NS: Mayor responds after premier's wind farm comments

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By The Canadian Press

Amherst is asking for a delay on several proposed wind projects in the area until a Health Canada study is complete.

[AMHERST, NS] — The mayor of Amherst said Friday he still supports wind farms but wanted to relay the concerns of residents about such developments when he wrote Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter about the issue earlier this week.

Robert Small said a letter he wrote to Dexter on Monday was an attempt to raise awareness about what he has heard from the community about health concerns stemming from wind turbines that are located less than 600 metres from homes.

"Without a doubt, Amherst is in full support of wind energy development," Small said in an email. "What some of our citizens are saying is that 600 metres is not enough of a setback from our homes for one of the projects that will skirt our town boundary."

Small's comments come a day after Dexter said he was surprised to get a letter from Amherst's town council asking for a delay on the development of wind turbines because he thought Small was on board with such projects.

Dexter said Small was very supportive at the June opening of a $61-million development consisting of 15 wind turbines, which can generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes a year.

In its letter, Amherst town council asked for a delay on wind turbine announcements until Health Canada's study on the effects of wind turbines on human health could be completed.

Dexter said he won't delay the projects because there isn't evidence linking wind turbines to health problems.

A 2010 study by Ontario's chief medical officer of health showed no negative effects, but the results of Health Canada's study aren't expected until next year.

Organizations: Health Canada, Amherst town council

Geographic location: Amherst, Nova Scotia, Ontario

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