Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Play

Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.

Play

A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Lake Erie Wind Project: Do Benefits Outweigh Risks?

Play

Monday, February 11, 2019   

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The first freshwater wind-energy installation in North America could be coming to Ohio. While agreeing that a move to cleaner sources of energy is important, opponents say there's not enough evidence that the benefits of the project outweigh the risks.

Final approval could come soon for Icebreaker, a six-turbine wind installation in Lake Erie, eight miles off Cleveland's shoreline. Lake Erie Foundation board member John Lipaj noted it's actually a pilot project for a massive, 1,500 wind turbine installation throughout the lake. The developer has said each turbine holds about 400 gallons of industrial lubricants, and Lipaj said that’s just not worth the risk.

"Lake Erie, which is the source of drinking water for 11 million people, isn't the place to be building an industrial wind facility,” Lipaj said. “Build the wind turbines onshore; build them where farmers need that extra income. It just makes so much more sense and it's better for the lake."

Supporters say the project will create jobs and renewable energy, and note that no significant environmental impacts were found in the Environmental Assessment. Lipaj countered that many studies on which those conclusions are based, were provided by the developer’s own consultants. He believes that a more in-depth study, known as an Environmental Impact Statement should be required.

The Ohio Power Siting Board could decide on the project at a hearing February 21.

Among sticking points in the months-long negotiations between the board and the developers were measures to protect and monitor migrating birds and bats. Research director with the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Mark Shieldcastle, explained that more than 1 million birds use the area for migration and foraging habitat every year.

"The central basin of Lake Erie has been designated as a globally important bird area because of the concentrations of some certain species,” Shieldcastle said. “So it's extremely important to birds and it's not a place where you start putting up obstructions without good knowledge as to what that risk is."

There are also concerns that the 480-foot-high turbines could ruin the aesthetics of lake communities, and potentially impact tourism dollars. Elected officials and labor unions support the project based on the developer’s claim that 500 local jobs will be created. However, Lipaj notes the developer’s own studies show that Icebreaker would only lead to nine permanent jobs. He said there's a misconception about who will truly benefit.

"This is really about a Norwegian company reaping U.S. taxpayer subsidies,” he said. “It's not just $55 million in Department of Energy subsidies, but there are also production tax credits and investment tax credits."

Supporters say Icebreaker is bringing positive attention to the region, and could make Northern Ohio a leader in the booming offshore wind-energy sector. But Lipaj points out that cities along the Atlantic Seaboard where offshore wind makes sense, already have the edge in becoming the manufacturing hubs.



get more stories like this via email

Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environment

Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …


According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

A report published in late February says children of mothers who are abused or neglected were more likely to demonstrate symptoms and behaviors linked to depression, along with other health issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…

Environment

One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021