Niagara This Week
News that Vineland Power’s Class 4 wind turbine project has received final approval prompted a closed session meeting of West Lincoln council on June 24, disappointing about 20 anti-wind turbine activists in attendance. Council received the news that the Ministry of the Environment granted final approval to the project, known as the HAF Wind Energy Project, late last week. After seeking public input, the ministry approval stipulates only that Vineland Power monitor sound levels around the turbines, report adverse effects, track bird and bat deaths, and establish a liaison committee with the township. West Lincoln planning director Brian Treble said the document did not identify any real role for the municipality as the project unfolds.
“If you read through the decision it goes on at length with respect to the conditions they have to satisfy, but the wording of the decision is pretty consistent in making sure the township doesn’t have a lot of control over the actions that occur,” he told council. Councillors expressed similar frustrations. Coun. Sue-Ellen Merritt said the deal was just getting worse for West Lincoln. She likened the Province to a fox guarding the hen house, and was concerned Vineland Power would only have to report bird and bat deaths beyond a certain number.
“I don’t understand our government. It’s supposed to be a process, township has to follow a process, residents have to follow a process. It’s the fox watching the hen house,” she said. “If the process wasn’t unfair enough, in this document it gets worse.” Read article