Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wind Turbine Challenge Passes Three Major Legal Hurdles

Wind Turbine Legal Challenge Passes Three Major Legal Hurdles

Toronto, January 24, 2011

A panel of three Ontario Divisional Court judges today heard the submissions of counsel for the Attorney General representing the Ministry of Environment,counsel representing Ian Hanna, Eric Gillespie, and counsel for the Intervenor the CanadianWind Energy Association in an application for judicial review of central provisions of theGreen Energy Act regulations.

The application states that the 550 meter setback, legislated by the McGuinty Liberal Government in September 2009, has not been scientifically justified as asufficient distance to protect human health.Initially it appeared the hearing might not be permitted to proceed as the court queried if anupcoming Environmental Review Tribunal hearing in Chatham was where these issues shouldbe addressed. After hearing substantial legal argument the panel of judges agreed to hearthe case.
Hurdle # 1.In spite of the Attorney General's attempts to have the court reject the evidence andqualifications of three medical doctors who filed affidavits relied on by the applicant, thecourt declined to overturn any of their evidence.
Hurdle # 2.The court also determined that notwithstanding the Attorney General and CanWEA'ssubmissions in opposition, the issues to be decided were complex and significant and thecourt would reserve making any decision to allow it to consider all of the information it hadreceived.
Hurdle # 3.Ian Hanna the applicant has declared today's results a victory for all those now suffering theconsequences of poorly developed regulations and guidelines that have led to a litany ofhomes abandoned, adverse health effects and financial ruin for many Ontario residents.The three judge panel will now review the evidence and submissions from today and haveindicated they will likely release a written judgment in the near future.