Amherstburg residents appeal turbine building permits

By Ron Giofu/The Amherstburg Echo

AMHERSTBURG — Building permits for GenGrowth’s five wind turbine project near Malden Centre look to be proceeding but nearby residents haven’t given up the fight.

“We are going to appeal them,” said Mick MacCorquodale.

MacCorquodale said he and several neighbors have concerns and a Windsor law firm has been hired. He said they will go through the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of the permits but noted “there is a catch-22 there” with the window to appeal the permits 20 days and a possible 30 day period for the Freedom of Information request to be considered. Continue reading

Amherstburg Lawsuit planned over turbines

By Gary Rennie, 
The first local lawsuit over wind turbines is shaping up in Amherstburg if the town issues a building permit — as expected — for the $25-million GenGrowth South Side project.

Mick MacCorquodale said Friday he’s retained a Windsor lawyer to file objections to the issuance of the building permit by the municipality. MacCorquodale’s home is near the five turbines proposed.

Coun. Rick Fryer said he and other members of council have been told the GenGrowth building permit will be issued by chief building inspector Steve Brown. “We have no say on council over the building permit,” Fryer said.

Fryer was disappointed a decision was made on the permit so quickly after a meeting Tuesday with environment ministry officials raised questions that still haven’t been answered. The main issue with the project has been whether it’s required to meet the town’s zoning bylaw, which stipulates a 600-metre noise setback from turbines to the nearest home.

Four of the five turbines don’t meet the town’s setback. Continue reading

Ministry of the Environment admits it cannot enforce noise requirements

Monitoring equipment not yet available

By Gary Rennie, The Windsor Star

AMHERSTBURG, Ont. — Ontario Ministry of Environment officials admitted Tuesday they have no way right now of measuring the noise created by industrial wind turbines even though they have a noise standard to enforce on residents’ behalf.

Although hundreds of wind turbines have already been built in Ontario, Michael Parker, district manager for the environment ministry, said staff have not yet been given noise-monitoring equipment. The ministry is responsible for ensuring that wind turbine noise reaching a residence doesn’t exceed 40 decibels, he said. Continue reading

Gengrowth project slowed by town of Amherstburg

Amherstburg Echo

Rick Fryer

…The issue also will be appearing at future council meetings thanks to a notice of motion by Councillor Rick Fryer. He said local municipalities should have a voice “in matters that affect local watershed planning” and that proposed offshore wind farms in Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair raise concerns over water quality, human health along with animal and plant life.

Fryer’s notice of motion asks that those concerns be forwarded to Essex MP Jeff Watson and Essex MPP Bruce Crozier and “the relevant ministries,” that all other municipalities in Essex County be asked to endorse the resolution and that the county, Pelee Island, Windsor and ERCA be asked to develop “a joint regional position” regarding offshore wind turbines proposed for the Essex-Windsor region. Continue reading