The Municipality of Kincardine has entered into a site plan agreement with the Enbridge Ontario Wind Power Project and released the holdings on six of the 110-turbine project.
With half of the turbines still under Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appeal, this is a step towards construction of the first half of the project which has since been approved by the municipality and Bruce County.
Council discussed the six of the first 13-turbine ‘circuit’ considered for approval, at the south-east corner of the project, east of Hwy 21 between Con. 6 and Con. 2 of Bruce Twp.
Council, under staff recommendation, was confident the company’s conditions for roadways, decommissioning, setbacks, emergency and high-angle rescue had been met before approving the six sites.
“They fulfilled their obligations set out by the municipality and we’re honouring the agreement made by the previous council,” said Mayor Larry Kraemer. “I suspect we’ll see more and more (bylaws), but it’s up to the proponent to bring them forward.”
While Kraemer is supportive of the project and would like to see it go forward, Counc. Randy Roppel and Marsha Leggett voted against the bylaws, as they felt the company should wait until a decision has been made regarding the other half of the project that had been disputed at the OMB hearing.
“It’s one project, regardless if it’s before the (OMB) or not,” said Roppel. “The decision may have a direct impact on the whole project.”
Roppel argued that the company has said it has all the reports on operation protocol and emergency plans, but they weren’t provided to councillors.
“I can’t just make a decision, without knowing all the particulars,” he said. “I require material.”
Leggett said she’d hate to see part of the project approved, while the other half having to abide by any changes that may be required by the OMB.
“We should hold it until we have a recommendation from the OMB,” she said.
Counc. Guy Anderson said the process did seem somewhat rushed.
Resident Andy Robinson was recognized and said it doesn’t make sense to approve a portion of the project, before the MoE and OMB have made their final decisions.
Another point that surfaced was the decommissioning of the turbines, which in the documentation, allows Enbridge to only remove a portion of the foundation within one and a half metres of the surface, if and when they are decommissioned. This would leave tonnes of concrete and rebar below, but Enbridge general manager Bob Simpson said if there was a specific request for complete removal, they’d “work with them to revisit the site”. But he added total removal could lead to ‘sunken’ parts in the land.
Kraemer said it wouldn’t be an issue, because the land is “not slated for development at any time” and it leaves “all sorts of room” for agriculture to plant overtop of the remnants. He said the locations would be kept on record, in case removal is needed far into the future.
Roppel disagreed and said complete removal should be the company’s top priority.
“If they’re good enough to put them in, they should be good enough to dig them out when they’re done,” he said.
A Certificate of Approval for noise from the Ministry of Environment is still pending, which is needed before building permits can be issued for the sites.
More bylaws are expected to surface this year, but Simpson said no turbines are expected to be constructed in 2006.
Kincardine News Staff
20 June 2007
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