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OFA calls a halt to wind turbines

Mark Wales, president of the largest farm organization in the province, said the debate over industrial wind turbines has become an "extremely divisive" issue within Ontario's rural community, pitting farmers against each other. "We need to stop the process, and get it right," saidWales.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is urging the provincial government to establish a moratorium on all land-based wind turbine developments.

Mark Wales, president of the largest farm organization in the province, said the debate over industrial wind turbines has become an "extremely divisive" issue within Ontario's rural community, pitting farmers against each other.

"We need to stop the process, and get it right," saidWales.

The OFA, which states it represents about 37,000 farm families, released its position on wind turbines, Jan. 20, calling for a moratorium on further wind turbine developments until a number of issues are settled. Wales said those issues include health and environmental; returning to municipalities planning authority for wind turbine proposals; renewable power should not exceed the expected price of peak power imports; determine the appropriate setback; and address acceptable noise levels.

"OFA supports green energy," said Wales, pointing out there are other alternative energy sources that can be used, such as solar and bio-gas, to replace the coal-fired energy the Liberals are shutting down.

Walessaid the majority of OFA's rural families applauded the organization's... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is urging the provincial government to establish a moratorium on all land-based wind turbine developments.

Mark Wales, president of the largest farm organization in the province, said the debate over industrial wind turbines has become an "extremely divisive" issue within Ontario's rural community, pitting farmers against each other.

"We need to stop the process, and get it right," saidWales.

The OFA, which states it represents about 37,000 farm families, released its position on wind turbines, Jan. 20, calling for a moratorium on further wind turbine developments until a number of issues are settled. Wales said those issues include health and environmental; returning to municipalities planning authority for wind turbine proposals; renewable power should not exceed the expected price of peak power imports; determine the appropriate setback; and address acceptable noise levels.

"OFA supports green energy," said Wales, pointing out there are other alternative energy sources that can be used, such as solar and bio-gas, to replace the coal-fired energy the Liberals are shutting down.

Walessaid the majority of OFA's rural families applauded the organization's position.

Ontario has installed about 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity, the most of any Canadian province. Development has been accelerated by the Green Energy Act, under which the province pays premium rates for electricity produced by renewable power projects.

Some farmers have looked at wind turbines as a valuable source of extra income and a boost in jobs.

Wales acknowledges the economic benefits of wind turbines, but says the rights of those farmers also have to be protected under a provincial policy.

"The rules have to work for everybody," he said.

The province in February 2010 halted any off-shore wind turbine projects in the Great Lakes, citing a lack of research on the turbines' impact on the environment. But a number of land-based wind turbine projects are moving forward, including one in West Lincoln, which could have an affect on nearby Glanbrook residents.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association stated in a release that it's "extremely disappointed" in the OFA's position.

"We will be seeking a meeting with the OFA to better understand their point of view and discuss their concerns," stated CanWea president Robert Hornung.

Agriculture Minister Ted McMeekin said he appreciated the OFA's statement, but pointed out that the province has addressed the outstanding issues.

"I wasn't surprised by the OFA," said McMeekin. "It was reflected in their presentation to the (government). They rightly say the onus is on the provincial government to protect the people."

He said the setback issues have been established, cost of wind energy has come down, and both the Hamiltonand Ontario medical officers of health have stated there is "no discernable effects" by wind turbines on health.

Wales countered that the health studies provincial officials have referred to, were conducted in Europe, and that no studies have been done inOntario.

"We have to get it right for everyone," said Wales.


Source: http://www.hamiltonnews.com...

JAN 21 2012
https://www.windaction.org/posts/33019-ofa-calls-a-halt-to-wind-turbines
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