To those Chicago-based wind developers who have recently begun searching the Galloo record for a possible project acquisition, please read the following and also know that any Galloo wind project would be an eagle killing field, of biblical proportions!
No way would regulatory authorities allow it, so give up.
No way would regulatory authorities allow it, so give up.
RE: GALLOO ISLAND WIND, LLC. Case No. 15-F-0327
Date:, February 11, 2019
Document title: DISCOVERY AND THE GALLOO RECORD
Clifford P. Schneider, Individual Party 47243 Wood Cliff Drive Wellesley Island, NY 13640
February 11, 2019
Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess Secretary to the Commission Three Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12223-1350
Co-Presiding Examiner Ashley Moreno NY Department of Public Service Three Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12223-1350
Co-Presiding Examiner James A. Costello NY Department of Public Service Three Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12223-1350
Associate Examiner Michael Caruso New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Three Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12223-1350
RE: GALLOO ISLAND WIND, LLC. 15-F-0327: DISCOVERY AND THE GALLOO RECORD
Dear Secretary Burgess and Your Honors:
On February 8, 2019 Galloo Island Wind Facility, LLC. withdrew their application in a clear, unambiguous statement:
“Pursuant to this letter, on behalf of Galloo Wind, we are writing to notify the Examiners, the Siting Board, and the Secretary that Galloo Wind formally withdraws its Article 10 Application and is no longer seeking a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment pursuant to Article 10 of the Public Service Law for the Galloo Island Wind Project.”
Gallo’s decision to withdraw was undoubtedly affected by the pending motions to dismiss. However, in Apex Clean Energy’s response to media inquiries they spun the story to be less about avoiding dismissal and more about making business adjustments:
"During a recent review, we recognized a need to adjust the project schedule, and we have now done so with the intent of completing development and realizing a commercial opportunity in the future."1
1 WWNY News, “Friday: Galloo Island Wind Project 'Withdrawn”, February 8, 2019, unidentified Apex Clean Energy spokeswoman.
“We are open to reinitiating the permitting process for Galloo Island Wind with the expectation of delivering the project when the time is right.”2
2 Watertown Daily Times, “Apex withdraws Article 10 application for Galloo Island Wind”, February 9, 2019, Dahvi Wilson, Apex Clean Energy.
I am concerned with Apex opening the door to another application for Galloo. I am more concerned they might sell the project to another wind developer without full disclosure and without a complete record.
I submitted an Interrogatory Request on January 15, 2019 (CS-CM IR Request No. 17) questioning the Applicant’s Habitat Conservation Plan in conjunction with their take permit request with the USFWS. For me, Apex’s estimated fatalities of eagles was astounding. As a result, I asked that the fatality estimates be put into a regional and national context, how did they compare? The Applicant did not respond in the allotted time and asked for two delays, but never responded. Nevertheless, that information should be available for any prospective buyer for their consideration. It should also be available to the public and for that reason I am requesting that as part of the housecleaning associated with terminating the Galloo application that the Applicant provide a response to CS-CM 17.
I am also requesting that all the discovery associated with the Galloo proceeding, including protected information, become part of the official record. As you recall, Apex objected to numerous requests for access to their Galloo Island Bald Eagle Point Count Survey data. They maintained it was not relevant or required under the Article 10 proceeding. Once the eagle fatality estimates were known it was obvious why Apex fought and objected for the information’s disclosure. I asked our avian expert Dr. Shawn Smallwood how the take estimates for Galloo eagles compared to other federal take permits. He responded he knows of no other issued permit where the take was as high.
I am most concerned that this information, obtained through discovery and covered under a protective agreement, may be unavailable to a prospective buyer of the Galloo project. Future developers must know before they commit their valuable time, money and effort to assess the Galloo project for development, that Galloo is an extremely sensitive environmental site. Apex made a substantive contribution to the record with their Point Count Survey and subsequent analyses. They confirmed that Galloo is attractive to eagles, more so than any other current or proposed site in New York. They were the first to document successful nesting by bald eagles, and in large part, they terminated their application in response to that knowledge and events.
I expect that information obtained through discovery will not be part of the public record until it is presented formally though the hearing process. However, would confidential discovery be available for
inspection by prospective buyers of the Galloo project? It would be in the public’s interest for any future developer to fully understand the impacts that were identified during discovery that would have a substantive bearing on their purchase, any subsequent Article 10 proceeding and the responsible management of the public’s natural resources.
This unusual request comes as a result of Apex’s past behavior and from their threat to local communities that they’ll be back to complete the Galloo project. I would rest easier knowing the complete record, including discovery, developed in Case No. 15-F-0327 was available to any future wind development interest.
One final note, thank you for your fair and professional conduct of these proceedings and thank you for your patience with my questions, comments and filings.
Clifford P. Schneider – Individual Party