Why wind turbines in Burke NY endanger national security

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

September 23, 2019

First, we all need to stop thinking of Burke NY as just a sleepy North Country town.  Same goes for Malone, Chateaugay, Ellenburg, etc.

How so?  Burke is a border town — America’s border with Canada.  As President Trump keeps hammering away, borders are porous — including porous to opioids, methamphetamines, cocaine, and now fentanyl.

Burke, like Malone and Chateaugay, Churubusco, Ellenburg, etc., plays an innocent yet significant part in the booming, horrific commerce shown in the map to the right:  the global drug trade.  

How so, you ask?  Start with the fact that the United States is being mauled in a drug war worse than the heroin catastrophe. 

One can “medicalize” the narcotics issue till Jesus comes back.  This does not change the cold, hard fact that the global suppliers and their chain of distributors are conducting a new kind of war, just as deadly as a war with bullets and bombs.  This drug war kills not only individuals, it kills families and society and community and neighborhoods.  

My family is a prime example.  So is Jerry Jones’s, owner of IBC.  My daughter, a nurse, was (perhaps still is) a heroin addict.  I have waited for “the phone call” for years.  Enough said.

My neighborhood is another case in point.  It was well on the way to being destroyed by [expletive deleted] two-bit dealers and users.  My wife and I confronted them — literally — backed up by the Malone Police Dept., Town Justices, and District Attorney. 

The scary new element in the global drug equation is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid far deadlier than heroin.  (“Synthetic” means it’s produced in laboratories, chiefly in China.)  The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) says fentanyl is getting into the USA via Canada.  Yep, this includes the border right here in the North Country.

Notice that the above map doesn’t show fentanyl (pronounced “fen-tan-ill”).  That’s because fentanyl abuse has skyrocketed since the map was drawn.  Even this CDC chart (US Centers for Disease Control), to the right, is outdated. 

(follow the hand gestures down the page)

One of the principal hotspots of narcotics traffic along the entire, 5500-mile Canada-US border is the Mohawk rez. The following is a screenshot from the DEA’s “National Drug Threat Assessment” (2018), p. 138. 

Besides the fentanyl, ecstasy, marijuana, and cocaine pouring through our local border — some of it going north, originating in Mexico and points south — there’s the problem of illegal immigration heightened by Trump’s relentless efforts to secure the southern border. 

NBC News did a report on this in March of this year.  (For more detail, click here for a fuller version of this article.)

The two-way, out-of-control drug smuggling coupled with Trump’s squeezing off illegal migrants from Mexico, means more radar-dependent interdiction by the Department of Homeland Security.  Yes, right here in Franklin and Clinton counties.

Read the Dept. of Homeland Security’s “Northern Border Strategy” (June 2018) together with  its “Border Surveillance Systems” document (August 2018) and, thirdly, its “Air & Marine Operations Vision 2025.”  All 3 documents are discussed in detail in an article FARM (Friends Against Rural Mismanagement) presented to Burke Supervisor Wm. Wood and RES America this past spring.  Click here for that article.  

In addition to these surveillance aircraft, there are various ground-radar technologies utilized by DHS. (CBP = Customs and Border Patrol.  AMO = Air and Marine Operations.)

The problem is that wind turbines Big time!

These figures give you some idea of the host of problems (“scattering,” “shadow,” “false targets,” and “clutter”) windfarms create for air traffic control (ATC) and weather radars.  Click here for I. Angulo et al., “Impact Analysis of Wind Farms on Telecommunication Services,” Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 32 (2014), pp. 84-99. 

NYS Congressman Chris Collins likewise has noted that wind turbines in Lake Erie will

The point being that turbines screw up Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) radar regardless of whether the turbines are on land or in the water.  In Burke’s case, the land-based turbines would mess up land-based radar.

Even without the border issue, the to 700+ foot wind turbines within 8 miles of the Malone-Dufort Airport

I am referring to ACRP (Airport Cooperative Research Program) Report 108, commissioned by the FAA to advise it on airport safety regulations. Turn to p. 65 for the following table (4.6), “Siting Guidance”:  600′ wind turbines (to the tip of the vertical blade) should not be built within 7 nautical miles (NM) of an airport. Seven (7) nautical miles = 8.05 statutory miles. (Click here for the entire report.)

On July 31, 2019, the FAA sent this letter to Invenergy regarding a wind turbine in the so-called Alle-Catt project near Buffalo NY.  The turbine in this instance is 595 feet high.  FAA regulators invoked Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 77 to determine that the turbine would interfere with Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) for Buffalo Niagara Intl. Airport, and with Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (CARSR) for the Dansville Municipal Airport.  

This is a no-brainer!

“Burke & RES, do the arithmetic for Pete's sake!”

Note FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) 77 in Table 4.6, above:  If a 600-foot turbine should be no closer to Malone-Dufort Airport than 7 nautical miles (8.05 statutory miles), how close can a 725-foot turbine be?

“Supervisor Wood, do the arithmetic, but we believe it would look something like this”:

The Burke town board doesn't seem to grasp any of the above:  at the bidding of RES America, Burke rewrote its wind law to allow 725' turbines. However,

Also at the request of RES America, Chateaugay is contemplating amending its wind law to allow 750' turbines. Here, too,

Although Burke Supervisor Wood, his board, and the ubiquitous Attorney Brian Stewart (there’s a piece of work!) don’t “get it,” I’m happy to report that many residents of Burke do in fact get it.  

So are people in Chateaugay starting to get it.  Happily, Supervisor Don Bilow also gets it.  Witness Don in the above Telegram article refusing to be buffaloed by Councilman Kirby Selkirk, Attorney Brian Stewart, and Mark Lyons (RES America) — the 3 of them endeavoring to rewrite the wind law to allow 750-footers. “I don’t want the wind developers setting our agenda,” Bilow shot back.  “I want us to set our own agenda!”  (Well done!)  

Incidentally, Brian Stewart’s offer “to help the town find an engineer so that a wind study can be done to see how changes to the law might impact residents” is disingenuous.  Scientists have known for years that the larger the wind turbines, the more infrasound and low frequency noise they produce.

This was definitively established by Møller & Pedersen in 2011 in this article, above, in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  

The real experts on these 700-footers are the people who live next door to them, as many people now do in Arkwright NY.  (To clarify, the Arkwright turbines are 700+ feet to the vertical tip of the blade, and 500 feet at the hub/nacelle.)  Watch this video by Rev. Lynn Bedford, made earlier this month.  Read this article and watch these videos (click here) by other residents of Arkwright detailing the hell they have been forced to live in since the turbines were turned on a year ago.

Back to Burke.  The only way to get this board and supervisor to change their mind is to remove them from public office.  Thankfully, Burke residents have this opportunity on November 5th in the General Election.  Albert Johnson is running for supervisor, and Mary Moore and June Parmeter are running for town board.  All 3 are opposed to the amended wind law.

It’s time to send Mark Lyons and the rest of the RES and EDP gang and their municipal cronies down the road.

1 thought on “Why 725-foot wind turbines in Burke NY endanger national security”

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    It truly is a time for change in our community. We need new representatives that will make decisions for the good of all residents and not for personal gain.

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