Lambton County may join a second legal battle brewing over the development of another industrial wind farm in its boundaries.
County council voted Wednesday in favour of joining a potential environmental review tribunal hearing in the event the Ministry of the Environment approves Suncor’s 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind project set for Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
This move would mark the county’s second time participating as a party before the environmental review tribunal.
The county is currently participating in a tribunal hearing over NextEra Energy’s 92-turbine Jericho Wind Energy project. The tribunal must find serious harm could be caused to human or environmental health before it can overturn the project’s MOE approval.
Deputy Warden Bev MacDougall lauded county solicitor David Cribbs’ efforts representing council and county ratepayers at the Jericho hearing.
Despite the costs and risks associated with the county’s participation, she said its voice needs to be heard and its approach needs to be consistent in dealing with industrial wind farms.
“I believe if you go to the first (hearing) with all the work and all the preparation, it will prepare you for the second one,” she said.
Over the course of 18 wind turbine tribunal hearings, none of the parties have received cost awards, according to a letter from Keith Watson, president of We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW).
In the letter, Watson called for county council to decide on becoming a party in a potential Cedar Point appeal at this time because the MOE approval could come when county council isn’t regularly meeting over the summer.
WAIT-PW member Audrey Broer applauded council’s backing of the possible appeal.
“They are the first county in Ontario that said, ‘We are an unwilling host and we stand by that.’”