In February 2008, Moresville Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Invenergy Wind LLC, released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a proposed wind turbine electric generating project in the Town of Roxbury in the Catskills. While Riverkeeper is conceptually supportive of responsible alternative energy projects, this is a major industrial project, and we will review it just as we would any other development proposal within the NYC Watershed.
The project proposes 24 acres of disturbance on 8,016 acres of ridgeline project area that encompasses boundaries of the Schoharie, Cannonsville, and Pepacton Watersheds. It would include 33 wind turbines, service roads, a 3-acre substation and switchyard, easements and setbacks. The proposed project area contains 12 wetlands and numerous headwater streams, and over a quarter of the area is characterized by soils with low infiltration rates on slopes greater than 25 percent.
Although the DEIS includes a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP), numerous required elements of the plan are absent, including pre- and post-development runoff characteristics, details and specifications that depict all proposed structures and site modifications, and design specifications of proposed structural stormwater management facilities. These deficiencies render an informed review of potential adverse water quality impacts impossible.
In May, Riverkeeper presented testimony at public hearings held by the Planning Board of the Town of Roxbury, the Lead Agency reviewing this action, and submitted written comments on the DEIS (posted under “Related Info.” at right). Because the proposed project area lies only 2.7 miles from the Schoharie Reservoir, which delivers sediment to Esopus Creek through the Shandaken Tunnel, we will insist that the Planning Board compel the project sponsor to prepare a proper SWPPP for public review prior to the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).