The parties in the fight to stop a wind turbine project near the Collingwood Regional Airport have lined up a few more allies.
On Tuesday, the Environmental Review Tribunal held a pre-hearing on the appeal of six parties to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s decision to approve WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind project.
WPD plans to erect eight 500-foot turbines in an area around County Road 91, including two considered within the four-kilometre ‘outer circle’ of the airport.
The full hearing is scheduled to take place over three weeks, beginning May 16.
The Town of Collingwood, Clearview Township, and the County of Simcoe have filed appeals to the decision, along with Kevin and Gail Elwood, John Wiggins, and a group of residents known as Preserve Clearview.
On Tuesday, the hearing panel of Dirk VanderBent and Hugh Wilkins gave participant and presenter status to several other groups and residents – all of whom signalled their opposition to the proposal.
Joining the fight are the Canadian Owner and Pilots Association (COPA), the Ontario Landowners Association, Susan Richardson, the Collingwood Flying Club and George Daniels, and Mandy and Stephen Bridson.
The appellant parties are arguing for WPD’s approval to be revoked based on the potential harm to human health based on a variety of physical responses to wind turbines, as well as the potential harm the turbines posed to human health by their proximity to the airport.
COPA’s counsel Glen Grenier highlighted the potential negative impact to both the regional airport, as well as the aerodrome owned by the Elwoods, given the national importance of air travel, “and it’s importance here.”
Richardson and the Bridsons both focused on the potential impact to the natural environment by the turbines in their submissions to gain presenter status.
“We’re not experts in law and the environment, but we are passionate about environmental issues,” the Bridsons stated in their submission to the panel.
The parties will be part of a pre-hearing teleconference on May 10 for presentation of motions.