Wind project okayed; Prince Edward County mayor angry
Credit: By Bruce Bell | Friday, December 21, 2012 | www.intelligencer.ca ~~
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Translate: FROM English | TO English
Wind turbines are coming to Prince Edward County and the mayor is not happy.
The Ministry of Environment (MoE) announced late Thursday afternoon it has issued a Renewable Energy Approval to Gilead Power to proceed with the Ostrander Point Wind Park and Mayor Peter Mertens said he is not happy with the decision.
“I am extremely disappointed with the decision because they have not taken into account the submissions we have made – we don’t want them here – and it flies contrary to what they’ve been saying about not putting them in municipalities where they are not wanted. I am not happy at all with this and I can only imagine how the people who are living in the south of the County are feeling.”
The decision clears the path for Gilead to erect nine turbines, enough to produce 22.5 megawatts of green energy.
In the release issued by the MOE, it stated because of public comments received, several restrictions were placed on the project.
• Acoustic audits of the turbines and transformer substation will be done to ensure the project is meeting the ministry’s noise limits at all times;
• A traffic management plan and a “road users agreement” will be developed with the municipality to minimize truck traffic coming and going from the site; and,
• A liaison committee comprised of members of the public will be established to ensure the community continues to be involved in the planning and operation of the park.
Mertens said residents in the area could be impacted significantly by the project.
“There’s the whole health thing, because as far as I’m concerned, they haven’t proven there are no adverse affects and I don’t think studies are complete,” he said. “And what if people have losses or if this impacts the municipality negatively?”
“I think they should be putting the money where their mouth is and guarantee it. If people can’t sell their home, the developer should have to pay fair market value for it. Much of our local economy depends on our natural beauty and this could be very obtrusive. If we suffer as a result of this, where is our protection? The way I see it, 100 per cent of the risk here is falling on the municipality and the residents and that is wrong.”
As part of the agreement, Gilead was also required to assess and study the potential impacts this project could have on natural features as well as develop measures to ensure that the project would be protective of the natural environment.
Gilead is also required to retain the services of a third party consultant to attend all on-site monitoring activities for wildlife and wildlife habitat.
• To ensure monitoring reports submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources are reviewed by a third party consultant.
• Conduct a research project to determine the effectives of its proposed radar technology system for the early detection of birds and bats approaching wind turbines.
Gilead has acquired and will manage a more than 37 hectare property adjacent to the project area for the habitat preservation, maintenance and restoration of both Blanding’s Turtle and Eastern Whip-poor-will for a minimum of 20 years.
Attempts to reach Gilead officials were unsuccessful.
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