Landmark Wind Farm Case coming to CK this week
A preliminary hearing in the upcoming battle over a proposed wind farm near Thamesville gets underway tomorrow. Chatham-Kent Wind Action Inc. and local resident Katie Erickson will begin their legal appeal against the Kent Breeze Wind Farm, which is set to erect 8 turbines near Thamesville.
Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, the first of two, followed by an official Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, is being held at 10:00am in council chambers, with the purpose of setting the stage for the tribunal process. Requests by the challenging parties, as well as any citizen wishing to present information at the tribunal, will be heard at Tuesday’s meeting.
Chatham-Kent Wind Action Inc, and Erickson, are claiming that the proposed wind farm will have adverse health impacts on Chatham-Kent citizens. Tuesday’s hearing will also set any issues to be discussed at the official tribunal.
This case, which could become a landmark in regards to renewable energy and wind farms in Canada, is being heavily monitored across the globe, and will welcome several experts from across Canada and the world to participate in the tribunal itself.
The main hearing is set to begin February 1 at 10:00am in council chambers, and is scheduled to take 7 days. Although construction has already started on the Kent Breeze Wind Farm, a decision from the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal is not scheduled to be released until May 30, 2011.
If Erickson and Chatham-Kent Wind Action Inc. are successful, it would set a precedent for other groups aiming to stop wind farms from locating near dwellings. Conservative Tim Hudak joined the wind turbine debate recently stating he plans to fight for local municpalities rights to decide where wind farms are located. Hudak also discussed his concerns with the hydro costs associated with Premier Dalton McGuinty’s energy policies.
Hudak’s recent comments regarding municipal power in deciding the location of wind farms seem to be sparking debate across Ontario including on several prominent anti-wind farm websites.
Continue to follow the CKDP for updates on this case following the upcoming hearings.