Plympton-Wyoming is asking Ontario to halt wind projects

By PAUL MORDEN,  Sarnia Observer 

The town of Plympton- Wyoming is asking Ontario to halt wind farm projects until it studies their impact on the health of people living nearby.

Mayor Lonny Napper said town council passed a motion last week calling for the provincial government to impose a moratorium until “a comprehensive, independent and peer-reviewed scientific study can confirm that industrial wind energy sites do not post a risk to community health and environment concerns.”

He also wrote to Sarnia- Lambton MPP Bob Bailey calling on Queen’s Park to give municipalities back some of the local control over wind generation projects that was lost when Ontario passed its Green Energy Act, he said.

“Our hands are pretty well tied at this point in time.”

Suncor Energy is seeking provincial approval to erect 29 wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming and neighbouring Enniskillen Township.

The company has scheduled open houses in Camlachie, Enniskillen and Forest to discuss its plans.

Eric Erhard, a resident of O’Brien Road in Plympton- Wyoming, said he wants answers to his concerns about noise and shadow flicker from turbines, as well as the their impact on property values and migrating birds.

“Those kinds of things they haven’t really addressed to any-one’s satisfaction,” Erhard said.

Erhard said he’s not opposed to wind farms but he believes Ontario allows them to be built too close to human residences.

Setbacks here are one-third of what they are in European countries, he said.

“They’ve been doing wind turbines a lot longer than we have in Ontario and they’ve probably found out through trial and error that, probably, 2 kilometres is a good number.”

Erhard is also concerned about what wind turbines do to the rural skyline. “You’re going to see these things from a long way off, and they’re not visually attractive.”

Suncor spokesperson Victoria Barrington said the company is “in the beginning stages” of the project and doesn’t have a contract yet to sell the electricity generated.

“We are looking very much to engage with the community,” Barrington said.

She said a “rigorous” environmental study will be carried out “and we will be sharing that with the community.”

Suncor is a leader in renewable energy and wants to develop it responsibly, Barrington said.

“Where possible, we absolutely try to exceed requirements.”

Barrington said this month’s open houses will be the start of a longer public consultation process.

Napper said he’s heard from several residents with concerns about the Suncor proposal, along with several letters council received from Erhard.

Napper said he’s also spoken to people living near wind turbines who don’t have any complaints.

“It’s really confusing,” Napper said. “Everybody’s got their different views on them.”

That’s why a government commissioned study would be helpful, he said.

But Napper doesn’t believe the provincial government will listen to concerns about wind farms until they start coming from communities closer to Toronto.

“They don’t seem to listen to rural Ontario anymore,” he said.

The only wind turbines currently operating in Lambton County are in Lambton Shores, although a project is proposed for Dawn-Euphemia and Brooke- Alvinston townships.

The municipal council in Dawn-Euphemia asked the province to commission an independent health study before the Green Energy Act was passed and took planning approvals for wind farms out of municipal hands.

Open houses for Suncor’s Camlachie-Cedar Point Wind Power Project are scheduled for:

* May 18, at the Camlachie Community Centre;

* May 19, at the Enniskillen Township Hall;

* May 20, at the Royal Canadian Legion hall on Albert Street in Forest.

All three open houses run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

6 thoughts on “Plympton-Wyoming is asking Ontario to halt wind projects

  1. This township and Lambton County is getting pummeled with wind proposals, because like us in Middlesex County we are in close proximity to the transmission lines leading to Sarnia, and a planned ‘enabler’ line from Forest down to Kerwood. I’m just doing a map of the wind turbines in Middlesex, Lambton and other surrounding counties….and I’m astonished at the number that are proposed there (and of course that isn’t all of them)…~367 Wind Turbines for Lambton County. I’m hoping that some of these numbers on the OPA website are typos with one too many zeros on them. Here’s a link to the map with what I have got so far that shows the projects(work in progress) http://windaction.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/a-new-list-of-projects/ .

  2. The days will be numbered when the OPA approves the rest of the industrial projects applied for in South Western Ontario. Nobody should consider themselves safe.

  3. Erhard needs to be better informed. He needs to be totally against industrial wind turbines and it would be for good reasons. Industrial wind turbines do not provide a functional source of electricity for the grid and the bits and pieces which may add up to 35% but most likely less than rated capacity will be at higher guaranteed rates and the costs associated with additional transmission lines will show up on our electricity bills. There is no need for industrial wind turbines as the technology is not that great a deal for the small returns. We have to supply more power from reliable sources than without industrial wind turbines so why bother with them. Anyone who does not like industrial wind turbines in their backyard should not be saying “I am not against wind turbines but not next to me…” We are in Canada and should be able to say “I do not want industrial wind turbines anywhere, because they are useless pieces of junk”. Considering the Liberal’s have made a big money commitment with criminals (convicted criminals no less) in Samsung with no experience in making wind turbines to build Ontario wind turbines what can we expect but junk. No one should want that in Ontario or anywhere.

  4. Zen2then You are bang on! Some of us in Clearview Township, Simcoe County are putting up huge billboards on our 100 acre farms to not only voice our objections but to get the message of this BOONDOGGLE out there-

  5. Sadly, concerned citizens of Ontario may well have to form a new political party in order to reclaim the principles of democracy and representation by population that have been seriously eroded. Many people are looking for any alternative to the old Liberal/ Conservative choice.

    “Ontario, yours to recover.”

Comments are closed.