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Wind proposal stirs up concerns in Powassan  

Although the mayor said he isn’t opposed to clean green energy, including wind power, he did describe the process as “frustrating. “At the end of the day, the authority belongs to the province,” said McIsaac, suggesting the municipality will have no authority over the approval of what may be the largest ever proposed industrial project in the municipality. McIsaac is referring legislation under the Green Energy Act which no longer requires proponents of such projects to seek zoning approvals from municipalities under the planning process.

Credit:  By GORD YOUNG The Nugget, www.nugget.ca ~~

Maple Hill residents in Powassan are wound up over a proposed wind farm in the area.

Homeowner Kevin Smith said most residents only recently learned of Hamilton-based Anemos Energy’s proposed wind project. And he said there’s a lot of concern regarding possible links between health issues and wind turbines, as well as property values and the effect on wildlife in the area.

Smith said the wind turbines are expected to be built on private land leased by landowners. He said he is aware of four area property owners who have been approached by the company. But he said residents don’t have much information.

“Everyone has questions,” said Smith, noting residents have organized a public meeting for Monday at the Powassan Legion at 7 p.m. to discuss the proposal.

Although few people have signed it, there is also an online petition opposing the project at www.petitiononlinecanada.com/petition/stop-maple-hill-wind-farm/913.

According to an e-mail from Mayor Peter McIsaac, Anemos Energy has already determined that a wind project in the area is feasible.

He said the former Powassan council passed a resolution of support in 2008 for the installation of a meteorological tower on Maple Hill so that the company could make such a determination.

The tower was erected in June 2011. And the municipality received a letter in March indicating a project in the area would be viable based on wind data and an environmental constraints analysis.

But area residents didn’t really catch wind of the project until earlier this month after Anemos asked council for a resolution of support.

McIsaac said council had a number of concerns and wasn’t willing to pass such a resolution.

“The project is not clear in size and scope. There is no mention of how many or the size of the proposed turbines. There is no indication on what properties the turbines will be erected,” he said.

McIsaac said most council members voiced concerns about possible links between wind turbines and long-term health issues. In addition, he said there are questions surrounding the effect on property values.

Attempts to reach a representative from Anemos Friday were unsuccessful.

Although the mayor said he isn’t opposed to clean green energy, including wind power, he did describe the process as “frustrating.

“At the end of the day, the authority belongs to the province,” said McIsaac, suggesting the municipality will have no authority over the approval of what may be the largest ever proposed industrial project in the municipality.

McIsaac is referring legislation under the Green Energy Act which no longer requires proponents of such projects to seek zoning approvals from municipalities under the planning process.

Although some consultation with municipalities and neighbours is required, applications for such projects go directly to the province.

Source:  By GORD YOUNG The Nugget, www.nugget.ca

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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