Construction to begin on wind turbine in Port Elgin; hundreds of residents within 550m bubble

PORT ELGIN, ON, Nov. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - 35 concerned residents of Port Elgin Ontario have requested through legal counsel that the Minister of Environment stop the construction of an 800kW wind-powered electrical generator, which the CAW is attempting to erect as close as 150m to their homes. Current Regulations under the Environmental Protection Act require such generators to be a minimum of 550m away from all residences.

The CAW received its initial Certificate of Approval from the Ministry in 2005, but only applied for its final building permit in August of 2011. Even though the Regulations requiring the 550m set-back were enacted in September 2009, the Ministry says that the set-back does not apply since the project was approved several months earlier in March 2009. The wind turbine is to stand 76m tall, and all 35 concerned residents are within the 550m bubble.

Wind turbines are known to create chronic low frequency noise and vibrations, and nearby residents in close proximity to turbines have complained of dizziness, headaches, and sleep disturbance. Erickson v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, an Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal decision dated 18 July 2011 confirmed that wind turbines can, if "placed too close to residents", cause harm to humans.

It is estimated that there could be as many as 100 homes currently within the 550m bubble. The entire area within the bubble will be residentially developed within the next 20 years according to Bruce County plans. Furthermore, two new sub-divisions have been approved by the Town, which will result in several hundred more homes being built within the bubble during the next several years.

"All we are asking is that the Minister hold the CAW to the standards that exist under the current law. The 550m set-back was enacted to protect people's health and well-being. These residents are deeply concerned that this turbine will have ill-effects on their health. The current regulations lend credence to their concern. With this project, the CAW overrides the rights and safety concerns of hundreds of current and future residents of Port Elgin."
     - Daniel C. Santoro, Counsel to the 35 Concerned Residents

"The electorate made their views known loud and clear on this issue in the most recent provincial election. They spoke again in this Municipality on Monday, which passed a resolution requesting that the Minister stop the construction of this turbine. The CAW is overriding the will of the people with this project, not to mention potentially putting their health and safety in jeopardy. We just hope that the current government listens and acts on our concerns."
     - John Mann, Lawyer and Resident of Port Elgin Ontario

SOURCE Nicolas M. Rouleau, Barrister and Solicitor

For further information:

Daniel Santoro, Counsel to the Concerned Residents: 416.922.7272
Nicolas M. Rouleau, Counsel to the Concerned Residents: 416.885.1361

Profil de l'entreprise

Nicolas M. Rouleau, Barrister and Solicitor

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