Betts taking wind fight to premier

Darrell Cole
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PUGWASH - The head of a citizens group fighting a proposed wind farm in the Gulf Shore area is asking the province to stop the project until its safety can be proven.

"Please err on the side of caution and call a moratorium of all wind power developments that are any closer than two kilometres of a residence until independent and government research has been done to establish the safe and healthy distance from a turbine people should be living," Lisa Betts said in a letter to Premier Rodney MacDonald.

The Gulf Shore Association is continuing its opposition to the proposed development by Atlantic Wind Power Corporation to erect between 20 and 27 100-metre tall wind turbines between the Gulf Shore Road and the Irishtown Road near Pugwash.

Betts, who said opposition to the project is only going to continue to grow, reiterated that she's not opposed to wind power but feels the location selected by Atlantic Wind Power is wrong and wants the province to institute its own minimum standards by which wind projects must abide.

"A responsible, intelligent set of standards could set the way for the rest of the country. Use the experience of those who have had turbines for decades and learn from their mistakes," Betts said. "Blindly surging ahead into wind energy without considering health and safety factors and reasonable enjoyment of a resident's property is not looking after your constituents."

There are currently guidelines that are suggested by the Department of Environment and Labour, but Betts believes they fall short of setting minimum setbacks. She also feels that since the environmental assessment are conducted by firms paid by the project's proponents that its results could be flawed.

New standards should establish a "well-researched" setback for turbines and apply differently between industrial and residential areas. They should also take into considering the growing medical evidence that turbines effect the health of people living nearby.

Organizations: Gulf Shore Association, Atlantic Wind Power, Department of Environment and Labour

Geographic location: PUGWASH, Gulf Shore Road, Irishtown Road

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Recent comments

  • G
    January 18, 2010 - 11:15

    I start from the premise that wind power and its associated turbines may be acceptable where the potential for conflict with the scale and character of the local environment has been substantially mitigated and remedies exist to ensure that the owners of wind turbines continue to be held responsible for any adverse impacts that may arise from the operation of what is essentially a for profit enterprise, regardless of its green trappings..
    The World Health Organization (WHO) has studied the issue of noise extensively. WHO guidelines say that for good sleep, sound level should not exceed 30 dB(A) for continuous background noise, and individual noises events exceeding 45 dB(A) should be avoided. In a rural environment; background noise is typically less than 30 dB at night.
    Wind turbines create noise and there is a large and growing body of evidence suggesting that this harms those living in the vicinity of wind power developments. Wind farm developers need to be held accountable for noise levels on an ongoing basis and to the extent possible, adverse effects should be contained within the boundaries of the wind farm.
    Instead some politicians in their rush to green; support inadequate set backs that effectively shield developers from their potential liabilities. In the Cumberland County case those set backs are measured from habitations on somebody elses property. A wind turbine can be built on your lot line and deny you the opportunity to develop your own property. This is at best poor policy; at worst expropriation.

  • Karen
    January 18, 2010 - 11:12

    Ok you are saying that you need about 30db or less for a good night sleep and the wind turbines produce more. Well what about people living next to a railway track and you have trains coming through at 2am and 4am you think people in that situation are putting up a fight to move the railway tract. No. Why can't Canadians get on board with the Americans who have a wind turbine in every back yard and they had them for years.

  • William J
    January 18, 2010 - 10:44

    In one of the comments today there is mention of Train noise that affects ones sleep when they live to close to a railroad track, true except the Wind Turbine noise is a constant where as a train noise normally would be broken,
    I could wonder if there has been research on the possible effects of shadow fluttering from these wind Turbines on ones eyes and if so what effects it has on there equilibrium ?