animal health wind farms, Curries Aerodrome, East Oxford Community Alliance Inc., Environmental Review Tribunal, health impact wind farm noise, Juan Anderson, Prowind, wind farm appeals, wind farm legal actions, wind power, wind turbine noise
Prowind was the wind power developer based in Germany that had a proposal for the North Gower-Richmond area of Ottawa. The company failed to qualify for bids for new projects in 2015. Norwich Gazette, June 22, 2015
A local group is appealing the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s decision to issue a renewable energy approval for the Gunn’s Hill wind farm. East Oxford Community Alliance Inc., a group of local citizens that has opposed the project since its announcement, has challenged the approval, citing several points to demonstrate the project will cause serious harm to human health and plants, animals and the natural environment. The matter will now be heard in front of the Environmental Review Tribunal. The hearing is scheduled for June 29, 30, July 6 through 8, July 14 and 16. The location is Oxford Centre hall. Information posted to the provincial Environmental Registry states the Alliance is asking the Tribunal to revoke the decision to issue the REA. The Alliance’s grounds for the hearing, as outlined on the registry website, include impacts to human health, the project’s proximity to Curries Aerodrome and harm to local animals. “Industrial wind turbines are known to cause a range of serious health effects (e.g., sleep disturbance, headaches, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, irritability, depression, problems with learning and concentration, increased stress, memory and panic episodes) and further impacts arising from these impacts (e.g., increased morbidity and significant chronic disease) in approximately 5 per cent to 30 per cent of the population,” the appeal posting states, adding the health effects are more likely than not caused by exposure to infrasound, low frequency noise and visual impact. The appeal posting also claims the construction and operation of the project as proposed will result in interference with radar systems at London and Hamilton and thus affect the safety of aviation-related activity in the area. The project is also proposed for an area in close proximity to Curries Aerodrome, which would expose pilots to unsafe conditions and require them to adopt unsafe practices during takeoffs and landings. Another point of the appeal is the impact it could have on livestock health, reproduction or productivity, which would affect the livelihoods of farm operators. Prowind Canada’s Gunn’s Hill wind farm project received environmental approval from the MOECC April 9. At that time, Prowind Vice-President Juan Anderson said the company is prepared to follow the appeal process, but was confident in the process it followed to receive ministry approval.
Editor’s note: the community group found that there were numerous errors and omissions in Prowind’s submission to the Ministry of the Environment.