Members of a Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group are calling on provincial health minister Deb Matthews to consider the potential effect of wind power projects on emergency air ambulance access.
Last week the group, which consists of elected officials and appointed citizens from Bruce, Grey, Dufferin, Huron and Perth Counties, sent a letter to Matthews. Among the points noted in the letter are:
– air ambulances need a turbine-free corridor of up to five nautical miles;
– not having a safe corridor for transport can result in re-routing, exposure to air turbulence, and problems with use of navigational systems;
– an example is the Saugeen Memorial Hospital where a wind power project has been proposed nearby – this project will affect take-off and approach between the hospital and hospitals in Toronto and London.;
– concerns exist similarly for Mount Forest, Goderich, Kincardine and communities in eastern Ontario, the working group states.
“We trust that having raised this critical issue with you, we will see expedient planning measures taken to safeguard safe functioning of the EMS air ambulance service in our communities,” states the letter to Matthews signed by working group chair Mark Davis, deputy mayor of Arran-Elderslie.
“Your ministry will need to assure that adequate corridors through wind turbine developments are a requirement of government approval.”
The letter from the working group was released to the media on July 20 by Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario.
“Once again, the interests – and the health – of the residents of rural and semi-rural Ontario are being sacrificed for this government’s preposterous ‘green’ dream of industrial-scale wind power,” states Wilson.
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