will require contractors and subcontractors to use BMPs for handling materials to help prevent spills from occurring. If spillage of fuels or lubricating oils occurs, corrective action will be implemented immediately by removing and properly disposing of any contaminated soil pursuant to applicable regulatory requirements of NYSDEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation.

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Procedures for prevention and responding to spills during the construction phase will be included in the SWPPP described above. Procedures for responding during the operations phase will be covered by the site-specific SPCC Plan which will be developed for the Project. Other NYSDAM Guidelines The NYSDAM Guidelines for Mitigation of Wind Power Projects specify many of the measures described in detail above. In addition, the following mitigation measures are called for: • • Minimize impacts to normal farming operations by locating structures along field edges and in nonagricultural areas where possible. Avoid dividing larger fields into smaller fields, which are more difficult to farm, by locating access roads along the edge of agricultural fields (hedgerows and field boundaries) and in nonagricultural areas where possible. Locate access roads, which cross agricultural fields, along ridge tops and following field contours, where possible, to eliminate the need for cut and fill and reduce the risk of creating drainage problems.

BP Wind Energy has followed these guidelines where practical, noting the desire of local landowners to alter some, and the necessity of altering others in order to minimize the potential for impacts to local wetland features. BP Wind Energy has included the following guidelines into project design: • • The permanent width of access roads in agricultural fields should be no more than 16 feet to minimize the loss of agricultural land. All existing drainage and erosion control structures such as diversions, ditches, and tile lines should be avoided or appropriate measures taken to maintain the design and effectiveness of the existing structures. Any structures disturbed during construction will be repaired to as close to original condition as possible, as soon as possible, unless such structures are to be eliminated based on a new design. The surface of access roads constructed through agricultural fields should be level with the adjacent field surface. Culverts and water bars will be installed to maintain natural drainage patterns. Electric interconnect cables and transmission lines installed above ground can create long term interference with agricultural land use. As a result, interconnect cables will be buried in agricultural fields wherever practicable. When interconnect cables and transmission lines are installed above ground, BP Wind Energy will minimize agricultural impacts by using taller structures that provide longer spanning distances and shall locate poles outside fields or on field edges to the greatest extent practicable. The line location and pole placements will be reviewed with the DEC and the Environmental Monitor prior to final design.
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• • •

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In cropland, hayland and improved pasture at a minimum depth of four feet of cover will be required for all buried electric cables. Where the depth of soil over bedrock ranges from zero to forty-eight inches, the electric cables will be buried entirely below the top of the bedrock or at the depth specified for the particular land use whichever is less, with a minimum of two feet of cover.

2.4.4

Post-Construction Monitoring BP Wind Energy will coordinate with NYSDAM to develop an appropriate postconstruction monitoring plan to ensure that the goals of NYSDAM guidelines are met. Formal monitoring of areas temporarily or permanently disturbed by construction will occur for two years immediately following the completion of initial restoration. The two year period allows for the effects of climatic cycles such as frost action, precipitation and growing seasons to occur, from which various monitoring determinations can be made. The monitoring and remediation phase will be used to identify any remaining agricultural impacts associated with construction that are in need of mitigation and to implement the follow-up restoration. Maintenance of these areas will be an ongoing process throughout the life of the Project to assure that it can be adequately maintained and that adjacent land is not impacted. During the monitoring and remediation phase, any agricultural impacts resulting from construction that need additional mitigation will be identified and mitigated. General conditions to be monitored include topsoil thickness, concentrations of rock and large stones, trench settling, condition and function of drainage features, and repair of Project fences. Excessive amounts of rock and oversized stone material will be determined by a visual inspection of disturbed areas, as compared to portions of the same field located outside the construction area. If subsequent crop productivity is less than that of the adjacent unaffected agricultural land, BP Wind Energy will determine appropriate rehabilitation measures to be implemented. Subsoil compaction will be tested using an appropriate soil penetrometer or other soil compaction measuring device. Compaction tests will be made for each soil type identified on the affected agricultural fields. The subsoil compaction test results within the affected area will be compared with those of the adjacent unaffected portion of the farm field/soil unit. Where representative subsoil density of the affected area exceeds the representative subsoil density of the unaffected areas, additional shattering of the soil profile will be performed using the appropriate equipment. Deep shattering will be applied during periods of relatively low soil moisture to ensure the desired mitigation results and to prevent additional subsoil compaction. Oversized stone/rock material which is uplifted to the surface as a result of the deep shattering will be removed.

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2.4.5

Restoration Areas temporarily used during construction activities will be returned to their pre-existing condition. Mitigation measures will be applied to disturbed areas and maintained as necessary to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation during the life of the project. Prior to construction, BP Wind Energy will document areas within the study area that currently have erosion and sedimentation issues so that the restoration efforts and site drainage design can be evaluated after construction. It is believed that many of the secondary road improvements will correct any current deficiencies. Adequate pre-construction documentation will help determine whether soil erosion and sedimentation issues resulted from the project. In addition, to minimize soil erosion and sedimentation impacts, a projectspecific soil erosion and sedimentation control plan will be developed and included in the SWPPP. Mitigation measures will include the use of silt fences, straw bale barriers, check dams, or other accepted controls to control runoff and off-site migration of soil during construction activities. These mitigation measures will be presented and implemented through the preparation of the SWPPP and associated review process.

2.4.6

Complaint Resolution For the duration of the project, an on-site contact person will be identified to address and resolve landowner complaints from project construction or operation. BP Wind Energy will work with an agriculture/soil conservation specialist, as required, to address and resolve problems.

2.5

WATER QUALITY: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING A large majority of the residential water use in the county comes from a public supply – there are 50 different water supply systems in Jefferson County22, including the following in the project area:
• • • •

Cape Vincent Village (serves 5,000 people); Danc Western Regional (serves 4,000 people); Chaumont Village (serves 625 people); and Lyme Town Wd 2 (serves 400 people).

Table 2.5-1 provides the details of annual water use by category for Jefferson County.

22 NY Times. Series on Water Quality in the US, found on 12/16/2010 at http://projects.nytimes.com/toxic-waters/contaminants/ny/jefferson

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TABLE 2.5-1: Water Use for Jefferson County, 2005
Annual Average Water Withdrawals By Use Category (mgd) Public supply Domestic Industrial Mining Livestock Irrigation Total 11.32 8.2 0 1.8 0.43 0.5 0.47 1.7 9.9 0.97 0.97 0.5 2.3 0.11 0.54 0.9 1.4 0.17 0.64 4.30 15.62

Withdrawals by Source Surface water Ground water Total

Source: USGS Water Use in the United States, County-Level Data for 2005 http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/data/2005/

2.5.1

Ground Water Ground water is principally used in the Project area for domestic water supply or supply for farm animals. Some ground water is produced from dug wells that supply water from unconsolidated geologic materials on top of bedrock. However, most ground water produced in the Project area is produced from one of the three bedrock formations discussed in Section 2.1.2: 1. the Kirkfield Limestone (also called the Kings Falls Limestone); 2. the Rockland Limestone; and 3. the Chaumont Limestone. Ground water in bedrock is present both in fractures and joints that occur naturally in the bedrock and in matrix porosity inside the rock (natural voids present in the limestone bedrock). Most ground water that is produced in water supply wells in the area is derived predominantly from the natural fractures or joints that occur in the bedrock. A smaller amount is produced from the bedrock matrix porosity. There are no active USGS ground water monitoring wells in the immediate vicinity of the project area. The closest USGS well is in Felts Mills, 13 miles to the south and east of the Project Area. Ground water flow at the site is inferred to be generally towards the southwest based on topographic gradient. Potable ground water is anticipated to be present at depths ranging from 10 to 100 feet below ground surface. Wells installed to depths greater than 100 feet in the study area generally encounter water that is relatively high in dissolved solids or mineral content, and is deemed by some as unsatisfactory for potable uses due to aesthetic reasons. In October 2010, BP Wind Energy contracted for 8 geotechnical test borings within the Project boundaries, ranging from 13 to 50 feet in depth. Water was encountered in three of those borings, at depths ranging from 2 to 21.5 feet below existing grade. BP Wind Energy is continuing to monitor water depths in two of these wells.

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Fluctuations in ground water level may occur because of seasonal variations in the amount of rainfall, runoff, and other factors. Additionally, grade adjustments by local landowners or government, as well as surrounding drainage improvements, may affect the water table. The following information is based on information available from the USGS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in relation to ground water produced from wells in the vicinity of the study area. Residential Wells Sole-source aquifers are defined by USEPA as an aquifer that is needed to supply 50% or more of the drinking water for a given area and for which there are no reasonably available alternative sources should the water become contaminated. Given the important nature of these aquifers, they are given special consideration and protection by USEPA and State Regulatory Agencies. No solesource aquifers are located within the Project Area. Ground water is used as a secondary drinking water supply in Jefferson County with 23 percent of freshwater use coming from ground water. 23 According to Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, 5 out of 22 samples of ground water within the Project area revealed bacteriological contamination in the form of total coliform and fecal coliform. Water quality data obtained from the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District are summarized in Table 2.5-2. 2.5.2 Surface Water Watershed The proposed Project boundary contains the Kents Creek watershed between its headwaters and Lake Ontario. Kents Creek lies within USGS Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 04150102, the Chaumont-Perch watershed. The Project area lies low in the watershed near its end point in Lake Ontario. This is a topographically flat area with little elevation change. The high point of Kents Creek is south of the Hamlet of St. Lawrence Corners at an elevation of 350 feet. The main branch of the creek meanders approximately 10 miles until it drains into the Lake at Mud Bay with an elevation of 250 feet. Except during annual spring thaws, this low-gradient nature produces a slow moving, poorly aerated river that is not ideal for cold-water fisheries. Regulatory Status This watershed has been designated as a Category IV watershed by the New York Unified Watershed Assessment Program. Category IV watersheds are defined as those where the level of data is currently not sufficient to make an assessment of the watershed’s condition. When additional information is
23 : USGS Water Use in the United States, County-Level Data for 2005 http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/data/2005/

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collected and analyzed on the Category IV watersheds, they can then be reassigned to the appropriate category. No waters within the immediate Project area have been identified as Section 303(d) Impaired Waters, or as waters not meeting state water quality standards24. Chaumont Bay is listed on the State’s 303(d) list as a Class A violation concerning fish consumption. It is considered to have sediments contaminated with PCBs, Mirex, and Dioxin.25 This bay, in addition to Lake Ontario, is outside the project boundary. Named Watercourses Three named watercourses, Kents Creek, Fox Creek and Little Fox Creek, as well as several unnamed tributaries, are located within the Project Area. Kents Creek, the largest of the three, flows from its origin northeast of the Project Area, through the Project area and empties into eastern Lake Ontario at Mud Bay. Fox Creek and Little Fox Creek are smaller tributaries to Lake Ontario located in the southeast portion of the Project Area. Two additional named water courses, Chaumont River and Three Mile Creek, are located outside the Project Area, but inside the footprint of the joint utility ROW to be constructed by the St. Lawrence Wind Farm. The Chaumont River and Three Mile Creek, including all of their tributaries, are designated as Class C streams. All waters of the state are provided a class and standard designation based on existing or expected best usage of each water or waterway segment: • • • • The classification AA or A is assigned to waters used as a source of drinking water. Classification B indicates a best usage for swimming and other contact recreation, but not for drinking water. Classification C is for waters supporting fisheries and suitable for non contact activities. The lowest classification and standard is D.

All of the watercourses within the Project Area, including the unnamed tributaries of Kents Creek, are designated as Class C streams by the NYSDEC.

NYSDEC, 2004. Waterbody Inventory for Eastern Lake Ontario (Chaumont-Perch) Watershed USEPA, Waterbody History Report for NY-0303-0011, http://oaspub.epa.gov/tmdl/attains_wb_history.control?p_listed_water_id=NY-03030011&p_cycle=2008
24 25

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TABLE 2.5-2: Ground Water Contamination in the Project Area
T. Hard .(CaCO3) (Mg/L) 483 325 133 407 125 597 247 227 364 375 332 91 391 231 114 129 1.44 120 422 297 117 325

E.coli Bact. Nitrate (N) (Mg/L) Chlorides (Mg/L) POS ND < .05 20.5 POS 0.715 22.3 POS 0.738 3.61 POS 1.81 53.6 POS 0.493 22 NEG 3.08 130 NEG ND < .05 10.5 NEG ND < .05 31.4 NEG ND < .05 9.86 NEG ND < .05 29.6 NEG ND <.05 27.1 NEG 0.25 1.1 NEG 5.16 109 NEG 1.77 24.8 NEG 0.342 23.1 NEG 0.297 20.3 NEG 0.386 255 NEG 0.129 26.3 NEG 0.293 150 NEG ND<.05 107 NEG 0.209 25.5 0.056 9.77

pH 7.45 7.3 7.86 7.21 7.69 7.35 7.5 7.5 7.2 7.2 7.25 8.1 7.2 7.27 8.36 7.61 7.19 7.33 7.02 6.96 7.3 7

Turbity(NTU) 43.8 0.26 11.73 0.13 1.52 1.68 0.21 0.5 0.2 0.25 0.58 0.47 1.81 0.28 0.37 0.56 0.12 0.76 1.07 0.17 0.27 0.18

Disinfect sys. Type of supply dug well surface water UV light shore well drilled well shore well drilled well spring drilled well drilled well UV light drilled well drilled well drilled well shore well UV light shore well cystern chlorinator shore well dug well chlorinator shore well drilled well Chlorinator Drilled village water UV,RO,Chlor Dug

Source: Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, 2007

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Protected Streams Being designated a Class C stream and considered a navigable water, Kents Creek has been given special protection by New York Sate. Disturbance to the bed or banks of this stream requires a permit under Article 15 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). Kents Creek is considered by the NYSDEC to be navigable "inland beyond Route 12 to the first barrier”. This includes the majority of the creek within the Project Area. Two water body segments in the area are considered navigable by the USACE and would require a Section 10 permit for any crossings or impacts: • • The Chaumont River is considered navigable from the Village of Depauville to Chaumont Bay. Three Mile Creek is navigable between Route 12 and Lake Ontario near the village of Three Mile Bay.

