Re: Paul M. Dunphy’s Feb. 8 letter describing the Cumberland’s County council’s decision to delay the approval of new industrial wind projects for six months to provide opportunity to review the county’s bylaws which regulate these projects as stalling and appalling.
Protect Wentworth Valley (ProtectWentworthValley.com) is a group of concerned citizens dedicated to protecting the natural beauty, wilderness, endangered species, and outdoor tourism economy in the Wentworth Valley for future generations.
We agree with Mr. Dunphy’s position that climate change is real, that we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and all do our part. We believe we are doing our part and that the Cumberland County council is doing its part. We know that green energy projects are critical but not at any cost and risk to our environment and the quality of life of a community.
The massive industrial turbines currently being proposed are much larger than those currently operating in our province and certainly than those built almost a decade ago when the current bylaws were last reviewed. The size and footprint of these mega-projects do threaten everything from wildlife, endangered species, interference with all aspects of telecommunication services, environmental concerns, economic development and the peace and enjoyment of this community for both visitors and residents.
They are a major threat to the designated core habitat of the mainland moose in Cumberland/Colchester counties, as recently identified in the Mainland Moose Recovery Plan which our government has committed to. The blasting, levelling, road-building, clearcutting, etc. that is required for the construction of these huge structures and the ongoing sound, flicker and flashing lights will bring irrevocable change and devastation to our community.
It was clear from several meetings in the fall at the Wentworth Community Centre that many in the community had concerns and fears regarding the impact of a proposed industrial wind turbine project. The voices of the community were heard by the Cumberland County councillors and it was in response, and out of respect for their constituents, that they approved a delay in approval of new applications. This was done to provide time to ensure that the bylaws that regulate these projects including setback, audio, bond and decommissioning requirements are appropriate to protect the community, given the change in size and advanced technology of the new generation of industrial wind turbines.
Respectfully, the process approved by the Cumberland County councillors was not a case of politicians ignoring the advice of experts, as claimed by Mr. Dunphy. It was politicians listening to their constituents and acting in a responsible and caring manner to ensure that the rules and specifications that regulate the building of these massive structures provide the appropriate safeguards and protection for the community.
The Cumberland County councillors understand that the decisions made today will determine the legacy that we leave for future generations and that we have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to make choices that best protect our environment. We thank the council and appreciate their action.
Protect Wentworth Valley Committee members Leslie Dykeman, Audrey Conroy, Gregor Wilson, Dr. Joanna Zed, Nancy Frame, Heather Allen Johnson, Catherine Johnson
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