Residents united in the Affected Residents Urirama group (URA) will go to court to initiate several judicial procedures against the plans to construct a windfarm at Urirama, Aruba.
URA is very disappointed by both the reactions of the government as well as members of parliament on the evaluation of the Urirama MER (EIA) given by the Dutch MER commission and on the presented survey of American experts Dr. Michael Nissenbaum and Acoustical expert Robert Rand.
The URA group states this in a press release. A spokesman did not yet specify to Amigoe what legal procedures they are planning. ‘Legal details need to be discussed with our lawyer’. A possible court case could entail a request to stop the ongoing drilling at Urirama.
Says URA: ‘These actions are more than just mere test drills. Furthermore: possibly the drillings are being executed without a permit. The URA group laments that the government apparently does not see the need for an adequate survey concerning the effect of possible health risks. 3000 inhabitants of Urirama all live within a radius of 2 km of the planned wind farm’. ARU cites part of the advice given by the MER commission: ‘Specific advice regarding the local situation could not take place, because of lack of time (short notice) and budget restrictions’. ‘This does not sound sincere and creates the impression that possible health risks for the residents are not being taken seriously’, according to URA.
URA laments that Aruba parliament members are reading the available reports ‘selectively’, based on the unclear advice of the MER Commission. This commission has concluded that wind farms do not pose a health risk. But the MER advice only states: ‘That direct health risks, as a result of low frequency or infrasound or vibrations are not expected.’
The same document states that confirming to the existing (Dutch) standards doesn’t mean there will be no (severe) disturbance and (severe) sleep disruptions. ARU doesn’t understand why MER Commission advises to make ‘adjustments’ AFTER construction of the wind turbines for noise and health issues. ‘How can you advance with a project of which you know beforehand there will be effects on public health, under the naïve assumption you can fix the negative effects later? When public health is affected, the effects are difficult to reverse’ says ARU.
MER Commission writes in their advice to Aruba parliament ‘There are no standards in Aruba for wind turbine noise’. This exactly is because there aren’t any standards in Aruba. ARU asks how companies can be sanctioned when they don’t comply with international or Dutch standards. The group also doesn’t understand why there is no transparency in the effects the wind park will have on electricity prices. The MER advice mentions ‘balancing interests’. But this call cannot be made if nobody knows what the so-called benefits of wind turbines are against the health risks for over 3,000 residents
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