The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA), Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) and the NY League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV), representing a broad and diverse group of environmental, labor and community advocacy organizations, today applauded the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) for releasing the draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind project.
Located in federal waters off the Massachusetts coastline, if approved the project would be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States, providing 800 megawatts (MW) of clean and reliable electricity into the Massachusetts grid and setting a strong example for the kind of clean energy project that can help transform our economy and fuel renewable energy development to combat climate change. With the start of the public input period kicking off this Friday, the NYOWA, CCE and NYLCV plan to submit comments to BOEM and participate in virtual public meetings voicing their strong support for this project and encouraging BOEM to approve it a manner that not hinder or unreasonably restrict the responsible development of offshore wind.
“We are at a pivotal point in the development of a new American clean energy industry,” said the New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Joe Martens, “Advancing the Vineyard Wind project is critical to providing the pathway for the responsible development of offshore wind up and down the east coast. We urge BOEM and its sister federal agencies to complete their review of this project so we can reap the economic, environmental and public health benefits of offshore wind.”
“As the first large scale offshore wind farm in the US, this project is critically important to demonstrate the immense environmental, economic, and community benefits of wind power, not only for Massachusetts but for the entire east coast. The more wind power is advanced the less fossil fuels are needed. We are very hopeful that in the near future we can say that fossil fuels are gone with the wind. As New York, Connecticut, and other states work to meet our ambitious renewable energy standards and offshore wind goals, we urge a quick approval for the Vineyard Wind Project and look forward to seeing these turbines lead the way for US offshore wind,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
“Clean energy for all means our approach to renewable energy must be regional,” said New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe. “Offshore wind is an integral component needed to meet New York’s goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030. The Vineyard Offshore Wind project will set the stage for other developments across the Eastern Seaboard. We need the environmental, public health, and economic benefits that this and other offshore wind projects will bring to our region. We applaud the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management for taking this step and urge the quick completion of its review and approval of the project.”
The Vineyard Wind project would generate enough carbon-free electricity to power some 400,000 homes, generate $2.8 billion in direct private investment and provide 3,600 family-sustaining jobs, all while saving ratepayers of $1.4 billion over the life of the project. Having released the draft SEIS on June 11, the BOEM now plans to hold five virtual public hearings, beginning Friday, June 26th. Following the close of the public comment period on July 27, BOEM will review the comments, finalize the Environmental Impact Statement in November and issue a Record of Decision in December.
About the New York Offshore Wind Alliance: The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) is a diverse coalition of organizations with a shared interest in promoting the responsible development of offshore wind power for New York. NYOWA is a project of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY). http://www.aceny.org/NYOWA
About the Citizens Campaign for the Environment: Citizens Campaign for the Environment is a grassroots environmental organization that works to protect our natural resources and public health. Through extensive education, research, lobbying and public outreach CCE increases citizens influence and participation in important environmental protection campaigns. Through such activism, the public has a stronger voice in the development of public policies and legislative agendas.
About the New York League of Conservation Voters: The New York League of Conservation Voters is the only non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fighting for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space. For more information, visit http://www.nylcv.org.
How have travel restrictions affected carbon emissions and air quality?
China’s efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak seem to have curbed energy consumption — and air pollution. Satellite data collected by NASA and the European Space Agency show a sharp reduction in atmospheric levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is produced during fossil fuel combustion, across the country.
Each year, industrial activity typically drops off as businesses and factories close for celebrations of the lunar New Year, which this year began on 25 January. This usually causes a brief dip in levels of NO2. “Normally, the pollution levels pick back up after 7–10 days, but that has not happened this year,” says Fei Liu, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. A preliminary analysis suggests that NO2 pollution after the lunar New Year was around 10–30% lower this year than during the same period in previous years. A similar trend of declining NO2 pollution has also been documented in northern Italy — where cities remain on lockdown — using data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite.
Ongoing efforts to contain the coronavirus have suppressed China’s industrial activity by 15–40%, according to an analysis by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air in Helsinki. Coal consumption hit a four-year low in February, and oil refining fell by more than one-third. Overall, the centre’s analysis suggests that China’s carbon emissions have dropped by more than 25% as a result of the ongoing efforts to contain the coronavirus.
By Kirk Moore on MARCH 12, 2020 An autonomous undersea glider deployed in December 2019 is helping to map cod spawning habitat around offshore wind energy areas off southern New England. NMFS photo.
A three-year study of cod and other commercial fish species is underway around New England offshore wind energy sites, part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration effort to better understand how proposed turbine arrays will affect the environment and fisheries.
