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Wind turbine hearing begins Friday

Parents and grandparents concerned about the potential impact large industrial wind turbines could have on children will have an opportunity to discuss those concerns during an Environmental Review Tribunal, starting Friday.

A preliminary hearing looking into plans of Niagara Region Wind Corp to build wind turbines in west Niagara communities begins at 10 a.m. at the Wellandport Community Centre.

Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner launched the tribunal in response to an appeal by Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. filed Nov. 26, two weeks after the Ministry of the Environment granted renewable energy approval for the project.

The hearing will focus on community concerns about the project to build 77 wind turbines in the communities of West Lincoln, Lincoln, Wainfleet, Haldimand and on Region of Niagara property, with a total capacity of generating 230 megawatts of electricity.

Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said she may stop in during the hearing depending on her schedule, since six of the wind turbines being proposed are planned for her community.

“Three (turbines) are going in the Wellandport area in the northwest, and another two or three will be down here along the lake on the Haldimand border.

“I’m sure there will be residents of Wainfleet attending,” Jeffs said, adding several members of Mothers Against Wind Turbines live in Wainfleet.

The organization says the turbines will be up to 135 metres tall, and the blades of which will have a diameter of 101 meters.

“These will be some of the largest turbines to ever be introduced so closely to people and their homes in North America,” the organization said in a media release.

The full hearing is scheduled to start Jan. 19.

Calls and e-mails to Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc., as well as Niagara Region Wind Corp. to discuss the hearing were not returned, Thursday.

Who: Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. appeal

What: Environmental Review Tribunal preliminary hearing for proposed west Niagara wind turbines planned by Niagara Region Wind Corp.

When: Friday Dec. 19 at 10 a.m.

Where: Wellandport Community Centre, 5042 Canborough Rd.