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Wind energy still a hot topic for many; Opponents say Bill 150 "scares the hell" out of them

Wind energy is still a hot topic among many in the area. A recent meeting of residents at the Malden Community & Cultural Centre began with a presentation by Bill and Maureen Anderson, who outlined concerns from the Essex County Wind Action Group and the affiliated Wind Concerns Ontario. Specifically, they outlined problems they have with the provincial government's proposed Bill 150, the Green Energy Act. They believe the bill takes away rights away from rural residents.

AMHERSTBURG - Wind energy is still a hot topic among many in the area.

A recent meeting of residents at the Malden Community & Cultural Centre began with a presentation by Bill and Maureen Anderson, who outlined concerns from the Essex County Wind Action Group and the affiliated Wind Concerns Ontario. Specifically, they outlined problems they have with the provincial government's proposed Bill 150, the Green Energy Act. They believe the bill takes away rights away from rural residents.

"It scares the hell out of me," said Bill Anderson.

Anderson said that the bill puts residents under the gun should they want to challenge things as a wind farm development.

"There's a reverse onus clause in the bill," he charged. "The onus is on you to actually do an Environmental Assessment."

According to Anderson, Bill 150 would also make municipal bylaws "null and void" adding the County of Essex recently spent thousands on a study put out by the Jones Group.

"It should scare the hell out of everyone," he said. "The rights it's going to take away from rural residents is unbelievable."

Anderson said in countries like Denmark, fossil fuel plants have to be used to back up wind farms. There were... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

AMHERSTBURG - Wind energy is still a hot topic among many in the area.

A recent meeting of residents at the Malden Community & Cultural Centre began with a presentation by Bill and Maureen Anderson, who outlined concerns from the Essex County Wind Action Group and the affiliated Wind Concerns Ontario. Specifically, they outlined problems they have with the provincial government's proposed Bill 150, the Green Energy Act. They believe the bill takes away rights away from rural residents.

"It scares the hell out of me," said Bill Anderson.

Anderson said that the bill puts residents under the gun should they want to challenge things as a wind farm development.

"There's a reverse onus clause in the bill," he charged. "The onus is on you to actually do an Environmental Assessment."

According to Anderson, Bill 150 would also make municipal bylaws "null and void" adding the County of Essex recently spent thousands on a study put out by the Jones Group.

"It should scare the hell out of everyone," he said. "The rights it's going to take away from rural residents is unbelievable."

Anderson said in countries like Denmark, fossil fuel plants have to be used to back up wind farms. There were numerous concerns relating to cost and benefit he outlined.

"You have to weigh new technologies against cost and benefit," he said. "If there is no benefit, why are we spending all this money."

In a related note, town council authorized administration at a March meeting to proceed with further review and investigation on the impacts and options relating to the province's Bill 150.

Bill 150 - The Ontario Green Energy and Green Economy Act - was the subject of a report by Manager of Development Services Jackie Hubbs at the meeting. Council had already requested a review of Bill 150 and the impact on the processing and procedures on an alternate energy application.

Hubbs calls Bill 150 "a substantial document with many different groups and organizations weighing in on the merits and limitations of the proposed Bill." She stated administration will further explore and review Bill 150 and that they will pursue the issue of "dispute resolution" and status of that policy with the County of Essex.

"County of Essex has not produced a dispute resolution process to date," stated Hubbs in her report. "This issue will be further pursued with the county to determine the status. Of note, this issue may be resolved at the municipal level by incorporating dispute resolution provisions in a site specific Official Plan Amendment or through provisions included in a site plan agreement."

Health and safety issues will be addressed on a site specific issue for any application for a new wind farm, Hubbs noted, adding that reports and studies by professionals will be undertaken with all pertinent information provided to council to assist in the decision making process. She also stated there are outstanding questions administration has including whether the application of zoning regulations will still be allowed and whether Bill 150 will allow for a municipality to enter into a site plan agreement with a proponent.

"A further, more detailed report and analysis will be necessary to inform council on the options and issues associated with Bill 150," she stated. "Follow up will be necessary with the County of Essex to determine the status of the ‘Dispute Resolution' provision of Official Plan No. 1 relating to applications addressing Alternative Energy."


Source: http://www.amherstburgecho....

APR 7 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/19737-wind-energy-still-a-hot-topic-for-many-opponents-say-bill-150-scares-the-hell-out-of-them
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