Articles filed under Impact on People from Canada
There will be a little more room near the shores of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, as Chatham- Kent council tweaked its wind turbine setbacks Monday. Setbacks -- or minimum distances from a structure or site -- have been a source of controversy since wind energy companies first showed an interest in the municipality. Tom Storey of Storey Samways Planning provided a report with recommendations and comparisons to other centres with turbines. ...Chatham Coun. Doug Sulman offered a successful amendment to increase the setback around all of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair to one kilometre instead of 500 metres.
The safety of the citizens of Chatham-Kent is being compromised by improper siting of industrial wind turbines. The General Electric wind turbine "Ice shedding and ice throw -- risk and mitigation" manual states that "1.5 x (hub height + rotor diameter) is the formula for calculating a safe distance for turbine siting from roads and public areas." ...The setbacks C-K has in place for industrial wind turbines (50 m from roadways and property boundaries, and 300 metres from homes) are a threat to the public.
Property devaluation, a lack of democratic process, and insufficient guarantees for sound monitoring had a group of 15 RM of Rhineland residents asking council to consider several requests last week. The group presented a five page document outlining their concerns about the proposed BowArk 120 wind turbine project to council, and highlighted several of them. Joe Braun questioned the lack of public consultation on the project, pointing out that many who are now opposed didn't have that knowledge initially. "How... does a wind project that is to last 40 years, cost $750 million, and impose a massive industrial impact on the landscape, occur without public input and information, without regulations or guarantees?" he asked.
Is the proposed wind-energy farm on Wolfe Island an example of a community making environmentally sound choices? The honeybee story has made me skeptical. Are decisions being made because they are good for the environment and the residents of Wolfe Island or because the project is going to line the pockets of the people involved? Are people so anxious to make money they won't wait for an environmental assessment? Has anyone taken into consideration the location of the turbines and their impact on the people who live near the site? Do those residents have a say?
About two-dozen unemployed millwrights set up a picket line Thursday to slow trucks delivering massive wind turbine parts from Windsor to the $200-million Kruger Energy project. Rick Anderson of Millwright Local 1244 said the erection of the 80-metre-high steel towers and 45-metre-long blades should be done by his union's skilled trades workers. He warned that if bolts loosen because of improper tightening techniques the towers could topple. ...About seven truckloads of turbine parts are sent daily from Morterm Windsor docks. Ships from Denmark and China bring in the turbine sections.
There is an atmosphere of intimidation in this province stemming from the attitude that if you challenge or question the government or industry about a proposed alternative energy project, you are an opponent of renewable energy and have little regard for the future of this planet. The citizens of Wolfe Island who are questioning the wind-farm project are not against renewable energy. They are for environmental responsibility.
Wind turbines are turning neighbour against neighbour and Essex town council is caught in the middle. Farmers who have signed property leases for wind turbine projects spoke of them at a special meeting Monday as a renewable energy of the future that should be embraced. Those who will see and hear the 120-metre-high turbines -- but won't be paid for the experience -- told council they fear negative impacts on their quality of life, including disturbed sleep and declining property values.
The issue of wind turbines in Chatham-Kent continues to linger. Council put off the issue of setbacks at its May 5 meeting and asked the health unit for more information about the devices. Council has already approved a wind turbine project in the Port Alma area, but is looking to establish a policy in anticipation of future applications for turbines. The municipality has the potential to be host to 250 turbines.
One of the reasons we try to minimize damage to the environment is to preserve the pristine and beautiful landscapes with which Ontario is blessed. But the presence of windmills can itself mar such locations. ...Perhaps there are ways that we can locate these electricity factories in areas where they don't detract from the beauty of some of our last wild areas. Maybe there are windy sites along the shores of the Great Lakes where industrial plants are already located. Certainly these windmills are a pleasant diversion from smokestacks and slag. As much as possible, people want their natural sites to remain natural. That doesn't happen when windmills are constructed. Some people think wind power is the perfect environmental energy but, like most things, it has its drawbacks, too.
Had the research been peer reviewed, published in a scientific journal of repute and conducted completely independently by Ryerson University, with funding for the project not emanating from any level of government, credence could legitimately be given to its findings. ...The lengths and depths to which governments at all levels will go in order to foist their projects onto an unwilling electorate no longer surprises me, but I am bitterly disappointed. We deserve better.
An Amherst area resident is continuing his fight to stop a proposed wind farm on the marsh near the town. Jim Milner, who lives on the John Black Road, is preparing a submission to the project environmental assessment claiming that its existence threatens the future of the John Lusby Marsh as a wildlife habitat. "Wildlife is the property of the Crown so it is the duty of the province to protect wildlife, not sell to the lowest proponent bidder," Milner said in his submission.
