By TARA HAGAN, The Sarnia Observer
Suncor Energy is planning to erect 28 wind turbines in Lambton County, but at least one neighbour says they aren’t welcome.
“The problem with wind turbines is that there are a lot of problems the government seems to be ignoring,” said Eric Erhard, a chemical engineer who lives near where Suncor proposes to build a 70- Megawatt wind farm.
The project would see 28 wind turbine generators stretching across Lambton Shores, Enniskillen Township and Plympton-Wyoming.
Erhard was responding to a public meeting notice issued by Suncor, to discuss the “Camlachie-Cedar Point Wind Power Project.”
“It irritates me that they don’t do enough testing and studying,” said Erhard, noting U.S. studies that link health problems in humans and animals to living near wind turbines.
“I’m not against wind turbines at all,” he said. “But they’re too close to populations.”
Calls to Suncor were not returned on Monday.
Erhard said he’s certain his property value will drop if the project goes ahead, noting the “excessive noise” produced by the whirling blades.
“Wind turbines can also have a visual impact on the surrounding environment,” he added. “Many people think they spoil the landscape.”
In a letter Erhard sent to Victoria Barrington, senior communications advisor for Suncor, and members of Plympton-Wyoming Council, he asks, “How many migratory birds are you going to kill in Plympton-Wyoming with these turbines?”
He specifically refers to migratory tundra swans, which are a tourist attraction in north Lambton.
“You are probably not even aware that these Ôblenders’ you’re installing all over our area, will mash the tundra swans as they make their way north in the spring and south in the fall,” he said.
“I would like to know if it is OK if the residents of Plympton- Wyoming can Fedex you all the dead bird bodies that collect in your wind farm. In fact, you should have to publish the number of birds.”
Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper said he’s not surprised by the negative feedback.
“I have mixed feelings about it, myself,” he said. “I haven’t really seen a real health study on it yet, so I have concerns there. There are a lot of unanswered questions.”
Napper noted the new Green Energy Act, which allows wind farms to bypass the municipal planning process. The Act means no one can object to the farms based on rezoning, official plan or site plan issues.
“It looks like the province has their mind set. It’s going to take a pretty good fight to stop them,” Napper said.
Public meetings for the Camlachie-Cedar Point Wind Project will be held the following dates:
* Tuesday, May 18, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Camlachie Community Centre
* Wednesday, May 19, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Enniskillen Township Hall
* Thursday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion, Forest