On April 13th at 3:57 p.m., the day before Good Friday and the long Easter weekend, legal counsel for WPD and the White Pines Wind Project sent a brief email to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) stating their intent to proceed with vegetation clearing of areas other than those identified as Blanding’s turtle spring foraging habitat, commencing Wednesday, April 19th.
Within the same email WPD also requested a motion date to hear their motion to lift the existing Stay that APPEC obtained last year, which prevents WPD from vegetation clearing in Blanding’s turtle spring foraging habitat.
WPD has apparently decided to get started on its Project rather than wait for the ERT’s final decision on the fate of this Project, following the ERT’s finding a year ago February that this Project will cause serious and irreversible harm to Little brown bats and the Blanding’s turtle. The ERT’s final written decision was expected before the end of March and is due anytime.
It appears that WPD is flaunting the entire appeal process with its refusal to wait for the ERT’s final decision. We believe that these proposed and premature construction activities illustrate the willingness of wind energy developers to risk environmental damage in order to advance their increasingly unwanted and unnecessary projects.
By the end of Thursday there had not yet been a response from the ERT to WPD’s email. Government offices are closed Good Friday and Easter Monday, leaving the ERT only one day (Tuesday, the 18th) to respond.