By Paul Morden, The Observer, www.theobserver.ca
Opponents of a wind farm planned for southeast Lambton County have arranged for residents to hear from a lawyer challenging Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
The 30-member Dawn-Euphemia chapter of Wind Concerns want the Ontario government to halt the building of wind farms and commission an independent study of their impact on the health of people living near them, “so we can rest in peace that these things are being done right,” said co-chairperson Stewart Lewis.
A public meeting June 30 at the arena in Alvinston is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. The main speaker is Eric Gillespie, a lawyer acting on behalf of a resident of Prince Edward County who is challenge of the legislation governing the building of wind farms.
Lewis said many people fear that the Green Energy Act, which took planning approval for wind projects out of the hands of municipal councils, has taken away their right to have a say about living with wind turbines.
“This thing is being challenged in court and when the case is won it’s going to make a big difference,” he said.
Also speaking will be Carman Krogh, from the Society for Wind Vigilance, and Dave Collings, an electrical engineer from the Ripley area.
Krogh’s group is an advocate for people reporting ill health effects from living next to wind turbines, Lewis said.
A wind energy project with up to 37 turbines has been proposed for Dawn-Euphemia and Brooke-Alvinston townships, and Chatham-Kent.
Lewis said he and his wife are concerned about potential health impacts from turbines and electrical transmission lines, as well as what the project will do to the value of their home.
After hearing about the proposal they travelled to the Goderich and Kincardine areas to talk to people living close to turbines.
“What we found was virtually a nightmare,” he said.
Lewis said all are welcome at the meeting in Alvinston, including residents of other parts of Lambton in which wind farms are proposed.
“We’re presenting, I guess you would call, the other side to the public consultations that the wind company had here concerning the turbines,” he said.
“We hope that a lot of people will show up. All we’re trying to do is inform people.”