An Ashfield-Colborne Wawanosh Twp. resident believes council and the planning department are not doing enough research to address concerns about health issues caused by wind turbines.
Ernie Marshall presented to council, at their Oct. 17 meeting, two reports outlining health issues related to wind turbines. He said his greatest concern is the noise level from the turbines which is much higher than the level stated by EPCOR and it is causing him a great deal of distress.
“The noise is not so much what you can hear but what you can feel,” he said.
Marshall also presented a press release which stated Southpoint Wind Power would not be granted the use of crown lands located in the bed of Lake Erie near Kingsville, Leamington and Ruthven for a large wind tower project. It further stated the Ministry of Natural resources said “the planned location was simply not an appropriate site for this project.”
The project would have placed 119 turbines one kilometre off shore.
“I just went to the library and got on the internet to find all this information,” he said. “Why should I do all the researching? The county and council has to look deeper at this.”
He added that council cannot just rely on EPCOR to provide research information.
Huron County Planner Monica Walker-Bolton said they have deferred the proposed bylaw amendment to allow for more research regarding health issues related to the wind turbines. She said she is consulting with the Ministry of Housing, Environment, Health, Renewable Energy and Ontario Power Generation.
“This is a very difficult position for me but I am doing the best I can,” said Walker-Bolton. “I am a planner. I am not an expert on noise or health.”
Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek said they need to ensure that the research information is coming from credible sources and have all the information reviewed carefully.
Deputy-Reeve Neil Rintoul said he presented the information from Marshall to the Huron County Health Unit for review. Walker-Bolton added that she is also working with the health unit to find research.
Marshall asked that no more wind turbines be constructed and that the present turbines be shut down until such time as the noise problem is fixed.
Neil Levine, from EPCOR, said the company has not denied that there were problems with some of the turbines and they are being corrected.
Marshall said EPCOR and council should be ready to go to court if he finds that the turbines have caused him health problems.
By Sara Bender
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