Both streams are also protected under Article 15, and disturbance to these streams would require a NYSDEC permit as well. Water Quality Trends There are no active USGS surface water quality gauges in Jefferson County, but NYSDEC has evaluated sites in the Chaumont-Perch watershed. Kents Creek is considered too small a waterbody to be listed in the State’s report on “30 Year Trends in Water Quality”, but the nearby Chaumont River was evaluated. There is a marked variation in water quality across the area, ranging from nonimpacted to severely impacted. 26 The Chaumont River was sampled for benthic macroinvertebrates in 1989, 1996, and 2002 and the river was found to be moderately impacted, as follows: “Water quality in the Chaumont River in 1989 was assessed as slightly impacted from LaFargeville to Depauville. Sampling in 1996 and 2002 at the Depauville site yielded an assessment of moderate impact, a decline from 1989. The habitat was less than ideal, consisting of minor riffles draining a pooled area. The invertebrate fauna was dominated by caddisflies and riffle beetles and livestock waste was the primary stressor.”27 Surface Water Use All of the streams within the Project area may be used to some extent by animals and livestock as a source of drinking water. However, since many of these streams are intermittent or in headwater areas, water is sporadically available and may be present only during periods of continuous or heavy precipitation or during the snowmelt period in the spring.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) 30 Year Trends In Water Quality Of Rivers And Streams In New York State, Based On Macroinvertebrate Data 1972-2002, Stream Biomonitoring Unit, Division of Water. 27 NYSDEC, 1972-2002.
26

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During the spring, immediately following ice out on Mud Bay, there is an annual spawning run of walleye (Sander vitreus) in Kents Creek. This event occurs outside of the state regulated open fishing season for this species and therefore does not provide recreational use of this stream. Additionally, due to their small size and/or intermittent nature, it is unlikely that any of the streams within the Project area are used for recreation opportunities. 2.5.3 Storm Water Runoff Local Permeability, Topography The land use in the Project area comprises of a mix of undeveloped and agricultural land. Topographic features or changes in local elevation tend to be minor within the site; still, there is a direct influence of these features on runoff. Slight changes in local elevation shape the landscape and steer stormwater down gradient. The soils within the Project area contain relatively high amounts of clays and silts. Fine soil materials such as these inhibit permeation of storm waters. Additionally, the depth to bedrock is very shallow in portions of the Project Area. The low permeability of the soils and the shallow depth to bedrock within the Project area also tends to contribute to overland flow. This is evident by the numerous dendritic drainage channels arranged throughout the Project Area. Currently, precipitation in the Project area is absorbed into the ground or is transported via overland flow into the numerous naturally-occurring drainage channels. These drainage channels typically connect to wetlands or small intermittent streams in the Project Area. Impermeable surfaces such as local and county roads also traverse the Project Area. Along some roads, drainage ditches have been installed to collect storm water runoff from the road surface and direct it to existing natural drainage channels, streams, or wetlands. Some roads or road segments in the Project area lack significant drainage ditches; in this case, stormwater runoff from the road surface simply flows onto adjacent undeveloped areas next to the road edge. 2.6 2.6.1 WATER QUALITY: IMPACTS Ground Water Project operations are not expected to permanently impact shallow ground water, because the Project will result in only small areas of impervious surface. The effect on water infiltration and ground water recharge will, therefore, be minimal. Based on the ground water conditions encountered during BP Wind Energy’s geotechnical survey, it is not expected that significant dewatering will be required during construction of the foundations. However, control of surface and perched water conditions from precipitation will likely be required to prevent run-off from entering the site. Perched ground water is likely to be

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encountered at the bedrock surface and within sand/silt seams in the native glaciolacustrine deposit, and a stable subgrade will need to be maintained during construction. If encountered, actions will be taken to prevent ground water and surface water runoff from collecting in the excavation. In this case, ground water entering the excavation would be pumped out into a mobile container for subsequent characterization and determination of an appropriate management methodology. Ground water may be encountered either perched on top of bedrock surface or while traveling through sand/silt seams during construction of drilled shaft foundations, if they are utilized. To maintain the integrity of the shaft walls during drilling, the use of drilling fluid and/or temporary casing may be required. The introduction of pollutants to ground water from spills of petroleum and/or other chemicals during both construction and operation of the Project could potentially impact water quality. This is discussed in Section 2.4.1, and the implementation of both construction and operational phase SPCC plans will minimize spill incidents and maximize control and cleanup of any of these incidents (see Section 2.6.3). Erosion and sedimentation control measures specifically proposed to facilitate the protection of ground water resources will be incorporated into the SWPPP prior to construction. Section 2.6.4 below outlines erosion control and mitigation measures as well as the BMPs that will be addressed in the SWPPP. Residential Wells Construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning activities associated with the Project are not expected to affect overburden or bedrock aquifers or private water supply wells within or near the Project Area. If blasting is required, a site specific geotechnical survey will be conducted which will help indicate if any impacts to local ground water wells might result. 2.6.2 Surface Water Impacts Stream Crossings The turbine array, access road alignment and collection line alignments in the proposed Project area were carefully selected and refined during multiple iterations with the intent of avoiding as many stream crossings as possible. A multi-year period of identification and assessment of streams within the Project area was conducted, supporting the final selection of alignments and locations. Figure 2.6-1 depicts the current Project Layout along with the locations of NYSDEC mapped streams. Due to the location of streams in the Project Area, as well as the linear nature of Project facilities, it is necessary to cross several stream segments protected under both federal and state regulations. Many of the streams crossed are existing

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agricultural ditches that are conservatively assumed by BP Wind Energy to be Waters of the U.S. Roads will necessarily result in some impacts to the natural watercourses, due to the installation of culverts and covering of the streambed with fill in order to facilitate grade level vehicle crossings. 34.5 kV electrical interconnects may or may not impact rivers, streams, or wetland segments, depending on the technology used for achieving the crossing – either via trenching, directionally drilling, or spanning the waterbody from pole to pole. Crossings of named waterways within the Project boundaries include: • • • Road and interconnect crossing of Fox Creek Interconnect only crossing of Fox Creek Two interconnect only crossing of Kents Creek

Only the Fox Creek road crossing would result in a permanent impact due to the installation of a culvert and a permanent gravel access road leading to Turbine 15. Several alternative construction techniques are under consideration for the three electrical interconnects only crossings, including: • • • conventional cut and cover trenching; aboveground poles and wires; and horizontal direction drilling.

The final construction method will be determined in concert with the regulatory agencies with authority for protection of these streams. Factors that will influence whether horizontal directional drilling will be the selected technique include the availability of sufficient upland area on either side of the crossing for insertion/retrieval points as well as the subsurface suitability. Where horizontal directional drilling is employed, an emergency response plan will be implemented which will identify specific materials to be on-site during construction, and specific actions that will be taken in the event of an emergency during the stream crossings. The primary factor influencing the use of aboveground poles and wires is the length of the span across the stream, and the availability of upland areas on either side of the stream to support installation of permanent poles.

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GIS File: Cape Vincent\GIS\projects\streams_waterbodies.mxd

Prepared by: M. Jones/S. King

Date: 2/8/2011

Project No. 0092352

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Where a crossing is accomplished by directional drilling or aboveground transmission lines, no significant impacts to the water quality of navigable streams is expected as a result of construction or operation of the Project. For the many smaller, intermittent and non-navigable stream crossings across the Project Area, primarily agricultural ditches in active agricultural fields, appropriately sized culverts will be used to maintain sufficient flow at the locations where access roads are proposed. For collection line installation crossing these streams, the same construction technique evaluation will be performed to determine the most appropriate technique to minimize impacts to these linear features. In most locations, it is anticipated that conventional cut and cover trenching will be employed within these active agricultural fields. Road and electrical interconnect crossings of streams may also require selective clearing of trees and tree limbs in the area adjacent to these streams. BP Wind Energy is consulting with the USACE and the DEC to determine the appropriate mitigation measures where clearing of riparian vegetation is required. These mitigation measures will be described in detail in the Section 404 Permit Application for the Project. A detailed SWPPP will be developed and incorporated into Project documents to identify BMPs to prevent sediment runoff from work sites. Potential indirect impacts that may result from construction activities include increased sedimentation and turbidity caused by increased surface runoff from work areas. Appropriate mitigation measures (e.g., silt fences and/or straw bales) will be used to reduce sediment runoff from work sites. These practices will be fully developed and presented in the SWPPP. Installation of the cables for the Project on the St. Lawrence towers will require crossing the Chaumont River. No impacts to water quality are anticipated to result from this aerial crossing due to the lack of ground disturbance required to attach the wire to existing poles. This aerial crossing utilizing existing utility poles would require a Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act permit to be issued by the USACE. 2.6.3 Stormwater Tower sites have been designed to avoid impacting surface water or drainage channels and minimize impacts where avoidance was not practicable. Several access roads and interconnects will cross drainage ditches within agricultural fields. Crossing of these ditches would be accomplished with the installation of an appropriately-sized culvert to maintain the intermittent flows carried by these ditches. In addition, the access roads and turbine sites will be gravel-based, which will allow stormwater to continue to percolate into the soil. Impacts on stormwater within the Project area are anticipated to be minor in nature and limited to the temporary construction phase of the Project.

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Prior to construction, BP Wind Energy will submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to NYSDEC for an SPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges for Construction Activities and develop a SWPPP. The SWPPP will include several components that will address erosion control measures, storm water pollution prevention, chemical handling and spill prevention. Control measures will include a description of the BMPs to be incorporated in the project construction phase. During construction, appropriate erosion control measures and BMPs (e.g., silt fences and/or straw bales) will be used to limit the area of impact and to provide control of sediments carried in stormwater before discharging to any surface water. 2.6.4 Mitigation Measures All BMPs used on the Project to prevent adverse impacts to water quality will be described in the SWPPP and will conform to the most current version of the technical standard, New York State Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control. The structural BMPs (eg, silt fencing or hay bales) will be installed and maintained during the construction of the entire Project in order to prevent pollutants from reaching surface waters and wetlands. Excavation and grading will be performed in such a manner that the site will be effectively drained. Existing drainage patterns are not anticipated to be significantly altered. Dewatering may be required in discrete locations and appropriate measures to provide treatment to this water will be implemented as necessary. They may include the use of sedimentation basins or other temporary water treatment structures during construction. Minimization of Impacts Microadjustments were made to many access roads or collection lines, in order to avoid streams and ponds altogether and to cross streams at a narrow point, in order to minimize temporary and permanent impacts to Waters of the US which will need to be covered in the USACE Section 404 permit for the site. These adjustments are documented in Table 2.8-3. Directional drilling or aboveground transmission lines will be used to conduct 34.5 kV lines across some Project area rivers and streams with no direct impact to the waterbody. Erosion and Drainage Control The potential for erosion at a construction site is determined by the existing soil, slope, rainfall, and planned construction methods. Erosion and sedimentation can be controlled effectively if certain principles are followed in the use and treatment of the construction area. Basic principles include leaving any trenched or stockpiles material exposed for the shortest time possible; reducing runoff velocity and directing runoff; detaining runoff and trapping sediment; and releasing runoff safely to existing storm drains. These principles will be applied to the Project construction areas.

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Erosion control practices, which will be followed for the duration of the Project, will also include construction practices designed to minimize the potential for erosion and runoff, including: • • • • limiting the footprint for disturbance to the minimum amount needed, appropriate construction sequencing, minimizing the time period that excavated areas will be left exposed, and grading only immediately prior to construction.