With universities and other partners, the agency’s National Marine Fisheries Service in December deployed a Slocum electric glider, a type of autonomous underwater vehicle that has proven highly successful in long-term oceanographic studies.
The glider’s instrument payload includes a hydrophone to detect the sounds of whales and of fish spawning, and an acoustic telemetry receiver to pick up signals from fish that have been captured and released with acoustic tags to track their movements.
Now surveying the area around Cox’s Ledge, the glider is covering an area that includes wind developer Ørsted’s planned South Fork wind energy area south of Rhode Island and east of Montauk, N.Y.The survey is covering an area that includes the proposed South Fork Wind Farm south of Rhode Island. BOEM image.
Running on battery power, undersea gliders use a system of water ballast and pumps to slowly climb and dive in the water column, their wings generating lift and forward motion. With their long range and endurance, gliders can survey large areas for weeks at a time, occasionally surfacing to send collected data to vessels or shore by satellite uplink.
For this phase of the study, the acoustic data “will identify location and seasonal occurrence of hotspots for key commercial and federally listed fish species,” according to NOAA.
There is little specific information on Atlantic cod spawning in southern New England waters, according to project lead Sofie Van Parijs, who heads the Passive Acoustics Research Group at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
Elsewhere, cod have been are known to form large, dense spawning aggregations in predictable locations relatively close to shore. That can make them vulnerable to disturbances that might affect spawning success, according to NMFS.
“Biological sampling will determine the population’s onset of spawning and track growth, maturity, age structure, and other life history parameters,” Van Parijs said. “This information will help inform the starting date for our glider surveys each year. We will tentatively conduct these surveys from December through March this year and for longer periods in the subsequent two years.”
The study is underway at a critical time for the future of the fledging U.S. offshore wind energy. In August 2019 the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was compelled to hold up its environmental impact statement for the Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts, after NMFS insisted more information was needed about potential effects on the marine environment and fisheries.
Even before the agencies came to an impasse over the environmental assessment, fisheries scientists had been warning there needs to be more baseline information about fish populations around proposed wind power sites before construction.
Now BOEM is funding the acoustic surveys. Data for a larger study by the offshore energy planners, including potential cumulative impacts of Vineyard Wind and other projects, is scheduled to start being assembled by mid-June, with a final report scheduled for December 2020.The glider uses water ballast and wings to slowly ‘fly’ underwater over long ranges carrying its instrument package. Christopher McGuire/Nature Conservancy photo.
Ørsted is using the glider detection of endangered whales to guide plans for monitoring and mitigation requirements in the South Fork project, where the company hopes begin construction as early as 2021. Similar mapping will be used for planning the company’s other projects off the East Coast, including Ocean Wind array off southern New Jersey.
For the fisheries aspect of the study, researchers will tag up to 100 spawning cod with acoustic transmitters so the glider can identify spawning area. Other sensors carried on the glider collect detailed environmental data, to help scientists better understand the temperature preferences and habitat use of spawning cod in the region.
A new near real-time telemetry system is operating detect whales and fish, and the public can see data and photos as they come in from the project on a new public web page.
The project team includes experts from the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries; The Nature Conservancy; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science & Technology; the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office; and Rutgers University.
Following is in response to the recent opinion piece in Newsday.
Last Sunday’s Opinion, winds of change, is clearly an opinion of NIMBY folks in Wainscott (population 700+) who don’t let facts interfere with their story.
Win With Wind’s (formed in 2019) sole purpose is to produce fact-based information regarding the benefits of renewable offshore wind energy. Win With Wind is independent and not affiliated with any wind or energy development company and has no financial ties with any interest group or individual who has a monetary stake in such an enterprise. Win With Wind is non-partisan and does not promote or oppose the candidacy of any individuals for public office at any level. The only former town official on its 4 member board or 7 member steering committee is a former East Hampton Town Supervisor who left office more than 30 years ago.
Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott is a small group with significant money that has hired teams of lawyers, engineers, PR firms, etc., to push alternative landing sites, that are all problematic.
East Hampton locals are concerned about climate change. Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott selfishly don’t want to be inconvenienced.
The South Fork Wind Farm will power 70,000 homes and off-set 300,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.
Jerry Mulligan, WinWithWind Steering Committee
Climate is not a local problem and neither are the consequences such as extreme weather and flooding. There is major flooding in the U.K. currently.
Take a look at the video below!
Some serious flooding in the UK last week!
By Simon Chapman AO, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, University of Sydney.
