Friends from around the world: We need your help. Shear Wind Inc. has targeted our small rural community for the largest wind farm in the province simply because we have three major power lines running through our area. Phase one of Glen Dhu Wind Park will place 30 turbines on our beautiful mountain and phase two will add up to an additional 60 turbines. Shear Wind’s initial environmental assessment was returned for insufficient information in October by our Environment Minister; however, in less than two months’ time, Shear Wind has now filed an addendum with the Department of Environment, again seeking approval for this project.
Their addendum draws some conclusions that are troubling. For instance, they hired a toxicologist as a medical expert who, in less than two months came to the conclusion “that the Project offers no significant health risk to the local community”. For years, they have aggressively promoted this project as good for the environment and that it will meet Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. We are being asked to sacrifice our homes, health, tranquility and the beauty of this place, yet when pressed to quantify the GHG reductions from this wind park, the company refused.
They also state, “there are a limited number of individuals who are opposed to the Project”. This is where we need your help. We need the Environment Minister to know that there are many people worldwide who are concerned about such projects. Readers of Wind Watch already know the downside of industrial wind power plants, so instead I would like to tell you a little about us. In “Natural History of Nova Scotia, Volume 1” from the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, our area is given the rare scenic quality rating of “very high”. Marshy Hope, an area that lies in phase two of this project, is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas of Nova Scotia in the fall. This area was originally settled by the Mi’kmaq and later settled by Scots. Many of the current residents trace their ancestry back more than 200 years to those original Scottish settlers: MacDonalds, MacGilvrays, MacKinnons, MacLeans, McDougalds, and Alexander Smith. In 2005, Susan Mann authored a book about Margaret Macdonald, whose home and a cairn is here in Bailey’s Brook: “Macdonald was one of the first two nurses to receive a permanent appointment to the Canadian Army Medical Corps. She became matron-in-chief of Canada’s overseas nursing service during World War I with the rank of major – the first such appointment for a woman in the British Empire.”
We have an active community centre, but this proposed wind park has deeply divided our community in a way that has never been seen here. Most really don’t have any idea what will happen to this area if this project goes through. Our local MLA is in support of the project and has called on the Environment Minister to approve this proposal. Our county council worked with the wind company to craft the bylaw. The residents have been greatly deceived and the impact on our lives will be far greater than the wind company has led this community to believe. Our Environment Minister has been one of the few public officials who have sincerely listened to our concerns.
If you have time over this holiday season, we are asking that you write a short note to our Environment Minister to let him know that there are very real problems with industrial wind power plants and that we are not simply “a limited number of individuals” who have serious concerns about these projects.
To view the environmental assessment and addendum for this project go to: www.gov.ns.ca/nse/ea/glen.dhu.wind.farm.asp.
The deadline for public comments is January 13, 2009. Comments can be e-mailed to: EA@gov.ns.ca. The subject line should read: “Re: Shear Wind Inc. – Glen Dhu Wind Farm Environmental Assessment Addendum”.
Thank you in advance.