NORTHUMBERLAND – The Northumberland Federation of Agriculture (NFA) is not urging the provincial government to suspend wind power generation like the Ontario Federation of Agriculture is, says NFA president Paul Burnham.
“We have not taken a position in our area because there aren’t any current proposals, so we haven’t had to deal with it,” Burnham said in an interview. “We won’t deal with it unless it starts raising its ugly head, or there are complaints.”
The OFA has asked the Ontario government to suspend further developments of wind farms, or industrial wind turbine projects, until a series of matters are dealt with. They include:
• an acceptable level of municipal planning control over wind projects;
• wind contracts should not exceed the expected price of peak power imports over the next six years;
• use of such equipment required to eliminate current inducement in surrounding lines and buildings;
• comprehensively studying set back requirements and to develop noise monitoring training protocols “to ensure the 40 dBA (decibel A-weighting) guideline is achieved across Ontario” and
• that “rural residents’ health and nuisance complaints must be immediately and fairly addressed.”
The OFA “supports green energy but is working to ensure that green energy projects will respect concerns for noise, community involvement and price, balanced against the effective provision of power,” its media release states.
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit board member Heather Stauble commends the OFA’s position.
“Their statement reflects what we have been hearing from people near existing project areas for some time,” she said. “It is clear there are some problems.”
Stauble is also a councillor for the City of Kawartha Lakes, where a wind project is proposed. She has twice attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the health unit call for a moratorium on wind projects pending further study.
“Wind (power) hasn’t been a real issue” in our area, Northumberland MPP Rob Milligan said in an interview Monday.
(Several years ago an information session held by a proponent in Grafton caused quite a bit of public backlash and no further meetings followed.)
Calling the OFA’s statement “a complete turnaround in terms of its position on wind power,” Milligan said he fully supports its current petition of the government.
During his election campaign last October, Milligan pushed water power as a viable alternative.
“With water power, we can control when and how much power is produced, plus hydro-electric sites can be expected to last at least three times longer than wind turbines,” Milligan stated in a media release.
“The Liberals must reconsider how renewable energy is produced in the future, and clearly, water power offers far more benefits….”
Water power is safer and upsets people less, Milligan summed up.
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