A group opposed to West Lincoln turbines is demanding the cancellation of the project due to setback violations.
It says three of five industrial wind turbines at the location in the west part of the township were constructed in violation of provincial regulations.
In a Monday release, West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action Group says the violations in property boundary setback requirements were confirmed by a Ministry of the Environment official.
However, another official told the group “a new precedent will be set to legitimize the … deficiencies” by letting the wind company get retroactive permission from affected neighbors to accept reduced turbine setback distances from their property boundaries.
“Once again, the wind industry is not in compliance with regulations,” said action group co-chair Deb Murphy.
“People don’t want the turbines there, they’re not sited properly and they want them gone.
Murphy said “it seems like the wind industry never has to follow the rules, and we’re saying, ‘why not?'”
Rankin Construction is building the turbines and is 50% owner of the turbine company Vineland Power Inc.
Rankin president Tom Rankin said the setbacks at issue relate to farmers’ fields and not residences.
“It does not impact any homes,” Rankin said. “We’re not in violation of setbacks from any of the homes.
“They’re making a mountain out of a molehill … are the farmers’ fields in any danger from this?” he said.
“They’re grasping at straws here, as far as I can see.”
Rankin said the project is nearing its final stages and could be ready for start-up in a month.
The wind action group and other opponents say if the five turbines are permitted to operate, residents nearby fear for alleged possible health impacts, property devaluations and harm to local bird and bat populations.
Ontario environment minister Jim Bradley said his ministry is aware of the setback issue and “taking appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the provincial setback requirement.”
“The turbines cannot operate without this matter being resolved to the satisfaction of the ministry,” he said in a statement.
West Lincoln Mayor Doug Joyner said for the time being he preferred not to comment on the matter.
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