Category Archives: Direct Effects

Approval halted on two Wainfleet turbines | Welland Tribune

WAINFLEET – 

Two days after a controversial decision by Wainfleet township council to use taxpayers’ money to fund a private company’s legal battle against wind turbines, the company behind the turbines has been ordered to halt construction on part of its development.

The order came from an environment review tribunal, which decided Thursday the renewable energy approval for two of Wainfleet Wind Energy’s five industrial wind turbines should be put on hold until the appeal by Skydive Burnaby is heard.

On Oct. 7, the Ministry of the Environment gave Wainfleet Wind Energy an REA to move forward with the project. Two weeks later, however, lawyers for Skydive Burnaby owners Mikel and Tara Pitt appealled, saying that two turbines planned to be within 1.7 km of their facility would be detrimental to their business.

In her decision Thursday, tribunal executive chair Lynda Tanaka said the motion for a stay of the renewal energy approval for the two turbines was granted until the appeal is decided. The tribunal is scheduled for three weeks in January.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’ll definitely take it as a win,” said Tara Pitt. “It wasn’t an easy road getting here, but I’m definitely happy.”

Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, who has continually fought against having turbines built in the township, called it step in the right direction.

“Even if it is just for the two, it’s such a positive step forward,” she said. “It’s a breath of fresh air to see the province recognize how this will affect a business in our community.”

Tom Rankin, the president of Rankin Construction, which is a partner in Wainfleet Wind Energy, said the stay isn’t much of a setback.

“At that site we have the road built, the concrete foundation is built and we had the crane up, but we weren’t going to put up the tower until the new year anyway,” he said. “We have the critical work done we wanted to do. So I’m not happy about the decision, but it’s not the end of the world.”

Jeffs, meanwhile, defended a decision Tuesday to have the township pay $40,000 of Skydive Burnaby’s legal bills.

Though it wasn’t originally on the council agenda, a procedural bylaw was waived to allow Tara Pitts to make a presentation to council requesting the money. She said the idea for the public support came from Lambton county council making a similar decision recently.

“It was time sensitive because our original understanding of what our legal fees would be and what they ended up being were two different things,” Pitts said.

Jeffs, Ald. Betty Konc and Ald. Richard Dykstra voted in favour of granting the funding while Ald. Ted Hessels voted against the idea. Ald. David Wyatt wasn’t at the meeting.

“I don’t think it’s our right to use taxpayer money,” said Hessels. “It’s not really Wainfleet’s case anymore. It’s a private thing.”

He said he’s concerned with how it might look that a decision was made Tuesday night without the public knowing it was being discussed.

“We haven’t heard from the people on which way to go. You know there’s opposition to it,” he said.

“Personally I’m against what the turbine people are doing, but I wasn’t going to use my constituents money to fight it.”

Jeffs said she knows not everyone will agree with the decision.

“I’m sure we’ll hear from people about it, but that’s fair. I stand behind it. We had to decide and I think it’s a good decision,” she said. “It’s tough because Wainfleet has a small budget and $40,000 is a lot here.”

dan.dakin@sunmedia.ca

 

Approval halted on two Wainfleet turbines | Welland Tribune.

Town agrees to reduce operating hours of turbines; Issue far from over as final settlement still must be reached

Credit:  By CHRISTOPHER KAZARIAN | Falmouth Enterprise | November 8, 2013 ~~

Falmouth’s wind turbines will return to their 12hour operation following an agreement reached between neighbors and town officials in Barnstable Superior Court yesterday.

The agreement is tied to Neil P. and Elizabeth Andersen’s claim that the town’s wind turbines constitute a nuisance, which was affirmed by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals in May. The town has since contested that appeals board decision in superior court with initial proceedings held in September and an ensuing one held last month.

Prior to yesterday’s hearing, Falmouth selectmen had decided in a 3-2 vote to increase the operation of the turbines from their 7 AM to 7 PM model to one in which the machines would be operating from 5 AM to 9 PM as a way to generate enough revenue to cover the town’s expenses.

But that changed yesterday when Barnstable Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Muse directed both parties to engage in discussions to determine if there was any agreement on a temporary plan of operation of the turbines while the two sides work toward a final settlement.

Town counsel Frank K. Duffy Jr. and selectman Rebecca Moffitt, representing the town, came to an agreement with the Andersens’ attorney, J. Alexander Watt of Barnstable, and Christopher Senie of Westboro, who is representing several neighbors as parties in the case.

As part of the agreement, the town will also direct building commissioner Eladio R. Gore to devise a plan to eliminate the nuisance. The first step in that plan will be to begin acoustic testing in a variety of conditions, with one turbine running and both running at various times.

J. Malcolm Donald of Blacksmith Shop Road, a vocal opponent of the turbines who attended yesterday’s hearing, lauded the temporary agreement. “I think it was earth shattering that the parties finally, after more than three years of disagreement, actually sat down and talked,” he said. “I think it is kind of a stroke of genius of the judge. This is economical judicial action.”

While progress has been made toward a final resolution, Mr. Senie said nothing has truly been settled. “There really isn’t any agreement that has been reached. There’s been a consensus that we should take a look at a possible global settlement of [four] different pieces of litigation. We have a long road to travel to get there,” he said.

Those four lawsuits, he said, include yesterday’s as well as two separate nuisance claims against the town, one brought forward by the Andersens and another by his clients, who live near the wind turbines. The fourth lawsuit is an appeal of Barnstable Superior Court Judge Robert C. Rufo’s decision in June that Mr. Gore did not need a special permit from the appeals board to erect Wind 1, which became operational in March 2010.

In order to reach a final settlement, Mr. Duffy wrote in an email this morning that the neighbors will have to submit a list of proposed actions to the town that they believe will end all outstanding zoning and nuisance claims. That list will be discussed by selectmen once Town Meeting concludes next week.

Both parties will report on the status of negotiations to Judge Muse by Thursday, November 21.

“We are still at the very beginning stages,” Mr. Senie said. “Judge Muse did a great job to begin to shape a global settlement,” he said. “The town agreed to go back to the 12hour operational period from 7 AM to 7 PM and we appreciate that very much as an interim measure. We’re glad to have that while we have real discussions about a final and formal settlement.”

Whether an agreement can be reached, he was unsure, although he was pleased to see the direction negotiations are heading in. “I think we arrived at a new moment yesterday,” he said. “It is positive and constructive. I don’t know if it will prevail. We have an awful lot of people who have to agree on an awful lot of items. I’m not sure what will happen, but everyone is sincere about this.”

Town agrees to reduce operating hours of turbines; Issue far from over as final settlement still must be reached.

Dead in Fire Wind Turbine OOLTGENSPLAAT

 
 

October 30, 2013 – Netherlands

A wind turbine caught fire Tuesday afternoon in Ooltgensplaat on Goeree-Overflakkee, costing the lives of two mechanics.Four mechanics were at work in the wind turbine on the Mariadijk, about 80 meters above ground, Tuesday afternoon. By a cause, yet unknown, a fire started in the engine room.

 Because of the height the fire department initially had trouble extinguishing the fire in the engine room. In the evening, a special team of firefighters went up with a large crane, and found the body of the missing man.

The cause of the fire is unclear. The identity of the victims has not been disclosed. The Inspectorate for Social Affairs, formerly the Labour inspection, commenced an investigation.

An eyewitness reported to RTV Rijnmond she saw two mechanics sitting on the tip of the turbine. She saw them jump through the fire toward stairs.

Original Article: http://www.nltimes.nl/2013/10/30/dead-in-fire-wind-turbine-ooltgensplaat/