Hartsville Wind Law Vote Tabled after Emotional Public Hearing

June 13th, 2018

HARTSVILLE, NY – After an emotional and testy public hearing on Hartsville’s proposed wind law, the vote on the law scheduled to take place during the regular meeting was tabled after some in attendance pointed out a few instances where rewording should be applied.

About 25 people showed up to voice their opinions, most from Hartsville, and others from surrounding towns and villages. During the hearing, supervisor John Bowles was mostly concerned with opinions from actual Hartsville residents, but eventually opened it up to anyone with a comment or opinion. After much coaxing, Bowles even let attorney David Pullen speak who was representing a person in attendance after insisting that his presence was a conflict of interest to the town.

The first issue had to do with wind flow. Basically some people in attendance wanted to take Hartsville out of the equation about what people can do on their land related to possible wind flow blockage, and let those decisions up to just the people involved and the wind company. Some did not like the wording in the law. They claim that it stated the town of Hartsville may not issue a permit if they feel it could affect wind flow. The board was in agreement and it will be corrected in the next draft.

Another major concern was that as the law is currently written it is very vague on what constitutes a regular turbine generator or an industrial turbine generator. It was said that by having different vague rules for each, it would leave the town open and possibly be taken advantage of in the future. The person that brought this up wanted the wording rewritten to say all turbines instead of specific ones, and have them all under the same rules.

The biggest concern seemed to be that the town has left to many environmental issues up to Article X. In writing the law, the board has let this (general recommended guidelines from the state) determine many factors such as maximum decibel levels, turbine height, distances from roads and residences, etc. Most in attendance wanted concrete numbers in these categories.

Once the desired changes are made to the wind law another Public Hearing will be held before it goes in front of the town board for a vote.