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Letter to Premier Rodney MacDonald  

Dear Mr MacDonald,

As I am sure you are aware there is growing concern and opposition over the issue of a proposed wind energy project in the Pugwash/Gulf Shore area.

As I am sure you noticed while you were here for the Pugwash Peace Exchange last weekend, this is a beautiful and peaceful area. Indeed, Cyrus Eaton invited the original conference attendees here 50 years ago just because of the peace and quiet Pugwash has to offer.

This is quite blatantly the wrong location for such a project and I am afraid that the longer the prospect of this project remains, the louder the opposition it will garner. This is not good for the wind energy industry. Other proponents are deeply concerned that their own, responsible projects will suffer from poor public support as a repercussion of what is going on here.

I would ask the Nova Scotia Government to take a serious, long, hard look at this whole industry and take some leadership by declaring the minimum standards by which wind energy projects must abide. A responsible, intelligent set of standards could set the way for the rest of the country! 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 people of Nova Scotia.

Currently there are guidelines as suggested by the Dept of Environment and Labour, but they are just that, guidelines. Given the fact that environmental assessments are conducted by firms that are paid by the proponents, these guidelines are way too easily potentially bent towards the benefit of the paying customer – the wind energy company.

These minimum standards should apply to current land use, for example protecting areas of outstanding beauty (Peggy’s Cove), and for preserving current land use (tourist/recreation/retirement/residential areas such as ours). These standards should also include a well researched setback for turbines. These should apply differently for differently used areas, depending on the current land use. Setbacks for residential areas would not be necessarily the same as it would be for industrial areas.

There is growing medical evidence that turbines are affecting the health of people living nearby. In our own province a family of 6 has had to move out of their beautiful home in Pubnico and there are residents near other turbines in Brookfield and Marshville who are trying to sell their homes to get away from the noise and disturbance. Two families in Elmira, PEI abandoned their home two weeks ago for the same reasons.

Please do not allow the current guidelines to allow for turbines to be located too close to us and affect our health and our reasonable enjoyment of our properties. The people of Nova Scotia should be protected by our government, not exploited by it.

Please err on the side of caution and call a moratorium of all wind power developments that are any closer than 2km 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. This distance may not be the same as for work places, depending on the number of hours a day a person is exposed to the noise, vibrations and infrasound of a turbine, or even more so, multiple turbines.

These projects don’t just affect the health of Nova Scotians but their economic development, tourism and environment generally. These Departments need to work together on these standards so that they work in concert, not in conflict.

Renewable energy should be encouraged in every way, but it has to be conducted in a responsible and intelligent manner that benefits ALL the people of Nova Scotia in all respects.

Posted by Lisa

Pugwash Windfarm

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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