During excavation of the turbine site, materials that are temporarily stockpiled will be protected from erosion through the use of temporary measures, such as straw bales and/or silt fencing. As needed, disturbed areas will be protected with mulch, in order to reduce runoff and allow water to infiltrate into the soil. This will also help to hold seed in place and reduce seedling damage from soil heaving caused by freezing and thawing. Stockpiles left out in the open for more than 7 days will be sprayed with water or covered and staked. In areas where construction is immediately adjacent to trees, and there is a high potential for damage to the vegetation, temporary fencing will be erected parallel to the trenching operation so as to reduce the possibility of accidental damage to trees due to construction equipment. Generally, the construction route was designed to cross existing agricultural fields as much as possible to minimize trimming and removal of tress and shrubs; however, some tree trimming may be required. In those areas where vegetation clearing is necessary, the ROW will be clearly flagged so that only those trees within the established corridor will be cleared. Cleared vegetation will be disposed of by chipping and hauling off site for disposal and disturbance of the soil will be minimized to prevent the transport of sediments to nearby surface waters. To the extent possible, construction activities will avoid damage to existing grass and other ground cover. Construction and ancillary activities will be confined to the smallest possible area required for Project construction. Stockpiling of debris and construction materials or storing of equipment on unpaved areas will be permitted only in predetermined areas. Trench breakers or plugs will be installed in the electrical interconnect trenches to prevent hydrologic alteration to streams and wetlands and to prevent excessive water conductance by the trench on slopes. Chemical Handling and Spill Prevention Chemical handling and spill prevention practices detailed in Section 2.4.3 will reduce the probability of contamination of ground water or surface water due to leaks or spills during either construction or operation of the Project. 2.6.5 Site Restoration Section 2.4.5 details topsoil preservation and restoration, as well as revegetation practices, which will serve to stabilize disturbed areas at the site and reduce the

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potential for contaminated runoff from impacting local surface water bodies or ground water resources. 2.7 WETLANDS: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING The USACE and the USEPA define wetlands as “those areas that are inundated or saturated with ground or surface water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted to life in saturated soil conditions” (33 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 28). Wetlands play an important role in maintaining environmental quality because of the diverse biologic and hydrologic functions they perform. These functions include, but are not limited to, water quality improvement, ground water recharge, sediment and toxicant retention, nutrient cycling, plant and animal habitat, and floodwater attenuation and storage. Because of their importance, wetlands are protected from alteration or destruction by federal and state regulations. Wetlands are protected at the federal level as a subset of the “Waters of the United States” under Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Freshwater wetlands are protected at the state level by the NYSDEC under Article 24 of the ECL, which establishes the Freshwater Wetlands Act (FWA). The FWA protects those wetlands larger than 12.4 acres (5 hectares) in size, and certain smaller wetlands of unusual local importance. Wetlands adjacent to state-defined navigable waters are also protected under Article 15 of the ECL. 2.7.1 Methodology Desktop Wetland Assessment The desktop wetland assessment involved review of National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) maps, which show the approximate locations and boundaries of federally-mapped Waters of the US, which includes wetlands, and NYSDEC wetland maps, which show all state-regulated wetlands (i.e., wetlands over 12.4 acres in size and other wetlands of unusual importance, including those adjacent to navigable waters). These maps do not indicate all wetlands within the Project boundary or depict accurate wetland boundaries. Rather, they approximate the likely location and extent of wetlands within the Project boundary. In addition, wetland ecologists reviewed color infrared aerial photography, the New York State Hydric Soils List, the National Soil Survey, and topographic maps to identify other potential wetland areas that were not identified on the NWI and NYSDEC maps. Field Reconnaissance During the preliminary planning of the project, wetland ecologists conducted a field reconnaissance of mapped NWI and NYSDEC wetlands and other potential wetland areas identified in the desktop assessment from 8 to 17 October 2007. All mapped and potential wetland areas identified during the desktop assessment and other areas encountered in the field that exhibited wetland characteristics within site boundaries were evaluated to determine the presence

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of the three regulatory wetland parameters: wetland vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology. In accordance with state and federal wetland guidance, all three parameters must be present under normal environmental circumstances for an area to be characterized as a wetland. While in the field, ecologists recorded the field observations and approximate wetland boundaries on aerial photographs for later transfer to Geographic Information System format. Wetland ecologists returned to the field in 2008 and identified additional potential wetland areas where the array alignment was under development. As the array was further refined and the alignment of access roads and collection lines were identified, two final field events were conducted 14 through 20 July 2010, 04 through 21 October 2010, and 8 through 17 November 2010 to delineate jurisdictional Waters of the U.S. (which includes wetlands) and statejurisdictional resource areas, including freshwater wetlands and navigable waters. Wetlands were flagged in the field and the points were located using Global Positioning System units with either sub-meter accuracy or with sub-foot accuracy, depending on the unit employed during a particular delineation event. 2.7.2 Results Desktop Assessment The Project boundary contains approximately 1,610 acres of lands and waters that are mapped by NWI or NYSDEC as wetland (12.1 percent of total area within the Project boundary) (Figure 2.7-1). The NWI and NYSDEC use separate classification systems to categorize wetlands. The major NWI categories mapped within the Project boundary include Freshwater Emergent, Freshwater Forested/Shrub, and Freshwater Ponds (Figure 2.7-1). The NYSDEC classifies wetlands into four classes (Class I, II, III, IV), with Class I wetlands being the highest quality and each subsequent wetland class, II through IV, decreasing in overall quality and ecological value. No Class I wetlands occur within the Project boundary. Class II wetlands are the dominant class of NYSDEC-mapped wetlands within the Project boundary and occupy approximately 686.4 acres, or 5.2 percent of the total Project area. Class III and IV wetlands occupy approximately 103.4 acres (0.8 percent) and 9.8 acres (0.1 percent) of the total Project area, respectively (Figure 2.7-1). Field Reconnaissance The field reconnaissance confirmed that most of the areas identified in the desktop assessment are wetlands, although the boundaries of the wetlands were often different than that depicted on the NWI or NYSDEC maps. In addition, the field reconnaissance identified several wetlands that are not depicted on the NWI or NYSDEC maps, which are typically used for planning level purposes only. The field reconnaissance confirmed the presence of approximately 1,610 acres of wetlands occurring within the Project boundary. Wetlands and waters on the site cover four major categories: palustrine emergent, palustrine scrub/shrub, palustrine forested, and open water (Table

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2.7-1 and Figure 2.7-1). Federal- and state-jurisdictional streams identified in the Project area are discussed further in Section 2.5.2. Table 2.7-2 lists the common vegetation species found within wetlands in the Project area. TABLE 2.7-1: Wetland Types Within the Cape Vincent Project Boundary
Percent of Total Wetlands 8.6% 12.0% 77.5% 1.9% 100%

Wetland Type Palustrine Emergent Palustrine Scrub/Shrub Palustrine Forested Open Water Total

Area (acres) 137.7 192.8 1,248.4 31.2 1,610.1

Percent of Project Area (14,516.45 acres) 1.0% 1.4% 9.4% 0.2% 12.1%

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GIS File: G:\Graphics\Clients\BP\BP-Cape Vincent\MXD\EIS\WetlandResourceArea_SK_11x17.mxd

Prepared by: M. Jones/S. King

Date: 2/8/2011

Project No. 0092352

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TABLE 2.7-2: Common Vegetation Species Found in Cape Vincent Project Boundary
Scientific Name Acalypha virginica Acer rubrum Acer saccharinum Agrostis perennans Alisma triviale Alnus incana Anemone canadensis Anemone virginiana Asclepias incarnata Aster lanceolatus Aster lateriflorus Aster novae-angliae Aster umbellatus Betula populifolia Bidens connata Boehmeria cylindrica Calamagrostis canadensis Carex crinita Carex cristatella Carex intumescens Carex lacustris Carex lupulina Carex lurida Carex normalis Carex pellita Carex projecta Carex rostrata Carex scoparia Carex tuckermanii Carex vulpinoidea Chrysosplenium americanum Cornus amomum Cornus racemosa Cornus sericea Cuscuta sp. Cyperus esculentus Cyperus strigosus Dulichium arundinaceum Eleocharis obtusa Elymus virginicus Epilobium coloratum Equisetum arvense Eupatorium maculatum Eupatorium perfoliatum Euthamia graminifolia Galium palustre Common Name Three-seeded Mercury Red Maple Silver Maple Autumn Bent Water-plantain Speckled Alder Canada Anemone Thimbleweed Swamp Milkweed Tall white aster Michaelman’s daisy aster New England Aster Flat-topped Aster Gray Birch Beggar-ticks False-nettle Bluejoint Grass Fringed Sedge Small-crested Sedge Bladder Sedge Lake Sedge Hop Sedge Shining Sedge Right-angled sedge Wooly Sedge Spreading Sedge Beaked Sedge Broom Sedge Tuckerman's Sedge Fox Sedge Golden Saxifrage Silky Dogwood Gray Dogwood Red-Osier Dogwood Dodder Yellow Nut-grass Umbrella sedge Three-way Sedge Blunt Spikerush Virginia Wild-rye Purple Leaved Willow Herb Field Horsetail Joe-pye Weed Boneset Grass-leaved Goldenrod Ditch Bedstraw Wetland Type* PEM PFO PFO PSS PEM PSS PEM PFO PSS PSS, PEM PSS. PEM PEM PEM PSS PSS, PEM PFO PSS, PEM PSS, PEM PSS, PEM PFO PFO PFO PSS, PEM PFO PEM PFO, PEM PEM PEM PSS, PEM PSS, PEM PFO PSS PFO, PSS PFO, PSS PEM PEM PEM PEM PEM PEM PEM PFO, PEM PSS. PEM PSS, PEM PSS, PEM PEM

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Scientific Name Glyceria striata Ilex verticillata Juncus articulatus Juncus dudleyi Juncus effusus Leersia oryzoides Lemna minor Ludwigia palustris Lycopus americanus Lysimachia nummularia Lythrum salicaria Mentha arvensis Mimulus ringens Onoclea sensibilis Osmunda regalis Phalaris arundinacea Poa palustris Polygonum sagittatum Prunus virginiana Rorippa sylvestris Rubus idaeus Rubus pubescens Rumex verticillatus Salix amygdaloides Salix bebbiana Salix discolor Salix petiolaris Salix x rubens Scirpus atrovirens Scirpus cyperinus Scirpus tabernaemontani Sium suave Solanum dulcamara Solidago gigantea Solidago rugosa Spiraea alba Typha angustifolia Typha latifolia Ulmus americana Urtica dioica Verbena hastata Viburnum dentatum Viburnum lentago Vitis riparia
* PEM = Palustrine Emergent PSS = Palustrine Scrub-Shrub PFO = Palustrine Forested

Common Name Fowl Mannagrass Winterberry Holly Jointed Rush Dudley's Rush Soft Rush Rice Cutgrass Duckweed Water Purslane Bugle-weed Moneywort Purple Loosestrife Field Mint Common Monkeyflower Sensitive Fern Royal Fern Reed Canarygrass Fowl Bluegrass Arrow-leaved Tearthumb Choke Cherry Creeping Yellow-cress Red Raspberry Dwarf Raspberry Swamp Dock Peach-leaf Willow Bebb's Willow Pussy Willow Slender Willow Willow Bulrush Woolgrass Soft-stem Bulrush Water Parsnip Deadly Nightshade Tall Goldenrod Rough Goldenrod Meadowsweet Narrow leaved Catttail Common Cattail American Elm Stinging Nettle Blue Vervain Arrowwood Nannyberry Riverbank Grape

Wetland Type* PFO, PSS, PEM PFO, PSS PEM PEM PSS, PEM PEM PEM PEM PEM PFO PEM PEM PEM PFO, PSS PFO PSS, PEM PSS, PEM PEM PFO PEM PFO, PSS PFO, PSS PEM PSS PSS PSS PSS PSS PEM PEM PEM PEM PSS PSS, PEM PSS, PEM PFO PEM PEM PFO PSS PEM PSS PSS PFO

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Palustrine Emergent Wetlands Palustrine emergent wetlands are dominated by erect, rooted, herbaceous hydrophytes, excluding mosses and lichens28. Palustrine emergent wetlands account for approximately 137.7 acres, or 8.6 percent, of the total wetlands within the Project boundary. The vegetative composition of these wetlands is dominated by soft rush (Juncus effusus), the sedges Carex atherodes and C. lacustris, and wool grass (Scirpus cyperinus). Many emergent wetlands within the Project area are associated with drainage ditches that cross active Typical Emergent Wetland, Cape Vincent, NY agricultural fields and also have a predominance of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). The dominant soils were clay and silty loams with occasional areas of shallow bedrock. Soils exhibited low chroma and hue and contained common distinct mottling and occasional gley throughout the first 18 inches. Many of the emergent wetlands in the footprint of the Project are existing drainage ditches that carry intermittent flow during and following precipitation events and during snow melt periods.

Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States. FWS/OBS-79-31. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 103 pp.
28

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Palustrine Scrub-Shrub Wetlands Palustrine scrub-shrub wetlands are dominated by woody vegetation (shrubs and small trees) less than six meters (20 feet) tall. 29 The scrubshrub wetlands occupy approximately 192.8 acres, or 12.0 percent, of the total wetlands within the Project boundary. These wetlands are located throughout the Project area, with the larger areas in the southwest quadrant of the Project area (Figure 2.7-1). These wetlands are dominated by broadleafed deciduous vegetation including gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa), slender willow (Salix petiolaris), meadowsweet (Spirea alba), and pussy willow (Salix discolor).

