Given the potential risk of negative environmental, economic and social impacts on communities considering construction of industrial wind turbines, and that these impacts are most often widespread, reaching many miles in all directions from a construction site, it is imperative that the public who are most directly impacted have a clear and direct method to influence the conditions under which such a project should be permitted. I would propose the introduction of a structured petitioning process that would allow petitioners falling within at least a 3km radius of a proposed wind turbine construction site to specifically define conditions that must be met in order for a wind turbine project to proceed. The municipality would accept and verify that signatories were legitimate (I have a detailed recommendation on a low cost process for this), and should the percent of petitioners be 51%+ then the conditions laid out in the statements making up the petition, as long as they fall within the scope and jurisdiction of municipal, provincial and federal law, would necessarily be required to be agreed to and met by the industrial wind turbine proponent before building permits would be granted and any work could proceed.
I would suggest that this rule be made immediately and enforced for any and all projects that have not yet received building permits, regardless of whether an REA exists or not.
The Green Energy Act overrode municipalities’ right to govern their own area and the rights of citizens to determine what is best for their local communities, forcing many to sell their family homes and leave town when they have legitimate concerns regarding their health, safety and peace of mind. The public deserves the right to determine what occurs in their locality, especially when they have the opportunity to demonstrate majority consensus.
Submitted December 7, 2018 10:09 AM