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Turbine appeal dust in the wind, activist says  

Credit:  By Avery Moore on October 15, 2013 | Blackburn News | blackburnnews.com ~~

The Middlesex County woman who is appealing a planned wind turbine project near Parkhill says she already knows that she’s lost.

Esther Wrightman, the head of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, filed the appeal to take on a NextEra project poised to install 37 wind turbines on the landscape in Adelaide-Metcalfe near Kerwood Road and Elginfield Road.

On Friday, after hearing arguments from the Ministry of the Environment and NextEra lawyers, the Environmental Review Tribunal decided that six of Wrightman’s eleven witnesses needed to be removed from the list of presenters.

Wrightman says that list included two real estate appraisers, one resident, the spokesperson for an anti-wind organization in Australia, an engineer, and a specialist in acoustics.

She says now that her list is cut down, she will fight the process rather than the appeal.

[audio clip available]

And that’s exactly what happened when the hearing started up again this week. The hearing was halted Tuesday morning after a dispute between Tribunal chair Dirk VanderBent and wind activists threw a wrench in the day’s proceedings.

After his opening remarks, VanderBent asked the gallery (made up by a number of wind activists) to turn off all video recording devices. When three people refused, backed up by an argument by Wrightman that she wants her testimony recorded, he called all parties into his chambers.

Upon returning to the council room at the Middlesex County Office, VanderBent asked again for recording equipment to be turned off, and when two women in the front row refused, he hastily adjourned until Tuesday afternoon.

Wrightman and lawyers from the MOE and Nextera are set to argue over whether three more of her witnesses can give testimony during the hearing.

Source:  By Avery Moore on October 15, 2013 | Blackburn News | blackburnnews.com

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