August 10, 2012

Resident taking on turbines

Kelly McShane | 10 August 2012

TROUT CREEK – Life-long Trout Creek resident Patricia Brown is taking on a local wind energy development.

“We don’t know enough about turbines and the research that I’ve been doing with the assistance of STOMP is that we don’t have enough information,” said Brown. “These turbines are being put up too close to people and there will be repercussions.”

STOMP is a nearby Powassan group working to block a proposed wind development on Maple Hill Road.

Recently, Schneider Power Inc. announced plans to hold a public meeting in regard to its Trout Creek Wind Farm proposal. The proposed development will encompass more than 450 hectares of Crown land approximately one kilometre southeast of Trout Creek. The area that is being eyed as the future home of four large-scale turbines is located south of Forestry Road, west of Ralph’s Road, and east of Highway 11.

Brown said the land Schneider Power would like to develop has been used by local residents for hunting and fishing for as long as she can remember.

“It’s beautiful up there,” she said. “There’s marsh and bush. This development stands to clear out all of the wildlife and could even affect the water table.”

In response to Schneider Power’s plans and upcoming public meeting, Brown plans to hold her own meeting one week prior.

Residents with questions and concerns about the proposed wind turbine project are encouraged to attend the meeting at the Trout Creek Community Centre on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.

Representatives from STOMP, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli and Nipissing/Timiskaming MP Jay Aspin are set to attend.

STOMP has held multiple meetings in opposition to a wind farm proposed on private land in Powassan.

Brown says wind turbine developments across the province have been met with resistance by residents concerned about the health effects on family, pets and wildlife, the soaring costs that are being borne by electricity consumers, and the unsightly scarring of the landscape.

“I think half of the people don’t understand and the other half think there’s nothing to be done,” she said. “All I’m asking is for the government to say, ‘Wait, let’s look into this a little more.’ ”

Brown said she intends to attend Schneider Power’s meeting as well and is encouraging the rest of the community to do the same.

“Come hear what we have to say and then go and ask the company the hard questions and see if we can get some answers,” said Brown. “This is Crown land they’re going to put this on. How is that allowed? Since it’s on public land, I think the public should have a say.”

Schneider Power is holding their public meeting on Aug. 21 from 4 to 8 p.m. as a mandatory requirement of the Ontario Renewable Energy application review process. Schneider Power has already received Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program approval. Both meetings are being held at the same venue.

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