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Drawing the line: Plympton-Wyoming sets up for a wind turbine fight

Heather Wright — Sarnia this Week — July 29, 2012

PREPARING FOR THE FIGHT Plympton-Wyoming politicians say they are prepared to go to court to make sure wind turbines, are 2 kilometers away from homes.

PLYMPTON-WYOMING – Plympton-Wyoming council says industrial wind turbines should be two kilometers away from homes and they’re prepared to go to court to make it happen.

In February, council passed tough new rules on setbacks (how close wind turbines can be to homes) saying it was concerned about the health effects on residents. It also imposed a $200,000 deposit for each turbine to be built in the municipality to cover any decommissioning costs.

But the rules fell under the Planning Act, an act which is superseded by the Green Energy Act. It took away all planning power from municipalities when it came to green projects. So recently, council passed the same setback rule, this time, under the Municipal Act which is not superseded by the Green Energy Act. It is a move several other Ontario municipalities have made, but one which has yet to be challenged in court.

Mayor Lonny Napper says Plympton-Wyoming expects that could happen soon since wind energy companies are entrenched in their position. “When I meet with wind companies I make it clear up front what our setbacks are and they say they’re going to go with the Green Energy Act and the 550 meter setbacks,” says Napper.

The mayor is ready for “one good fight” in court which would settle the dispute over who has the right to regulate where wind turbines go. And he’s willing to spend taxpayers’ money for it says he hopes “some of the other organizations would pop in and help us.

(To continue reading, click here)

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