Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township council is sending a letter to the Ministry of Environment asking for an immediate response to a report on the affects of noise from wind turbines.
At council’s March 20 meeting, Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek said the township still has not received a response back from Minister Laurel Broten who they met while attending a conference in Toronto in late February.
Coun. Doug Miller said it was the minister, herself, who said the ministry would respond to their questions and a report by Dr. Vandenberg,
Coun. Barry Millian said the MOE has qualified people to interpret the report and find out whether the report applies to Huron County. Dr. Vandenberg’s report states that noise levels from wind turbines will be higher at night.
“I want people to be clear that I have nothing against having wind turbines in the township,” said Millian. “I am not prepared to move ahead with these setbacks unless I hear from the (MOE).”
Van Diepenbeek asked EPCOR employee Dan Hayden why the wind turbines were moving so slowly that evening and some not moving at all. Hayden explained that the turbines, which are manufactured and monitored by Vesta, each have their own wind sensor and will move depending on the wind patterns. He said when there is no wind being generated, the turbines will stop to prevent wear and increase their life span.
Hayden said Vesta made upgrades to the turbines about three weeks ago. However, township resident Harry Kerr said the upgrades have not done anything to help the noise problem. Hayden said there should not be any abnormal sounds coming from the turbines and if there is, he will investigate the problem.
Ernie Marshall, of the Colborne ward, said that since the EPCOR project has been put on hold the environmental screening report should no longer apply and the township should change their setback requirements now. Neil Levine, of EPCOR, said the environmental screening report still applies.
Van Diepenbeek added that the township’s setback of 400 metres is a minimum distance requirement and the environmental screening report will determine if the setbacks have to be further.
By Sara Bender
11 April 2007
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