Electrophobia has a long history
• ”more than 30 years after Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb in 1879 and soon afterwards installed a lighting system in a business section of lower Manhattan, barely 10% of American homes were wired. Even after the First World War that percentage rose only to 20%”
• Science, May 10 1889: “A new disease, called photo-electric opthalmia, is described as due to the continual action of the electric light on the eyes. The patient is awakened in the night by severe pain around the eye, accompanied by an excessive secretion of tears.”
Telephones: A cause of ear troubles:
British Medical Journal 1889, Sept 21: pp671-725.
Causes included: “wireless telegraphy, science, steam power, newspapers and the education of women; in other words modern civilization”. Since then the following have been added: televisions, microwave ovens, electric blankets, computer screens, powerlines, WiFi, smart meters, wind turbines.
Growth in mobile phones & the flat-line incidence rate for brain cancer, Australia 1982-2017:
Is there anything not caused by wind turbines?
Lung cancer, skin cancer, haemorrhoids, gaining weight, losing weight, disoriented echidnas, symptoms of anxiety… http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au//bitstream/2123/10501/2/Wind_Disease_List.pdf
Psychogenic illness: “worrying yourself sick”
“Infections … if you fear them, you call them upon you.”- Francis Bacon (1561 –1626)
What is uncontested about WTS (Windturbine syndrome):
•The direct causation hypothesis would predict that all wind farms should affect some people. BUT in stead, a small minority of wind farms have a small minority of residents who claim to be affected.
•The great majority of complaints occur in English-speaking nations, despite the proliferation of wind farms in Europe, China, and many other non-English speaking nations.
•Ontario (English-speaking) has a history of complaints. Quebec (French speaking) next door has had very few complaints
•Wind farms with a history of being targeted by opposition groups are more “affected” by wind turbine syndrome. Just 6 farms of 78 wind farms in Australia have had 73% of all complaints
•Those with negative views about wind farms are more likely to report symptoms than those with positive views
•Those being paid to host turbines very rarely complain, suggesting that the drug “money” may be a powerful preventive
•Claims about only “susceptible” individuals get symptoms (like those who get motion sickness while others don’t) struggle to explain why there are apparently no susceptible people in, for example, all of Western Australia or Tasmania, where there are wind farms but zero records of health complaints
•Claims about “over 40” Australian families having to abandon their infrasound affected homes have never been validated, with those making the claims saying that many of the “windfarm refugees” do not want publicity.
•While some complain of acute effects within minutes of exposure, the first known complaints about wind farms date from 2002. But many wind farms were operational for many years prior to 2002. So why were there no reported acute effects occurring in those years?
•Not a single clinical case report of WTS in any peer reviewed journal
•Experimental subjects randomised to be exposed or not exposed to negative news footage about wind farm harms and then exposed to infrasound and sham infrasound show that prior exposure to anxiety producing messages increases reporting of symptoms, even to sham infrasound.
Complaints to Australia’s National Wind Farm Commissioner in 37 months to Dec 2018: Across 37 months that the office has been open, it has received 283 complaints about wind farms:
•65 (23%) about 11 operational wind farms
•191 (67%) about 51 proposed wind farms
•27 (10%) which did not specify any existing or proposed farm
Read more here:
Air pollution and climate change are “two sides of the same coin,” according to the United Nations Environment Program. Climate change will make air pollution worse, while some air pollutants can exacerbate global climate change.
This is the topic of a recent scientific report written by Elizabeth Ridlington and Gideon Weissman (Frontier Group) and Morgan Folger (Environment America Research & Policy Center).
It is quite a long piece (71 pages with hundreds of references) which you can download as a pdf here: https://uspirg.org/reports/usf/trouble-air
Here are some highlights from this report.
Air pollution such as black carbon, a form of particulate pollution, exacerbates global warming. Black carbon in the air readily absorbs sunlight, increasing the temperature of the atmosphere.13 When black carbon lands on snow or ice, it absorbs heat and hastens melting. This can lead to greater warming, as open water and bare ground retain more heat from the sun than do snow or ice. Production of natural gas is a major source of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which contribute to air pollution via ozone formation (see below), and also releases methane, a powerful global warming pollutant that traps more than 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide over 20 years.14 Just as air pollution and global warming share some common causes, and are linked together in a self-reinforcing cycle, so too do they share another characteristic: scientific alarm about their threats to the environment and public health.
People across America regularly breath polluted air that increases their risk of premature death, and can also trigger asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts.
In 2018, 108 million Americans lived in areas that experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality. That is equal to more than three months of the year in which ground-level ozone (the main ingredient in smog) and/or particulate pollution (PM2.5) were above the safe levels as determined by the EPA.
