The head of a citizens’ group fighting a proposed wind farm in northwestern Nova Scotia is urging the province to stop the project until its safety can be proven.
“Please err on the side of caution and call a moratorium on all wind power developments that are any closer than two kilometres of a residence until independent and government research has been done to establish the safe and healthy distance from a turbine people should be living,” Lisa Betts said in a letter to Premier Rodney MacDonald.
The Gulf Shore Association opposes the proposed development by Atlantic Wind Power Corp. to erect between 20 and 27 100-metre-tall wind turbines between the Gulf Shore Road and the Irishtown Road near Pugwash.
Betts, who said opposition to the project is only going to grow, reiterated that she’s not opposed to wind power but feels the location is wrong.
She wants the province to institute its own minimum standards by which wind projects must abide.
“A responsible, intelligent set of standards could set the way for the rest of the country,” she said. “Use the experience of those who have had turbines for decades and learn from their mistakes.
“Blindly surging ahead into wind energy without considering health and safety factors and reasonable enjoyment of a resident’s property is not looking after your constituents.”
The Environment Department has suggested guidelines but Betts said they fall short of setting minimum setbacks for distances between turbines and homes.
New standards should establish a “well-researched” setback for turbines and apply differently between industrial and residential areas, Betts said. They should also take into consideration some evidence that suggests turbines affect the health of people living nearby.
“Please do not allow the current guidelines to allow for turbines to be located too close . . . and affect our health and our reasonable enjoyment of our properties,” she said. “The people of Nova Scotia should be protected by our government, not exploited by it.”
By The Canadian Press
13 July 2007
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