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Mediation trims turbine issues  

The Ontario Municipal Board has identified five issues that remain for adjudication at hearings that begin Monday into about 20 wind turbines proposed for the Amaranth portion of the Canadian Hydro Developers Melancthon IJ power project.

Other issues were settled during a four-day mediation process last week.

The remaining issues will be argued in what had been scheduled as a six-week hearing. Additionally, there are items to be negotiated between experts.

As expected, the two most glaring of the outstanding issues would be setbacks from private air strips and from non-participating residential buildings.

The Board did not reveal whether the air strip users have given any ground on their original demand for a 10-kilometre separation, nor whether the proponent has offered anything beyond its earlier offer of 2.5 km from each end of the runways.

The question coming to the Board Monday is, “What is the appropriate protection for existing unregistered and unregulated aerodrome?”

The Board will be called on to settle the issue of setbacks from property lines and from non-participating homes, and whether there would be sufficient setbacks from vacant property for a future home to be built there.

Also emerging from mediation is the matter of financial arrangements for decommissioning, and whether the OMB has jurisdiction over such matters.

Five issues are left for the experts to sort out in relation to transformer noise: a noise measurement protocol; confirmation that the existing transformer is in compliance with MOE requirements; confirmation that existing noise complaints are resolved; confirmation that the second transformer will operate in compliance; and resolution “of appropriate site plan conditions.”

The experts are to reach agreement on issues arising from noise from the turbines themselves.

There are natural heritage and agricultural issues, but those are “resolvable through the processing of detailed site plans and associated engineering standards.”

Although most issues have been referred to the experts, they could become subject to further mediation or adjudication should the experts not resolve them outside the bearing.

OMB Hearing Officer Dan Granger, who would continue as mediator as required, has directed that the Board withhold its order until all such issues have been resolved.

The hearing at Amaranth Township offices near Laurel is set to start at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 1, before Hearing Officer Norm Jackson.

By Wes Keller
Freelance Reporter

Orangeville Citizen

27 September 2007

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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