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conservation

October 19, 2012 - 3:04pm

There are no known plans to open a hydrofracked gas well within the town limits of Stafford, but Jim Southall thought it a good idea to purchase an "insurance policy" so to speak.

At his suggest, the town board has passed a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking within Stafford.

A committee has been appointed to study the issue, according to Supervisor Robert Clement and that report will help the town determine what, if anything, it might do next related to hydrofracking.

The moritorium is part of a statewide trend over the summer of local officials throughout New York rising up against hydrofracking, even though the state already has a four-year moratorium against new wells in place now.

Fracking involves injecting water, saline and other chemicals into shale to break loose natural gas deposits that can then be extracted from the ground.

It's controversial because opponents believe the chemicals used can be carcinogenic and toxic.

Southall said he's read of cows in West Virginia being born with deformities and a whole town in Wyoming had to be closed because of hydrofracking pollutants ruining the groundwater.

As a representative of the Genesee County Fish and Game Association, owners and operators of Godfrey's Pond in Stafford, Southall thought it important to get out in front of the issue, before hydrofracking came to the area.

"With the kind of chemicals they're using, once the water is polluted, it's gone, and being a conservation club, we want to be sure that doesn't happen," Southall said.

At a public hearing on the topic a month or so ago, Clement said, there were no speakers in favor or against the moratorium.

He's not aware of any fracked wells in Stafford or any requests to open up such a well.

"For most people, I think it's a non-issue," Clement said. "I think the state will step in before anybody else does. But it's a conservation issue and I think most of them (Genesee County Fish and Game) are against it."

April 8, 2010 - 11:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in energy, Le Roy, Pavilion, conservation, Wind Tamer.

Wind Tamers -- the bright white and blue, jet-engine looking wind energy devices -- are catching on in Genesee County.

wilsonfarm02.jpgThere's already one installed in Le Roy (the picture on this post is of the one we mentioned in March), and Thursday evening, the Genesee County Planning Board recommended approval of two more and a company representative said a fourth unit was recently sold in Pavilion.

In all, Wind Tamer, Inc., has sold 40 of the turbine wind machines in New York, Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania since the company started selling them last year, according to Glenn Steed, installation coordinator.

"We’re trying to bring wind energy to people, to areas that might not be able to support large towers or open rotor designs or anything with noise and really bring a kinder energy to wind," said Steed following Thursday's meeting.

Approved were applications from Wayne and Jane Smith at 10744 South Street Road, Pavilion, and Joseph Falcone at 10213 Perry Road, Le Roy.

The Wind Tamer was designed by Jerry Brock and it achieves greater efficiency and produces more energy than traditional windmills because of its jet-engine like design.

The design is also quieter and can be mounted at lower heights for less visibility.

These advantages, Steed said, are proving very attractive for small businesses, agricultural uses and rural residents.

"Thre’s no noise at all," Steed said. "We just had a noise study done and the results are on our Web site. They’re just really quite. There’s really no increase in the ambient noise from the surrounding area."

Prices start in the $15,000 range, but Steed said the return on investment, because of the greater energy production, is much faster than traditional windmills.

Wind Tamer is based in Geneseo and Steed said most of the materials and all of the labor so far comes from New York.

“It’s a lot of good dollars in New York State," Steed Said. "It’s a good, growing business in New York.”

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