Typical Scrub-Shrub Wetland, Cape Vincent, NY

Many of the scrub-shrub wetlands delineated along the Project footprint are linear drainage features across active agricultural fields. The drainage features carry intermittent flow, but experience sufficient hydrology to prevent active agricultural use, which has allowed the successful growth of woody species. Palustrine Forested Wetlands Palustrine forested wetlands are dominated by trees that are six meters (20 feet) tall or taller.30 Palustrine forested wetlands account for approximately 1,248.4 acres, or 77.5 percent, of the wetlands within the Project boundary. They occur primarily along the northeastern edge of the Project area with small pockets interspersed throughout the remainder of the Project area (Figure 2.7-1). The dominant canopy species are silver maple (Acer saccharinum) and red maple (A. rubrum). Understory species include gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa), the sedges Carex lacustris and C. tuckermanii and sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis).

Typical Forested Wetland (note watermark and buttressed roots), Cape Vincent, NY

29 30

Cowardin et al., 1979. Cowardin et al., 1979.

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There were signs of surface hydrology throughout the forested wetlands including watermarks and buttressed tree roots (see above photograph). Watermarks are listed as a primary indicator of wetland hydrology in the USACE Interim Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Northcentral and Northeast Region 31 Some deciduous forested wetland areas were lacking leaf litter, suggesting strong water flow through the wet areas. Open Water The field reconnaissance identified open water as approximately 31.2 acres, or 1.9 percent, of the total wetlands within the Project area. These areas were typically associated with small ponds in active farm fields, hayfields, and reverting hayfields. Open water wetlands also include sinkhole wetlands, which are formed by depressions or sinkholes in the underlying karst topography (limestone). A sinkhole wetland occurs in the Alvar community along the northeastern edge of the Project boundary (See Section 2.9 for a description of the Alvar community). 2.8 2.8.1 WETLANDS: IMPACTS Project Components The configuration for the proposed wind turbine array has been substantially influenced by the presence of wetlands within the Project boundary. In particular, the planning-level field reconnaissance events in 2007 and 2008 were conducted to identify the approximate location of wetlands within the Project boundary with the intention of avoiding large wetland crossings for the installation, operation, and maintenance of the Project components. Siting of the following project components was based, in part, on the location of existing wetland resource areas:
Typical Open Water Wetland, Cape Vincent, NY

31

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 2009. Interim Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Northcentral and Northeast Region (October, 2009), ed. J.S. Wakeley, R.W. Lichvar, and C.V. Noble. ERDC/EL TR-09-19. Vicksburg, MS: U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

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• • • • •

individual turbine locations; electrical substation; temporary construction staging areas; temporary batch concrete plant; and permanent operations and maintenance facilities.

All of these Project components have been located within upland areas based on the multiple wetland field reconnaissance events. This avoidance exercise was also applied to the temporary and permanent access roads and collection lines, which have been routed to avoid wetland crossings to the maximum extent practicable. Access roads and collection lines to/from the turbines will result in temporary and permanent impacts to wetlands. As a general rule, avoidance of forested wetlands was prioritized, followed by avoidance of scrub-shrub wetlands and lastly emergent wetlands. In most locations, the crossings are proposed within the narrowest portion of the wetland to minimize impacts to the maximum extent practicable. Although forested wetlands represent the largest type of wetland (by acreage) in the Project area, crossings of this type of wetland were reduced to a single permanent impact area of less than 500 square feet as detailed in the sections below. Where feasible, the access road and collection lines are co-located to result in a single crossing of a particular wetland; however, there are collection line crossings that are independent of the access roads. These independent collection line crossings occur where the collection lines require a more direct route to the substation or associated feeder line to avoid power losses within the system that would reduce the overall efficiency of the project. The following alternatives for the construction of these independent (not co-located with an access road) collection lines were evaluated to provide flexibility in achieving the goal of the project to convey power to the substation, while reducing the wetland impacts as much as possible:
• • •

traditional cut and cover trenching; aboveground poles and wires; and horizontal directional drilling.

A combination of these three techniques will be evaluated for the installation of the collection lines across wetlands depending on the size of a particular crossing. For a longer crossing of a scrub-shrub or forested wetland that has upland access on either side with a crossing length that is commensurate with an appropriate span between two aboveground poles, then the aboveground pole and wire option may be a preferable option for this type of crossing. For long wetland crossings, particularly those containing scrub-shrub or forested wetlands, or those crossings that are in particularly sensitive areas, if available staging and spoils areas are located in adjacent uplands, then an underground

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crossing using horizontal directional drilling of the wetland may be considered a viable alternative to traditional trenching or aboveground poles and wires. The 115 kV transmission line will be co-located with St. Lawrence Wind Farm Project utility ROW. This utility ROW co-location was a recommendation by NYSDEC in an effort to minimize impacts to sensitive wetland and water resource areas and BP Wind Energy is actively working to finalize an agreement with the St. Lawrence Wind Farm Project proponent to achieve this goal. Colocation of the transmission lines minimizes potential wetland crossings along the transmission line ROW, and also reduces the crossings of the Chaumont River from two to one. Under this agreement, both projects will cross this river using the same aboveground poles to reduce the amount of disturbance along the edge of this river and reduce the number of aerial crossings of transmission wires. The impacts associated with the ground disturbance have been evaluated and permitted under the St. Lawrence Wind Farm Project. Despite the colocation with the St. Lawrence Wind project transmission lines, the aerial crossing of the Chaumont River for the Cape Vincent Wind Power Project will be subject to an individual permit under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The route from the Project substation to the interconnect with the St. Lawrence Wind project transmission line will follow an aboveground route along Burnt Rock Road for a distance of 1,730 feet. No wetlands will be impacted by this short section of aboveground transmission ROW. Although the Project components will result in minor temporary and permanent impacts to regulated wetland resource areas, the impacts have been minimized to the maximum extent practicable. Large permanent wetland crossings, in particular crossings of scrub-shrub and forested wetlands, have been avoided across the Project area; however, several unavoidable wetland crossings are anticipated. As discussed below, mitigation will be provided for all wetland impacts resulting from the Project. For all temporary and permanent wetland impacts, BP Wind Energy will obtain the necessary permits from Jefferson County, NYSDEC, and the USACE and comply with all applicable and appropriate wetland establishment, restoration, and monitoring requirements. 2.8.2 Permanent Wetland Impacts Permanent wetland impacts are anticipated to result from the installation of several access roads leading to turbines located in upland areas. The current alignment will result in a single permanent crossing of a state-jurisdictional freshwater emergent/ scrub-shrub wetland (Class II U-6) and will result in a single permanent crossing of a forested wetland (CJ-PFO). Most of the remaining permanent access roads have been routed across existing agricultural fields and the wetland crossings are primarily emergent wetlands that act as drainage ditches within this agricultural setting.

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The minimum permanent access road required for long-term operation and maintenance of the turbines is 16 feet wide to accommodate typical operation and maintenance vehicles. Slightly larger widths may be required at locations where the road turns and a specific radius is required to accommodate the longbed trailers needed for hauling turbine and tower components. An approximate number of crossings anticipated to be required for the access roads is included in Table 2.8-1. Intersection improvements along roadways leading to and through the Project area also have the potential to temporarily impact wetland resource areas. In all locations, the wetlands are located within drainage swales along an existing roadway and modified culverts will be required to maintain stormwater flow during construction. These numbers are preliminary and will be refined during the permitting phase of the project. As noted above, many of the emergent wetlands within the Project footprint are drainage ditches which traverse active agricultural fields. TABLE 2.8-1: Permanent Wetland Impacts of the Cape Vincent Project
Wetland Type* Number of Crossings Access Roads 34 Area Impacted (acres)

Palustrine 0.85 Emergent Palustrine 3 0.04 Scrub-Shrub Palustrine 1 0.01** Forested Subtotal 38 0.90 Transportation/Intersection Improvements Palustrine 4 0.17 Emergent Subtotal 4 0.17 Total 42 1.07
*Wetland types are based on the Cowardin classification system applied to field-delineated wetlands. **See Table 2.8-2 for additional temporary vegetation clearing in forested wetlands that will be included as permanent conversion for the purposes of sizing the wetland mitigation area and identifying the functions and services/values to be replaced.

The 115 kV transmission line is not anticipated to result in any permanent impacts to vegetated wetlands; however, as discussed earlier in the Surface Water section of this SDEIS but reiterated in this Wetlands section, the aerial crossing of the 115 kV transmission line over the Chaumont River south of the primary Project area will be accomplished by attaching the wire to existing utility poles on either side of the river. The impacts for the installation of the poles will be permitted under a Joint Application submitted for the St. Lawrence Wind Farm Project. The exact location of the poles and the potential for any wetland

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impacts due to pole installation were not available at the time of this document preparation, but will be included in all wetland permit applications for this Project. The permanent impact will be limited to the presence of the wire above the Chaumont River and adjacent wetlands, with no additional ground disturbance anticipated to be required for this Project. 2.8.3 Temporary Wetland Impacts Temporary wetland impacts are anticipated to result from the installation of temporary access roads, as well as the installation of several of the collection lines and the 115 kV transmission line extending from the proposed substation to the Lyme substation. Figure 2.8-1 depicts the delineated wetlands that will be crossed both temporarily and permanently by the 2010 Project Layout. Temporary access roads will be located along the same alignment as the permanent access roads. The 16-foot wide permanent access roads will be expanded during the construction phase to a width of 36 feet to accommodate the large equipment and vehicles required for turbine construction. At curves/turns in the roadway, this width will be extended to accommodate the specific radius required for the longbed trailers needed to haul turbine and tower components. At locations where a culvert is required to maintain flow within mostly agricultural drainage ditches, the culvert will extend 60 feet in length during the construction phase. The use of traditional cut and cover trenching for the installation of the collection lines will result in an approximately 12-foot wide area of temporary vegetation clearing. Where possible, woody species will be cut at the base, leaving the roots intact to allow natural regeneration once construction is complete. For species that typically do not exhibit the potential for re-sprouting after cutting, additional native woody species will be planted. Only those individual plants with an extensive root system within the direct footprint of the trench will be stumped. Within this 12-foot wide corridor, an approximately 4-foot wide trench will be cut and the spoils will be temporarily placed to the side of the trench. Topsoil will be separated from subsoils to allow the proper order of soil replacement following collection line installation, with topsoil placed at the surface to facilitate revegetation of the area through the natural root and seed stock present. In the locations where the collection lines will be co-located with the access roads, there will be a potential for overlapping the collection line corridor with the temporary road corridor, thus reducing the impact area. For the purposes of preliminary estimates of wetland impacts presented in Table 2.82, the two corridors were conservatively assumed to be adjacent and not overlapping; however, these quantified impacts will be refined during the permitting phase of the project. Wetlands disturbed for trench excavation would be seeded with an appropriate native seed mixture and mulched. Depending on the time of year of construction, emergent areas would be expected to revegetate within several

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months to one year. Similarly, ground cover would be expected to establish within scrub-shrub and forested areas within one year with more substantial woody growth continuing for several growing seasons following completion of construction. Additional potential for temporary impacts exists for pole and wire installation of the collection line to span over wetlands where horizontal directional drilling is not feasible and trenching is not preferred. If a wetland crossing is too long to accomplish with an aboveground pole on either side of the wetland, then poles may be required within the wetland to avoid exceeding the maximum spanning capability of the wires. In these locations, a temporary swamp mat access road will be required through the wetland to allow an auger truck to reach the pole location. The use of swamp mats will avoid substantial disturbance of soil in the wetland and will maintain the woody base and emergent vegetation seed stock. The mats will be in place the minimum time required to accomplish the pole installation. TABLE 2.8-2: Temporary Wetland Impacts of the Cape Vincent Project
Wetland Number of Area Impacted Type* Crossings (acre) Access Road and Co-Located Collection Line Palustrine 34 1.81 Emergent Palustrine 3 0.08 Scrub-Shrub Palustrine 1 0.02** Forested Subtotal 38 1.91 Independent Collection Line Palustrine 14 0.28 Emergent Palustrine 5 0.33 Scrub-Shrub Palustrine 4 0.32** Forested Subtotal 27 0.93 Total 65 2.84
*Wetland types are based on the Cowardin classification system applied to field-delineated wetlands. **Impacts to forested wetlands for temporary vegetation clearing will be included in the permanent impact calculation when determining the size of the wetland mitigation area and the functions and value/services to be replaced.

