The first week of the Enbridge Ontario Wind Power Project’s Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing wrapped up on May 3, with only one witness heard so far.
Planner Raymond Duhamel, of Jones Consulting Group, continued to put forward his planning evidence questioning the positioning of some of the 55 turbines, within the 38 zoning bylaws under appeal. Duhamel also made suggestions on what changes could be made and how the project could be adjusted.
He has been involved in the planning of renewable energy projects in Grey Highlands, Blue Mountains and the Niagara region and isn’t opposed to wind power, but questions the zoning on some of the turbine sites.
Appellant Kathy McCarrel said his testimony was heard May 1 and part of May 2, under questions by Peggy Hutchison, representing over 20 appellants.
“(Duhamel) presented well and we’re very happy with his representation on our behalf,” said McCarrel.
Lawyer Jane Pepino, representing Enbridge and Steve O’Melia, representing the Municipality of Kincardine, then cross-examined Duhamel on his professional opinions.
The issues addressed revolved around the impact current zoning would have on area residents, in terms of safety (ice throw, mechanical failure), noise, shadow flicker and the general siting and conformity of the turbines, in regard to planning.
Pepino said she’s preparing to hear the five remaining witnesses opposing the project over the next week. Daniel D’Entremont, a Nova Scotia resident, whose family was driven from their home by a turbine close by, was scheduled to begin testimony May 8.
She said after the witnesses have been heard and cross-examined, the hearing will adjourn until May 23, due to a scheduling conflict. The testimony surrounding noise issues will also begin at this time.
Enbridge and the municipality will also address the issues raised through its professional representation, providing evidence as a reply to the issues raised and arguments rebutting the appellant’s opinions.
Pepino said OMB Chair J.P. Atcheson would then take whatever time is required to weigh the evidence, the credibility of the witnesses and “apply whatever decision he feels is appropriate to the case”.
May 7 was withdrawn from the hearing, due to scheduling issues. The hearing is scheduled to run regularly, Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The hearing is scheduled to wrap up no later than June 15.
The hearing kicked off on April 30, with an overview of the project by Bruce County’s Kincardine planner Leah Andrews. Representation from appellants, Enbridge and the municipality then outlined their stance on the appeals.
Enbridge and the Municipality of Kincardine argue the project is well-sited and suited for the municipality.
Appellants question the siting, believing some turbines may have a negative impact on residents in terms of health, safety and planning.
By Troy Patterson
Kincardine News Staff
9 May 2007
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