County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:

July 9, 2010


Freeholders oppose utility’s wind power plan

Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority
wants to build 380-foot-tall turbine

FREEHOLD, NJ – After hearing concerns from several Bayshore residents, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a resolution opposing the construction of a 380-foot-tall wind turbine at the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) in Union Beach.


The resolution, adopted at the Board’s July 8 meeting, urges the BRSA and the wind power industry to cease all efforts relating to the construction of this wind turbine and address the concerns raised by Bayshore residents and the governing body of Union Beach.


The BRSA has already received conditional approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection to build the turbine, despite evidence from local residents that suggests living too close to such a large windmill will have negatively effect their quality of life, especially in terms of a constant swooshing noise and flicker from the blades passing in front of the sun.


“I think what bothers us all – members of the board as well as residents – is that information about the turbine never got out to the public so we could properly express our feelings,” Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry said. “As a real estate broker, I can tell you that if these wind turbines are installed, they will most certainly affect property values in the area.”


Resident concern over the BRSA wind turbine project dominated the public portion of the Board’s June 24 meeting, which was held in Keyport.


The vote opposing the BRSA project was unanimous, although Board members stated they are not opposed to harnessing the wind for energy. In fact, the Board has supported a number of so-called “green energy” projects and is currently outfitting several county buildings with solar panels.


“This should not be taken as an opposition to wind power, but rather to the approval and process that was followed – and to the location,” Freeholder John D’Amico said.


“Monmouth County is positioning itself as a leader in utilizing sustainable energy, but we need to be conscientious,” Freeholder Amy A. Mallet said. “Clean Energy should enhance the quality of life for residents. Based on input we have received, this project does not meet that standard.”


Burry and Freeholder John Curley told residents at the July 8 meeting that they had contacted Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s office on their behalf, and that the representative they spoke with was very interested to know about the opposition to the turbine plan.


Freeholder Robert D. Clifton said he, too, contacted state legislators who represent the Bayshore area to bring residents’ opposition to their attention as well.


“I hope we brought some attention to a not terribly welcome project,” Burry said.


Hazlet’s John Curran, who heads a local committee called Hazlet Area Quality of Life Alliance, thanked the Board for its resolution opposing the wind turbine.


“It’s got a green label so everyone wants to jump right into it with both eyes closed,” said Curran, who was also at the June 24 meeting. “Now that you have turned a light on the negative effects of industrial turbines in residential areas, maybe the governor’s office will do something about it.”            


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