Weekly Feature

2017-08-09 / Letters to the Editor

Climate change of larger impact

This is in response to an article from Edward Rath regarding an Erie County resolution on wind turbines near the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

If you had done your homework, you would have found that federal legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Collins and state legislation sponsored by state Sen. Rob Ortt to ban wind turbines near Air Force bases went nowhere, primarily because this is a non-issue with the military. Representatives in Washington and Albany follow the military’s judgment when the stated purpose of legislation is national security.

If this was an issue with the NFARS, why was it not addressed when the Steel Winds project went up in Lackawanna? Possibly because wind turbines are sited not only to maximize the potential power of the wind, but because the siting needs to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Defense Department. Reviews by the FAA and the Defense Department look at both the physical as well as the radar navigation hazards posed by any high rise structure.

The reason that the Defense Department review you request has not been completed to date is because Lighthouse Winds has not finalized its proposed siting of each turbine.

In addition, you listed factual errors about the mission of the NFARS. The base no longer houses the 914th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve C-130 mission.

The base is currently housing the 914th Air Refueling Wing with the KC-135 Stratotanker. Since the NFARS has a new mission, we can assume that there are no plans for closure of the base, and we should move on to an issue that is higher on the Defense Department’s list of national security risks: that of climate change.

This is a national security issue that the Lighthouse Winds project will impact.

John S. Szalasny
Teakwood Terrace

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