The Appellants and the Additional Appellant assert several grounds to demonstrate that engaging in the renewable energy project will cause serious harm to human health, including:
1. Industrial wind turbines ("IWTs") are known to cause a range of serious health effects in approximately 5 to 30 per cent of the population. These health effects are sleep disturbance, headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability, problems with concentration, memory and panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering when awake or asleep, excessive tiredness, and loss of quality of life, all of which can lead to increased morbidity, significant chronic disease and health effects.
2. These health effects are likely caused by exposure to infrasound, low frequency noise, audible noise, visual impact, shadow flicker, stray current and/or electromagnetic fields. The tonality and lack of night-time abatement are factors which also contribute to negative health impacts.
3. While the precise mechanisms that cause these health effects have not been determined, these effects are produced by exposure to IWTs and will be produced by exposure to the IWTs in this project. The precautionary principle is not being followed.
4. These health effects occur at sound levels starting at approximately 30 dbA, which is lower than the levels permitted by the REA for this project. These effects are also known to occur at distances of up to 10 kilometres, which is much greater than the setback prescribed for this project. The incredibly small setback of 550 metres leaves many people vulnerable to illnesses caused by wind turbines.
5. If between 5% and 30% of individuals at points of reception experience the health effects enumerated above, the impact of the project on human health will be very serious.
6. Project infrastructure that is located too close to roads and property lines will also pose a variety of safety issues that will cause serious harm to human health.
The Appellants and the Additional Appellant also assert grounds to demonstrate that engaging in the renewable energy project will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment, including:
1. The construction and operation of this project will cause serious and irreversible harm to plants, animals and the natural environment inside and outside of the project area, especially when cumulative impacts are taken into consideration.
2. Bats, raptors, and other flora and fauna are at risk from habitat destruction and disruption resulting from this project.
3. A substation will be located 187 metres from an active bald eagle nest. This is too close by provincial standards.
4. Wildlife, livestock, natural areas and crop land would be at risk of severe harm should a wind turbine catch fire.
The Appellants and the Additional Appellant are requesting that the Environmental Review Tribunal revoke the MOE Director’s decision to issue the REA, and will be seeking a stay of the decision.
One of the Appellants (Harvey Wrightman) and the Additional Appellant also intend to question the validity of sections 47.5 and 142.1 of the Environmental Protection Act and to seek a remedy under section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982 declaring these provisions inoperative insofar as they allow for the violation of the Appellants’ rights under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”). This Appellant and the Additional Appellant also intend to claim a remedy under subsection 24(1) of the Charter in relation to an act of omission of the Government of Ontario.