Kirk Dickinson, July 6, 2014, Blackburn News
Transport Canada has issued an order for the removal of eight wind turbines near the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport by December 31, 2014.
Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope says the municipality was surprised to learn that Transport Canada is demanding that the turbines be removed because of their proximity to the airport. He says two months ago, the municipality’s chief legal officer met with Transport Canada officials and proposed that the eight turbines be recognized as “exceptions.”
“I believe it’s ridiculous, there is an alternative that is there in front of (Transport Canada),” says Hope. “We’ve waited for months for them to reply to us, and they never replied, and came down with this order, which we don’t feel is right… We believe Transport Canada is just playing some politics with us.”
According to a media release from the municipality, this “simple solution” would be a one-time approval just for the eight turbines and would not affect the restriction of future construction near the airport.
Hope says multiple aeronautic consultants have stated the eight wind turbines do not impact airport operations or present any safety concerns for planes.
Hope says the municipality does not have a course of action regarding the order to remove the turbines, and that it is up to GDF Suez, the owner of the affected turbines, to file an appeal.
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RELATED STORY: MPP Pleased With Wind Turbine Removal Order
Editor’s note: GDF Suez’ CEO is Mike Crawley formerly of AIM PowerGen, and past president of both the Ontario and Canadian Liberal parties. His companies have gained contracts worth millions from the Ontario government.