For instance, here on Long Island air quality levels by these measures are: 71-100 days/year above the EPA safe levels for ground level ozone and PM2.5.
Air pollution is linked to health problems including respiratory illness, heart attack, stroke, cancer and mental health problems. Research continues to reveal new health impacts. For example, maternal exposure to air pollution such as fine particulates (PM2.5) and ozone is associated with a higher risk of low birth weight, pre-term birth and stillbirth. For older adults, long-term exposure to particulate pollution has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Air pollution’s effects are pronounced among vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women and the elderly. Research has found that children exposed to particulate pollution can suffer from lung development problems and long-term harm to lung function.
Each year, millions of Americans suffer from adverse health impacts linked to air pollution, and tens of thousands have their lives cut short.
Two pollutants of special concern are particulate matter and ozone. Fine particulate pollution smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) poses especially high health risks because it can be deposited deep in the lungs.18 Ozone that forms near the ground is the main ingredient in smog and is associated with adverse health impacts (as opposed to ozone in the high atmosphere, which blocks harmful solar ultraviolet rays from reaching the earth). These are the main culprits and are most frequently monitored by the numbers of days at a given location where levels are above the EPA’s “safe level”.
Premature death. Globally, ozone and fine particulate matter are estimated to cause 470,000 and 2.1 million deaths each year, respectively, by damaging the lungs and respiratory system.19 A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that in the U.S. fine particulate matter generated by human activities was responsible for more than 107,000 premature deaths in 2011.20
A 2019 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) increased by 10 micrograms (μg) per cubic meter, daily mortality in the U.S. increased by 1.58 percent. A 1.58 percent increase in daily mortality equals an additional 122 deaths in the U.S. on a day when fine particulate pollution increased by 10 μg per cubic meter.21 When coarse particulate matter (PM10) increased by 10 micrograms (μg) per cubic meter, daily mortality rose 0.79 percent.22
The reverse was also observed. A 2009 study compared U.S. metropolitan areas across decades and found that a 10 μg per cubic meter decrease in fine particulate matter concentrations was associated with an increase in average life expectancy of approximately 0.6 years.23
Damage to respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In weeks with elevated ozone or particulate matter pollution, hospital emergency rooms see more patients for breathing problems.24 A 2019 study published in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) found that higher levels of pollutants including ozone and particulate matter in the air are associated with increased risk of emphysema.25 Air pollution, especially traffic related air pollution, not only worsens asthma but may also cause more people to develop asthma.26 Research also shows strong associations between air pollution and cardiovascular diseases including stroke.27 Particulate pollution is associated with increased risk of hospitalization for heart disease.28
Worsened mental health and functioning. A 2019 study published in PLOS Biology found that poor air quality, including higher levels of particulate matter and ozone, was associated with increases in bipolar disorder.29 Long-term exposure to particulate pollution has also been associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.30
Decreased fertility and harm to pregnancies. Exposure to air pollution has been associated with difficulty in having children, and increased risk of low birth weight and premature deliveries.31 A 2019 study of women in Italy found that higher levels of particulate matter (both PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide are associated with lower levels of ovarian reserve, a marker of female fertility.32 A 2013 study found “short-term decreases in a couple’s ability to conceive” associated with higher levels of PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide.33 Maternal exposure to PM2.5 or ozone is associated with a higher risk of low birth weight, pre-term birth and stillbirth.34 One study estimated that in 2010, up to 42,800 preterm births in the U.S. and Canada were related to women’s exposure to PM2.5, accounting for up to 10 percent of preterm births.35
Increased cancer risk. Exposure to air pollution can cause lung cancer and other cancers.36 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, has found that outdoor air pollution generally, and particulate matter specifically, are carcinogenic to humans.37 The IARC determined that “exposures to outdoor air pollution or particulate matter in polluted outdoor air are associated with increases in genetic damage that have been shown to be predictive of cancer in humans.” In 2010, 223,000 lung cancer deaths globally were attributed to exposure to PM2.5.38
Air pollution likely poses health threats even at levels the EPA considers safe.
Research suggests that “moderate” air quality can, in fact, pose broad threats to public health, and a variety of medical and public health organizations have recommended tighter air quality standards that are more protective of public health. The World Health Organization (WHO), for example, recommends lower ozone and particulate pollution standards than are currently in place in the United States. The American Thoracic Society, the American Lung Association and other health associations support the same standards for fine particulates as the WHO.50
Ozone, the main component of smog, is formed by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.56 Fossil fuels – both their combustion and production – are major sources of NOx and VOC emissions.
