North Stormont must enact bylaw compelling turbine fire suppression units

One of the completed turbines in the Nation Rise turbine project rises in the background of this photo taken in July 2020. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

The Editor:

To North Stormont Council, Staff and residents I am deeply concerned about information that is vital to the safety and health of North Stormont citizens.

The Nation Rise project is continuing construction using the Green Energy Act noise guidelines, ignoring their own increased setbacks required for clusters of turbines. The immense size of the towers are in fact gearless turbines with only one prototype ever being erected as confirmed by Bill Palmer, engineer, recognized as an “expert” witness at the Environmental Review Tribunal for the Nation Rise Wind Farm project on behalf of the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont.

Palmer provides proof that there are 16 documented cases of turbines without gearboxes catching fire. The full report by engineer Bill Palmer has already been sent to council. The oil used in any turbine is a flammable substance. Under the Ontario Fire Protection And Prevention Act there are multiple references to how flammable substances are to be handled, including fire suppression equipment. If there is not enough information available on these new 600-foot-plus gargantuan towers to keep the closely inhabited areas safe, then the North Stormont Council has a duty first to protect the people given evidence that towers such as these can and do catch on fire.

All North Stormont council members took an oath and signed an agreement to protect the citizens from harm. To ensure our safety is your job. You must counteract any potential hazard in our community. That is why it is essential to have fire suppression units on these turbines. That is why the previous fire chief agreed that this is absolutely essential . He was doing his job.

I understand council has signed a contract with EDPR that no costs can be incurred upon the turbines for such frivolous things such as Life Saving Fire Suppression Equipment. If EDPR doesn’t care, the Council of North Stormont should. This is in direct conflict with the oath taken by each one of the members. What if one person is harmed? Can you guarantee that no one will be harmed? No, you cannot. Is this agreement more important than the people? Is the money that important ? I ask you what is the price of a life? Are you willing to risk a criminal negligence charge?

To knowingly put your constituents in a potentially hazardous situation speaks volumes about what is council’s priority. You all took The Oath to Protect. Enact a by-law to require fire suppression units on all turbines before operation. Do your job. Furthermore, council needs to pass a motion that ensures there will be no industrial wind turbines erected on any prime agricultural land in the township.

Tammy McRae
Former Councillor

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