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The government of Ontario is seeking the public's input on approval requirements for renewable energy projects, including setbacks for wind, solar, hydro, biogas and biomass projects, which build on and strengthen the environmental and health protection components of current regulatory requirements.

Proposed approval requirements for renewable energy projects include the following:

- Wind turbines would not be permitted less than 550 meters from the nearest dwelling, and this minimum setback would increase with the number and loudness of turbines; and

- Natural heritage features, such as significant wetlands or significant wildlife habitat, would be protected by a setback of 120 meters, with development only being able to move closer where there is a study demonstrating the ability to mitigate negative impacts.

"The proposed requirements will ensure we continue to uphold rigorous safety and environmental standards while providing clarity about the approvals process for renewable energy projects," says Donna Cansfield, head of the Ministry of Natural Resources. "Developing new sources of renewable energy has a critical role to play in helping us reduce the impacts of climate change."

The province will hold informational meetings in six locations across Ontario this month to get public input.

For more information, visit ene.gov.on.ca.

SOURCE: Ministry of the Environment

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