LITTLE BRAS D’OR – When it comes to a proposed two-turbine wind project in Hillside Boularderie, there are two sides to the issue.
On one side is the company, now in the process of seeking approvals to build the 4 MW wind farm across from the Groves Point Provincial Park. The two turbines will be located just over a kilometre away from the nearest home and according to their assessments, everything is right on track.
“Overall, the results of the environmental assessment show there will be negligible effect on environments – that’s on birds, bats, health effects,” says Andy MacCallum, vice-president of developments for Natural Forces, the company that’s hoping to build the wind farm. They held an open house at the Bras d’Or Community Hall on Thursday night.
“We initially chose this site because it is well away from houses. And it is away from sensitive areas – it’s on existing cleared farmland. And it’s over a kilometre away from any house nearby, so that’s over four times the distance that is required under the CBRM bylaws.”
Kaye Jardine lives on a 50-acre property that has been in her family for about 100 years. She’s just a kilometre from the site, and she’s apprehensive about the future.
“I am worried about my health and well-being. Health Canada is doing a study on this – there’s been a huge amount of complaints about these turbines in Ontario.”
Jardine says people can react to the environmental assessment until May 31 and the provincial environment will make a decision on whether the project can go ahead by June 20. But she wants the province and the company to wait until Health Canada has completed their study in 2014 before any decisions are made.
Kevin Boudreau wonders why the area is even considered a good site to put such a project since it is a rural residential area.
“Some have heart problems, hearing problems – I know I am going to be affected by this project,” said Boudreau.
Both Boudreau and Jardine say the residents were never consulted and that most are opposed to the project, even signing a petition that went before the legislature.
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