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The loss of wetland functions and values/services due to the temporary crossings during construction will vary by wetland type. In emergent wetlands, the impact of construction will be relatively minor and short-term because the herbaceous vegetation will regenerate quickly. In forested and scrub-shrub wetlands, the impact will be of longer duration due to the longer regeneration period of these vegetative types. All efforts will be taken to avoid temporary impacts to forested and scrub-shrub wetlands to the maximum extent practicable. The impacts provided in Table 2.8-2 are conservative and will be refined during the permitting phase with the intent to further minimize as detailed information is generated regarding the potential for underground and overhead crossings to minimize the number of traditional cut and cover trenching crossings. 2.8.4 Mitigation Measures From the initial off-site mapping investigation, to follow-up field reconnaissance events, and culminating in the delineation of wetland boundaries in the field, an extensive multi-year analysis of wetlands within the Project area has been conducted. These substantial measures resulted in the avoidance and minimization of wetland impacts due to careful siting of the turbines, access roads, and collection lines. Avoidance and Minimization Early Project layouts included an array of up to 140 turbines in 2007 and 95 turbines in 2008. Figure 2.8-2 depicts the turbines, access roads, and collection lines from both 2008 and 2010 to provide a visual comparison of the alternative layouts that have evolved during the process of wetland avoidance. Since access roads and collection lines were not yet mapped in 2007, the 2007 turbine locations are not included for comparison. Table 2.8-3 provides a detailed list of the design modifications implemented with the specific intent of avoiding or minimizing wetland impacts. To do this analysis, the 2010 Project Layout and current turbine numbering was used to document the Project design choices that were based, at least in part, on the wetland data collected between 2007 and 2010, inclusive. The current Project Layout represents years of modifications and micro-siting based on many factors, including the avoidance of wetlands. The list provided in Table 2.8-5 is not an exhaustive list of modifications that have been made over the 2007-2010 period during the refinement of the Project Layout. Instead, this is a representative list of samples of the adjustments that have been implemented on the Project to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. By providing this detailed list, some of the larger picture avoidances can be overlooked, such as the collection line layout which was been designed to limit the number of crossings of Kents Creek to just two locations for 23 turbines and the fact that all access roads were designed to avoid Kents Creek. However, this list demonstrates the successful implementation of wetland avoidance and minimization techniques employed in the proposed 2010 Project Layout.

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TABLE 2.8-3: Avoidance and Minimization Measures Taken for 2010 Access Road, Collection Line, and Project Facility Layout
Turbine # 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 X X X X X X X Modifications Avoid X X Min. Description Access road and collector line designed to avoid impacts to wetlands to the east and northeast. Collector line routed around wetland to the northeast of turbine 2. Turbine Removed due to neighboring landowner setback concerns. Access road crosses wetlands at narrow location. Turbine, access road and collector line locations avoid impacts to wetland to the south and west of turbine. HDD under consideration to avoid collection line wetland crossing. Access road and collection line routed to avoid Fox Creek crossing and to minimize impacts to drainage. Access road and collection line routed to avoid Fox Creek crossing and to minimize impacts to drainage. Access road and collection line routed to avoid Fox Creek crossing and wetland to the northeast crossed at narrow location. Collection line routed to minimize Fox Creek crossing. Access road and collection line routed to minimize impacts to wetlands to the north and south of turbine. Turbine located to avoid impacts to wetlands to the east/northeast. Turbine located to avoid impacts to wetlands to the northeast. Turbine, access roads and collection lines located to minimize impacts to wetlands to the south and east. Turbine, access roads and collection lines avoid impacts to wetlands to the south. Access road and collection line routed to minimize impacts to wetland north of the turbine. Access road routed to avoid an existing pond and turbine location moved to avoid wetlands to the north and west. Turbine, access road, and collection line routed to avoid federal conservation easement to the east. Collection line routed to minimize impacts to wetland northwest of turbine. Turbine, access road and collection lines located to avoid impacts to the wetland east of the turbine. Access road and collection lines located to minimize impacts to the wetland east of the turbine. Access road and collection line routed to minimize impacts to the wetland north of the turbine.

12 13 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 27 28 29

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Turbine #

Modifications Avoid Min. Description Collection system redesigned and moved to avoid Kents Creek Crossing; access roads routed to minimize impacts to the wetlands to the south and east. Collection line routed to avoid wetland to the east of the turbine. Turbine, access road, collection line relocated to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands to south and east. HDD under consideration to avoid collection line wetland crossing. Turbine, access road and collection line relocated to avoid disturbance to wetland to the east/northeast. HDD under consideration to avoid collection line wetland crossing to the west; access road and collection line routed to minimize impact on wetlands to west. Collection line routed to avoid crossing Kents Creek to the west. Turbine, road and collection line relocated to avoid wetland to the south. Relocated turbine, access road and collection line to avoid disturbance to wetland to the northeast and the drainage ditch to the west. Collection line relocated to minimize impacts to the wetland to the north. Collection line routed to avoid wetland to the southeast. Access road routed to minimize impacts to wetland to the north and east. Access road relocated away from pond to narrower wetland crossing from turbine 59. Turbine, access road and collection line relocated to avoid and minimize impacts to wetland to the north of turbine. HDD proposed to avoid collection line wetland crossing. Turbine, access road and collection line removed as field siting found wetlands to south had expanded, not allowing needed setback from Swamp Road. Turbine relocated to avoid wetland to the south. Turbine, access road and collection line relocated to avoid wetlands to the west. Access road and collection system relocated in the field to minimize impacts to wetland to the south of the turbine. Collection line relocated to avoid impacts to the wetland to the south of the turbine. Junction of multiple collection lines off Favret Road shifted northeast to reduce impacts to Wetland BD. Access road curves around Wetland BA/BB (an agricultural ditch) to cross at narrowest point. Access road curves to follow existing farm road through Wetlands P and Q. Road and collection lines shifted to minimize impact on wetland to the south of the turbine.

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Turbine # 77 78

Modifications Avoid X X Min. Description HDD under consideration to avoid collection line wetland crossing. Access road routed to avoid wetland to the east of the turbine. Turbine, access road and collection lines removed (northwest of turbine 73) as field siting found it difficult to minimize wetland impacts sufficiently. Access road relocated to avoid wetlands to the south of the turbine. Turbine, access road and collection line relocated to avoid impacts to the wetland to the north and east of the turbine. Access road and collection line shifted south to reduce impacts to Wetland G. Turbine, access road and collection line relocated to avoid impacts to the wetland to the west of the turbine. Turbine, access road and collection line relocated to minimize impact on wetland to the north. Collection line shifted south to reduce impacts to Wetland G. Turbine and access road shifted to minimize impact on Wetland A. Turbine, access road and collection line relocated to avoid wetlands to the northwest of the turbine.

79 81 82 83 84 85

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A wetland scientist was on-site during the final micro-siting of the Project Layout in October 2010 to make field adjustments to avoid and minimize wetlands. The combination of the final micro-siting, some of which is reflected in Table 2.8-3, and the many years of analysis and fieldwork have resulted in a Project Layout that has avoided many of the wetlands in this portion of Jefferson County. Table 2.8-4 provides a summary of the minimization of wetland impacts between the 2008 and 2010 Project Layouts. TABLE 2.8-4: Summary Comparison of Wetland Impacts: 2008 Project Layout to 2010 Project Layout
2008 Layout (acres) 2.6 2.7 4.4 4.6 2010 Layout (acres) 0 0.9 1.5 1.3 Difference 2008 – 2010 (acres) -2.6 -1.8 -2.9 -3.3

Project Component Turbines - Permanent/ Temporary Impact Combined Access Roads - Permanent Impact - Temporary Impact Collection Lines - Temporary Impact

Although many of the original turbines were eliminated due to factors other than wetland impacts, several of the proposed turbine locations were eliminated

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specifically due to wetland impact concerns and collection line and access roads have been designed to avoid and minimize wetland impacts. In particular, turbines were eliminated north of the intersection of Rosiere Road and Route 12E, as well as additional sites eliminated off other portions of Rosiere Road, Merchant Road, and Swamp Road. In addition to the variations that are identified above, there have been many other micro-adjustments to the turbine locations, access roads, and collections to reduce or avoid impacts to wetlands. Where feasible, the avoidance process has also been extended to the selection of construction techniques for specific wetland crossings required for the installation of the collection lines. Both horizontal directional drilling and overhead pole and wires have been and will continue to be evaluated for the potential to further avoid and reduce wetland impacts during the permitting phase. Co-locating the 115 kV transmission line along a shared corridor also avoids additional wetland impacts between the substation for this Project and the connection point into the Lyme substation. Wetland Restoration The temporary impact areas within wetlands will be restored in place. In locations where soils have been removed for trenching, side-cast material adjacent to trenches in wetlands will be separated from the existing wetland soils with the use of a barrier, such as a geotextile fabric. Soils removed from the trenches will be further segregated into topsoil and subsoil to facilitate replacement with subsoils in the bottom of the trench and topsoil replaced at the ground surface level. Each wetland area will be seeded with an appropriate native wetland seed mix and mulched. In areas where woody species were removed from a wetland, native woody plantings will be installed with appropriate spacing to provide coverage that mimics the adjacent undisturbed wetland areas. Details of these mitigation measures will be developed and provided in a conceptual Wetland Mitigation Plan included in the Joint Application submitted to the NYSDEC, NYSDOS, and USACE. Wetland Establishment Mitigation for permanent impacts to wetlands will include the establishment of a wetland area within the Project area at an approximate ratio of 2:1, pending approval of this ratio by regulatory authorities. Permanent impacts will include both permanent access road locations as well as forested areas that will be cleared temporarily for the installation of a temporary access road or a collection line. Due to the multiple locations of small impact areas/wetland crossings, wetland establishment at the point of each impact would not be the most desirable mitigation plan. Therefore, the location of the proposed wetland area will be adjacent to an existing wetland and will be either a single wetland establishment or a combination of two or three areas to reach the proposed mitigation ratio of 2:1. Given the large amount of existing upland agricultural fields in this region and within the Project area specifically, the wetland establishment will likely involve the conversion of an existing upland

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agricultural field to wetland; however, additional areas are also under consideration. Figure 2.8-3 depicts the location of several areas that are under investigation as potential wetland creation/establishment areas; however, final site selection will be further developed and discussed in the FEIS and determined during the permitting phase of the project. The goal of any created wetland will be to restore the function and services/values that will be permanently lost due to the Project, through the restoration of hydrology, wetland vegetation, and, ultimately, hydric soils within the watershed. Wetland Mitigation Plan A Conceptual Wetland Mitigation Plan will be included in the Joint Application submitted to the NYSDEC, NYSDOS, and USACE. This Wetland Mitigation Plan will include the proposed location and size of the proposed wetland establishment areas as well as a proposed monitoring program. Invasive species management will be an important part of both the construction phase, as well as the long-term monitoring phase of both restored wetlands and wetlands created as part of the wetland mitigation plan. The Project area has many locations where the invasive species dominate the landscape, including reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), a species included on the New York Interim Invasive Species Plant List but also a species that is planted as part of agricultural activities across Cape Vincent. The prevalence of this species will present challenges during wetland restoration and establishment, which will have a goal of providing a diverse wetland plant community consisting of native species. Several other invasive species were observed and documented within the Project area during the multi-year wetland evaluation. An Invasive Species Management Plan will be prepared and included in the Joint Application and will address all species noted on the NYSDEC Interim Invasive Species Plant List. Once the details of the mitigation plan have been further developed, including final location, it is anticipated that a Final Wetland Mitigation Plan will be required by the regulatory authorities prior to issuance of, or as a condition of, any final permits for the Project. A Final Wetland Mitigation Plan will include detailed construction, grading, planting, and monitoring plans. Best Management Practices In addition to avoiding direct impacts to regulated wetland resources due to temporary construction activity, measures will be included in the Project design to reduce the potential for indirect wetland impacts resulting from proposed activities within the areas adjacent to wetlands. In particular, erosion and sedimentation controls consisting of straw bales and/or silt fence will be installed along the limit of work in upland areas where stormwater has the potential to flow towards wetlands from the Project area. This will reduce the potential for the introduction of pollutants into sensitive wetland areas during the construction phase. Similarly, where unavoidable wetland crossings are proposed for access road installation, erosion and sedimentation controls will be

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installed along the limit of work within the wetlands to prevent the dispersion of sediments into the adjoining undisturbed wetland areas. In designing the stormwater management and spill prevention plans for the operation of the Project, special care will be taken to ensure that sensitive wetland areas receive the maximum amount of protection possible through the application of industry standard BMPs. BP Wind Energy will also maintain contracts with local emergency response teams to respond to any spills in a way to minimize impacts to wetland features. 2.9 TERRESTRIAL AND AQUATIC ECOLOGY: ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING Biological resources are defined as native or naturalized plants and animals and the habitats in which they exist. The following sections describe the biological resources within the Project Footprint, including vegetation communities, wildlife, and threatened and endangered species. 2.9.1 Vegetation The Project Area lies within the Great Lakes Plain ecozone in northern New York. The dominant vegetation type was historically northern hardwood forest; however, agricultural clearing has left the region approximately 20 percent wooded. The overall Project Area is characterized by hayfields interspersed with emergent wetlands, forested and scrub-shrub wetlands, hedgerows, immature forests, and alvar ecosystems. This section focuses on upland vegetation communities and rare habitats, as wetland communities are described in Section 2.7. 2.9.1.1 Upland Vegetative Communities Over 90 percent of the Project Area consists of upland vegetation, which includes pasture and agricultural land interspersed with scattered parcels of upland forests, shrubland, and developed land. Pasture and Agricultural Land Open uplands, including pasture, hay fields, and reverting hayfields occur commonly throughout the Project and comprise approximately 6,700 acres, or 50.4 percent, of the Project Footprint. Hayfields in the Project Area are typified by a poor blend of grass species. The dominant grass species were not evident due to frequent mowing; however, common species likely include redtop (Agrostis gigantea), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and timothy (Phleum pratense). Other common species include wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) and cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex). The dominant species in the hedgerows bordering the hayfields is generally oak species (Quercus spp.).

