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London hearing on health effects of wind turbines shut down due to activists

Wrightman said she was stymied last week when the tribunal deemed nine of her 11 witnesses wouldn’t be allowed to speak as experts in their field. They included an Australian doctor, a Chicago assessor and a specialist in low-frequency soundwaves. “What this has shown me is that there is no way an average Ontario resident can file an appeal successfully,” she told hearing chairperson Dirk VanderBent.

On the one side: Thirty anti-wind protesters, led by Kerwood farmer Esther Wrightman, saying turbines cause human and environmental health problems.

On the other side: A legal team from a top Toronto firm, the Environment Ministry’s team and the law firm’s 24 boxes filled with documents saying there’s no science-proved evidence of harm.

An environmental review tribunal began in London Tuesday to hear Wrightman’s argument that forging ahead with a 37-turbine project near her Strathroy-area home is folly.

It’s the latest in her group’s onslaught of efforts to reverse the construction of thousands of the turbines.

To see the approval reversed, she has to prove turbines cause serious harm to human health or serious and irreversible harm to animal, plant or environmental health.

But mere speculation isn’t proof, said lawyer John Terry, acting on behalf of wind energy giant NextEra Canada, which plans the Adelaide turbines.

“It’s not enough to identify a threat or a risk or a concern” to human or environmental health, he said in opening statements Tuesday. “You need evidence to show this will cause serious harm.”

Terry said he intends to call doctors, the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

On the one side: Thirty anti-wind protesters, led by Kerwood farmer Esther Wrightman, saying turbines cause human and environmental health problems.

On the other side: A legal team from a top Toronto firm, the Environment Ministry’s team and the law firm’s 24 boxes filled with documents saying there’s no science-proved evidence of harm.

An environmental review tribunal began in London Tuesday to hear Wrightman’s argument that forging ahead with a 37-turbine project near her Strathroy-area home is folly.

It’s the latest in her group’s onslaught of efforts to reverse the construction of thousands of the turbines.

To see the approval reversed, she has to prove turbines cause serious harm to human health or serious and irreversible harm to animal, plant or environmental health.

But mere speculation isn’t proof, said lawyer John Terry, acting on behalf of wind energy giant NextEra Canada, which plans the Adelaide turbines.

“It’s not enough to identify a threat or a risk or a concern” to human or environmental health, he said in opening statements Tuesday. “You need evidence to show this will cause serious harm.”

Terry said he intends to call doctors, the project manager and an acoustics specialists: experts, not sincere laypeople, he said.

Wrightman said she was stymied last week when the tribunal deemed nine of her 11 witnesses wouldn’t be allowed to speak as experts in their field. They included an Australian doctor, a Chicago assessor and a specialist in low-frequency soundwaves.

“What this has shown me is that there is no way an average Ontario resident can file an appeal successfully,” she told hearing chairperson Dirk VanderBent.

The hearing is a small measure of the antipathy between wind opponents and proponents, who insist wind energy is safe and environmentally responsible.

But arguments proved a side issue during the day when obstinacy took centre stage.

At one point, there were even suggestions the hearing might not take place, as two women recorded the proceedings, contrary to the chairperson’s order. Exasperated, he adjourned twice when they wouldn’t comply.

Marcelle Brooks, who continued recording with her iPad until lawyers for NextEra and the Environment Ministry had left the room, said she had no plans to stop. “The people in Ontario have a right to see what goes on in these tribunals . . . People need to see.”

When the hearing resumed, she and fellow protester Muriel Blair raised their hands in mock surrender to show they weren’t recording.

The hearing is expected to continue for about two weeks.


Source: http://www.lfpress.com/2013...

OCT 16 2013
http://www.windaction.org/posts/38819-london-hearing-on-health-effects-of-wind-turbines-shut-down-due-to-activists
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