Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek believes council is satisfied with the Environmental Screening Report (ESR) for the Kingsbridge II Wind Power Project.
About 15 township residents and 15 representatives from EPCOR, including Paul McMillan, senior vice president of Ontario, and Michael Smith, manager of policy and programs environment, as well as Stantec Consulting Ltd., filled the council chambers on Dec. 19 to hear the review of the ESR.
Mark Kozak and Peter Prier, of Stantec, presented a summary report of the ESR. Council was presented with the four-inch thick ESR at their previous meeting and requested that a representative of Stantec present a summary at their next council meeting.
Council also decided to hire a company to do a third party review, following discussions from the previous meeting and EPCOR agreed to pay for this review. John Kerr, of Gamsby and Mannerow Ltd., presented the independent review of the ESR on behalf of the township.
Van Diepenbeek said following the meeting that council seemed satisfied with the summary report and independent review and had no concerns with either.
Council also received a report from Jacques Whitford Engineering on health, safety and nuisance concerns, as well as a report from the Huron County Health Unit on the effects of wind turbines on human health.
“Council is still concerned with health issues but all the information that we have received does not show a definite, clear link of health problems to wind turbines,” said Van Diepenbeek.
He added that council has had a lot of information come forward and received many comments from the public. He said that, in January, he expects council will implement the zoning requirements for wind turbines into the township’s new zoning bylaw.
Van Diepenbeek said that the general feeling from council is that the 400 metre setback from dwellings and 600 metre setback from urban areas are reasonable and he does not expect those setbacks to change. He said that EPCOR can also work within those perimeters.
By Sara Bender
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