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Community concerned about coming wind turbine  

Credit:  Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post | Published on January 08, 2014 | capebretonpost.com ~~

Construction of a wind turbine is expected to begin in the community of Bateston in the spring, a project some residents are not looking forward to.

Glen Lahey said his problem is not so much with the project as it is with the way the company went about presenting it to the people of Bateston.

Lahey said he understands people wanting to start up businesses, but he says there was a lack of community consultation here.

“They are in business to make money – good luck to them,” he said. “It’s the way they went about it, that’s my biggest beef. I told them that.

“Why didn’t they have a meeting here to ask the people how they feel about it? By the time they did have a meeting, they had the property bought and 90 per cent of it cleared.”

Lahey says the turbine will be located about one kilometre behind his property and in his view. He said company officials told him there could be reflection from the machinery on his property.

“We had to go to Home Depot and get special blinds, the folding ones.”

He said he has been told of people in other areas getting “surges” from electrical items as a result of the turbines being nearby, with some even having to sell their homes. He said if the turbine affects someone’s property, no one else will want it either.

“Some people have also said they are good and it really won’t affect you. You really won’t know until it comes here.”

“I wouldn’t care if they put six up there, as long as it doesn’t drive you away from your home.”

He said the company officials also invited people to purchase shares.

Marsha Campbell, CEO of Celtic Current LP, said there will be one wind turbine in Bateston, about one kilometre off the road, near MacVicar’s Lake.

A meteorological tower, to measure wind, has already been set up there.

“That’s where the turbine will be located. I think it might even be a little further back than that.”

The construction is expected to start in the spring and the turbine should be in operation by the fall.

She said there have been good communications with the community.

“We did public consultations, we went door-to-door and we did mailouts in the community,” she said. “There was positive feedback.”

Campbell said they are still researching the project.

“We are monitoring the wind data, still doing studies and have submitted an EA (environmental assessment) and haven’t heard back on that.”

Campbell said the environmental assessment is public information and is available for anyone wishing to see it by clicking here.

Dist. 8 Coun. Kevin Saccarysaid although the wind turbines are located a kilometre from the homes, residents feel it still creates a distraction on the landscape.

“The concern is the blinking effect any sunshade would give off on any property and would disrupt anyone’s way of living in enjoying their property, similar to what took place over in Lingan.”

Saccary said that, in his estimation, the company went in and did their business and although they did let the public know what they were planning, they didn’t take much time to consult with the community.

“The company was in communication with me and I haven’t received any notice of a community meeting yet.”

“These guys have done a lot of roadwork in there, but not a lot of community consultation.”

Darcy MacRae, Communications Nova Scotia, said the formal environmental assessment began Wednesday, with all aspects of the project being reviewed by government experts. He said the Mi’Kmaq people of Nova Scotia and the general public can review the document and submit comments during the 30-day public comment period.

He said wind power projects of greater than two megawatts are subject to regulatory requirements under the Environment Act.

“An environmental assessment provides opportunities for the public to comment and ensure their concerns are considered before decisions are made.”

NSE is also working with the provincial Department of Natural Resources to ensure early consideration of bird and wildlife impacts in project planning.

Source:  Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post | Published on January 08, 2014 | capebretonpost.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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