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GIS File: G:\Graphics\Clients\BP\BP-Cape Vincent\MXD\EIS\PotentialWetlandMitigationAreas_11x17.mxd

Prepared by: D.S. Nakata

Date: 2/8/2011

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Proposed Project Boundary NYSDEC Wetland Classification Class 2 Class 3
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115 kV Transmission ROW Potential Wetland Mitigation Site

Figure 2.8-3 Potential Wetland Mitigation Areas Cape Vincent Wind Power Project BP Wind Energy

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Reverting hayfields are early successional uplands, including current and former pasture, that are no longer active hayfields. This habitat type contains a dominant herbaceous layer of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), grassleaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia), New England aster (Aster novaeangliae), and tall white aster (A. lanceolatus) interspersed with grey dogwood (Cornus racemosa) thickets. Less common shrub species include nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) and prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum). Immature red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) saplings also occur throughout this habitat. Shrublands Portions of the reverting hayfield habitat with greater than 50 percent shrub cover were considered shrublands. In some areas, shrublands formed a nearly impenetrable thicket generally dominated by grey dogwood and infrequent meadowsweet (Spiraea alba) with young white ash (Fraxinus americana), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), bur oak, and American elm (Ulmus americana) encroaching along the edges. Deciduous Forest Upland forest communities represent approximately 2,443 acres or 18.3 percent of the Project Area. Deciduous forests are the dominant forest type in the Project Area and cover approximately 2,164 acres, or 16.3 percent, of the Project Area. These woodlots are dominated by northern hardwood species, the historic dominant forest type in the region, such as oaks (Quercus ssp.), sugar maple (Acer sacchanum), and white ash (Fraxinus americana). Upland Forest Second growth upland forest is interspersed throughout the Project Area and is comprised of a mixture of plantation species including Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), red pine (Pinus resinosa), and sparse concentrations of white spruce (Picea glauca). Pockets of hardwood trees including white ash, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), grey birch (Betula populifolia), and American elm also occur. Developed Land Developed areas represent approximately 502 acres, or 3.7 percent, of Project lands and include features such as quarries, gravel pits, roads, bridges, and residential use. Residential uses are characterized by maintained lawns with various species of ornamental trees, shrubs, and herbaceous species interspersed throughout. 2.9.1.2 Rare Plant Species and Vegetation Communities of Ecological Significance The Project boundary has been revised from the boundary described in the initial consultation letters provided to NYSDEC, the NYNHP, and the USFWS regarding threatened and endangered species and communities of ecological significance in May 2006; some of the Project boundaries included in the 2006 letter have been eliminated by shrinking the Project Area; others have been expanded. The discussions presented below represent the results of those consultation letters and subsequent conversations with NYSDEC, as recently as

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December 2010. BP Wind Energy will continue formal Article 11 consultation with NYSDEC, the NYNHP, and Endangered Species Act consultation with the USFWS to address potential threatened and endangered species and rare community issues within the Project Area. In a letter dated 20 June 2006 (Appendix A), the USFWS responded to a written request to identify all federally-listed rare, threatened, and endangered species in the vicinity of the Project Area. The USFWS did not identify any federally-listed plant species as occurring within, or in the vicinity of, the Project Area. The rare, threatened, and endangered plant list is maintained by the NYNHP. In a letter dated January 18, 2007 (Appendix A), the NYNHP identified six statelisted plant species (Table 2.9-1) and four significant ecological communities located at, or in the vicinity of, the Project Area.32 TABLE 2.9-1: State-Listed Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plant Species and Significant Ecological Communities in the Vicinity of the Project Area
Federal Listing State Listing Scientific Name Status Status2 Plant Species Carex atherodes Awned Sedge -E Carex backii Back’s Sedge -T Troublesome Sedge Carex molesta -T Ram’s-head Cypripedium -T arietinum Ladyslipper Geranium Carolina Cranesbill carolinianum var. -T sphaerospermum Lilium michiganense Michigan Lily -E Significant Ecological Communities Silver Maple-Ash Swamp N/A N/A Limestone Woodland N/A N/A Calcareous Pavement Barrens N/A N/A Sinkhole Wetland N/A N/A Source: NY Natural Heritage Program; Riveredge Associates, 2007 1 T – Threatened; E – Endangered Common Name

RARE PLANT SPECIES Awned Sedge The awned sedge (Carex atherodes) is listed by the NYNHP as endangered. The awned sedge is a loosely tufted, grass-like wetland perennial that occurs in marshes, shrub swamps, successionally mature fields, and pond and stream edges. There are currently at least fifteen known populations found in Jefferson,

32 NYNHP. 2007. Consultation Response Letter, New York Natural Heritage Program. January 18, 2007.

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St. Lawrence, and Oswego Counties.33 Within the Project boundary, three populations of this species are known to occur: 1) several hundred individuals are located in the two-acre Mud Bay Headwaters Wetland;34 2) approximately 200 individuals occur in a drainage swale in a wet hayfield; and 3) approximately 100 individuals occur as a small monotypic stand in a wet hayfield. Back’s Sedge Back’s Sedge (Carex backii) is listed as threatened by the NYNHP. This species is a densely tufted, grass-like plant that occurs primarily in deciduous, mixed forest, or evergreen wooded sites with shallow limestone bedrock. There are currently twelve known occurrences of this species in New York (NYNHP, 2006b). Within the Project boundary, Back’s Sedge is listed by NYNHP as occurring in a limestone wooded lot along the Burnt Rock Barrens (NYNHP, 2007); however, no individuals were identified within the Project Area during the October 2007 wetland reconnaissance. Troublesome Sedge Troublesome Sedge (Carex molesta) is listed as threatened by the NYNHP. It is a tufted grass-like perennial with strap-like leaves. Troublesome sedge has some stems with flower/fruit clusters (reproductive stems) and some stems without these structures (vegetative stems). It is easiest to identify Troublesome Sedge when it has almost matured to mature fruit clusters. The plant most commonly occurs in fields, wet fields, and native grasslands such as alvar grasslands and oak openings and occurs less frequently on open edges of rivers, woodlands, talus slopes, and in waste areas. It prefers strongly calcareous soils that are dry to wet, and has been found in somewhat weedy fields, roadsides, bottomlands, open woods, and borders of woods, as well as dry woodlands. No individuals were identified within the Project Area during the October 2007 wetland reconnaissance although the limestone of Cape Vincent should support the plant. Ram’s-head Ladyslipper The Ram’s-head ladyslipper (Cypripedium arietinum) is listed as threatened by the NYNHP. This species is a small, single-flowering orchid that prefers cool, moist woodlands and coniferous forests with a preference for moist, mossy bogs.35 This species was identified within the Project boundary in the Burnt Rock Barrens Alvar woodlands during the October 2007 wetland reconnaissance.

33 NYNHP. 2006a. New York Natural Heritage Program Conservation Guidance: Awned Sedge. June 6, 2006. http://www.nynhp.org/. 34 NYNHP, 2007. 35 USDA, 2007. USDA Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers: Cypripedium arietinum. http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/cypripedium/cypripedium_arietinum.shtml. January 12, 2007

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Carolina Cranesbill The Carolina Cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum) is listed as threatened by the NYNHP. This species is a short plant with tight-clustering flowers and prefers dry, open woodlands, limestone glades, and pastures and abandoned fields.36 Within the Project boundary, this species is associated with the calcareous pavement barrens and limestone woodlands surrounding the Burnt Rock Barrens 37; however, no individuals were identified within the Project Area during the October 2007 wetland reconnaissance. Michigan Lily The Michigan Lily (Lilium michiganense) is listed as endangered by the NYNHP. This species prefers tallgrass prairies, streamsides, swamps and bottoms, moist woodland edges, lakeshores, and ditches along roads and railways.38 There are two known occurrences of this species in the vicinity of Cape Vincent; however, their specific location was not identified39 and no individuals were identified within the Project Area during the October 2007 Wetland Reconnaissance. VEGETATION COMMUNITIES OF ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE The NYNHP identified four vegetation communities of ecological significance. These communities are either a community type rare in the state or a high quality example of a more common community type.40 Silver Maple-Ash Swamp Silver maple-ash swamps are hardwood basin swamps that occur in poorlydrained depressions or on poorly-drained soils along the borders of large lakes or, less frequently, rivers. The sites are characterized by uniformly wet conditions, with minimal seasonal fluctuation in water levels. The tree canopy is dominated by silver maple and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), but typically includes a variety of other hardwood species such as American elm, red maple, swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor), and ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana). This community has a well-developed understory of tall shrub, short shrub, and herbaceous species. Silver maple-ash swamps often occur over calcareous bedrock, and the plant species composition may reflect this influence with the presence of calciphiles such as northern white cedar and alder-leaf buckthorn (Rhamnus alnifolia).41

36 Illinois Wildflowers. 2007. Carolina Cranesbill Geranium carlinianum. http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/carolina_cranebill.htm. Accessed January 23, 2007. 37 NYNHP, 2007. 38 Flora of North America. 2007. Flora of North America: Lilium michiganense. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101738. Accessed January 24, 2007. 39 NYNHP, 2007. 40 NYNHP, 2007. 41 NYNHP. 2006c. New York Natural Heritage Program Conservation Guidance: Silver Maple-Ash Swamp. August 10, 2006. http://www.nynhp.org/.

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This community is primarily limited to the lowlands of central and western New York. It is concentrated in the Great Lakes and High Allegheny Plateau Ecoregions, including the Saint Lawrence Lowlands. Silver maple-ash swamps are located within the Ashland Road Wetland along the northeastern edge of the Project boundary. There are four patches within 1.5 miles of each other; however, three of these patches have been disturbed (logged) in the past. The fourth patch, approximately 23 acres in size, remains in good condition.42 This community was identified within the Project Area during the 2007 wetland reconnaissance. Limestone Woodland Alvar woodlands occur on shallow soils over limestone bedrock, and usually include numerous rock outcrops. There are usually several co-dominant tree species. Characteristic canopy trees in some stands are primarily conifers such as northern white cedar, white pine (Pinus strobus), white spruce (Picea glauca), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea). In other stands the characteristic canopy trees are primarily hardwoods such as hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), sugar maple, shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), white oak, bur oak (Q. macrocarpa), Chiquapin oak (Q. muehlenbergii), red oak (Q. rubera), and basswood (Tilia americana). There are also stands that include mixtures of these conifers and hardwoods.43 This community is currently known from the central Hudson Limestone Valley, the Lake Champlain Valley, the alvar region of the St. Lawrence Valley, and across the Ontario Lake Plain.44 Alvar woodlands are a community of global concern and a community of state concern. Several state-listed rare plants are known to occur in alvar woodlands including ram’s head ladies-slipper (Cypripedium arietinum) and fringed blue aster (Aster ciliolatus). At least two alvar woodlands occur within the Project boundary associated with the Sam Adams Road Woods and Burnt Rock Barrens in the northeastern corner of the Project Area. The Sam Adams Road site is moderately sized, with a fairly diverse canopy of mixed evergreen and deciduous forest on a limestone outcrop. The majority of the Burnt Rock Barrens site has evidence of past disturbance; however, there is a 5-10 acre plot in pristine condition.45 This community was observed during the 2007 wetland reconnaissance. The Burnt Rock area is a mixture of red cedar, northern white cedar, and bur oak with a sparse understory of pasture juniper (Juniperus communis). In many places open limestone occurs, traversed by crevices lined with maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes), and areas of lichen and moss. The limestone loving sedge (Carex eburnean) and poverty oat grass (Danthonia spicata) are common, along with early saxifrage (Saxifraga virginiensis), pale bluets (Houstonia longifolia), and in moist spots slender spikerush (Eleocharis elliptica) occurs. During the fall, many rare species are not easily identifiable; however, two state watch list species were observed
NYNHP, 2007. NYNHP. 2006d. New York Natural Heritage Program Conservation Guidance: Limestone Woodland. August 10, 2006. http://www.nynhp.org/. 44 NYNHP, 2006d. 45 NYNHP,2007
42 43

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during the October 2007 wetland reconnaissance: wiry panic grass (Panicum flexile) and false pennyroyal (Trichostema brachiatum). Calcareous Pavement Barrens Calcareous pavement barrens are a savanna community that occurs on nearly level outcrops of calcareous bedrock (limestone and dolomite). The community consists of a mosaic of shrub-savanna, grass-savanna, and rock outcrop vegetation. The trees are either widely spaced or in small clusters, but are typically rooted in rock crevices. Some characteristic canopy species include eastern red cedar, northern white cedar, bur oak, white ash, paper birch (Betula papyrifera), white pine, and shagbark hickory. Many of the shrubs occur in dense thickets, but are typically rooted in rock crevices or shallow soil over bedrock. Species typical of the shrub layer include gray dogwood, fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), common juniper (Juniperus communis), and meadow rose (Rosa blanda). The ground layer in the grass-savanna areas is quite diverse including poverty grass (Danthonia spicata), slender spikerush (Eleocharis elliptica var. elliptica), upland white aster, and aster (Aster ciliolatus).46 There are two occurrences of this community within the Project boundary associated with the Sam Adams Road Woods and Burnt Rock Barrens. The Sam Adams Road site is small and disturbed and bordered by hay fields and pasture.47 These communities were identified within the Project Area associated with the Burnt Rock Barrens Alvar community. Refer to the discussion of Limestone (Alvar) Woodlands for a further description of these communities. Sinkhole Wetland Sinkhole wetlands form in depressions in karst topography that are made from the dissolution of underlying limestone. These wetlands are often isolated and not connected to surface water or ground water. The vegetation of sinkhole wetlands varies geographically and in response to local hydrology and other factors.48 This community is known to occur on limestone throughout the country. There is one sinkhole wetland within the Project boundary, known as the Johnny Cake Road sinkhole wetland. This wetland lies within the Burnt Rock Barren Alvar Community and is a linear series of sinkholes in the limestone bedrock adjacent to cow pastures and old field areas. Some of the sinkholes are in excellent conditions, while others have been grazed.49

46 Reischke, Carol. 1990. Ecological Communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program. March 1990. 47 NYNHP, 2007. 48 Tiner, R.W., H. C. Bergquist, G. P. DeAlessio, and M. J. Starr. 2002. Geographically Isolated Wetlands: A Preliminary Assessment of their Characteristics and Status in Selected Areas of the United States. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Northeast Region, Hadley, MA. http://www.fws.gov/nwi/Pubs_Reports/isolated/report_files/2_section/overview.htm. Accessed January 24, 2007. 49 NYNHP, 2007.

