Consider This
Politics, Life and Journalism in Northumberland County, Ontario

Responding to windmill story

First published: June 15, 2004

By Tim Pozza

Interesting and informative article in today’s newspaper. Kind of bad
news for wind advocates in Northumberland though. Maybe it will put a
new ‘spin’ on things and help clarify fast track wind energy contracts
with the appropriate bodies.
Had you an opportunity to speak with the owners of the ‘turbine’ or
‘windmill’? I would like to get in touch with them on behalf of
Sustainability Northumberland and ask them a few questions. I am a
little concerned that your article never mentioned your effort or lack
thereof in contacting the neighbors. Perhaps I missed it, but there was
no line saying ‘when the owners of the windmill were contacted they
declined to comment’ or ‘the owners of the turbine were unavailable for
comment’.

Personally, I got no sense of whether the owners were embarrassed by
their erection and would be unable to define whether the windmill is a
turbine or vice versa. I think you may have meant to quote Mr. Paterson
as saying that is is a windmill and not a turbine that generates
mechanical energy doing the grinding and pumping etc. It’s a fine point,
but your story pivots on semantics and the lead appears to set the stage
for a potentially illegal turbine construction under windmill
guidelines. It took me a while to get that from your story. I hope that
I’m getting that right? If I am then the lead appears buried to me.

It is easier to get in touch with the Patersons because your article
names the couple. From your article it appeared Mrs. Paterson had a lot
of information about the specifics of the turbine; its make and
manufacture, kWh capacity, and the level of noise made by the
contraption. Did Mrs. Paterson take proper measurements to verify the
amount of noise made by the windmill? She may find it difficult to fight
the operation of the thing with generalizations that may or may not
contravene noise laws at any level of government.

I would be interested in a follow up article that explains more
precisely the specific legislative requirements to an erection such as
the one described in your article. Mrs. Paterson poses some very
interesting questions about regulatory responsibility and standards. It
might be interesting to find out how much township council regrets
having paved the way, as it were, for windmills or wind turbines to be
built. Did they surf in on the hype and get stung? Crazy!

You may also wish to clarify whether Mrs. Paterson had indeed contacted
Ontario Hydro, Ontario Power Generation or Hydro One. I don’t believe
the first on that list exists any longer and the responsibilities and
lands have been divvied up between OPG and Hydro One from what I am able
to gather.

Anyway, if it is possible for you to do so and you have the information,
it would be great to get the contact information for both the owner and
the neighbor.

Will you follow up at the council meeting with another cover story?

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