By Susan Hundertmark , Huron Expositor
While Huron East Against Turbines is preparing a response to changes that are currently being proposed to the Green Energy Act, HEAT members are hoping that other affected community members also take the time to make their opinions known to the province before the Nov. 21 deadline.
“One of Central Huron Against Turbines’ members was looking through the Ontario Environmental Registry’s website and just happened to find these proposed changes,” says HEAT member Rob Tetu, adding that he hasn’t seen any public advertising of the proposed changes.
“They’re not exactly being transparent about this,” he says.
The proposed changes that will be addressed in HEAT’s comments involve the right of landowners near industrial wind turbines to determine where future buildings might be located on now-vacant land. While the Green Energy Act currently determines a receptor (or residence that might be affected by a wind turbine) to be at the centre of any vacant land, proposed changes would allow the wind turbine company to tell the landowner where to build once a wind turbine is erected, says Tetu.
“We think the entire vacant lot should be designated as a receptor and if that’s not possible, we think it should be considered along the whole road allowance so that the landowner can decide where his building should be,” he says.
Another proposed change to the Green Energy Act would redefine what can be allowed as a receptor. While the current Act allows hunting camps and campsites that are used occasionally as receptors, the proposed change would only allow permanent dwellings, except for commercial campsites.
Tetu says HEAT has been trying to meet with both Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell and Environment Minister John Wilkinson, who is MPP of Perth-Middlesex, to complain about the way the proposed changes and period for public comment have not been advertised. So far, the group has not had a response from either MPP.