Deepwater in Deep Trouble: Fishermen Tell Off-Shore Wind Farm Developers to F@*#K Off

Wind developers just ran aground off the New Jersey coast, with fishermen telling them to stick their wind turbines where the sun don’t shine.

Gripped with a maniacal obsession with wind power, New York State, under Andrew Cuomo, is determined to wreck its once affordable and reliable power supplies, and much more, besides. It’s not as if New Yorkers are short of power.

With tens of billions of dollars in subsidies up for grabs, RE rent-seekers have scoped out every last inch of territory in which they might get to spear a few more of these whirling wonders, and start harvesting those subsidies, in earnest. Like all forms of crony capitalism, the rent-seekers will do and say anything to win political favour. Building subsidised offshore wind turbines, is no exception.

Part of the ‘theatre’ involves holding ‘community consultations’, where the developer’s coterie of hand-picked and highly paid pet experts pontificate about how every possible problem has been considered and already solved. They usually go further and claim that there’ll be thousands of permanent, well-paid jobs for locals; children will do better at school; millions of homes will be powered, for free; and all manner of rare and endangered species will be brought back from the brink of extinction, blah, blah, blah.

A mixture of gobbledygook and bureau-speak is dished up as if it was scientific fact.

Ordinarily, the audience watches on with eyes glazed over and sits in a brooding silence. Occasionally, the handful who actually understand that they’re being taken for fools, launch into a tirade against the developer’s PR hit squad.

Over time, though, the lies and propaganda have started to wear thin, and the numbers ready to tackle them, have increased.

Locals recognise that these people couldn’t care less about their lives and livelihoods.

The fishermen and their families who have worked off Long Island and New Jersey for generations, are alive to the fact that constructing hundreds of turbines will not only destroy the seabed (the source of their income and prosperity), but wreck their fishing grounds, forever.

Trawlermen are a fearless and tenacious bunch, renowned for their salty language.

So, it’s hardly surprising that they gave the developer’s spin doctors a right royal serve, using language usually reserved for the lower decks.

Fishermen: Wind Farms Bad For Business
The Independent
Rick Murphy
17 July 2018

Federal officials in charge of leasing ocean bottom land to offshore wind farm companies got an earful at a meeting with commercial fishermen Wednesday — and much of it was R-rated.

There isn’t merely significant opposition to offshore wind farms; there is 100-percent agreement among the fishermen that the wind turbines will eventually put them out of business.

The anger is palpable, and representatives from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management took the brunt of it, enduring a tirade of complaints. “This is how we talk on the docks,” one salty speaker exclaimed.

At issue is a federal directive — fueled in part, some say, by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo — to award leases for two more tracts of ocean bottomland that will eventually be home for wind farms. So far, 13 leases have been awarded to developers.

Brian Hooker, a fisheries biologist, David Nguyen, a project coordinator, and Isis Johnson, an environmental protection specialist, tried for close to four hours to get through a prepared program. They are charged with choosing two locations from within four giant swatches of ocean bottom off the coasts of Long Island and New Jersey. The fishing industry reps don’t think there should be any offshore turbines, period.

Deepwater Wind, which has a project slated off the coast of Montauk called South Fork Wind and runs the Block Island Wind farm, was the subject of much of the ire and criticism, though that company may or not come into play on the tracts of ocean bottom being discussed.

Once BOEM identifies parcels that can be leased, any company that wants to do so can express interest; if more than one does, there will be an auction.

Hooker made an introductory presentation, pointing out that the wind companies that win a lease will pay for the lease plus a rental fee, plus royalties.

“They are stealing our fishing grounds by placing them on our place of work. They are industrializing the ocean floor,” said Bonnie Brady, the executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.

That, said lobster boat captain Anthony Sosinski, is the crux of the problem. Any discussion about mitigating the effect the wind turbines have on fish so they can coexist is ludicrous, he charged. “It’s like putting a junkyard in the middle of a farm field,” he said. “The noise and sounds aren’t natural to what has been going on for a million years.”

