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A09053 Summary:

COSPNSRBlake, Ortiz, Williams, Hunter, Wallace, Crespo, Dilan, De La Rosa, Steck, Arroyo
Relates to the location of certain wind electric generation facilities around Fort Drum.
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A09053 Actions:

01/18/2018referred to energy
03/13/2018amend (t) and recommit to energy
03/13/2018print number 9053a
03/22/2018advanced to third reading cal.721
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A09053 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to restrict the location of certain wind elec- tric generation facilities around Fort Drum; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof   PURPOSE: This legislation will ensure the radar viewshed surrounding Fort Drum, the preeminent military installation in the Northeast, is protected from wind energy developments that obstruct the mission readiness of the installation.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one prohibits state funding for the construction or operation of a wind electric generation facility to be located within certain areas surrounding Fort Drum. Section two provides the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Fort Drum, home of the United States Army's 10th Mountain Division, is the preeminent military installation in the Northeast, providing unpar- alleled training opportunities and community engagement. Located in the North Country, just north of Watertown, the installation includes troop quarters, the Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield, and the 78,000 acre training area utilized by the US Army, US Air Force, and National Guard. Taking advantage of its relatively remote location, troops stationed at Fort Drum have access to a wide variety of terrains, including urban combat simulations, vehicle maneuver training, live and simulated weapons firing, aerial gunnery and bombing, and team situational training exer- cises in a four season climate. This terrain and the community support enjoyed by the installation has enabled the 10th Mountain Division to be extremely successful abroad as the most deployed division since the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Maintaining the long-term viability of Fort Drum is crucial to our national security. Fort Drum, located in the mostly rural north country, is the largest single-site employer in New York State, and hosts tens of thousands of other military personnel throughout the year for some of the best train- ing opportunities in the country. According to the recent Fort Drum Joint Land Use Study Draft from the Development Authority of the North Country: "Fort Drum contributes positively to the surrounding region's economy both directly through employment, and indirectly through employee purchases at local businesses. In 2016, Fort Drum supported over 72,000 people, including military personnel and their families, retirees, and civilians, and generated a direct economic impact of nearly $1.2 billion, with an additional $387 million of indirect impact to the North Country. In lieu of direct jobs and traditional economic output data, the intensity of usage at the installation helps to characterize the economic potential of Fort Drum on the local economies. In 2016, 23,500 National Guard and Reserve personnel, as well as federal, state, and local agencies were reported to have used Fort Drum for training." As part of the installation's mission readiness, radar is relied upon to predict weather patterns and provide real time conditions, direct flights, and simulate air-to-air combat scenarios which reflect increas- ingly possible missions in a multi-polar global environment. Maintain- ing the integrity of the installation's radar assets is of critical importance and this legislation would help ensure large scale wind ener- gy developments do not unnecessarily curtail this training operations capability. With two currently operational wind energy developments inside the installation's radar viewshed, including from a radar tower at the Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield and the doppler radar tower in Montague, and eight permitted or proposed developments in progress, it is clear that current siting regulations and processes at the state and federal level are not providing a sufficient buffer around the installa- tion and radar facilities. The impact of several proposed wind projects will significantly degrade the data from the doppler radar facility. The unique weather patterns generated from Lake Ontario, in addition to larger weather patterns, impacts the safe use of aircraft, which trains at Ft. Drum because of its live fire capabilities and large maneuver space. With incomplete weather information that can hamper training activity, and the invest- ments of time and resources required to coordinate multi unit exercises, Ft. Drum could devolve from the only dependable facility of its type this side of the Mississippi River to a logistical gamble. This is not something we need in an era of intensifying global military threats. Full realization of the proposed wind projects would cripple one of the installations most important strategic capabilities. To quote from the DANC study again, "Growth in the wind energy develop- ment industry in the region could cause vertical obstructions in low level military training routes. Several currently proposed industrial wind energy developments are in low level flight training routes." Indeed, according to briefings from Fort Drum, the massive wind turbines proposed for many of the wind energy developments in the North Country effectively create radar "black holes" that cannot be accessed with current technology. As referenced in an article in the Watertown Daily Times, "The turbines at the Maple Ridge wind farm could be seen in blue dots on radar screens, flickering as the turbine blades turned. Each of the moving turbines displayed similarly to a moving airplane, creating some stress as the radar system tracks all aircraft within its viewing range of 160 miles. If overloaded, the system may drop legitimate aircraft to follow the turbine movements. "The system is still processing them as targets, and getting close to saturation," said Derek R. Kallen, air traffic control manager. "It gets cluttered pretty quick." Mr. Kallen said their software can block activity in the area of the turbines, but it also has the negative effect of creating "a black hole" for air traffic near the turbines. "It's not a big issue now, but when you have three to four more projects down there, it becomes a much bigger problem," Mr. Kallen said, pointing to the screen. "This all disappears." (Watertown Daily Times, July 29, 2017, Fort Drum officials talk wind turbine challenges, plans to work with developers) Finally, as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in October, "There's two sepa- rate topics: Wind power, renewables, I support. Wind power that would affect Fort Drum is a totally different issue. Fort Drum is a very important economic engine, and we wouldn't want to do anything to dilute that." (Watertown Daily Times, October 5, 2017, Cuomo on Fort Drum, wind turbine issue: 'I see the potential danger'). For these reasons this legislation would prohibit state investment in wind energy developments within a specified radius of the installation's radar assets, and around its airspace and training area in order to ensure future mission readiness. With a sunset 15 years out, the legis- lation would enable the military to count on the installation's viabil- ity to provide well trained soldiers that can be rapidly deployed as national security needs dictate and provides time for technological leaps and investments that could allow for co-location in the future.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and be considered repealed 15 years after it becomes law.
