North Perth Councillor Warren Howard appeared before the Committee of the Whole yesterday seeking support in principle for a bylaw that would uphold the rights of municipalities to regulate wind turbine noise. Mr. Howard represents a working group of representatives from 21 municipalities that aims to form a coalition to fund this initiative.
Mr. Howard is asking Council to consider a financial contribution towards costs to draft the bylaw and defend it in court. The amount is at the discretion of Council but the goal is to collect $250,000 or more from all coalition members. Municipal Planning staff will report back to Council with its recommendation in May. Please click here to read the deputation made at Council on February 13th.
Quinte News has quickly responded with an on-line poll that asks:
“Do you think Prince Edward County council should donate money and join a coalition to create stricter noise regulations that could serve [to] control wind farms?”
Please click on the link provided and cast your vote.
Let’s send a strong message that we fully support the rights of municipalities to regulate wind turbine noise.
Wind Concerns Ontario has set up an online survey that asks a simple question: Do you approve of Ontario’s birds and animals being killed to make way for large wind power generation projects? Poll closes end of day February 17th.
–> Click here to go to survey
Please Note: to prevent abuse of the survey protocol, the website will only accept a single household’s vote from the same computer. APPEC has no control over this.
It may be a simple question but there is much at stake. As the survey site notes Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) issues permits to wind developers to kill the province’s species at risk including the threatened Blanding’s Turtle. When the time comes we can be sure that the MNR will issue a permit to wpd Inc. for the Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and the Eastern Whip-poor-will. Of course many other species of birds and animals will be killed, harmed and harassed during the construction and operational phase of the wind project but wpd will not require a permit for those.
The provincial government approves wind projects in Ontario’s Important Bird Areas, projects in alvar habitat and projects on rivers, streams and coastal shorelines. The province approves projects that are adjacent to woodlands, valleylands and wetlands. The province approves projects that are only 50 metres away from bat maternity colonies and projects that are on major migration routes. The province approves projects that require killing Ontario’s threatened and endangered species.
Please take a moment to vote. And encourage family and friends to vote as well on our website. Let’s do what our provincial government is refusing to do: Let’s Stand Up for Ontario’s wildlife.
Here is a youtube video and very catchy song with powerful lyrics and message about the Ontario government’s push to industrialize rural Ontario with giant industrial wind turbines to the dismay of local municipalities, residences and citizens.
While the video focuses in on the CAW Wind Energy Project, the message can be applied to most rural areas in Ontario where wind projects have been approved by the Ontario government. It can equally apply to local residences with expert environmentalists and health care individuals who are Standing Up by financing Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeals against our own Ontario government who are siding with the big wind industry to put our health, our environment and the future of our children at risk.
The video starts with a message ….
“We the People of Ontario are currently fighting for our Nature, our Health, our Homes, and our Children’s future Against our own Government and Companies who have lots of financial resources.”
Please enjoy the youtube video and song.
APPEC’s case is being heard by Justices Nordheimer, Linhares de Sousa and Whitaker of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court).
To give some background APPEC appealed the Environmental Review Tribunal’s Decision of last July (2013) to dismiss APPEC’s appeal based on its findings that:
 The evidence in this proceeding did not establish a causal link between wind turbines and either direct or indirect harm to human health at the 550 m set-back distance required under this REA.
 The evidence in this hearing did not establish that engaging in the Ostrander Point wind turbine project in accordance with the REA will cause serious harm to human health.
 For these reasons the Tribunal finds that the Appellant has not established that engaging in the Project in accordance with the REA will cause serious harm to human health
The grounds for appeal are narrow: the Court will only consider whether errors of law were committed by the Environmental Review Tribunal (Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs) in arriving at their decision to dismiss APPEC’s case. Continue reading …
This was the final day of the 3-day hearing. The morning began with a submission from South Shore Conservancy which has Intervenor Status at the hearing followed by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists’ Counter-Appeal on migratory birds and alvar.
The report below covers the morning session. Please see APPEC Report (Part 2) for a report on the proceedings for our counter-appeal on health. Continue reading …
Day Two of the 3-day hearing before the Divisional Court focused on the finding of the Environmental Review Tribunal that if allowed to proceed Gilead Power’s wind project at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County will cause serious and irreversible harm to Blanding’s Turtles. Continue reading …
The following is an APPEC report for the first day of the Ostrander Point ERT Appeal hearing. Paula Peel of the APPEC Board will be reporting on the proceedings trough the week.
Report on Jan 21, 2014 Ostrander Point ERT Appeal Hearing
by Paula Peel, APPEC board
It was hard to find an empty seat on this first day of the hearing. County residents and supporters of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) once again showed their resolve to protect Ostrander Point from wind turbine development. And once again they face stiff opposition. At least 8 lawyers from Gilead Power, the Ministry of the Environment and CanWEA are representing Gilead ’s interests.
The hearing began with Gilead introducing its game-changing motion to bring in new evidence. According to Gilead lawyer Doug Hamilton, the facts have changed since July 4, 2013 when the Environmental Review Tribunal revoked Gilead ’s REA approval. Gilead is now in possession of a revised permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) that requires that the access roads be closed to the public and the installation of gates. As reasoned by Gilead these mitigations address the Tribunals’ concerns that the wind power project will cause serious and irreversible harm to Blanding’s Turtles.
PECFN lawyer Eric Gillespie noted that Gilead and the MNR were having discussions about fencing and the leasing of crown land for the access roads back in 2010. If these issues were so important why was not one word said about any of this at the ERT hearing? As noted by Mr. Gillespie, there are also disclosure requirements: Gilead had every opportunity to bring these issues up at the ERT hearing and chose to withhold it. Mr. Gillespie argued that Gilead should not be rewarded by the Court at this time with an opportunity to bring “new” information forward.
The attempt by Gilead’s lawyers to enter this new evidence fell flat with the Court dismissing the motion. The Court noted that reasons for the dismissal will be given at the same time reasons are given for the main appeal.
Gilead lawyers will now attempt to argue three issues: (1) that the Tribunal misunderstood the terms and provisions of the Overall Benefit Permit (2) that the Tribunal committed palpable and overriding errors in coming to a conclusion not supported by evidence, for example in drawing conclusions about turtle mortality without any evidence of number of turtles on site and (3) that the Tribunal failed to exercise its jurisdiction in rescinding REA approval and failed to provide natural justice and fairness.
The hearing resumes on Wednesday and is set to conclude on Thursday.