Long Beach residents hold rally against proposed wind farm they say will harm community
Long Beach residents say they are rallying together against a proposed wind farm they believe will harm their community.
Neighbors say if the project goes forward as planned, some neighborhoods in the city would have high voltage cables running just 3 feet underneath their streets.
Christina Kramer organized a community meeting Monday about the planned Empire Wind project. She says the company behind the project, Equinor, did not explain the project well enough to the public.
"They have no proof that it's safe, but they're willing to put it in our streets and find out maybe 20 years from now that it's not safe," Kramer says.
The proposal is for an offshore wind farm located 15 to 30 miles off the southern coast of Long Beach and Jones Beach. It would have more than 140 wind turbines and transmission lines that would come ashore at Riverside Boulevard in Long Beach and connect underground to Long Island's power grid in Oceanside.
Five Long Beach council members also sent a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul saying they are against the project, citing the location of the wind turbines and what they call Equinor's dismal job in engaging with residents.
Kramer says the city council also did a poor job of educating the community about the project.
Caren Riskin organized a petition to send to the state, asking for the project to be stopped.
"It's not easy to fight, we're going to, but we're doing it and, you know, we're not giving up because we care," Riskin says.
Lauren Shane, director of communications for Equinor, released a statement to News 12, saying,
"Our ongoing dialogue with Long Beach City Council, and the community at large, consists of well over 100 meetings, discussions, briefings, and listening sessions that are ongoing as part of our commitment to presenting the facts in a transparent and factual manner. While we are disappointed to see the City's latest letter after unanimously requesting the home rule authority to negotiate this process for themselves, we look forward to continuing ahead in the New York State Article VII process."
"Many of the concerns cited in the latest City Council letter have been addressed directly with Long Beach elected officials and citizens alike, and we are committed to further expanding this dialogue to correct misinformation about the project, some of which, sadly, appears to be deliberate. Our project creates a vital source of renewable energy for Long Islanders and will provide direct and significant economic and community benefits to area residents."
News 12 reached out to the spokesperson for the Long Beach City Council but has not heard back.
News 12 also reached out to the governor's office regarding the letter but has not heard back.