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Township asks for moratorium

HICKSON – East Zorra-Tavistock is the second township in Oxford County to ask for a wind-energy moratorium until conclusive health studies can be completed.

Mayor Don McKay said council made the decision earlier this month, after hearing Norwich Township had done the same thing earlier this year.

“To ask the province to ensure there is safety, there is no harm in that,” McKay said.

But after discussion, EZT councillors did change the original wording in Norwich’s request. The original request asked for a change from the province’s 500-metre setback to a two-kilometre setback.

“We didn’t support the two-kilometre setback. We’re asking the province to investigate. We can’t suggest the solution.”

Under the current version of the province’s Green Energy Act, municipalities have no decision-making power when it comes to green-energy projects. Norwich council was prompted to formally write the province after meeting multiple times with members of the East Oxford Community Alliance (EOCA).

The EOCA is a grassroots organization made up of concerned citizens and neighbours of a 10-turbine wind development proposed for Gunn’s Hill in Norwich Township.

Joan Morris, a founding member, said the group is encouraged other municipalities are starting to question potential human risk involved with wind developments.

“East Oxford Community Alliance continues to be active and is considering all options available to protect the community and local residents from effects that are occurring in the vicinity of every industrial-wind development. This includes the possibility of legal action or appeals if our members choose to do so,” she stated in an e-mail to The Sentinel-Review.

“We know Norwich Township council’s resolution requesting a moratorium has been received at the premier’s office …”