ASPHODEL-NORWOOD – Council is keeping an eye on the progress of a controversial industrial wind turbine project southeast of Norwood, Mayor Doug Pearcy said last week.
“We’re keeping it on the front burner,” Pearcy said of the proposed Wind Farm Collie Hill project, which has generated opposition throughout the community. “It’s still moving along, but we can’t seem to get any response at all from any of the ministry people or the premier or the minister of rural affairs,” Pearcy said. “It’s a concerning issue to a lot of people. So we just have to keep our nose to the ground and see if there’s anything we can do.”
Wind Farm Collie Hill LP is expecting to begin construction on its 5.4-megawatt wind power project in the spring or summer of 2014, providing it gets the go-ahead from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The Wind Farm Collie Hill project comprises three 1.8-megawatt wind turbines, each 100 metres tall. The project was initially developed by Energy Farming Ontario Inc., but is now owned by Wind Farm Collie Hill LP, a subsidiary of Zero Emission People, which is in turn a subsidiary of the Ottawa-based Wind Works Power Corp.
“Approximately 70 people signed a petition protesting the project during a recent wind turbine community information meeting” at the Norwood Town Hall, said township resident Debbie Lynch, who is spearheading opposition to the Collie Hill project. She said Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Rob Milligan is presenting the petition at Queen’s Park on the community’s behalf.
Lynch is cautiously optimistic about Premier Kathleen Wynne’s comment that municipal and community input into proposed wind turbine projects should be taken into greater account.
“I hope that we can take Premier Wynne at her word and that communities whose residents are not ‘willing hosts’ for industrial wind turbines will not have industrial wind turbines forced upon them,” said Lynch “For instance, the municipality of Asphodel-Norwood has passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on industrial wind turbines, so clearly the municipality of Asphodel-Norwood is not a ‘willing host’ for industrial wind turbines.”
Lynch noted that Wynne has heard from residents in communities where the Ministry of the Environment issued certificates of approval for industrial wind turbines. She said residents of those communities “have suffered and are suffering.” Some have been forced to leave their homes after suffering health problems following the commissioning of the turbines.
Among them is Barb Ashbee, who spoke at the information meeting in Norwood. Ashbee and her family were forced to leave their home in Amaranth Township following the construction of wind turbines near their home. In a span of seven months after the wind turbines started operating, Ashbee and her husband experienced chest pressure, ringing in the ears, recurring headaches, stomach-aches, sleep deprivation, thickness in the head and plugged ears, infection requiring antibiotics, skin rashes, heart palpitations, nausea, dizziness, cognitive and memory problems and bleeding from the nose that required treatment. The symptoms vanished without treatment after they moved away, she said.
Ashbee said industrial wind turbines emit loud cyclical noise and low frequency vibration. “They do not operate at a quiet whisper and the noises emitted can change frequently depending on wind speed, wind direction and changes in weather.”
Lynch has called on Asphodel-Norwood council to do more than pass resolutions placing a moratorium on wind turbines in the municipality. More than 90 Ontario municipalities have passed similar resolutions, but the province hasn’t listened, she said. “So we need to continue to look for avenues that will, if not stop construction of wind turbines, at least slow down the rate at which they are constructed here. “It is imperative that we work together to ensure that our community has in fact protected its residents from any development that will be a detriment to our future well being.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding