Residents remain concerned over wind farm proposal
Posted By Krista Seggewiss, SENTINEL-REVIEW
Posted 5 hours ago
They want to make sure their voices are heard.
East-Zorra Tavistock council has requested to speak with Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in August in Ottawa.
“Council is asking to speak to give input on the Green Energy Act which takes away the ability of municipalities to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to wind developments,” said Deputy Mayor Maureen Ralph.
The township’s request to speak with the Ministry of the Environment on the matter was turned down. About 20 area residents packed into council chambers on Wednesday morning to show support for the East-Zorra Tavistock Wind Concerns.
Brian Middleton presented concerns on behalf of the group relating to electrical pollution and its effect on animals, human health issues and decreasing property values.
“Conclusive epidemiological studies are not available to demonstrate the absence of health effects from industrial wind turbines,” said Middleton.
The residents’ concerns stem from a Prowind proposal to build an 18-megawatt wind farm between the 15th and 17th lines of East-Zorra Tavistock north of Innerkip. Middleton presented a petition signed by 300 concerned residents who want to stop industrial wind turbine installation until their concerns are independently addressed.
“Our goal is to provide information to council,” said Karen Witmer, a member of the EZT Wind Concerns. “The way (Ontario’s) Green Energy Act is set up, it would remove local approval for the planning process — meaning wind farms would be decided on provincially and not locally.”
Witmer’s property borders three of the proposed wind turbine sites. Like many others, she is worried that provincial approval of wind developments will leave residents with no one to listen to their concerns.
“Our biggest concern is probably that (a turbine located) 550 metres from a dwelling is not far enough,” said Witmer.