Monday, March 28, 2011

Anti-wind activists to appeal Ontario court decision on setbacks

Wind Concerns Ontario, an anti-wind activist organization, says it will appeal an Ontario Superior Court decision released earlier this month that ruled against the challenge to the province’s Green Energy Act regulations.

The anti-wind activists say Ontario’s environment ministry failed to properly assess the human health risks of turbines, which they believe emit low-frequency noise that causes sleeplessness and an array of other effects, ranging from psychiatric conditions to cardiovascular disease.

Ian Hanna, a Picton, Ontario resident, launched the court challenge after a number of wind farms were proposed near his home in Prince Edward County. His case was backed by the testimony of Dr. Bob McMurtry, a former medical school dean and special health advisor to the federal government. Dr. McMurtry also owns property in Prince Edward County.

The court ultimately decided that the ministry held “a full public consultation and a consideration of the views of interested parties.”

In a statement, the Ontario environment minister John Wilkinson said the rules for wind turbine siting “are based on peer-reviewed science.”

“While I can’t comment on the appeal, I can tell you that science-based evidence was and will be used to develop our regulations,” the statement read. “(The court) confirmed that developing the regulation included full public consultation, consideration of the views of interested parties, health reports, science-based evidence and expert opinions.”

It is unclear when the appeal on the case will be heard.

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