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Keep wind turbines off moraine, group says

A grassroots organization says it will present its case about industrial wind turbines at the next Alnwick / Haldimand Township Council session in view of a pair of proposals being developed in the municipality by the same company.

If the company’s bid is successful, the first wind farm could be in operation next year.

“The Alliance strenuously objects to locating turbines on the fragile ecosystem of the Oak Ridges Moraine,” the Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills states in a media release.

The Alliance also “argues that the Ontario Government’s minimum 550-metre setback is insufficient to protect local residents, in particular, an estimated 250 families and two large dairy farms, from the possible adverse health effects of inaudible, ultra-low-frequency sound emitted by industrial wind turbines.”

The projects, which have been the subject of a pair of public meetings hosted by Clean Breeze Wind Park on behalf of Zero Emission People Inc., would see the erection of a least five industrial turbines 150 metres high. One would be located near Centreton and another close to Grafton.

Alliance spokesperson Sarah Holland says that in addition to outlining concerns to the township council, it recently met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Given the contents of the recent Throne Speech about involving the public and municipalities in more consultations about infrastructure, Holland said she is feeling more positive about the prospect of changes.

“We’re hopeful municipalities get to provide more input,” and that the view of residents is considered more than it is now, Holland said.

In addition to setback regulations, the effects of infrasonic noise, shadow flicker and electromagnetic current are other concerns the group has and are the subject of a recently expanded Health Canada study anticipated to be completed by next year.

Other Alliance members and Northumberland – Quinte West Conservative MPP Rob Milligan have already said they want Wynne to put a moratorium on the further development of industrial wind turbines until after that study is completed.

The Alliance will make its position known to local township councillors on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 3:30 p.m. with a delegation to Alnwick / Haldimand Council.

Holland noted that the head of the council recently announced he was declaring a conflict of interest . Mayor Dalton McDonald told Northumberland Today that this is for pecuniary reasons (he rents land to a wind farm opponent near one of the proposed sites, which is also close to his own home farm).