Central Huron Council calls for moratorium

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Motion Carried June 6, 2011:  A resolution requesting that the province of Ontario declare a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines (IWT’s) until science-based and peer reviewed regulations that ensure public health and well-being have been implemented and that the province restore local planning powers to the municipality regarding renewable energy projects.

WHEREAS there is a need to lessen our use and dependency on fossil fuels and increase our sustainability through responsible development of renewable energy resources and conservation

AND WHEREAS literature reviews by the Canadian and the American Wind Energy Associations (Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, 2009-09) and by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines, 2010-05) acknowledge that there is not sufficient scientific evidence to prove that these facilities have a direct negative impact on human health and well-being;

AND WHEREAS there is a growing body of case evidence that they do, and the precautionary principle states if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm, then in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action;

AND WHEREAS Ontario’s regulations do not cite any scientific proof that 40 db(A) hourly-average value used as a basis for setbacks in rural areas is sufficient to guarantee the health and well- being of the people in the proximity to these facilities and give no consideration to the Low Frequency component of the noise emissions;

AND WHEREAS more than 70 municipalities throughout Ontario have passed resolutions, motions and bylaws expressing concerns with the Green Energy Act ( 2009);

AND WHEREAS The Green Energy Act (2009) has excluded municipalities from acting in any direct way to address concerns relating to public interests in comprehensive municipal planning, public health, infrastructure expansion and environmental assessment and thereby limits the ability to manage the impacts of industrial wind power projects directly within the community;

AND WHEREAS CH residents have repeatedly voiced concerns about the density of the IWT’s proposed in Central Huron and Huron County as a whole, the associated distribution and transmission network and the cumulative effects on the municipal road system;

AND WHEREAS CH residents have told council that they do not believe that Ontario’s regulations are sufficient to protect their health and well-being or to prevent the devaluation of their properties;

AND WHEREAS any property devaluation will have a undesirable effect on the tax base and hence on CH sustainability;

AND WHEREAS there is now supportable evidence that Ontario does not have the most stringent IWT standards in North America as proclaimed by the Ontario Ministry of Environment;

AND WHEREAS the 2 IWT projects proposed in CH are bordered by Lake Huron (west), the Maitland River Valley (north), the Bayfield River (south), and the 2,200 ha (5,500 acre) Hullett Provincial Wildlife Reserve (east);

AND WHEREAS these areas contain 2 recognized North American flyways, seasonal migrating paths, daily flight paths and seasonal staging grounds, and all areas provide habitat and breeding grounds for a long list of birds, bats, waterfowl and wildlife; and there is growing concern for the long term effects that IWT’S may have on these species, many of whom are on the endangered species list for Ontario;

NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that the Municipality of Central Huron requests that the Province of Ontario declare a moratorium on all current and future projects for on-shore and off-shore development of wind-energy facilities until it has commissioned properly-designed independent third-party scientific research into the long-term effects, released the findings for public comment, and has incorporated those comments to enact science-based maximums for wind-facility emissions, and for electrical emission from all related electrical facilities, and can therefore guarantee to Council’s satisfaction that the health and well-being of the Municipality’s human and animal populations are protected from the direct and indirect negative effects of being in proximity to those IWT facilities.

AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the municipality of Central Huron requests local authority to be restored to pre GEA levels to allow the local government to mitigate impacts of renewable energy projects within the community.

AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that this resolution be forwarded to –

Premier of Ontario

Ontario Minister of Health

Ontario Minister of Environment

Ontario Minister of Energy

Ontario Minister of Natural Resources

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Huron County Council

MPP Carol Mitchell

MP Ben Lobb

Huron County Federation of Agriculture

And the local media

One thought on “Central Huron Council calls for moratorium

  1. Way to go Central Huron! You’ll soon have a letter from Sierra Club requesting to make a presentation to sway you against the moratorium.

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