Orangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
While Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) “unequivocally” states its transmission line meets all regulations, Melancthon Mayor Darren White wants the county to conduct its own electromagnetic field (EMF) tests. At county council’s meeting this Thursday (Jan. 8), White plans to urge politicians hire an electrical engineering consultant to determine whether the amount of stray energy being emitted from Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line is safe or not.
“It’s in the best interest of us to at least know what the levels are that we’re dealing with,” White said. “To have somebody, who is professional in the field, explain to us that this is safe, this is not safe, or under which conditions it is safe.” Since Health Canada doesn’t consider EMF a hazard, there are no precautionary measures required when it relates to daily exposure. As such, Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts noted the company has no testing guidelines to follow. “We state unequivocally that all protocol has been followed in the construction of this line,” Roberts explained in an email, claiming opponents to her company’s project are requesting EMF measurements that aren’t mandated in Canada.
“DWPI has installed a safe power line,” Roberts added. “It has been built to the latest industry standards; and it is consistently operating at well under capacity.”
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved Dufferin Wind’s plan to construct the transmission line from its 49-turbine wind farm in Melancthon to Amaranth last year.
The most recent criticism of the project came after a group of residents reportedly witnessed stray energy emitted from the line light a fluorescent light bulb.
While Roberts noted the phenomenon witnessed was a “well-documented side effect of the conduction of alternating current,” White thinks it would be best if the county investigated the matter further. “It’s the responsible thing to do. You can only make a good decision if you have all the information,” he said. “I just want to make sure it was done in a manner that is safe for the residents and safe for anybody that is in the area of the project.” Read article