October 13, 2016 4:26am
Continued delays of acoustic testing of the Unifor wind turbine in Port Elgin has Saugeen Shores council sounding off.
Council is filing a complaint with Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dube regarding the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s promised testing of the turbine, which has not yet been completed.
Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau says the MOECC originally told council they would have the acoustic audit completed by June of this year, but adds it has been delayed at least three times since then, with the Ministry now saying the audit won’t be completed until at least next summer.
He says a sound testing company has been conducting preliminary data in the area of the turbine, which is located at Unifor’s Family Education Centre at the south end of Port Elgin, although that data has not been shared with either the MOECC or the municipality.
“We don’t know what the results of those tests have been, we have no audit, [MOECC] doesn’t know, so what’s going on? It’s really simple to me, we need to know if this turbine is operating in compliance with the law,” says Charbonneau.
Charbonneau says the MOECC is blaming weather, a lack of wind and turbine down-time as the reasons for the testing delays.
Charbonneau’s home is one of more than 100 homes and cottages located within the 550-metre setback typically required for industrial wind turbines, though he says his family has not had any issues with the operation of the turbine, other than one complaint regarding shadow flicker, which was resolved.
Charbonneau says more than 50 complaints regarding the turbine’s operation have been received since February, most recently two weeks ago when a resident complained of the turbine making a thumping noise.
The 250-foot Unifor wind turbine was constructed by what was then the Canadian Auto Workers Union in 2012 and went into service a year later.