Particulate matter consists of solid or liquid particles that can be emitted directly from a source or that can form in the air from chemicals such as VOCs, sulfur dioxide, ammonia and NOx.65 Fine particulates smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) pose elevated health risks as they can be absorbed deep into the lungs.66 The impact of PM2.5 is further increased by the fact that it is so lightweight that it remains in the air for a long time and can travel hundreds of miles from its source.67 Primary particulate matter is created by a variety of sources, including fossil fuel combustion; dust from roads, agriculture and construction; wildfires; and wood burned for heating.68 On average across the U.S., the majority of the particulate pollution in the atmosphere is secondary particulate pollution, which forms through a chemical reaction.69 Secondary PM2.5 can be created from sources including sulfur dioxide emitted by burning coal and other fossil fuels for electricity generation and industrial power; nitrogen oxides from fossil fuel combustion; and ammonia from fertilizer and manure.70 Mobile sources (including cars, trucks and other on-road vehicles and also off-road vehicles) accounted for 20 percent of both primary and secondary PM2.5, according to one 2004 study.71
Global warming will make air pollution worse.
Higher temperatures have already resulted in increased ozone, despite lower emissions of the chemicals that create ozone. In the central U.S. in the summer of 2012, for example, higher temperatures caused higher levels of ozone than in the years before and after.83
The American Lung Association found that ozone was higher in the 2014 to 2016 period than in previous recent three-year study periods, and attributed the increase to higher temperatures.84
Hotter, drier conditions have increased wildfires, which create particulate pollution as well as VOCs and nitrogen oxides that contribute to ozone formation. By one estimate, global warming nearly doubled the total acreage that burned in western states from 1984 to 2015, compared to a scenario in which the climate had not changed.85 Wildfires also burn for longer, causing more prolonged and widespread exposure to pollutants. The typical large wildfire now burns for more than seven weeks, compared to less than a week in the 1970s.86
One study estimates global warming will increase the number of air pollution-related premature deaths if no measures are implemented to counteract global warming’s impact on air quality. The analysis, published in 2017, estimates that an additional 1,130 Americans may die prematurely in the year 2030 from smog pollution under a scenario where global warming emissions are high and unchecked.100 The study also estimates that particulate pollution worsened by global warming could cause an extra 6,900 premature deaths in 2030.
In many cases, the activities that cause air pollution also contribute to global warming. Efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming, have the potential to help reduce ozone and particulate pollution as well.
Progress on air pollution has stalled. Though air quality in the U.S. has improved over the decades, in recent years that progress has slowed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculates that the average level of ozone pollution dropped by 31 percent from 1980 to 2018 and that fine particulate pollution dropped by 34 percent from 2000 to 2018.107 However, the agency’s analysis of elevated ozone and particulate pollution in 35 major cities shows that the number of days of pollution was higher in each of the years from 2015 through 2018 than it was in 2013 or 2014.108 Furthermore, the agency’s data show that 2018 had more days of pollution than each of the previous five years. The data analysis for this report reveals that the increase in days of elevated air pollution means that millions more Americans lived in areas with polluted air in 2018 than in 2016.109
There are of course a number of policy recommendations:
- Support zero-emission vehicles
- Create a strong regional program to reduce transportation emissions under the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) in northeastern and mid-Atlantic states
- Ensure that states can adopt and strengthen pollution standards for passenger vehicles
- Maintain strong federal fuel economy and global warming pollution standards for transportation
- Support policies that can reduce driving and increase walking, biking and the use of transit.
- Supporting clean, renewable energy. Move the country away from fossil fuels – which are a major source of climate pollution in transportation, electricity generation and buildings – and toward the use of clean, renewable energy like wind turbines and solar panels.
- Maintain the gains already achieved under implementation of the Clean Air Act
- Strengthen ozone and particulate matter standards
- Ensure strong enforcement of the Clean Air Act
- Protecting and expanding urban tree cover
The references (superscript numbers) are listed in the original document: https://uspirg.org/reports/usf/trouble-air
We have tee shirts with the WWW logo and picture of clams and oysters in the back by artist Stacy Posnett. See our previous blog post.
ADULT – Short Sleeve $30
White XXL, XL, L, M, S (one each)
Dark Grey L
Steel XL, XL, L, L, M
White XL, XL, L, L, M, M, S
ADULT – Long Sleeve $35
White XL, XL, L, L, M, M, S
CHILDREN – Long sleeve with interior fleece, like a sweat shirt $35
Blue XL, L, L, M, M, S
Steel XL, L, L, M, M,
The small children’s size is for 4-6 year old kids, and the XL looks like it would fit a skinny teenager (or a petite adult) – these are my guesses.