Urging the county to lengthen distance between homes and turbines

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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People can co-exist with wind farms, but only if there's sufficient space between them.

Lisa Betts doesn't think that's the case with a proposed wind farm along the Gulf Shore and she's urging Cumberland County to take another look at a proposed bylaw that would require 300 per cent separation between turbines and residences.

People can co-exist with wind farms, but only if there's sufficient space between them.

Lisa Betts doesn't think that's the case with a proposed wind farm along the Gulf Shore and she's urging Cumberland County to take another look at a proposed bylaw that would require 300 per cent separation between turbines and residences.

"That's not even close to enough. It should be two kilometres," Betts said. "We've got to have the county set these things back enough that they don't bother anybody, whether it's a cottager or if they're sitting trying to do lessons in schools or if they are a young family. This county's big enough for both of us, but this particular one just seems so wrong."

At issue is a proposed wind farm near her home that could see the erection of 20 to 27 turbines.

"What they're proposing is too close," she said. "They're talking three times the height. I'm talking about at least 10 times the height or two kilometres. Personally, I'd like them to go further away than that, but I could live and be healthy living at two kilometres."

Betts, who has established a blog (pugwashwindfarm.blogspot.com), will make her case to county council today when it holds its first April session.

She is not only concerned with the noise emitted from the turbines but is worried about shadow flicker and the effect the turbines' infrasound might have on her health.

"It's a noise that never goes away and there's different kinds of noise. There's the noise from the gears and there's a woosh, woosh, woosh as the blades go past the tower," she said.

She's also worried of the potential health effects of proximity to high voltage power lines, the possibility of ice being thrown from the blades, injuries to birds and bats flying into the blades or the possibility the blades could fail and be thrown from the turbines.

Betts said there hasn't been enough study on the proximity of wind farms to residences and suggested the county shouldn't be too quick to put setbacks in place that are far too short.

"It's sort of like the Emporer's New Clothes. Everyone thought his new clothes were wonderful except for one little boy. We really don't know enough about these things and then to put them so close to people, I just don't know it's such a good idea," she said. "There are studies that need to be done. If they're unable to do them, they should find someone who can."

The county is expected to vote on the new bylaw on April 18.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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  • Kevin
    January 18, 2010 - 10:55

    Absolutely true! People here shouldn't be put in close proximity to a developement such as what is proposed here. I have a young family and don't want to have them exposed to a large industrial power facility. I chose to live here to be away from such things.

  • Joanne
    January 18, 2010 - 10:38

    Charles Demond is the president of Pubnico Windfarm Inc, the same individual wanting to bring a windfarm to the Gulf Shore. Look at his record. When West Pubnico resident Daniel D'entremont complained noise from the wind turbines were making his family sick, Mr. Demond did nothing, claiming his windfarm development was in accordance with land zoning bylaws, where in West Pubnico it is only twice the height of the turbine setback. He then said Here is someone claiming his world is changing, but those comments don't add up . Doesn't sound like he cares much at all about the residents of West Pubnico. Mr. d'Entremont was forced to move out of the community and his family's health has since recovered. He did so with no compensation, at his loss. Do we really want that game played on us? No. Let's ensure we establish a 2 km setback zone. Mr. Demond also appeared before Province House last November. His 30.6 megawatt operation was facing a $450,000 tax bill, he asked the bill be reduced to $75,000. That Union of Nova Scotia Muncipalties president Russell Walker said municipalities are forgoing about 40% of the taxes they might have gotten from windfarms.