Locals still livid with wind project

By Sabrina Burrell, Woodstock Sentinel Review
WOODSTOCK – Norwich Township residents near a proposed 10-turbine wind turbine farm are still angry at the way the project is proceeding. “It’s a very frustrating thing to deal with,” said Keith Leeson, who attended Wednesday night’s Prowind Canada Inc. open house at the Quality Hotel and Suites in Woodstock. Leeson was upset at what he called a lack of public disclosure when the on Gunn’s Hill Road project was first announced in August 2008. He said employees from the company Prowind hired to lead the project’s environmental assessment later began working for them. Rochelle Rumney, an environmental assessment specialist, and Juan Anderson, a wind energy consultant, then worked for M.K. Ince and Associates, a renewable energy and environmental consulting company out of Dundas, Ontario, but are now a part of the Prowind team. Leeson believes the public should have been notified when the change happened.

Some of Leeson’s other concerns with Prowind include a met mast – a measurement tower used to monitor wind speeds and other meteorological occurrences – he claims was built before proper permits were in place and the absence of two registered air strips owned by George Rand on Prowind’s map of the area. According to Rand, two turbines are to be constructed near the end of each air strip, which will cause problems for small aircraft that are unfamiliar with the area. The placement of each turbine was done without consulting him about the air strips at all, Rand said.

The open house at the Quality Hotel was a way for the company to share project details with the community while fielding questions from the public, Prowind president Jeffrey Segal said. The company also brought in experts to answer questions about the health and environmental impacts of wind turbines.

However, the local opposing group – East Oxford Community Alliance – said the health experts weren’t covering important information that residents needed to know. “In terms of health information, what they provide is selected literature,” said Joan Morris, a member of the group. Read article

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