Noise woes ignored, Tories say
By John Miner, The London Free Press
Ontario’s opposition Tories have intensified demands for a halt to wind farms after the release of government documents showing bureaucrats repeatedly raised concerns about noise from turbines.
“I think the taxpayers of Ontario deserve to know the truth,” Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce and PC deputy critic for green energy, said Wednesday.
“It goes to show there is uncertainty everywhere with regards to the impacts of industrial wind turbines. Let’s hit the pause button and let’s do proper studies based in Ontario and get it right.”
The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by an Orangeville resident who asked for all letters, memos, records and e-mails between the Guelph district Environment Ministry office and other ministry staff regarding a proposed order against the Amaranth and Melancthon wind turbines. The request covered a period from March 2009 to September 2010.
Of 300 pages of records, the government released only 26 pages with sections removed.
But the 26 pages that were released showed the Guelph Environment Ministry office was being hit with a large number of noise complaints dating back to 2006 for the 133 wind turbines, the largest turbine installation in the province at the time.
In a draft plan to deal with the complaints, the district supervisor wrote that Environment Ministry officers had gone to several homes of complainants and confirmed the noise emissions “are in fact causing material discomfort to the residents in and around their homes.”
“Valid complaints continue to be received by (the Environment Ministry) . . . officers have verified that the complaints of adverse effect by area residents are for the most part justified,” he wrote in an August 2009 memo. Read article