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Port Elgin Residents Spell out Wind Concerns

John Divinski — Bayshore News — July 12, 2013

Residents complain about CAW wind turbine, as MOE plans to increase inspections.

About 60 concerned citizens attended a meeting in Port Elgin on Thursday to voice concerns about the continuing operation of the CAW industrial wind turbine.

Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy (STOP) spokesperson Greg Schmalz says the whole idea of the meeting at Maple Hall in Port Elgin was to urge those living within 550 meters of the turbine to file formal complaints if they’re being affected by  that turbine.

Schmalz says unless those formal complaints are filed with the CAW, the CAW and the Ministry of Environment will assume there are no issues.

117 homes are within the 550-metre zone of the turbine.

550 metres was mandated by the province as a safe distance to live from turbines but the rule did not apply to the CAW because their turbine application was approved before the Green Energy Act came into effect.

Official complaint forms were handed out at the meeting.

Schmalz says he’s at war with the CAW because they are threatening the enjoyment of life at his home, which is across the street from the turbine.

He says legally STOP is prepared to go to court with the CAW at anytime to show them they are polluting the environment with low frequency noise that is making people sick.

Saugeen Shores Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau lives in the neighbourhood and he says so far, he’s lucky.

Charbonneau says the turbine has not affected his family but many others in the area are not so lucky.

Resident and parent Kevin Hall says he’s complained many times to the CAW about the noise the turbine creates.

Hall says it is keeping his young children awake at night.

According to Deputy Mayor Charbonneau, the MOE has informed him that they are increasing their noise emission inspections because of complaints that have been filed from area residents to date.

The CAW has built a 76-meter high turbine on its grounds in South Port Elgin, to power the Family Education Centre.

It has been in operation since March of this year.

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