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Future Vegetative Studies The Project Area is close to known populations of New York State listed rare plants and to significant natural communities. At least 15 State-listed Threatened or Endangered plant species are known to occur in the vicinity of the project and/or in similar habitats nearby. These species flower at different times but all flower between May and September. All wind turbine sites, access roads, and lay-down areas will be surveyed by a qualified field botanist for rare plant species and their habitats during the period most suitable for locating and identifying these species. The first survey will be conducted in June to document June flowering species and to identify potentially suitable habitats for later flowering species. Subsequent surveys will examine these potentially suitable habitats in July and August. 2.9.2 Wildlife Prior to 1900, much of the lands within the Project boundary were converted from forest to agricultural uses. The developed and active agricultural portions of the Project provide habitat for wildlife species tolerant of habitat fragmentation and human disturbance. In contrast, the less disturbed, undeveloped areas provide an array of high quality habitats that support relatively diverse wildlife communities. The Project Area supports a variety of aquatic and terrestrial species, including some rare, threatened, and endangered species. The following sections focus on the mammalian (excluding bats), reptilian, and aquatic resources within the Project Area. Birds and bats are discussed as part of the Avian and Bat Resources Section (Section 2.11). Please refer to this section for a discussion of all avian species, including any federal or state-listed rare, threatened, and endangered species. 2.9.2.1 Common Wildlife Species The Project Area is located in the Atlantic Flyway migratory bird route and the habitats within the Project site provide important stop-over points for migratory species as well as breeding habitat for large numbers of species. Pasture and Agricultural Land The major use of the Project site is active agriculture and therefore, generally precludes the use of the site by large mammals and big game species other than white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), which is common in the area. Small and medium-sized mammals common to the area include eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), woodchuck (Marmota monax), raccoon (Procyon lotor), eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus), whitetail deer, snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), European hare (L. europaeus), grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), and numerous species of bats, moles, mice, rats, and shrews.

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Deciduous, Coniferous, and Mixed Forest Mature upland forest found on Project lands provides highly valuable breeding and wintering habitat for wildlife species dependent on mature forest communities such as the pileated woodpecker. The deciduous forests provide habitat for most major groups of animals including large mammals such as white-tailed deer. The eastern turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) is found in hardwood and mixed forests and agricultural lands throughout the Project Area. Several common reptile and amphibian species occur throughout the Project footprint, although these species are most prevalent in wetlands and forested riparian habitats along Kents Creek. Such species include snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine), map turtle (Graptemys gibbonsi), midland painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata), and the northern water snake (Nirodia sipodon). Aquatic Communities No comprehensive fish community data are available for any of the streams within the Project boundary, but the NYSDEC has documented walleye spawning activity over gravel beds in Kents Creek upstream of Route 12E. It is unclear whether Kents Creek supports a substantial resident population of walleye, but the NYSDEC considers most of the spawning individuals in Kents Creek to be upstream migrants from Lake Ontario and/or the St. Lawrence River.50 2.9.2.2 Threatened and Endangered Animal Species and Communities of Ecological Significance The Project boundary has been revised from the boundary described in the initial consultation letters provided to NYSDEC, the NYNHP, and the USFWS in May 2006 regarding threatened and endangered animal species and communities of ecological significance. The discussions presented below represent the results of those consultation letters and subsequent informal and formal consultations with NYSDEC, NYNHP, and USFWS. BP Wind Energy will continue formal consultation with NYSDEC, the NYNHP, and the USFWS as part of these agencies’ respective permitting processes to address any concerns regarding threatened and endangered species and rare wildlife communities within the Project boundary. The USFWS maintains the database of federally-protected rare, threatened, and endangered species. The USFWS, in a letter dated 20 June 2006 (Appendix A), identified two federally-protected species that could potentially occur in the vicinity of the Project Area: Bald Eagle (Halliaeetus leucocephallus) and Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis). For a further discussion of these species, refer to Section 2.11, Avian and Bat Resources. The state rare, threatened, and endangered animal database is maintained by the NYNHP. In a letter dated January 18, 2007 (Appendix A), the NYNHP identified 12 bird, two bat, one fish, one reptile species, one wildlife management area, and
50 McCullough, R. NYSDEC Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources-Region 6. Personal communication with Jason Willey (ERM) January 29, 2007.

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two significant wildlife concentration areas located at, or in the vicinity of, the Project Area (Table 2.9-2).51 These significant wildlife concentration areas incorporate all, or portions of, significant fish and wildlife coastal habitat protected by the NYSDOS. BP Wind Energy conducted in-person meetings with the NYSDEC on state-listed species on June 11 and November 4, 2010. Based on the June 11, 2010 meeting, BP Wind Energy initiated additional field surveys for grassland birds and Blanding’s Turtle. Based on survey findings and in-person discussions with NYSDEC, BP Wind Energy has initiated an application for the Article 11 Incidental Take Permit process. Species included in the Article 11 Incidental Take Permit Application include grassland bird species (northern harrier [Circus cyaneus], short-eared owl, [Asio flammeus] Henslow’s sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], sedge wren [Cistothorus platensis]and upland sandpiper [Bartramia longicauda]). This Application is currently under preparation. State-listed birds included in the Article 11 application are noted below, with additional discussion on these and other state-listed birds included in Section 2.11. TABLE 2.9-2: New York State Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Wildlife Species in the Vicinity of the Project Area
Common Name Scientific Name Acipenser fulvescens Lake Sturgeon Emydoidea blandingii Blanding’s Turtle Asio flammeus Short-eared Owl Ammodramus henslowii Henslow’s Sparrow Bartramia longicauda Upland Sandpiper Cirus cyaneus Northern Harrier Cistothorus platensis Sedge Wren Wildlife Management and Concentration Areas French Creek Wildlife Management Area Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area Raptor Winter Concentration Areas Waterfowl Winter Concentration Areas
Source: NY Natural Heritage Program, 2007

State Listing Status1 Threatened Threatened Endangered Threatened Threatened Threatened Threatened N/A N/A N/A N/A

Lake Sturgeon Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) is state-listed as threatened by the NYNHP. This species is one of New York’s largest freshwater fish and has a torpedoshaped body covered with five rows of bony plates, and a sharp con-shaped snout with four barbells on its underside. Lake Sturgeon spawn in early spring, between May and June, and reach maturity at 8-19 years old. Lake Sturgeon are bottom feeders with leeches, snail, clams, and small fish making up the bulk of their diet.52

NYNHP, 2007. NYSDEC. 2007b. Lake Sturgeon Fact Sheet. http://www.dec.state.ny.us/wetbsite/dfwmr/wildlife/endspec/lakestur.html. Accessed January 24, 2007.
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Lake Sturgeon are found primarily in freshwater lakes and large rivers in northeastern North America, but also occur in the brackish waters of the Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence River. In New York, this species have been collected in the St. Lawrence River, Grasse River, and Lake Ontario. In the Project Area, lake sturgeon are known to occur in Lake Ontario, and rivers and streams in the vicinity of Lyme.53 Blanding’s Turtle Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is state-listed as threatened by the NYNHP and is a medium to large turtle with an elongated, domed shell speckled with numerous yellow or light-colored flecks or streaks. Riveredge Associates’, Dr. Glenn Johnson, Professor of Biology at State University of New York ( SUNY) Potsdam and Riveredge Senior Ecologist, visited the Project Area on October 10, 11, and 15 2007, and again on June 3, 4, and 17 2010, to identify and evaluate wetlands within Cape Vincent Project’s zone of potential impact for potentially suitable Blanding’s turtle habitat. Dr. Johnson also visited an Alternate Transmission Line alignment on June 17, 2010 to complete a habitat assessment along this route. Nesting activity surveys designed by Dr. Johnson and the staff at Region 6 of the NYSDEC were conducted from 6 PM to midnight each day from 7 June through 27 June 2010 by Riveredge Associates. Surveys focused on locating: 1) nesting female turtles, 2) evidence of digging, 3) turtle tracks, and 4) nests destroyed by predators. The primary purposes of the 2007 and 2010 investigations were to: 1) evaluate wetlands to determine whether the vegetative structure, vegetative species composition, and other habitat parameters represent suitable habitat for Blanding’s turtle for foraging, nesting, or overwintering; 2) perform daily surveys for nesting Blanding’s turtles in areas identified above; and 3) provide recommendations to avoid or mitigate potential impacts from the proposed project on Blanding’s turtles and their habitat. The following discussion on Blanding’s turtles is based on field reports for the 2007 and 2010 surveys performed by Riveredge Associates for BP. Distribution and Habitat Preferences Blanding’s turtle is documented to occur in the region of the Project Area 54, 55 but detailed survey information within the immediate vicinity is limited. A large shrub/scrub, emergent wetland complex above the causeway at Wilson Bay is known to support a breeding population of Blanding’s turtles56. This wetland is adjacent to the southwest corner of the Project Area (at County Route 6). Additionally, two Blanding’s turtles have been observed on County Route 9 where it crosses Kerns Creek in 2006 and 2007. This site is approximately 4.0 km

NYNHP, 2007. Petokas, P.J. and M.M. Alexander. 1980. Geographic distribution: Emydoidea blandingii. Herpetol.Rev.11:14. 55 Gibbs, James P, et al; 2007, The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York, Oxford University Press 56 A. Breisch, NYSDEC, personal communication; G. Johnson, unpublished data
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north of the northwestern corner of the Project Area (County Route 8 and Rosiere Road). These records are held in the database of the NYNHP. Primary wetland habitats occupied by Blanding’s turtle usually include productive, eutrophic inland and deep freshwater wetlands57 especially shrub swamps with alder, willow, cattail, and sedges, as well as emergent wetlands with shallow water composed of reeds, grasses, and cattail, 58 with a soft but firm organic bottom and abundant aquatic vegetation.59 Specifically, Blanding’s turtles use areas with the following characteristics:60
• • • •

both shallow (30 cm) and deep (120 cm) pools connected by channels; open or absent tree canopy; tree species often along the wetland perimeter; a dense cover of shrubs, particularly willow (Salix spp.) and buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), with components of forbs and graminoids dispersed as hummocks and tussocks throughout the wetland; and coarse and fine organic debris.

In addition, high quality Blanding’s turtle habitat consists of a “habitat complex” that provides all of the habitat types used during springtime, breeding, nesting, summer, and hibernation activities in close proximity to one another. Springtime foraging and basking habitat consisting of deep, fluctuating pools represents crucial habitat for Blanding’s turtles. 61 Blanding’s turtles are known to utilize human-disturbed areas such as plowed fields, road side berms, active agricultural lands, and sand and gravel pits for nesting 62. Natural nesting sites have been observed in grasslands characterized by sandy loam or sandy soils (Ross and Anderson 1990) and areas with sparse herbaceous vegetation interspersed with bare mineral soil.63 The distance of potential nest sites from water varies from 2.0 m to greater than 1.0 km64, and nest observations in areas adjacent to wetlands where they are not considered
57 Ernst, C. H., R. W. Barbour, and J. E. Lovich. 1994. Turtles of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press Washington, D.C. 58 Piepgras, S. A., and J. W. Lang. 2000. Spatial ecology of Blanding's Turtle in central Minnesota. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(4):589-601. 59 Kofron, C.P. and A.A. Schreiber. 1985. Ecology of two endangered aquatic turtles in Missouri: Kinosternon flavescens and Emydoidea blandingii. J. Herpetol. 19(1):27-40 60 Kiviat, E. 1997. Blanding’s turtle habitat requirements and implications for conservation in Dutchess County, New York. P. 377-382 in J. Van Abbema, ed. Proceedings: Conservation, Restoration, and Management of Tortoises and Turtles, an International Conference. New York Turtle and Tortoise Society. 61 Kiviat, E. 1993. A tale of two turtles; Conservation of the Blanding’s turtle and bog turtle. News from Hudsonia 9(3):1-6 62 Linck, M.H., J.A. DePari, B.O. Butler, and T.E. Graham. 1989. Nesting behavior of the turtle, Emydoidea blandingi, in Massachusetts. Journal of Herpetology 23:442-444 63 Kiviat, E., G. Stevens, R. Brauman, S. Hoeger, P.J. Petokas & G.G. Hollands. 2000. Restoration of wetland and upland habitat for Blanding’s turtle. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(4):650-657 64 Congdon, J.D. and R.C. van Loben Sels. 1993. Relationships of reproductive traits and body size with attainment of sexual maturity in Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii). J. Evol. Biol.

