Environmental Review Tribunal Upholds Approval Of Ontario Wind Project

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The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) welcomes the decision of Ontario's Environmental Review Tribunal to uphold the renewable energy approval of the Kent Breeze wind project in Ontario, confirming that the first project to be approved under the Green Energy Act will proceed as planned.

‘The wind energy industry welcomes the tribunal's decision, as it is consistent with the balance of expert scientific and medical information, which clearly indicates there is no direct link between wind turbines and effects on human health,’ says Scott Smith, vice president of policy for CanWEA.

Construction on the 20 MW project, which is being developed by Suncor Energy, began in November 2010. Opponents of the project claim that the turbines can cause health problems. Currently, Ontario's setback of 550 meters for wind turbines is among the most stringent standards in North America, according to Smith.

The ruling is consistent with reports produced by the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the National Public Health Institute in Quebec and a growing body of peer-reviewed scientific and medical information, all of which state there is no direct link between wind turbines and human health risks, according to CanWEA.

In March, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of the provincial renewable energy framework, citing that standards were developed following public consultation and review of science-based evidence.

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