Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Play

Public health experts are concerned many kids have missed important checkups and vaccinations, and a third DC Police officer who responded to the January 6 insurrection takes his own life.

Play

The White House calls for states to rescue renters, Senators dissect a massive infrastructure plan, and both the White House and Congress are losing approval in the eyes of voters.

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

The commission charged with drawing Ohio's 99 House and 33 Senate districts meets this week. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- New congressional and legislative maps will soon start to take shape in Ohio. The Ohio Redistricting Commission convenes for the …


Social Issues

DENVER -- Today marks the day Black women in the U.S. will finally earn as much as a white, non-Hispanic man was paid in 2020. Ashley Panelli…

Environment

CHICAGO -- As Illinois residents get ready for more high temperatures this August, utility watchdogs are urging people to practice energy efficiency …


Chronic wasting disease can be transmitted between deer, along with food and soil contaminated by bodily fluids. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

WARREN, Pa. -- A temporary animal-feeding ban is being proposed for the Allegheny National Forest after a captive deer tested positive for chronic …

Social Issues

LOS ANGELES -- Hunger-fighting advocacy groups are speaking out in California, drawing attention to the continuing problem of food insecurity…

A new report from Georgetown University and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a coordinated and far-reaching public health campaign about childhood vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Parents are gearing up for their children to return to the classroom for the first time in over a year, and public health …

Environment

LITCHFIELD, N.H. -- A 63-acre parcel of land along the Merrimack River is becoming part of the New Hampshire Agrarian Commons. The property, known as …

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …

 

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