It’s only a matter of time before renewable energy companies make their way to East Garafraxa, and the township wants to be prepared. That’s why it’s launched a new planning study to look at the issues and gather input from residents.
“It’s important so that we can be ahead of the game whenever these wind power companies decide to do business in East Garafraxa,” says Mayor Al Taylor. “We want to have rules set before they get here.”
Where wind turbines are allowed and under what conditions have been the source of lengthy Ontario Municipal Board hearings in Melancthon and Amaranth. In both cases, a developer launched those appeals because the municipal council’s declined to make timely decisions on project applications.
Ultimately, the OMB approved both projects to move ahead.
With increased pressure on the energy supply, as well as provincial and federal policies promoting renewable energy projects, East Garafraxa is endeavoring to establish policies that provide project opportunities while ensuring adverse affects are eliminated or minimized.
Local physical, social, economic and environmental impacts will be considered as the policy is developed.
“Right now if they put wind mills in East Garafraxa there is no way power will get out, because transmission lines are at capacity,” shares Taylor. “Until the transmission lines are upgraded there’s no additional room for more power.”
An open house will be held June 24, beginning at 7 p.m., at Marsville Community Hall. A formal public meeting will be held prior to council’s adoption of any policy arising from the study.
New policies will be implemented by the end of October.
For more information on the study, visit www.amaranth-eastgary.ca/teg/eg_home.htm. Contact The Jones Consulting Group Ltd to request participation in the policy development process: call 705-734-2538 ext. 250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Richard Vivian, Staff Writer
20 June 2008
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