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A09053 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 18, 2018
        Introduced  by M. of A. JENNE, BLAKE, ORTIZ, WILLIAMS, HUNTER, PELLEGRI-
          NO, WALLACE, ENGLEBRIGHT, SIMOTAS, CRESPO -- read once and referred to
          the Committee on Energy -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to restrict the location  of  certain  wind  electric  generation
          facilities  around  Fort  Drum;  and  providing for the repeal of such
          provisions upon expiration thereof
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds that Fort
     2  Drum is a premiere training  installation,  unlike  any  other  military
     3  installation  in  New York State or anywhere east of the Mississippi. It
     4  is the only instrumented joint air to ground range north of  Florida  in
     5  the  eastern  United States able to execute live bomb training, and only
     6  one of two Army installations capable of cold weather,  winter  training
     7  in  the country. The singular weather and unique terrain makes Fort Drum
     8  a peerless training installation.
     9    Furthermore, the legislature finds that  the  moving  blades  of  wind
    10  turbines  already  operating within the immediate proximity of Fort Drum
    11  have created interference with air traffic control and  Doppler  weather
    12  radars. Currently, existing turbines have created a 41 square mile blind
    13  spot  in the 60 mile view shed of Forth Drum's air traffic control radar
    14  and corrupted the data of a significant portion of the  Doppler  weather
    15  radar  view  shed. Therefore, the impact of any additional wind projects
    16  in close proximity to Fort Drum would  significantly  degrade  the  data
    17  from  such  radars.  Due to the unique nature of the terrain around Fort
    18  Drum and the extensive interference with  the  radars'  view  sheds  and
    19  because  the  impacts  on  radar  are  increased with height, number and
    20  density of turbines, a specific state-imposed remedy for these  problems
    21  is  needed.  Accordingly,  this act would eliminate any state incentives
    22  for the development of wind turbines within the area that  could  inter-
    23  fere with Fort Drum's radar systems while maintaining the incentives for
    24  the  development of wind generated energy outside of the Fort Drum radar
    25  area.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9053--A                          2
     1    § 2. Definitions. 1. For the purposes of  this  act,  the  "Fort  Drum
     2  radar zone" shall be the area within:
     3    (a) ten miles of the Wheeler-Sack Army airfield;
     4    (b)  fifteen  miles  of the Montague Doppler Weather Radar KTYX in the
     5  town of Lowville in Lewis county, excluding  area  within  such  fifteen
     6  mile  radius  east  of a line traveling due north and due south from the
     7  intersection of county road twenty-seven and county road twenty-eight in
     8  the town of Lowville in Lewis county;
     9    (c) five miles of the  boundary  of  the  Wheeler-Sack  Army  airfield
    10  restricted  airspace  located  within  St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis
    11  counties;
    12    (d) five miles of the boundary of the Wheeler-Sack Army airfield class
    13  D controlled airspace except where such area is within Lewis county;
    14    (e) the Wheeler-Sack Army airfield class D controlled airspace; or
    15    (f) the enclosed area beginning at the point where United States route
    16  eleven intersects New York route twenty-six; thence north  along  United
    17  States  route eleven to New York route fifty-six; thence south along New
    18  York route fifty-six to the border of the Adirondack state park;  thence
    19  west  along  the border of the Adirondack state park to a point directly
    20  due east of the intersection of United States route eleven and New  York
    21  route  twenty-six;  thence  due west until the point where United States
    22  route eleven intersects New York route twenty-six.
    23    2. For the purposes of this act, "state agency" shall mean any  board,
    24  authority,   agency,  department,  commission,  public  corporation,  or
    25  instrumentality of the state.
    26    § 3. Funding to wind electric generation facilities. No  state  agency
    27  shall  provide or distribute funding to wind electric generation facili-
    28  ties that come into operation after July 1, 2018 and are located  within
    29  the Fort Drum radar zone.
    30    §  4. Incentives and payments for wind electric generation facilities.
    31  Wind electric generation facilities that come into operation after  July
    32  1,  2018  and that are located within the Fort Drum radar zone shall not
    33  be deemed eligible  facilities  for  the  redemption  of  incentives  or
    34  payments from a state agency program.
    35    §  5.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
    36  this act shall be deemed repealed fifteen  years  after  it  shall  have
    37  become a law.
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