Residents in the Grafton and Centreton areas near two possible wind farm projects met last week to outline a plan of action, says organizer Lisa DeJong.
Their concerns range from environmental and safety issues, to loss of property values.
About 50 area residents living in the affect areas met about the Clean Breeze Wind Park projects (each comprised of five wind turbines) with Northumberland Quinte West MPP Rob Milligan on Friday, and then went into a private planning meeting, DeJong said in an interview.
“He said he would support us,” DeJong told Northumberland Today.
Milligan also said if his party came into power there would be a “moratorium” on the development of energy from wind and that the 550 metre setback to residences would be increased, she said. DeJong said she also hopes that the new provincial Liberal leader to be chosen this month calls for a moratorium, in light of the rural opposition to wind turbines that is being expressed here, and in other parts of the province.
Milligan confirmed in an interview Monday that he is contacting the heads of the three Ontario Liberal government ministries involved in wind farm approvals.
“I’m writing formal letters to the Ministers of energy, environment and municipal affairs with the concerns of this group,” he said, adding that he supports his constituents “100%.”
In addition to issues related to their impact on the landscape, Milligan supports health issue claims.
“I’m disturbed that this (Liberal) government continues to support wind turbines when they know significant risks exist,” he stated in a media release, referencing 2009 health ministry documents fellow MPP Lisa Thompson acquired through a Freedom of Information request.
Both he and DeJong also expressed concerns that the Centreton-area wind farm project is on the Oak Ridges Moraine which is suppose to be protected under provincial legislation.
DeJong said “Canada’s largest freshwater turtle has its spring breeding in the gravel and sand adjacent to the Centreton Kettles in the Oak Ridges Morraine” and that she found this new hatchling “on the road they would use in the construction of the Industrial Turbine Wind Park.”
She released it into the wetlands there, she said.
“It seems hypocritical that the Ministry of the Environment would give permission for such a project on previously protected habitat such as the Oak Ridges Moraine.
“I believe in clean energy, but the setbacks of the industrial turbine could be moved further away to include protection of our specially-designated wetlands.”
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