By PAUL MORDEN, The Sarnia Observer
Opponents of wind turbines in Lambton Shores want their municipal council to join the call for a provincial moratorium on new wind farms until an independent study determines their impact on human health. Marcelle Brooks said she and other members of Lambton Shores Concerned Citizens will be at council Monday asking it to join with Plympton-Wyoming, Dawn-Euphemia Township and several other Ontario municipalities pressing Queen’s Park for a moratorium.
“Our municipality needs to join our neighbours and say, ‘No, this isn’t OK for us.'”
Brooks said members of the group have spoken individually to councillors about the issue and “they’ve been lukewarm, at best, to us.”
Ten wind turbines in the Kettle Point area of Lambton Shores are currently the only ones in operation in Lambton County, but in July the province announced contracts for the Jericho Wind Energy Centre, a 150-turbine farm proposed for the Thedford area of Lambton Shores, and a 100-turbine farm Suncor wants to build near Forest.
“That really motivated us,” Brooks said.
“Because our council hasn’t taken a great interest in turbines, we felt it was time to push the issue a little bit.”
Along with a moratorium, the citizens group is asking councillors to call on the provincial government to give municipalities back the planning power to approve wind projects that was taken away by Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
Brooks said councillors have made the point to the group that they also represent Lambton Shores farmers who have signed leases with wind companies to allow turbines to be built on their land.
“This resolution is for all people’s health and to give the planning power back to municipality,” Brooks said.
“That in no way is taking away from people’s leases.”
Brooks said group members are hopeful council will back both resolutions.
“There’s nothing in here that they should be against.”
Lambton Shores Mayor Bill Weber said the council has already let the province know its displeasure at losing its planning approval powers for green energy projects.
Weber said he doesn’t have enough information yet to form an opinion on whether or not a health study is needed.
“We do have some people that are concerned,” he said.
“I do get calls that they suffer headaches — the noise and the flicker, they’re quite affected by it.”
And he doesn’t discount those concerns, he said.
“Obviously, something is happening.”
He said the complaints aren’t widespread, but noted there are currently only 10 turbines operating in the municipality.
“If we have 80 of these, spread out over a larger area of Lambton Shores, I don’t know what the effects will be.”