Long Island, with its rich history, stunning landscapes and vibrant communities, is a place we’re proud to call home. Long Islanders are deeply concerned about the proposed Equinor wind turbine project, Empire Wind, and its potential to adversely affect our health, safety and economy. It is essential that we carefully examine the implications of this project and the individuals behind it.
Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, is 67 percent owned by Norway and is a partner of BP Oil. Equinor has a dubious past, having been sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2003 for bribing Iranian officials. It is concerning that a company with such a history would be involved in a project of this scale on Long Island. Furthermore, the state sponsors of the bill supporting Empire Wind are associated with current antisemitic stances that raise questions about their priorities and alliances.
Long Island is densely populated, and a project of this magnitude has never been attempted in such a setting, let alone making landfall. Equinor’s plan to install 345-kilovolt copper wires mere feet from residences is alarming. Equinor compares the electromagnetic field generated by these wires to a toaster oven, but the potential health risks cannot be underestimated. Statistically significant studies indicate that even a small increase in electromagnetic field exposure can double the chances of cancer or leukemia, especially among children and fetuses. The proposed wires would emit 25 to 80 milligauss of EMF radiation, making it a significant health concern for our communities.
Local governments, including the Village of Island Park and the Long Beach City Council, are vehemently opposed to this project. New York is a Home Rule state, and the state Public Service Commission should not have the power to override local land-use authority merely for developer convenience. The health and safety of our communities should always come first.
The materials used in wind turbines, such as epoxy resin and glass fiber, contain bisphenol A, a known endocrine disruptor. This substance can lead to various health issues, including developmental problems, reproductive issues, metabolic disorders, and cancer. Moreover, 1 kilogram of bisphenol A can contaminate 10 billion liters of water.
Ari Brown represents the 20th Assembly District.