The route for Maritime Electric's high-voltage transmission line through West Prince is not a done deal, says Energy Minister George Webster. The utility has applied to the province to build a 138,000-volt transmission line to carry wind power generated at the West Cape wind farm. A group has formed to oppose the route for the line, which would connect the O'Leary substation to the Sherbrooke station outside of Summerside. In addition, voltage on a new line from the wind farm to O'Leary is due to be increased from 69,000 to 138,000 volts. Islanders for the Safe Transmission of Power says the line poses a health risk by passing too closely to homes.
Gengrowth wind turbines are to be situated in a great monotonous line along the historic Talbot Trail, through Palmyra, Morpeth, and stretching out along the shores of Lake Erie. It is hard to imagine that in 2008, precious land bordering beautiful natural beaches and cliffs of Lake Erie will be dotted with giant wind turbines sweeping the countryside. This is only one of many lines and grids that will weave through, connect, and wind around heritage and cultural landmarks while fencing in small towns and fencing out the natural beauty of rural Chatham-Kent. ...Like Quixote, one cannot help but feel an unsettling and disturbing ill wind brewing. ...Hopefully, there are a few Don Quixotes left. It is important and necessary to fight against the smiling giants of profit and opportunity whose false promises of economic benefits are, in this opinion, full of hot air and come at a great expense. It is time to demand that both the provincial and municipal governments preserve the heritage, and unique cultural and natural assets of Chatham-Kent. It is time to "tilt at windmills."
So the wind power industry and consultants hired by the government tell us Ontario's noise rules for wind farms are 'very good' and 'strike a balance'. ...While the MOE studies the problem, Ontario's lax noise rules allow the government to let contracts worth $15 billion for another 3,000 wind turbines to be squeezed into populated southern Ontario. As the wind farm developers follow the yellow brick road to Oz, families caught up in the developments will be exposed to noise pollution levels two times higher than what the World Health Organization says are safe.
There's no scientific proof wind turbines make disturbing levels of noise and, although more study is needed, Ontario's guidelines are sound, a long-awaited consultant's report for the ministry of the environment says. The report by Ryerson prof Dr. Ramani Ramakrishnan was finished in December 2007 but was only posted on the government's Environmental Registry website on Monday.
With the current threat of some 725 industrial-scale wind turbines proposed for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent many local residents have begun to alter their plans for the future. These altered plans will have a serious economic spin-off for our municipality. The following is a list of some economic opportunities that are being lost due to the threat of industrializing the countryside with wind turbines: ...Wind farms will reduce any infill housing in rural Chatham-Kent and preclude many lifestyle developments and economic opportunities. Existing housing located next to wind farms will deteriorate and become abandoned. Is this the vision we have for our municipality?
One of those concerned resident is Paul Barriault who doesn't feel people are getting complete information. "Don't get me wrong," he stressed. "I don't think people are being misinformed, they are not being properly informed, and I think they should have more information." He has a long list of concerns involving health, the impact on the water table and the environment. "People aren't fully aware of the impacts these industrial wind farms have on a local community, when they are so close to their homes," said Mr. Barriault. ...Presently there are no guidelines or regulations in New Brunswick regarding setbacks for wind farms from residential areas.
Prince Edward Island Trails Inc. is upset with Maritime Electric's plan to build a high voltage line along a section of the Confederation Trail. The 64-kilometre line will run from O'Leary to Sherbrooke, just outside Summerside, and is being built to accommodate a major expansion to the wind farm at West Cape. The plan calls for some of the lines to run along a section of the Confederation Trail near Summerside. ..."When we initially turned the rails to trails ... the vision was to take this section of land and trails, and people can utilize it to get away from the busy highways and roads..."
Wellington North should develop local guidelines for development of wind energy projects, its Economic Development Committee (EDC) decided last Wednesday. ...Mr. Taylor said the county regulations failed to address specific setback issues with regard to how far a wind turbine should be located from sensitive areas. "There was little or no reference to bird migration," he said. "They talk about being concerned about being beside our greenlands, but they don't say how far." Concern at the EDC revolves around the impact wind turbines might have migratory bird routes at Luther Marsh. The regulations also fail to address a process for public input on wind developments.
A ban on wind energy projects within 200 metres of the Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River shoreline is among the many recommendations in the final draft of official plan changes proposed for the County of Essex. Bans would also protect national parks, conservation areas and a host of smaller natural areas, particularly those with endangered or threatened species. The recommendations by the Jones Consulting Group divide the county into four different management areas and requires that proponents show their wind farm proposals won't harm communities or the environment. New policies would protect "heritage resources and significant cultural heritage landscapes." The visual impact of turbines, that could be 120 metres high, has to be weighed for the impact on scenic viewpoints and landscapes.