August 10, 2012

Wind turbines under fire

By MARIA CALABRESE, North Bay Nugget | 9 August 2012

Trout Creek residents are circulating a petition to call for a moratorium on wind projects, including one on nearby Crown land, until the impact on health and the environment are studied.

“I grew up here, and I just don’t feel this is going to be something positive for Trout Creek or Laurier Township,” Patricia Brown said Thursday during a break from distributing pamphlets promoting a public meeting next week.

Brown said residents are unaware of the local project, and the meeting is meant to head off a similar event a week later organized by Schneider Power Inc., the California-based company behind the project.

Nipissing MP Jay Aspin and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, who are both scheduled to speak at the meeting, have called for a stop to proposed wind projects until Health Canada completes a study examining the risks to people living nearby.

A call to Schneider Power was not returned Thursday.

The company plans to install four turbines on 455 hectares of land in Laurier Township, bordered on the south and west by Forestry and Ralph roads and east by Highway 11, about one kilometre south of Trout Creek, according to an online report by Schneider.

Brown said she’s concerned about the project’s impact on migratory birds, nearby lakes and wetlands, fish and wildlife.

The area is a combination of seasonal and full-time residents.

Schneider is also proposing to build a wind farm in Crystal Falls, north of Sturgeon Falls.

Powassan council denied support earlier this year to Anemos Energy Corp., of Hamilton, until more details are available for a proposed project on private land on Maple Hill.

Trout Creek is within Powassan’s jurisdiction, and Brown said she believes the project in her area was shifted to the unorganized Township of Laurier to avoid the municipal level of government and seek approval directly from the province.

“There’s nobody to really have a voice for this community,” Brown said.

She said an anti-wind turbine group in Powassan named STOMP – Stop Turbines on Maplehill Powassan – is helping the Trout Creek residents.

Wind projects of more than 50 kilowatts that generate noise must be at least 550 metres from the nearest residence. The Trout Creek project would consist of up to four wind turbine generators each ranging from 1.5 to 3.0 megawatts, and a maximum sound level of 106 decibels.

That’s about the same volume as a snowmobile or motorcycle.

Trout Creek isn’t the first wind turbine on Crown land, with a wind farm of 43 turbines on almost 3,000 hectares of public land west of Thunder Bay.

Brown said she doesn’t oppose green energy projects, but wants more information before going ahead with them.

The residents’ public meeting is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Trout Creek Community Centre. Schneider Power’s public meeting will be held Aug. 21 at that same time and place.

[rest of article available at source]

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