Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township council is not pleased that EPCOR is not responding to the public’s concerns.
“EPCOR is not coming through with the information we have asked for,” said Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek, following council’s Jan. 16 meeting.
Van Diepenbeek said the public continues to address concerns to council of noise and of EPCOR not responding to their concerns. He said township resident Ross Brindley has also expressed concerns of stray voltage in his barn which he says were not there until after the wind turbines were built.
Administrator/clerk-treasurer Mark Becker contacted Rob Vader, manager of field technical services for Hydro One, who acknowledged that they have been looking into the issues raised by Brindley. Becker reported that Vader indicated their review of the property would ensure that Hydro One’s equipment and system is working properly and that they would not be commenting on the wind turbines themselves.
Susan Shaw from EPCOR was present at the recent meeting and asked by council to have the public’s verbal concerns addressed and followed up with a report to council. Council further instructed staff to send an official letter to EPCOR requesting information and clarification on stray voltage concerns, a noise study completion and a decommissioning agreement.
Council also received further correspondence from the Ministry of Environment (MOE) about frequently asked questions, interpretation for applying MOE technical publications to wind turbine generators and sound level limits.
Council also received a copy of South Huron’s wind energy facility regulations and a letter from township residents Wolfgang and Lyn Guenther expressing their opinion on the wind turbine provisions bylaw.
At the previous meeting, council requested Chief Building Official Kirk Livingston to gather information from other municipalities who have wind turbine development. Livingston presented his findings at the council meeting.
One report was from the Township of Melancthon (Shelburne area) where 50 (1.5 MW) wind turbine generators in operation. The turbines have a setback of 350 meters from off site dwelling and smaller setbacks from property lines than proposed in ACW. At present, they have had no written complaints.
Huron-Kinloss Township recently approved the construction of 38 (2.0 MW) wind turbines and the closet off site dwelling is 430 metres.
Prince Edward County had a proposal for 34 turbines in 2000 which received strong opposition. In 2002 a new developer proposed the construction of turbines which is still under appeal to the OMB.
Van Diepenbeek said council is now “contemplating” whether to pass the setback bylaw at their next council meeting on Feb. 6 that was first presented at the Sept. 19 council meeting. He added that council is not making any changes to the bylaw but the bylaw will be passed at a future meeting date. An advertisement will be placed in the local papers as a consideration to all those parties affected.
By Sara Bender
Wednesday January 31, 2007
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