Suncor going to court over wind farm setbacks

suncorPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Suncor is taking Plympton-Wyoming to court over the town’s wind turbine bylaws, including a requirement they be at least 2 km from neighbouring homes. Suncor Energy Products has a contract to sell the province energy from the up to 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Power project it plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. The company launched its legal challenge of Plympton-Wyoming’s bylaws in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Sarnia at the same time it’s working through Ontario’s environmental approval process for the wind farm that would stretch from Camlachie north to Ravenswood Line.

“We expected this,” said Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper. “We’re ready to defend our bylaws.” Ontario’s Green Energy Act took planning approvals for wind farms out of the hands of municipal councils but Plympton-Wyoming pressed ahead by passing a series of bylaws to control wind projects, including setting its own 2-km setback. Ontario only requires that wind turbines be at least 550 metres from neighbouring homes.

Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant said the company has been working with the municipality on the issue since 2006. “We have talked to them recently about their bylaws and we feel that they are in conflict with the process that has been laid out for us by the province,” he said. Read article

7 thoughts on “Suncor going to court over wind farm setbacks

  1. If there was no power in the municipal 2KM by law then the WINDSCAMMERS would not feel threatened and proceed with the lawsuits. When our council was entertaining the 2 KM bylaw recently the wind developer was pacing the hallways as the debate was carrying on. Surely it isn’t just to make a point. Wind developers threats to sue paralyze some councils.

    • Are people in your area still buying Petro-Canada products? Maybe it’s time to bring out the anti-Petro-Canada signs?

  2. That’s how they have been getting away with it for so long Country Gal!
    The wind energy companies and their lawyers are the only ones who have claimed such Bylaws are ‘illegal’. And you are right, too many Council’s have been intimidated and caved without questioning it!
    As far as I know not even the provincial government has ever stated one way or other if they believe these Bylaws are ‘illegal’. They have totally ignored it and sat back happy that the Ontario courts have so far only had to hear claims that fail because the GEA is being challenged by private property owners suing the private for-profit wind energy companies.
    Wainfleet and now Plympton-Wyoming are democratically elected Councils being sued by those private for-profit wind energy corporations.
    If any judge, be it federal or provincial, actual rules that an elected Council is acting illegally by acting solely in the best interests of their constituents then our judicial system is broken and we are all truly screwed and things can only continue to get worse………………..
    However, any part of a ruling that does recognize a Council’s right and obligation to act in the best interests of their communities will be huge……………. It won’t win the war but a great start!
    That is why both Wainfleet and Plympton-Wyoming deserve all our support.
    Just one is now two Councils.
    Perhaps another couple out there, of the ’91’, might be encouraged to follow the same route?
    If half of the ’91’ had actually followed through on their moratorium votes all those months ago how much closer to halting this present insanity might we be…???
    This entire scam has to collapse and will do. All we can do is to continue to fight it in any way we can. At this time it means bugging all those Councilors who have so far done little and tell them you demand they follow the example being set by Wainfleet and Plympton-Wyoming……. 🙂
    Andrew Watts

  3. I just replied to an email from a lady in Wainfleet. In composing my response, I found myself approaching the ‘infrasound’ issue from a slightly different angle. I just wanted to share the focus of it with the readership here …….

    My understanding of air pressure is that we are subject to three types of “air pressure”.

    – The first type is regular barometric air pressure. We normally experience the effects of a change in barometric air pressure when a different weather system rolls-in, when we take a trip in an airplane, when we take an elevator ride up a tall building, or when we drive up a high hill or mountain.

    – The second type is the air pressure inherent in the blowing wind. We feel it against our face as a “pressure”. It propels a sail-boat across the water. It also causes the blades of a wind-mill or wind-turbine to rotate.

    – The third type is the range of pulsations in air pressure which forms the sounds we hear, and also the “ultrasonic” and “infrasonic” pulsations of air pressure which are above and below our range of hearing.

    The blades of a wind-turbine interrupt the blowing wind (type 2 air pressure). Due to the contour of the blades, they are forced to move at right angles to the wind. This process actually extracts energy from the wind and transfers it to the generator of the wind-turbine.

    This extraction of the blowing wind’s energy produces a massive triple-spiral-form of “reduced” air pressure downwind of industrial wind-turbines. It is this triple-spiral-form of reduced air pressure which kills bats when they fly through it. Their lungs’ tiny blood vessels cannot adjust to the sudden variations in air pressure.

    This massive triple-spiral-form of “reduced” air pressure downwind of industrial wind-turbine also artificially forms the extremely long wave forms of inaudible “infrasound” (a type 3 air pressure).

    Large decibel energy levels of this type 3 air pressure project for great distances. Their long wave lengths aren’t included in the government standards, which are limited to only measuring audible “dBa” wave lengths.

    Ironically, these extremely long wave forms of inaudible “infrasound” contain far more “type 3 air pressure” energy than do the shorter wave forms of the audible sound involved.

    It’s these large decibel levels of infrasound “type 3 air pressure” energy which are impacting peoples’ health .. their balance, sleep, hearts, and rates of hormone secretion.

    When the distances between structures’ walls synchronize with the wave lengths of this infrasound, “standing-waves” of it can be established, which actually resonate and amplify it within the structures, in a manner similar to the sound-box of an acoustic guitar.

    Until everyone involved (lawyers, judges, politicians, reporters, citizens) are educated as to what’s going on, I’m afraid we’re in the predicament of battling ignorance on a large scale!

    And when that battle comes nose-to-nose against the self-serving greed of opportunists, the zealotry of “green-fanatics” and the hypocrisy of politicians .. well, its even a harder battle!

    • Thanks for clearly identifying these pressure aspects for the general public. Proponents of IWTs keep issues confused so that nobody can understand them.

  4. Until everyone involved (lawyers, judges, politicians, reporters, citizens) are educated as to what’s going on, I’m afraid we’re in the predicament of battling ignorance on a large scale!

    I caught your original post Barry. This is indeed the problem and in my opinion it is a reasonable explanation to help people with understanding the issues.

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