Ryan Fallon said he has spent his life on the water. “Everyone is against [the wind farms]. This is my life, my daughter’s life. I almost brought her here so you could look her in the eyes,” said Fallon, whose father was a commercial fisherman and bought him his first boat. “I’ve been doing this since I was 12. I’ll die before I let you take it away.”

One individual didn’t wait around for an introduction. “You people make me sick!” he yelled as he stormed into the meeting. “This is bull***t. F*** you!”

Several speakers wondered why, if the powers-that-be wanted wind power, they couldn’t mount the turbines on land. Others suggested putting all the wind turbines on the ocean in one spot so the disrupted area would be smaller.

“We work hard to ensure all of this information gets out,” Johnson told those assembled, but the BOEM official admitted the meeting was not being taped, so the discussion that was transpiring wasn’t on the record. However, those in attendance were asked to submit written comments either online or by mail. The deadline is July 25. More information is available by phone at 978-281-9180.

Four areas are under consideration to site wind farms. Fairways North off the South Fork of Long Island, and Fairways South, to its southwest, are separated by a channel approximately three-miles wide. Hudson North, off the coast of New York, and Hudson South off the coast of New Jersey are the other two.

The idea of siting the wind turbines away from fishing grounds is indicative of the lack of knowledge the BOEM planners bring to the table, according to Sosinski. “The whole ocean is moving. Fish move. Whatever is on the ocean bottom will be blown to bits” when the turbines are installed, he added.

David Airipotch concurred. The BOEM has designed corridors it insists fishermen can navigate without being disturbed by the wind turbines. But Airipotch said there are navigational issues. “Fishing isn’t like driving down one street and then up another,” he said.

He also broached for the first time at the meeting, the matter of compensation, which then became a rallying cry. Airipotch said if he earns $350,000 fishing in a certain location, he should be compensated if wind turbines are installed and the fish leave the grounds. “You close it, you pay me.” Hooker acknowledged fishermen would not be able to operate near the wind farms during the installation phase and said he was not opposed to lobbying for compensation under the right circumstances.

Tanker Collision
Steve Gaugher was one of many who spoke about the adverse environmental affects that are never mentioned by wind farm proponents. He said as more wind turbines are built, “It’s just a matter of time before some oil freighter slams into one of them” and the oil washes up on Long Island beaches.

Fish aren’t the only species in peril, noted Patrice Dalton, who urged the BOEM representatives to read the New York State Wind Master Plan. The study concludes dozens of bird species will experience “high” collision rates with wind turbines and many of them will have a “medium to high” displacement rate, meaning they will disappear from their habitat if wind turbines are built there.

“Based on the review, these things will pillage birds that spend most of their time at sea. Gulls, terns, almost everything. It’s shocking,” Dalton said.

The BOEM was established in 2010 as an agency within the Department of the Interior. It is responsible for overseeing renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf in an environmentally sound manner. Governor Andrew Cuomo asked federal officials to award two more leases in the New York area by the end of the year.

Jim Gilmore of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also attended the meeting. Julia Prince, a Montauk resident and former East Hampton Town Board member, stood in the doorway for some of the meeting. She is now a Deepwater consultant. At one point she was called a “traitor” and a “sellout” when she tried to interject a comment.

