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Wind farm on Oak Ridges Moraine up for appeal hearing

Vanessa Lu — Toronto Star — November 15, 2014

Wind energy may be green, but opponents of a proposed wind farm on the Oak Ridges Moraine worry that five giant turbines will damage the environmentally sensitive area.

“There are conflicting values,” said Heather Stauble, a Kawartha Lakes councillor who represents the area where WPD Canada hopes to build its Sumac Ridge wind farm.

The provincial government has already approved the project, but the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal is scheduled to hear an appeal that begins Monday.

“They do not need to locate it on the Oak Ridges Moraine,” said Stauble, who noted the turbines would be adjacent to a conservation area. “There are other places in Ontario that have wind that (are) not the Oak Ridges Moraine.”

The Oak Ridges Moraine received special protection from the provincial government in 2001. Its gravel and sandy soil filter the rainwater and melting snow that feeds 65 rivers and streams — and those bodies of water directly provide drinking water to 250,000 people on wells. They slowly recharge the deep aquifers below ground, serving as the rain barrel of southern Ontario.

Stauble says residents in the community worry that if the wind farm goes ahead on these protected lands, it will be the beginning of the industrialization of the pristine area. Concerns included the need to build new roads, cut down thousands of trees and alterations to the elevations in the hilly landscape.  Continue reading here…..

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