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Resident appeals turbine approval; HAF given second green light by province  

Credit:  By Amanda Moore | Grimsby Lincoln News | August 11, 2014 | www.niagarathisweek.com ~~

WEST LINCOLN – Wind turbine opponent Anne Fairfield has filed a second appeal to the province’s approval of an industrial wind turbine project in Caistor Centre.

While Fairfield is still awaiting a decision on her appeal filed last summer, she has filed another one against the same project after the province re-approved the five-turbine operation in June.

Project proponents – Vineland Power Inc. and Rankin Wind Energy – had to resubmit the application after it was discovered four of the five turbines were built in contradiction of property line setbacks outlined in the province’s Green Energy Act. Approval was given to the amendment on June 20.

Fairfield, who’s home is surrounded by the HAF project, filed her appeal July 3.

“We have too much to lose not to do anything,” said Fairfield in an earlier interview.

Fairfield also continues to push her original appeal, based on the proximity of the turbines to gas wells in the area, including one near her home.

A preliminary hearing was set to take place Wednesday at the Jordan Harbour Ramada Motel. Notice was given to nearby residents July 15. Fairfield and partner Ed Engel were to argue a stay motion to stop the project while the gas well matter is dealt with. The actual hearing will commence in early September.

Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak has already called on the province to take action against the project’s proponents.

In a letter to Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, the former Ontario PC party leader again called for a stop “to the reckless industrial wind turbines constructed in West Lincoln” and other areas of the province. Hudak was responding to news that the project was operating without ministry approval for a week in June.

“Sadly, this is not the first time this company has defied the rules of the province,” Hudak wrote in his letter. “When the industrial turbines were constructed, four of the five were built outside allowable setbacks. When I wrote to you earlier on the issue, your response – that HAF need simply file an amendment that would bring the turbines into conformity with regulations – was unsatisfactory. The response when somebody breaks the rules is not simply to change the rules.”

Hudak will meet with Fairfield and several of her neighbours Monday.

“Throughout the approval process for these industrial wind turbine projects, the residents of West Lincoln and surrounding areas were opposed to the five turbines based on very real concerns for their health, happiness and property values,” Hudak wrote to the energy minister. “To add insult to injury, these law-abiding, hard-working residents are now faced with your government’s unwillingness, or inability, to impose its authority on these big corporations. If one of these citizens were to break the law, they would be punished. Why is there a double standard for these well-connected corporations?”

In his letter, Hudak renewed his call for a moratorium on all new wind projects in the province as well as a halt those already in the approvals phase – including Niagara Region Wind Corp. which plans to build 77 turbines, the bulk of which will be located in West Lincoln. He also called on the ministry to enforce the law in relation to the HAF project.

Source:  By Amanda Moore | Grimsby Lincoln News | August 11, 2014 | www.niagarathisweek.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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