No one from the East Hampton Town Board attended the meeting. The town board and town trustees are scheduled to vote on an application from Deepwater that would allow the company to run a cable from its proposed South Shore Wind Farm onto land in Wainscott.
The Independent

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. STT here is my update on the Golden Plains WF comprehensive Planning Panel Hearing. It is interesting to witness a legal team representing affected neighbours making an enormous difference to the accuracy or importance of the experts’ statements made to the Panel. The long-known MDA representative in his duty to provide expert information to the Panel, rattled on with a lot of the usual long-standing deflective nonsense related to wind farm noise. To state there is a reasonable amount of noise for receptors, and that more often than not the wind farm will be inaudible, and to continue to use dBA, averaged out, computer modelling as noise measurement is unacceptable. MDA continues to provide incomplete data sets, does not measure inside homes, or at all properties; at night time or over the course of a whole year. I think it was said that 127 properties will fall into the category of being noise impacted, including a child care centre and newly built P-12 school in Bannockburn. Experts and the Panels of this type continue to misunderstand or misrepresent what is truly occurring inside homes and buildings near wind farms, where people like myself are becoming increasingly sensitised, without any cure, to a range of sounds. Legally, it was pointed out that ‘it is a problem for planning outcomes if there are health impacts’.
    Dr Bob Thorne, who abides by the code for acousticians, gave his expert views including from his 2014 Report and the psycho-acoustic health and noise issues he investigated at both Cape Bridgewater and Waubra wind farms. He raised the issues of wind farm related sleep disturbance and annoyance; and wind farm acoustic problems such as the interference effects of 3 or more turbines and the interactions of blades passing between towers. Turbine thumps and sound levels can be persistent and that meteorological conditions i.e. temp, humidity and wind changes impact on sound; and to gain a better understanding of the peaks and troughs of sound, twelve months study over all the seasons is required to provide all the data needed for analyses. Planning Panels cannot continue to play at dumbly ignoring the impacts on neighbours. It is well known by the independent acousticians and impacted residents that the NZ Standard does not reflect the true acoustic environment in our communities. Let me add that the rapidly increasing number of turbines across Victoria increases the cumulative impacts of wind farms over vast distances. Dr Thorne explained to the Panel many things in which he and his colleagues are experts; that turbines each have their own sound characteristic; tonality, audibility and the threshold of hearing need to be factored in. Winter night-time levels differ to those at Summer and that background noise is difficult to measure once the wind farm is up and running. Common sense really. He importantly pointed out that wind farm noise is more detrimental than traffic noise and the onus should not be on the neighbours to hire someone to test the SAC’s. These are the special audible characteristics, which can disturb and cause nuisance which once discovered should, as recommended by the Senate Inquiry into wind farms, and under the conditions of some Planning Permits, force the halt of turbine operation until the problem is fixed or prevented. The Panel showed a particular interest in Dr Thornes opinion about the attenuation inside rooms and that reflective surfaces can impact on to increase noise issues. Independent acousticians consider these impacts during their monitoring inside and outside homes. Something that MDA cannot do effectively because for a start, they don’t take their noise measurements inside people’s homes where the impacts are directly felt. Dr Thorne called for a reform, and for independent reviews and complete access to operational data, the SCADA. These Hearing Panels should act protectively on behalf of our communities being inundated by wind farms to implement and to monitor conditions for both before and after they are built. For Government to do its job of proper governance inspiring public trust, requires responsibility, integrity and principles in the bodies paid to do so. The ramifications if the Victorian Planning Department fails its duty cannot be hidden behind regulations and policies which remain inept while unreasonable health and noise issues at wind farms continue. To the people of the Long Island and New Jersey shores, good work.

  2. Steven J Bernard says:

    People have been fishing these waters for hundreds of years; now they want to risk these livelihoods for wind turbines with a useful life of up to 20 years? Do the math.