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residents have been recorded.65 66 The nesting season in northern New York occurs primarily during the month of June. Both sexes of Blanding’s turtles occasionally make significant overland movements outside of the nesting season, often staying in retreats in forested uplands or vernal pools 67 68. Field Reconnaissance Results Wetlands were characterized as potentially supporting Blanding’s turtles if criteria outlined above were noted. In addition, a search was made for suitable nesting areas near potential Blanding’s turtle habitat, including those identified outside of but within 0.5 km of the Project Area boundary. No Blanding’s turtles were observed in the Project Area during habitat surveys conducted in October 2007 and during habitat surveys and nesting activity surveys conducted in 2010. Four areas were identified as potentially supporting Blanding’s turtles in or adjacent to the Project Area and are referred to as Habitat Sites 1-4. Site 1 consisted of: 1) the road shoulder and berms associated with Wilson Road, 2) a field planted in corn bounded by an abandoned railroad grade, Wilson Road and a wooded swamp bordering Kent’s Creek, 3) a portion of a cornfield adjacent to Wilson Road north of the abandoned railroad grade, and 4) the roadway and bare substrate around the Cape Vincent Transfer Station. Site 2 consisted of the shoulder and roadside berms of Hell Street, and portions of a cornfield adjacent to Hell Street. Potential Blanding’s turtle habitat associated with both Site 1 and Site 2 is a large forested wetland complex located southwest of Wilson Road. This wetland is primarily a seasonally-saturated palustrine forested wetland composed mostly of deciduous trees dominated by American elm (Ulmus americana), ash (Fraxinus spp.), and maples (Acer rubrum and A. saccharinum). It drains eastward into Kent’s Creek near Hell Street. Within this wetland, an extensive emergent marsh and shrub/scrub swamp is found near the intersection of Wilson Road and the Study Area boundary. This area has some marginal potential to support Blanding’s turtles, although little surface water was observed at the time of the survey. Additional potential Blanding’s turtle habitat is located along the riparian margins of Kent’s Creek and a small (less than 0.25 acre) shrub/scrub wetland dominated by buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) located along the railroad grade just west of Kent’s Creek. At the time of the survey, no surface water was present; however, it likely floods each spring from overflow from the adjacent Kent’s Creek. Buttonbush is
65 Congdon, J.D., D.W. Tinkle, G.L. Breitenbach, and R.C. van Loben Sels. 1983. Nesting ecology and hatching success in the turtle Emydoidea blandingi. Herpetolgica 39:417-429 66 Ross, D. A., and R. K. Anderson. 1990. Habitat use, movements, and nesting of Emydoidea blandingi in central Wisconsin. Journal of Herpetology 24:6-12. 67 Johnson, G. and T. Crockett. 2006. Distribution, population structure, habitat relationships and nesting ecology of Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) populations in northern New York: Final Report to Biodiversity Research Institute. 68 Joyal, L.A., M. McCollough, and M.L. Hunter. 2001. Landscape ecology approaches to wetland conservation: a case study of two turtle species in southern Maine. Conservation Biology 15:17551762

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an indicator species for Blanding’s turtle in some parts of its range. This wetland is likely too small to support a population of Blanding’s turtles; however, Kent’s Creek may serve as a movement corridor for this species and it may be occasionally occupied. Other open habitat areas within the Study Area that are adjacent to or near these wetlands were judged unsuitable as Blanding’s turtle nesting habitat primarily because they were largely agricultural fields in active hay production and the substrate was not exposed to the sun. Site 3 consisted of the linear corridor of an abandoned railroad grade between Burnt Rock Road and County Route 4, an adjacent horse pasture consisting of a mix of exposed substrate and a raised earthen berm, and open areas along the intersection of the abandoned railroad grade and Burnt Rock Road. Potential Blanding’s turtle habitat associated with Site 3 is located to the southwest of the abandoned railroad grade approximately 0.75 km northwest of Burnt Rock Road and consists of seasonally-saturated shrub/scrub and emergent marsh. Water flows northeast through a small (45 cm diameter) culvert under the railroad grade. This wetland has been impacted by beaver activity creating numerous channels; however, water levels were low (greatest pool depth approximately 30 cm) at the time of the survey. Shrubs consisted of 90% willow (Salix spp.) species. This wetland has potential to support Blanding’s turtles, showing essential habitat features such as shallow and deep pools and channels, shrub hummocks for overwintering, numerous elevated basking areas, a soft organic substrate and potential nesting areas nearby. Limitations to Blanding’s turtle occupancy include its relatively small size linked to its distance from a known colonizing source, limited submerged and floating aquatic vegetation, and low water levels. Site 4 consisted of open areas and dirt tracks associated with a residence on the southwest side of Cemetery Road and a large open field with some wetland features interspersed with drier areas and exposed substrates west of the residence. Approximately 250 m on the opposite (northeast) side of Cemetery Road from Site 4 is a shrub/scrub wetland known to support a population of Blanding’s turtles. The access road to a turbine location has been re-routed around this potential Blanding’s habitat to avoid impacts. 2.9.2.3 Wildlife Communities of Ecological Significance Two Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and two Wildlife Concentration Areas occur within or adjacent to the Project Area.69 These significant wildlife concentration areas incorporate all, or portions of, two significant fish and wildlife coastal habitats protected by the NYSDOS. Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area Ashland Flats is a 2,037 acre State WMA located adjacent to the Project Area and containing both upland and wetland habitats. A small portion of the northwestern edge of the WMA is within the Project Area. Common activities allowed in the WMA include birdwatching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing,

69

NYNHP, 2007.

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hunting and trapping.70 The Ashland Flats WMA is also designated in its entirety as Ashland Bird Conservation Area (BCA). This area is characterized by relatively large areas of early succession habitats, as well as forested areas and limestone barrens. Endangered and threatened species supported by this area include Short-eared Owl, Henslow’s Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Northern Harrier, and Upland Sandpiper. Ashland Flats WMA’s importance lies primarily in the expanses of contiguous grassland and shrub land it hosts.71 French Creek Wildlife Management Area French Creek WMA is a 2,265-acre parcel located northeast of the Project Area containing both upland and wetland habitat types. The WMA is not contained within the project boundary and common activities include boat access, bird watching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing, and trapping.72 Waterfowl Winter Concentration Areas There are two waterfowl winter concentration areas in the vicinity of the Project Area that were identified by the NYNHP: the Fox Island-Grenadier Island Shoals and the Wilson Bay Marsh.73 The Fox Island-Grenadier Island Shoals were listed as significant fish and wildlife habitat by the NYSDOS on August 15, 1993 and include Fox Island and all the shoals around it from Grenadier Island on the west to the mainland, Little Fox Creek Marsh, and Fox Creek Marsh. The shoals are “hardscrabble” and a shallow water area containing beds of submerged aquatic vegetation with wild celery (Vallisneria americana), water star grass (Heteranthera dubia) and muskgrass (Chara vulgaris) dominating, and patches of emergent wetland vegetation around the shoreline. Several large marsh areas occur on Fox Island and at the lower ends of Fox Creek and Little Fox Creek.74 There are no federal or state-listed rare, threatened or endangered species that occur in the Fox Island-Grenadier Island Shoals; however, the shoals are an important fish spawning and nursery for smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), brown bullhead (Ictalurus nebulosus), and white perch (Morone americana).75 All of these species are typical of warmwater lacustrine habitats in west-central New York and could be found in at least the lower reaches of any of the streams located within the Project boundary. Considering the availability of gravel beds that are suitable for spawning in Kents Creek upstream of Route 12E, the portion of Kents Creek within the Project boundary should be considered potential spawning habitat for smallmouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, and white perch, as well as walleye. The vegetated shallows along any of the streams within the Project Area may provide nursery habitat for these or other common species of fish, and
NYSDEC. 2007c. BCA 2007. 72 NYSDEC, 2007c. 73 NYNHP, 2007. 74 NYNHP, 2007 75 NYSDOS. 2007d.
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may provide additional spawning habitat for yellow perch, which commonly attach their eggs to aquatic vegetation. The Fox Island-Grenadier Island Shoals are outside of the Study Area and are thus outside the scope of site-specific ecological surveys for federal or state-listed rare, threatened or endangered species. The second waterfowl winter concentration area, and NYSDOS significant fish and wildlife habitat, in the Project Area is the Wilson Bay Marsh. The marsh is located north of Kents Creek and the Fox Island-Grenadier Island Shoals bordering the northwest corner of the Project Area. The area is approximately 305 acres of open water (up to 30 feet deep) with flat rock, clean sand, or clean gravel on the bottom. A gravel barrier beach has formed at the head of the bay separating it from the marsh behind which consists of 98 acres of brushy swamp (mostly alder) and 70 acres of mixed hardwood swamp, which occurs along a small stream that flows into the bay. Submerged, emergent and floating leaved vegetation is interspersed with the shrubs in some areas.76 Black terns, a New York state endangered species, are known to occur in Wilson Bay Marsh. No black terns, however, were observed during site specific surveys within the study area. Additionally, little suitable habitat for black terns exists in the Study Area and black terns are not expected to utilize the Study Area. Black terns are generally associated with aquatic ecosystems occurring in shallow freshwater marshes with open water, where the species forages and nests. The species is not expected to occupy upland areas similar to those found within the Project Area. Specifically, black terns feed on aquatic insects and small fish found in the aquatic ecosystems where they typically occur 77 . Wilson Bay Marsh is outside the current proposed project area and no direct construction or operation-related impacts are anticipated. The absence of project related impacts to Wilson Bay Marsh, coupled with no black tern observations within the project area and incompatibility of habitat types within the Project Area required by the species, mean that black terns are unlikely to occur on the site or be impacted by the Project. Raptor Winter Concentration Areas There are two raptor winter concentration areas in the vicinity of the Project Area: Grenadier Island78 and Point Peninsula.79 Both areas are also listed as significant coastal fish and wildlife habitat by NYSDOS. Grenadier Island is part of the Fox Island-Grenadier Island Shoals and the large meadow vole populations and lack of human disturbance make the island favorable wintering and breeding habitat for a variety of raptor species including northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) and short-eared owls (Asio flammeus). The island also provides suitable habitat for a variety of passerines including upland sandpiper

NYNHP, 2007. Dunn, E.H. and D.J. Agro. 1995. Black Tern (Chlidonias Niger). In A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.) The Birds of North America, 147. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phil. and Amer. Ornith. Union, Washington D.C. 78 NYSDOS. 2007c. Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat Rating Form: Grenadier Island. New York State Department of State. http://www.nyswaterfronts.com/waterfront_natural_narratives.asp. Accessed January 29, 2007. 79 NYNHP, 2007.
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(Bartramia longicauda), grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus).80 Point Peninsula hosts the most significant concentration of wintering raptors documented in New York State. The approximately 2,000-acre area is located south of the Cape Vincent Project Area and is a mosaic of habitats including active farmland, old fields, some woodlots and conifer plantations. The area is used by a variety of wintering raptor species including northern harrier, shorteared owl, long-eared owl (Asio otus), rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus), redtailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), and snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus). Several other raptor species, including bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), have been observed at Point Peninsula, but the extent to which these species use the area is not well known.81 In addition, the NYSDEC has conducted over-winter surveys for raptors within and adjacent to the study area and has documented short-eared owls, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks and other species within the Project. Information from these surveys has been incorporated into project planning as part of the Article 11 Incidental Take Permit application. 2.10 TERRESTRIAL AND AQUATIC ECOLOGY: IMPACTS The Project is designed to reduce permanent impacts on undisturbed (unmanaged) vegetation communities and avoid impacts to threatened and endangered species or significant ecological habitats. All permanent facilities (wind turbines, the electrical substation, and operations and maintenance facilities) and temporary construction facilities (construction staging areas and the batch concrete plant) will be located in upland habitats and attempts have been made to site these facilities in disturbed habitats such as agricultural areas that provide limited wildlife habitat. 2.10.1 2.10.1.1 General Impacts to Local Habitats Temporary Impacts Temporary impacts to natural habitats and wildlife will occur during construction of access roads and the transmission lines. Temporary impacts that would result from the construction of the Project potentially include:
• • • •

temporary disturbance of natural habitats; elevated noise levels in the vicinity of construction activities; wildlife mortality due to interactions between animals and machinery during construction; and temporary displacement of disturbance-tolerant species from habitats adjacent to Project facilities during construction.
NYSDOS, 2007c. NYSDOC, 2007d.

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