Environment articles and reports:
The environmental conservancy groups are speaking out against the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s decision to put electricity generation ahead of environment conservation.
White Pines Wind Project Decision Harmful to Birds and Bats
Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, and American Bird Conservancy are extremely disappointed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s decision last week to approve the White Pines Prince Edward County Wind Energy Project in an internationally designated Important Bird Area (IBA).
“There are so many things wrong about this decision and the only reasonable conclusion is that it is bad for nature” said Ted Cheskey, Senior Conservation Manager at Nature Canada. “More populations of species at risk will be threatened and more critical habitat will be destroyed. Nature Canada is not opposed to the Project as a whole, but several specific turbines should not have been approved. We are also at a loss to understand why the Ministry would approve this project without waiting for the decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal in the Ostrander case.”
To read the full News Release click here.
From Gord Currier: We wish to register our strong objection to the application by White Pines Wind Project (WPD) for a Renewable Energy Approval (REA).
We own the single family home directly north across the road from Mount Tabor. From this vantage point our view of this cultural and Designated Heritage historical building, constructed in 1865-67, will be totally overwhelmed by the monstrous scale of one of the proposed industrial size WPD wind turbines. Read the full letter by clicking here …
From Sophia DeFrancesca, Visual Artist: Being a newcomer to Milford, I have many concerns about the proposed White Pines Wind Project that is currently in the approval process.
When I first looked out on to the beautiful vista of the town from my new home, I just could not believe that our government would defy their own laws, and ever allow this picturesque heritage sight to be blighted by industrial wind turbines. From my perspective, this place is paradise! It’s peaceful and serene, with quaint homes, and lovely nature all around. I don’t take for granted at all the breath taking views from my vantage point. This is an incredibly gorgeous place in this world, there’s no doubt about it! As a visual artist who understands aesthetics, I’m not ashamed to say that certainly, I do not underestimate what could be lost. Some may consider this kind of concern frivolous, but I’m sure they said the same thing when they tore down so many of our heritage buildings in Toronto in the name of progress. It was a travesty, and there’s no changing that now. Read the full letter by clicking here …
From Franco DeFrancesca: The prospect of having the White Pines Wind Power industrial wind turbine development in South Marysburgh/Milford would be devastating and disastrous. As a recent owner of a property in Milford, and after researching the many issues resulting from Industrial Wind Power Development, I cannot believe that the knowledge and concerns of people from the region and all over the word are not being taken into consideration. Read the full letter by clicking here …
From Jim McPherson: … Because I live in the neighbourhood of Prince Edward County where this project would be located, I have followed its development with great concern, and I have attended all “public information events” sponsored by the proponent.
This proposed project was recently posted to the Environmental Registry as a proposal that is “deemed complete”. I respectfully submit to you that this proposal is incomplete. The proponent has failed to meet many basic criteria of your own Ministry of the Environment, and has even failed to adhere to the advice that OMAF gives to Ontario farmers on its web site. The proponent has also failed to recognize and respond to assurances that have been publicly announced by Premier Wynne, and to the basic citizen guarantees in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read the full letter by clicking here …
From Bryan and Kate Muir: Our home, “Prince Edward County” is made up of good people, fantastic wild life and birds, with unique countryside, different from other areas of Ontario. I am very proud to tell anyone where I live and what Prince Edward County has to offer.
Wind turbines do not belong in Prince Edward County!
From Inge and Caspar Radden: As residents of Prince Edward County we object to installations of White Pines turbines that will obstruct familiar views from many places, e.g., driving or walking Old Milford Road and Scott’s Mill Road above the Mill Pond, playing sports on the grounds, attending the fair or participating in the Easter parade and other events, where we always make professional pictures and send them all over the world. Read the full letter by clicking here …
APPEC has put together a list of comments related to the revised wpd White Pines Project Heritage Assessment, the Heritage Interconnection Line and the Natural Heritage Assessment (NHA) reports. The Comments are being posted here to help concerned PEC residents raise their own comments and to submit them to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Our hope is that more people will submit comments by mail or email to express your concerns with the wpd White Pines Project in South Marysburgh and Athol stating the impact this project will have on our heritage, our homes and our natural environment. These are important things that APPEC members and supporters love and need to protect.
For your review, the APPEC Comments can be reviewed at these links: Heritage Assessment Comments , Heritage Interconnection Line Comments and Natural Heritage Assessment Comments. Any additional insights from these comments that you may have can be submitted to MOE at the postal or email address below.
Additionally, APPEC has put together a spreadsheet of all the resident buildings along the Interconnection Line where wpd will be laying power lines underground. Some wpd construction will occur within as little as 10 meters of buildings. A wpd report warns that damage due to vibration may occur for properties inside 40 meters from the excavation / construction. The 40 meters is a mitigation but is not being applied consistently as many of the buildings are within the 40 meters. Also it is not clear what solutions there are if the vibration level exceeds the maximum recommended or who is responsible to satisfactorily repair any damages.
As far as APPEC is aware, no wpd notification or agreements have been made with County residents. It might be worth your time to review the Structures along wpd Interconnection Line document and raise a comment if your home or buildings might be impacted by wpd construction along the interconnection / transmission lines.
APPEC has retained council to appeal to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of the Environment related to the transmission lines. By reviewing this document, you may have comments that you would like to submit, or inform friends that may be impacted to allow them to raise comments to the ministry (see mailing information below).
The deadline for submission of comments is May 10, 2014. Comments can be submitted by letter or email to the person noted below.Ramona Afante Senior Project Evaluator Ministry of the Environment Operations Division Environmental Approvals Branch 2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A Toronto, Ontario M4V 1L5
OR submit your comment by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Important – Be sure to include < EBR 012-1279 > in the subject line of your email or letter.Environment, Heritage, Ontario Energy Board, Uncategorized
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
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.
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.
There was some great news today for the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) from the Ontario divisional court panel, headed by Justice Ian Nordheimer. The 3 judge panel ruled that Gilead Power could not introduce new evidence in the appeal. New evidence is not permitted during the appeal process. The arguments continue tomorrow on the ERT legal findings. Gilead continues the appeal on the Blanding’s Turtle ERT findings and PECFN’s appeals to protect the Important Bird Area and the Alvar wildlife habitat at Ostrander Point.
Both APPEC and the Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) has sent out a notification requesting support for people to post comments concerning the Windlectric’s 37-turbine wind project on AmherstIsland that has been deemed complete by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and is now posted on the Environmental Registry.
Dear APPEC Members:
The new year has begun with some disheartening news: Windlectric’s 37-turbine wind project on AmherstIsland has been deemed complete by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and is now posted on the Environmental Registry. As seasoned APPEC members will recall this pushes the wind project forward to the technical review phase, the final phase of the REA approval process.
This posting should send a chill down our collective spines with respect to wpd’s White Pines Wind Project. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) continues to act with impunity, issuing approvals for wind projects in the worst places imaginable.
The Association to Protect Amherst Island is honoured to welcome Dr. Roberta Bondar as a Friend of Amherst Island. The world’s first neurologist in space, acclaimed photographer, environmental educator, author and humanist, Dr. Bondar strongly supports the preservation of Amherst Island.
Continue reading … the full posting on the Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI)
Parker Gallant from the County in preparation for the Ostrander Point appeal learned of this US report. He also learned that in spite of the fact bats fly hundreds of meters, the Ontario regulations only consider harm to these animals if found on the ground within 50 meters of a turbine. Who would have guessed the size of the blinders worn by the people responsible of reporting these kills?