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Municipality issues wind turbine statement

As was promised by Meaford Mayor Francis Richardson during the February 14 meeting of council, a statement with regard to the municipal position on wind turbine developments has been issued.

On Monday February 14th, 2011, council received a deputation and a very detailed report from representatives of Wind Concerns Meaford. In response to that presentation, the statement released by the municipality hopes to update the community on council’s efforts regarding industrial wind turbines in the Municipality of Meaford.

What follows is the municipal statement in its entirety:

The Green Energy Act (GEA) passed by the Liberal Government in 2009 removes local municipalities from the planning process for locating industrial wind turbine farms. Council continues to support the municipality’s Official Plan that emphasizes our commitment to our natural beauty and heritage.

In 2010, the previous Meaford council passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on further industrial wind turbine farm development until their full impact has been assessed and the health, safety and welfare of the community has been assured. The current Meaford council supports this resolution and continues to explore all options and advice with regard to wind energy projects.

As much as council is supportive of green energy, it is concerned about the limited input they have in the process. Council will continue to analyze the overall economic, social, environmental and cultural impact of wind turbines as well as await the outcomes of legal decisions and precedents in other municipalities.

The Green Energy Act requires proponents to address all matters of natural heritage and natural hazards. This includes the requirement to consider significant cultural heritage landscapes.

Council passed a resolution in January 2011 requesting International Power Corporation to confirm that their second public meeting required under The Green Energy Act be in the form of a “town hall” type meeting enabling interested citizens to be involved in a question and answer public forum.

It is councils’ intent to evaluate all matters relating to wind energy and continue to engage stakeholders on this very important issue for our community.