Ontario court dismisses setback lawsuit

CANADA: An Ontario court has upheld the province’s legislation on wind turbine setbacks following a legal challenge by a Prince Edward Country resident.

The Ontario legal challenge was over the province's 550 metre setback rule
The Ontario legal challenge was over the province's 550 metre setback rule

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The challenge argued that Ontario’s minimum setback distance of 550 metres does not take account of the possible negative impact of wind turbines on human health.

Hanna’s said there was no medical evidence the setback distance was safe. As a result, the province had failed to take account of the precautionary principle contained in its own Environmental Bill of Rights.

However, Ontario’s Divisional Court has dismissed the claim that the Ontario government had ignored the bill. It said the setback rules had been instigated through an extensive consultative process.

The ruling will come as a relief to wind developers planning projects in the province.

CanWEA president Robert Hornung said: "The wind energy industry is committed to the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy in Ontario and across the country. We have stated from the outset that this application had no merit and should not have been brought before the court.

"Ontario’s set-back regulations are among the most stringent in the world and are designed to protect the health and safety of the public. CanWEA member companies ensure they are in compliance with all regulatory requirements."

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