A Suncor plan to build 46 wind turbines in and around the Town of Plympton-Wyoming has been given the green light by provincial officials.
A decision posted on the Ontario environmental registry Friday shows that the Cedar Point Wind project has been given renewable energy approval.
“We were expecting it. It’s highly disappointing,” said Ingrid Willemsen of the group We’re Against Industrial Turbines Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW).
“All the wind turbine projects seem to get a rubber stamp no matter how many arguments are in place against them.”
Other turbines are slated to go up in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
While it wasn’t immediately clear when work on the turbines will break ground, Willemsen said she believes the decision means crews could begin building as early as this fall.
One of the conditions of approval says that the project must be finished being built within the next three years.
When the province reached out for public consultation at the end of 2013, they received more than 1600 comments in return.
While some were in support of the turbines, others expressed concerns over aesthetics, effect on property values, as well as impact on animals and the natural environment.
“I am totally against the wind turbines. As a taxpayer, I am furious with the implementation of this project,” wrote one commenter.
“Put a turbine near your backyard that has been in your family for a hundred years and see how you like it,” wrote another.
The concerns were summarized and addressed in the decision.
Lonny Napper, Mayor of Plympton-Wyoming said he was disappointed by the process and the decision.
He plans to seek legal advice on Monday evening to figure out the next course of action.
“I think there’s a 15 day window to put in the appeals on it,” he said. “We’ll be discussing it with our lawyer.”
Hearings with the Environmental Review Tribunal can be requested in the 15 days following the decision.
Willemsen said her group is also planning on legal action.
“What we have been preparing for is a lawsuit,” she said. “We have thousands and thousands of dollars collected.”
She conceded that even if a lawsuit was successful, it probably wouldn’t be able to halt the project before it begins. If they are successful however, anti-wind officials hope they can bring the building to a standstill later on.
Other action by anti-wind groups across the province could also potentially impact the future of the project.
“It’s difficult for us to put a stop to it before it begins but there is a good chance that it would have baring on what the wind company would be allowed to do in the future.”
One of the conditions of approval is the creation of a community liaison committee with both company officials and members of the public.
Suncor representatives weren’t immediately available for comment on Sunday.
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