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Witnesses for the community opposition present fresh evidence on harm to people and the environment


Berwick area farm: 33 huge industrial wind turbines proposed, with risk to health, safety, environment and wildlife [Photo Dorothea Larsen, Kemptville]

Ontario Farmer, August 14, 2018

By Tom Van Dusen

The Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into North Stormont’s approved Nation Rise wind turbine project has been adjourned until September 10-11.

The adjournment was called by tribunal chair Maureen Carter-Whitney July 31, with three days remaining on the original two-week schedule.

Key issues in deciding whether authorization given to EDP Renewables for the wind farm should be revoked are that it poses serious risk to human health, or that it could create irrevocable damage to the natural environment.

When the hearing resumes, hydrology will be the main topic. Before it broke, opponents presented their case on the threat to bats and birds posed by the installation of 33 turbines in the farming community south-east of Ottawa, the last wind power project to be approved in Ontario before the recent provincial election.

Expert witness Philippe Thomas, a resident of nearby Chesterville, educated the panel on barotrauma, a phenomenon which can cause the lungs of bats to implode when they fly in low-pressure areas close to turbine blades.

He described a study in Western Canada where it was part of his job to retrieve 400 bat carcasses at the base of wind turbines; only a few showed injuries consistent with being struck by blades, while the majority would have succumbed to barotrauma.

..EDP had a chance to rebut bird and bats arguments with its own expert witnesses. Biologist Andrew Ryckman and Dr Paul Kerlinger concluded the danger to bats would be minima and the impact on songbirds and migratory birds would be equally limited because they’re commonly found closer to shorelines. …

[Opposition coordinator Margaret Benke] indicated opposing witnesses brought forward some fresh points on wind turbine noise and on “debris fling” — the fact that pieces sometimes break off wind mills and are hurled long distances, posing a threat to humans in the area.

A major issue now, she emphasized, is paying the $20,000 debt opponents have accumulated in going against the project while raising more money to continue to fight to the end.


To help with fundraising for the North Stormont appeal, go to Go Fund Me here or send a cheque to Concerned Citizens of North Stormont c/o Wind Concerns Ontario, PO Box 509, 250 Wellington Main Street, Wellington ON  K0K 3L0.