The 86 giant wind turbines on the western end of Wolfe Island will generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes.
Opponents of a 410-million dollar wind turbine farm on wolfe island won’t rule out a court appeal – to stop the project from spinning ahead.
They’ve been trying to get the province to impose a more rigorous environmental assessment.
But so far, no luck.
That means Canadian Hydro is moving full speed ahead – with plans to start installing the turbines this summer.
Newswatch’s Stu Hay has an update.
“Disappointed” is the only word Wolfe Island resident Sarah McDermott can come up with to describe her feelings.
Wolfe Island is slated to become a giant wind-farm this October – she was hoping that the environmental impact of the project would be scrutinised more than it has been…
But she’s been told that’s not going to happen.
“Slow down and assess this. Have an environmental review that assesses this that isn’t proponent driven, that isn’t to accommodate the project.”
Now she’ll try to appeal directly to Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, John Gerretsen.
McDermott and many others have voiced concerns that these wind turbines will be noisy and kill birds.
And they don’t think the environmental assessments done so far have allowed for enough public input.
Rob Miller of Canadian Hydro, who’s building the project, disagrees.
He says they’ve held 4 public meetings and responded to every concern they’ve received in the past 2 years.
And they’re not done yet.
“There are still many checks and balances that we have to go through. We have apply for site plan approvals, we need to get building permits. We still have to get some smaller approvals from mnr and moe and many others.”
Still, mcdermott isn’t happy, and says even if john gerretsen doesn’t grant a higher level of environmental assessment, they’llcontinue to oppose the project.
“The next option would be to take it to a judicial review. So that it can be objectively looked at without any political agenda.”
But Canadian Hydro is planning to go ahead with a busy summer of construction.
He says 86 turbines will be up, and producing electricity by October.
At which time he thinks most people will wonder what the fuss was all about.
“With time people get quite comfortable with them, with wind plants and with wind farms. They understand why they are there and that experience has been proven at many other locations.”
McDermott says she ‘won’t’ be one of those converts.
And vows to continue the fight until the bitter end.
Stu Hay CKWS Newswatch Wolfe Island.
11 April 2008
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