This letter I sent in October, was responded by a student at law. My response is first.
Sierra Legal is now Ecojustice Canada. For more information, please visit our new website at www.ecojustice.ca
You stipulated that Ecojustice’s mandate as one of “setting legal precedents and strengthening laws in support of our goals of fighting global warming, protecting clean water and natural spaces, and promoting the creation and maintenance of healthy communities”. May I ask what part of my enquiry indicated to you that I was NOT interested in protecting these same issues? In fact I am a resident along with many others across Ontario, who will be and are suffering from the loss of a healthy community and the lack of appropriate regulation to maintain this, all because of wind development.
You stipulate that “the positive and negative aspects of wind energy should be considered before construction begins and the technology should be regulated to minimize any negative impact”. I couldn’t agree more,since in my attempts to inform myself about wind development, I have come to realize there are no true regulations for many of the aspects that the placing of Wind turbine Generators present, namely:
- no regulation on noise, only guidelines, which have proven to be ineffective and are presently forcing people out of their homes in most areas already present in Ontario
- no regulation that indicates that residents or animals should not be subject to stray voltage caused by the transmission of electricity produced by wind turbines, simply because this is not considered an Environmental contaminants under the EPA.
- nothing to regulate the effects of shadow flicker which most companies are imposing upon residents within the perimeter on average, 30 minutes a day.
- no scientifically based setbacks to protect people from blade & ice throws, and turbine collapses.
- Insufficient data to help with the siting of turbines near major migratory routes especially those along the great lakes.
I can assure you that the suffering the wind developments are imposing upon residents is real. In the case of noise and stray voltage, these people suffer from nose bleeds, migraines, mini eye strokes, hearing impairment and sleep deprivation without so much as a public agency to turn to for help or even worse who won’t trivialized their symptoms. No help or investigation is ever offered to set in place proper regulations that will protect these people. Instead, they are having to rely on the “good will” of the wind developers who is not legally obligated to correct this injustice. In fact many do not provide this kind of protection and as a result, residents are having to move away.
I guess I assumed incorrectly that an independent organization such as Ecojustice, with at least their concerns over healthy communities, would want to do a non-biased review of wind energy development and it’s impact on the people within those healthy communities. Instead I can see that Ecojustice has taken the route of so many others and chooses to ignore the very real and significant problems that the wind industry has been allowed to impose, unchecked, upon our communities and families, our land and our environment.
All of this exists, because so many refuse to question these so called green solutions to the global warming issue. If you choose to investigate this further, you will find that wind energy is a dismal failure when it comes to removing Greenhouse gas emissions. (Most literature sites 1% of the total at best and an offer of 5% of Ontario total electrical needs)
I will close by thanking you for your response, the referrals (which I have explored already) you offered and a request that your pursuit to meet your mandate, takes to a full investigation of Industrial wind development .
Subject: Wind Energy Development
Thank you very much for contacting Ecojustice. As you are most likely aware, Ecojustice is an independent, non-profit organization supported by private donors. As such, we have very limited resources and our ability to take on work is restricted. Given these circumstances, we are only able to provide legal assistance to citizens and groups in cases which will help us achieve Ecojustice’s mandate of setting legal precedents and strengthening laws in support of our goals of fighting global warming, protecting clean water and natural spaces, and promoting the creation and maintenance of healthy communities.
Ecojustice does not offer legal advice (unless we are retained), but does assist members of the public, such as yourself, with general legal information. Thus, any information we offer does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
I sympathize with your concerns over the development of wind energy in your area and the possible adverse effects associated with it. As with any developing technology, the positive and negative aspects of wind energy should be considered before construction begins and the technology should be regulated to minimize any negative impacts. It was not clear to me, from your email, whether you are seeking legal representation from us or are simply looking for information on the topic of wind energy. In either case, our work at Ecojustice is focused in the areas of global warming, clean water, natural spaces, and healthy communities. We do not focus on wind energy nor are we planning to expand into this area at this time. If you are looking for an environmental or energy lawyer who specializes in wind energy or energy issues you might want to consult the Canadian Environmental Law Association’s lawyer referral service at http://www.cela.ca/services/index.shtml.
You may also wish to contact the Law Society of Upper Canada’s lawyer referral service at 1-900-565-4577. This service may assist you in locating a lawyer with expertise in energy issues. Please note that there is a fee associated with accessing the referral service, but that most lawyers to whom you are referred will give you a 30 minute free consultation. If you decide to make use of this free consultation option, it is a good idea to compose your thoughts and questions on paper before your consultation so that you can best make use of the time available.
To confirm, Ecojustice is not retained by you on any matter.
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