October 16, 2017 5:56 pm

Hundreds rally to stop a controversial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County

Many Prince Edward County residents are fighting to put an end to the 9 turbine project. Some residents have sought legal action.

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Hundreds rallied in Picton on Sunday to fight against a controversial wind turbine project that would see nine wind turbines in the county.

The protestors chanted “Not green. Not Clean. Green Energy Act is just obscene,” as they marched down Main Street to Regent Theatre.

“They’re arrogant and a bully. They go into rural communities, they find local people and tell them they’re going to get 25 thousand a turbine and that’s not right,” said Dough Murphy, a frustrated resident and owner of Murdale Farms in Milford.

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The company, WPD, first introduced the White Pines Wind Project back in 2009.

READ MORE: The fight against a controversial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County continues

The project has gone through many changes since then but now pre-construction work has been underway for the last few weeks.

Many frustrated residents are pointing their finger at the provincial government.

“The Green Energy Act trumps all municipal regulations, planning, zoning bylaws and so on, and allows the Ministry of the Environment to place these projects even in environmentally sensitive areas,” said John Hirsch, a county resident.

According to Hirsch, if WPD cancelled the project, the company would owe a penalty of $500,000.

He said that is a small price to pay compared to the $100 million taxpayers would pay over the 20-year life of the project as WPD is guaranteed payment for every kWh they produce.

There is work being done to try to stop construction in its tracks.

During the packed meeting at the Regent Theatre following the march, the South Marysburgh Ward Councillor explained to residents what’s next in the fight to stop the project which includes two judicial reviews.

“They involve a challenge to the actual Green Energy Act itself and the other is an action against the studies concerning heritage and heritage landscapes,” said Councillor Steve Ferguson.

READ MORE: Prince Edward County fearful construction of wind turbine farm could begin this weekend

The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) will be taking the matter to court with a hearing scheduled for November 17th in Picton.

“We find that wind turbines, there’s a number of issues related to them. There are health issues and environmental issues. Both are recognized as issues by the government,” said William Peel from APPEC.

According to WPD’s website, the class 4 wind project would pump an estimated 52,295,800 kWh annually into the local electricity grid which is the equivalent to the average annual power use of 3,005 homes.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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