  3. Farmers do much more damage to the landscape horizontally for greater distances than a 230m high turbine tower’
    This is what we heard from the landscape expert presenting his argument to the Planning Panel Hearing in Bannockburn today. He also said ‘Of course we can hide turbines in the landscape,.. if you go 15kms away they look like a row of trees’. He was questioned about why the turbines in the montage were shown as the same height as the high voltage lines, he waffled on about perspective and to consider that the objects are at different distances and that the computer can model exactly what the turbines look like based exactly on the manufacturers design specifications. These monstrosities will dominate the landscape and there will be no hiding them. ‘6 years for the trees to grow’ was his estimate, and that’s only a visual intervention. The aviation expert believes that a pilot would be able to turn his aircraft with a 450m? turning area and that turbines pose no risk to aerial crop dusters because the wind farm would be turned off. The smiling Panel nods its head but fails any kind of public duty of care. (Yes I know… it’s far worse than that).
    Because I hadn’t put a submission in to this Panel, I could only jot down my thoughts and turn all shades of red and white at what I was hearing. For the last twenty years these Panels and experts have fine tuned the waffle so the concerned community members who make the effort to voice their concerns are only appreciated by the Government for their input and to hell with what we people really have to cope with.

    Even though I have direct experience of what a wind farm looks like, how it operates and how it has an impact on our lives I could not ask questions from the public floor and could not say that our experience differs to what the experts were saying. The whole procedure is set up to be a time waster with a lot of paper shuffling and focus of attention away from the issues of human suffering near wind farms. It had the observances of a Court room but it was not in my opinion independent or unbiased especially where the Governments focus is on building more and more wind farms for the VRET. Time to change these same people from running these things because over and over again they pay minimal lip-service to play a game which ignores valid concerns put to them. While the real and existing ongoing issues of noise and vibration complaints stay unresolved, there is a huge problem. This is happening all over Australia, time and time again and it’s not good enough. People I spoke to today have been dealing with the prospect for ten years. The staff on these Panels have no respect for what it is like to endure this unfair process which goes on and on and on. They are paid to be there but no supported framework will ever make them less accountable for these decisions being made and the wind farm approvals which impacts on all Australians.

    • Jackie Rovensky says:

      I wasn’t at this meeting, but from the sound of it there was no need for anyone to be there who had a genuine concern as the decision had already been made – it’s made before the date of a hearing has even been contemplated.
      That’s because the Government and its ‘mates’ get what THEY want – irrespective that a considerable number of people oppose what they want.
      Governments also appear in many ways to believe they can ignore those who do not share their desires – its a case of pushing aside any consideration of Equity, that is fairness, impartiality, even-handiness, justice (a word they would like to have removed from dictionary’s).
      All reports created on behalf of Project proposers as clearly written to provide a positive view of the paymasters Project. You have to wonder just how many are prepared with a completely neutral, unbiased eye. Well we know we don’t have to wonder we know.
      Far too many montages are created using photographic and computer techniques to minimise the visual effect of these turbines.
      One great comment made by a farmer who was told he could plant trees to obscure the view of turbines that he would see at every point of his property as he travelled around doing what farmers do – his response was, he would have to plant a tree on the bonnet of his vehicle to be able to obscure them.
      Ploys used include such things as to take a photograph looking down the centre of a road to a point in the far distance, with a turbine on the outer edge of the photograph, and perhaps hills on the other outer edge – thereby focussing the eye down the road and not on the turbine. Also photographers squat to take photographs at the eye level of a small child which ensures the angle looking into the distance at turbines is distorted making turbines appear to be much smaller than if the picture was taken at the eye level of an adult who can see more of the surrounding lands into the distance.
      Anyone who looks at these ‘Expert’ reports should ensure they are well educated in such tricks.
      So too environmental reports can be very confusing to read IF you take time to read them carefully, so many inconsistencies and flagrant minimising of adverse effects even to the point of suggesting that its OK to kill a bird, fauna or flora because there is so little of it evident in the area – You would think this would be a reason NOT to go ahead with making massive changes that would damage the ability of these to survive – but now it’s OK – collateral damage whether human or other is OK just because some ideological or just plain stupid person wants to get their own way.
      Communities are people who work and live together in harmony – to do that it requires all the communities needs to be considered and met where ever possible while leaving the core of the community in tact.
      Yes, some give and take is needed but when someone comes along with an idea that has the potential to completely change a communities environment and tells them YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS – because I want you to have it then there is no such thing as Community it becomes a DICTTORSHIP.

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