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Prince “Turbine” County!

Letter – PEC By-Law 900-2002

This letter was sent on 21st Aug 2008 to a variety of interested parties, including PEC council, Provincial Government, Energy Companies, Local Media, and others relating to 900-2002


Dear Karen / interested parties.           

My name is Steven Draper, I am a resident of PEC, owning a small organic and ethical farm estate and EP wetlands north of Picton. I am currently investing in developing a creative rural business centred on rare breed protection, environmental stewardship, public education and “beyond carbon neutral” rural relaxation.  

As a former British Airways Airline Captain, I’ve  always tried to satisfy myself of potential problems and threats that have occurred in both my professional and personal  life. In order to satisfy my own open minded questions about industrial wind energy projects I am currently working full time on research, building a global network of contacts  and an in-depth understanding of a variety of interesting wind energy challenges and how they apply to specific locations.      

I highlighted The County of Prince Edward by-law 900-2002 at last nights ( 2008/08/08 ) public information session about industrial wind energy. I had previously contacted the mayor regarding it and he said it would be considered and informed me of the public information session.

The reason I presented this point was simply because I think it poses a potential hurdle for industrial wind turbine development here [PEC] by providing recognition and protection to the residents right too peace and tranquility within PEC. Peace and Tranquility that many others, including the Queens University report ( April 2008 ) say is a vital part of a our unique “County” marketing strategy and future economic successes. Part of the landscape that must be protected, hence the by-law.

As a potential obstacle to the large number of proposed wind energy projects in PEC, will the elected council members, who have recently announced their intention to embrace industrial wind mines, now attempt to change this by-law? 

If the council trust the protection offered by the Ontario Noise guidlines that they will use to determine noise setbacks, if they trust their own observations from visits to wind turbines, if they trust the energy companies are telling the complete picture about noise, if they  believe the problems reported elsewhere (ie Davis Case – July 2008 UK) are not true,  then there is absolutely NO reason to change the by-law as unusual noise issues will not be a problem, will they?

If however the council has any doubt regarding the above points then in order to allow the development of  industrial wind turbines without the threat of high profile legal cases, serious social divisions and potential prosecutions to either land owners or the municipal council,  they’ll have to try and amend the by-law. At the same time they will have to convince the residents that there isn’t a problem from annoying, unusual noises relating to the placement of industrial wind turbines close to their homes, despite their desire to change the by-law….      

Wind energy is a high profile mega $$$ industry that the Ontario provincial government has tasked with creating a large percentage of our future clean energy. The greatest threat to these wind energy dreams, and future clean energy projects,  is a change in public opinion by media coverage of poorly managed planning processes or inappropriately sited industrial wind mines that are beset with problems.

Should the PEC council decide to challenge their own by-law 900-2002, then the public and media spotlight on wind energy noise issues, provincial planning guidelines and the decision making process and motivations of those elected members of the PEC municipal council, will be exceptionally focused, almost certainly making provincial news, possibly national too. The social and economic consequences of any changes to the by-law following a lively passionate public debate would almost certainly be immediate and significant for PEC.

I’ve always tried to avoid problems by applying reason, intuition and common sense to situations. Personally I’d rather the council not waste more time and our money, risk the shining reputation and successful economy of PEC, or the current and future renewable energy plans for Ontario by allowing them to become tarnished by a high profile, messy public debate on the multifarious, complex and challenging issues that will crop up in PEC.

The Mayor and elected PEC council has an excellent opportunity with this by-law to escape the potentially lengthy, difficult and damaging decision making process’s involved with industrial wind mine proposals and the future potential of media headlines such as “Tourists Spin away from Prince Turbine County”“Creative Economy Blown away by Wind”“Windrush = Council blush”“They had it all but Blew it!”

At the same time an opportunity presents itself that would allow the mayor and council to demonstrate vision by embracing non damaging, alternative and emerging solutions (so far unmentioned as a local option) to energy conservation and clean power generation, solutions that invest in local people and business, solutions that enhance the whole economy by enhancing the unique marketing strategy of PEC as a place to work, rest and play, solutions that provide a showcase for environmental vision, eco-creativity and enhancing our planet without destroying our  beautiful country, our beautiful county, our beautiful home.

As the PEC by-law enforcement officer, or other interested party reading this, I would be very interested to have the opportunity to listen to your important  views and opinions regarding by-law 900-2002 and wind energy proposals for PEC and Ontario.

Many thanks for your time and response.

Steven Draper

Links: (Author not responsible to changes in content at these links.)

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