PUGWASH – The province says a controversial wind farm overlooking the Northumberland Strait can move ahead.
The government gave North Cumberland Wind Power’s environmental assessment approval on Wednesday, March 27, saying the terms and conditions in place protect the environment and public health.
North Cumberland Wind Power LP registered its environmental assessment on Feb. 6. After a 30-day consultation the Minister of Environment had 50 days to issue a decision. The project must still go through the competitive bidding process under the Renewable Electricity Administrator.
“I have carefully reviewed the application and I am confident there are appropriate measures in place to protect the environment and public health,” Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau said. “Wind farms are an important part of government’s renewable electricity goals, and will help us reduce our reliance on coal.”
Not everyone shares the minister’s enthusiasm, however.
Canadian recording artist Anne Murray, who owns a cottage on the Gulf Shore Road, is one of the opponents to the project and wrote Premier Darrell Dexter in February to protest the environmental assessment.
“I am very much in favour of alternative sources of power but I also believe that people, location and the environment must be carefully considered when planning these things,” Murray wrote. “…I beg you to see that such an installation would have a catastrophic impact on the economy and environment of Pugwash and the surrounding area. It is simply the wrong place for this project.”
Murray and the Gulf Shore Preservation Society, spearheaded by the Village of Pugwash’s clerk Lisa Betts, identified 17 points within the environmental assessment they felt warranted stopping the project.
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