A citizens’ group has come together to oppose the installation of wind turbines in Haldimand County.
The inaugural meeting of Haldimand Wind Concerns was held in the garage of an interested resident near the end of January. A total of 89 people attended.
“The intention was to get 20 people together to form a committee,” said Ernie King of South Cayuga, vice president of Haldimand Wind Concerns. “However, there is so much concern about this that word got around very quickly. We were surprised to see this level of interest, but we were also happy to see it.”
Haldimand Wind Concerns has launched a petition opposing the establishment of wind turbines in the county anywhere near residential areas.
As it stands, three companies are close to receiving provincial approval for three separate wind installations in Haldimand. Taken together, the projects by Capital Power Corporation, NextEra Energy Canada and Samsung would add nearly 200 wind turbines to the province’s current inventory of 700.
Capital Power Corporation is based in Edmonton, Alta. The 58 turbines it is proposing for the Port Dover and Nanticoke Wind Project would straddle the Norfolk-Haldimand boundary line in the area of the Nanticoke Industrial Park.
Haldimand Wind Concerns has a number of issues it wants addressed before anyone proceeds. These include the impact wind turbines have on property values and further research into the alleged health effects wind turbines have on people who live near them.
There are also concerns about the impact of wind turbines on groundwater and the county’s natural gas reserves. The giant towers are sometimes anchored in concrete to a depth of 80 feet.
“That’s my concern,” King said. “How far do these vibrations travel through the ground? You can’t do a computer model on that. That would be too tough to determine.”
Last year, the McGuinty government took approval authority for wind turbines away from Ontario municipalities. Today, the province approves them much the same way that the federal government approves new cell phone installations. The main requirement is that they be 550 metres away from residential dwellings.
Haldimand Wind Concerns wants the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and the Ministry of Health to conduct an in-depth study of the nearly 70 individuals in Norfolk who have complained of symptoms since the Erie Shores Wind Farm near Port Rowan was constructed.
That’s not likely to happen because Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health last year issued a report saying there is no evidence that wind turbines have an adverse impact on public health.
“The review concludes that, while some people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and sleep disturbance, the scientific evidence available to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects,” says the study, which was published in May, 2010. “The sound level from wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to cause hearing impairment or other direct health effects, although some people may find it annoying.”
The next meeting of Haldimand Wind Concerns is 7 p.m., Feb. 22, at the Fisherville Lions Community Hall. Guest speakers include John Laforet, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, and David Colling, spokesperson for Wind Vigilance.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding