Suncor taking Plympton Wyoming to court over turbine setbacks

Wind turbines near Watford

Wind turbines near Watford

The wind war in Plympton-Wyoming is headed to court.

And Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper says his municipality will fight to protect its residents against the potential health effects of wind turbines on its residents.

Suncor Energy has a contract with the provincial government for a 100 megawatt, 46 turbine project in Plympton-Wyoming and Lambton Shores. About 28 of those turbines will go in Plympton-Wyoming in the Camlachie area.

The municipality has taken an aggressive stand against the project putting in tough local regulations.

Thursday, Suncor Energy Products served the township with notice it’s challenging the municipality’s bylaws which require turbines to be two kilometers from homes, a $200,000 deposit for decommissioning and its building permit fees of $10,000. A court date has not been set yet, but Mayor Lonny Napper the township is hiring a lawyer to defend its bylaws. “We feel we have a strong case here,” says Napper. “It is our mandate under the Municipal Act to protect our people and that’s what we’re going to do.

“We’re not against wind turbines; we’re in this strictly for the health and safety of our people.”

Some of the people living around the turbines have been complaining of headaches and sleeplessness as well as tinnitus (a ringing in the ears).

“I don’t know who I’m going to sacrifice in my municipality,” says Napper. “There are health concerns out there; Health Canada is going to do a study.”

Napper says it would be reasonable to have a moratorium on the construction of the industrial wind projects until that two year study is complete.

“It has got to be completely safe.”

The municipality is in the process of trying to find a lawyer to defend the bylaws. Napper says Plympton-Wyoming will also draw on the expertise of anti-wind activists in the fight.

-Heather Wright