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Fisherville ERT: In the Land of All Day Breakfast

by Harvey Wrightman
Make no mistake about it, from the beginning, this has been a rural/urban issue – and I don’t say that with pleasure, nor do I believe that once the issue is properly explained, most people, no matter where they live, are reasonable and sympathetic to the plight of those condemned to live in wind projects. Sitting at the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing in the Fisherville Community Centre, I look at the lawyers for the MOE/Capital Power, all seated in an orderly row, and in my boredom dream that they are there to try and comfort us – rural residents, both those in projects and the rest of us sitting on death row waiting to step into the torture chamber; or rather, the chamber comes to us – like one of those mobile x-ray trailers sent out to the hinterland. Well clearly, there is no milk of human kindness to be had here today.

The bulk of the day is taken up with arguments about the medical evidence:

  1. how much is enough
  2. who has been the foot-dragger in this hearing
  3. what to do with these “post turbine” witnesses who refuse to withdraw and indeed keep showing up at the hearings – irritating reminders of the human aspect of the “wind projects.”

This last one is clearly taking its toll on the MOE and the wind companies. Though they sit side by each at the table, they have no supporters in the audience (I have yet to see even one “lessor” attend.) They don’t even lunch together anymore. They do still confer openly with each other, but think of the “stress” they are enduring .

So, in their presentations I note that no more do they extoll the virtues of free, carbon-less wind energy. No, instead the cry is, The REA process is a STATUTORY process , “streamlined” so that the appeal decision is announced within the 6 month expiration date. Read the rest of this entry

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Zephyr Wind project to move ahead

By Heather Wright — Sarnia Lambton This Week

WATFORD – The battle over the Zephyr Wind project near Watford is over.

The group appealing the four industrial wind turbines has withdrawn its appeal of the project.

The Middlesex Lambton Wind Concern group launched the appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal of project between Churchill Line and LaSalle Road. It was prepared to start the hearing at the Brooke Alvinston Community Center but withdrew the appeal after a legal pre-hearing setback.

Eric Gillespie, the lawyer representing the group, says the tribunal asked for medical history from the witnesses who would testify to being affected by the turbines, something Gillespie was willing to do. He says the tribunal wanted to see the records of 23 witnesses who were to testify of the health affects of wind turbines. And it wanted the records for the last ten years.

But he says compiling the information would take time. Gillespie asked for an adjournment, but the tribunal gave him six days to come up with the information.

“That’s just not doable,” says Esther Wrightman, one of the people who started the appeal. Read the rest of this entry

Introducing T.O. to the Brooke-Alvinston wind turbines

Watford Guide-Advocate

Dear Editor,

The upcoming Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeal hearing into the Zephyr wind project  in Brooke/Alvinston will have testimony from 2 well qualified acoustical experts, Dr. Robert Thorne, an environmental noise consultant to the NZ  Ministry of Health, and Steve Ambrose, P.Eng. and a member of  the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE).

While the expert testimony provides the scientific basis to challenge the current MOE siting rules, it can only describe the human effects in a very cold, impersonal way. To the Ministry of Environment (MOE), residents are not “humans”, they are “receptors.” Our houses are called “receptor locations”.  Setback distances are measured to the centre of the receptor location.  Excess noise  can intrude and take over most of your property as long as the centre of the house is “safe”. You no longer have a house and property; you  are left with a “bunker.” If you sign any sort of agreement with the wind company, you waive all rights to even these inadequate standards. The farmer who signs a wind lease is no longer a farmer; he is now a landlord with one very nasty tenant who dictates all the rules for 50 years. These are the things that expert testimony cannot describe; but, ordinary people can.

So, in this hearing for the first time, residents who live  in wind projects will provide the gritty details that models, maps, and calculations cannot display. They will tell what it’s like from a personal perspective to live with these machines day and night. They will tell what it feels like to be caught in these wind ghettos – the constant thumping noise, the sleep disturbance, the hopelessness of being trapped and unable to even sell a property they wish to escape – their own homes.  Experts cannot give this kind of testimony. The wind companies deny the problems, dismiss and belittle the people affected. The government ignores their plight and facillitates whatever the wind companies want.  Now, for the first time these residents/witnesses will be heard, all 25 of them – and there are many more willing to testify. Think about it. Why are these people testifying? They already live in wind projects; what gain is there for themselves? Would you put yourself out in public to be scrutinized?  Read the rest of this entry

Zephyr Turbine Opposition

Zephyr Turbine Opposition

Blackburn Radio News February 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

The Lambton-Middlesex Wind Action Group is lashing out against construction of 4 wind turbines at the Zephyr wind farm just southwest of Watford.

Some 40 protesters held a peaceful demonstration at the site this afternoon, slowing down activity by getting in front of gravel hauling trucks.

This led to warnings from Police but no arrests had been made.

Protester Blair Allin calls the industrialization of Ontario “unacceptable”.

The group has protested against a number of local wind farm developments, and is currently preparing for an environmental review tribunal hearing against the Zephyr project.