Future of UNIFOR Turbine Needs to be Addressed

QUEEN’S PARK- Ontario’s Environment Minister needs to address whether or not the UNIFOR Turbine located in Port Elgin will be allowed to continue to operate with the new residential setback regulations in place, say Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson.

Changes to Ontario Regulation 350/09 came into effect on May 1st and require any Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) development with a power rating greater than 50kW and a hub height exceeding 70 metres to meet a minimum 550 metre setback from residential buildings. In the case of the UNIFOR Turbine, some homes are located as close as 215 metres.

“This new regulation is not enough, and won’t be until all IWTs are subjected to this regulation, like the UNIFOR Turbine” said Thompson. “Under the Ministry’s own rules, the UNIFOR turbine should not be allowed to continue to operate, and I have asked the Minister to clarify if he intends to shut it down or not.”

A report on indirect impacts from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, published in 2010, found that these setbacks are necessary to protect residents from the effects of turbines. A University of Waterloo Wind Turbine Health Study, backed by the Ontario Liberal government, corroborated these findings. The University of Waterloo also wanted to study indirect impacts from IWTs, but did not receive additional funding from the Liberal government.

“The Minister needs to enforce his own regulations on all IWTs for the good of public safety, and he needs to start with the UNIFOR Turbine.”

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