PORT RYERSE – Port Ryerse residents fighting against wind turbines slated to go up beside their village are protesting because of the certainty the project will harm them, an environmental tribunal hearing heard.
Sleeplessness, sickness, loss of birds, and falling real estate values have hit every community that has ever hosted turbines, Port Ryerse resident Heather Walters testified.
“These are not guesses,” she said. “It is 100% predictable.”
Walters said she is not normally an outspoken advocate for causes and only took up the case against wind power once she heard about the project and started researching it.
“We are not activists,” she said. “I’ve never been involved in anything like this.”
Wednesday’s hearing was held in the council chambers at town hall in Simcoe in front of lawyers representing residents and the project.
The two-person panel hearing the case has the right to put a halt to the project. Last fall, construction was pushed back after a barn owl, an endangered species, was spotted next to the site.
The hearing also heard from Cayuga resident Grant Church, who cited a number of international studies that suggested wind turbines cause illnesses in people, even well beyond the 550 metre setback the Ontario government has set.
A tool and die maker by trade, Church said there are numerous examples of people being made sick by infrasound created by turbines, sometimes from as far away as 2.2 kilometres.