By now many of you will have heard about the ERT finding in favour of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN). In a written decision issued on June 6 the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) revoked the Renewable Energy Approval issued to Gilead Power for its Ostrander Point wind project. The ERT concluded that a wind project at Ostrander Point will cause irreversible harm to the local population of Blanding’s turtles and will lead to the eventual loss of the population.
This day has been a long time coming. A successful appeal by PECFN to the ERT in 2013 was followed by two provincial court appeals and another long remedy hearing before the ERT in 2015. The appeal has now come full circle with the Tribunal once again finding that the only appropriate remedy under s.145.2.1(4) of the Environmental Protection Act is to revoke the Director’s decision to issue a Renewable Energy Approval to Gilead Power:
In this remedy hearing under s.145.2.1(4), the Tribunal has found that Ostrander and the Director have not proven, on a balance of probabilities, that the remedy they propose, consisting of mitigation measures. . .will protect Blanding’s turtle from serious and irreversible harm that would be caused by the Project due to road mortalities, predation and poaching.
The decision is not only a win for Blanding’s turtles but for all the wildlife on the County’s south shore. As noted by PECFN: “This decision not only protects the Blanding’s turtle but also the staging area for millions of migrating birds and bats and the Monarch butterflies.”
Our hearty congratulations to PECFN’s legal counsel Eric Gillespie and his associates Priya Vital and Graham Andrews on this decisive victory. The win was hard-fought and is well-deserved.