Representatives from several Ontario communities where wind turbine projects are currently in the approval process, including Wallaceburg’s Otter Creek project, were at Queen’s Park Monday when three MPPs delivered a petition containing over 3,000 signatures.
The petition asks the Government of Ontario to follow its own rules for health and safety requirements for the wind turbines. The petition is related to the creation of “Transition Provisions” by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) in the Renewable Energy Approval process, which allows wind power developers to ignore new noise modelling guidelines, even for the newest unapproved power projects.
“The MOECC recognized that the previous requirements for turbine noise modelling were inadequate and they revised them,” said Bonnie Rowe, spokesperson for Dutton Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines (DDOWT), in a release. The citizen group has applied for a Judicial Review of the Transition Provisions. “The noise modelling requirements are important to protect health and safety for people living near the turbines but now, the government has allowed the developers for the new projects to use the old ones — we think that’s wrong.
“If the government sets rules, especially for health, then everyone should have to follow them, no exceptions.”
Denise Shephard represented the Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns citizen group at Queen’s Park. “These power generators emit a range of noise and can be very disruptive for the citizens forced to live near them. We believe regulations set by the government to protect citizens should be followed,” she stated.
Margaret Benke, representing two citizen groups, Concerned Citizens of North Stormont and Save the Nation, agreed.
“The MOECC does not have a good record of monitoring and correcting wind turbine projects that are not compliant with noise regulations. There are currently thousands of unresolved noise complaints from existing wind power projects. We want to ensure that rules are followed before these huge installations are built, to prevent non-compliance issues,” Benke said.
MPPs presenting the petitions Monday were Jeff Yurek, from Elgin-Middlesex-London where the Strong Breeze Wind Power Project is proposed for Dutton Dunwich; Monte McNaughton, from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex where the Otter Creek Wind Farm is proposed for the Wallaceburg area; and Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, who delivered petitions on behalf of the North Stormont area where the Nation Rise Wind Farm is proposed, and also the Municipality of The Nation and Champlain Township, where the Eastern Fields Wind Power Project is proposed.