Ostrander wind developer to argue that gates can protect Blanding’s turtles
The developer seeking to construct nine 50-storey industrial wind turbines at Ostrander Point is now proposing to erect a series of gates on provincially owned crown land—in a last ditch maneuver to persuade a provincial court to overturn an Environmental Review Tribunal decision that took away the developer’s permit to build the project in a landmark ruling issued earlier this year.
In July, after more than 40 days of hearings, the Tribunal revoked a Ministry of Environment approval of the project in which Gilead Power Corporation proposed to develop a nine-turbine wind project on Crown land on the shores of South Marysburgh. The twomember panel ruled that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s turtles that reside in this rare alvar habitat at Ostrander Point. The Tribunal concluded, too, that measures proposed by the developer to lessen the impact of the development on the turtles were untested and unlikely to be effective. Given that the Blanding’s turtle is an endangered species, they decided the potential harm was too great, and once inflicted could not be undone.
It was a precedent-setting decision— not since the provincial government had enacted legislation to reduce the administrative and regulatory hurdles for wind and solar energy developers had an environmental review tribunal revoked an approval permit. Conservation groups and environmentalists rejoiced— as did everyone else opposed to Ontario’s natural heritage being spoiled by 500-foot towers of carbon and steel structures.
The developer appealed the Tribunal decision, along with the Ministry of Environment, seeking to uphold the approval of the project. Read article
The Sault Star
An Environmental Review Tribunal will hear an appeal into the approval of the Goulais Wind Farm project next week. The appeal is set for Mon. Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. at the Travelodge Inn and Suites on Bay Street. The hearing is expected to last at least three days.
Heyden resident Doug Moseley, with the assistance of Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) and the law offices of Eric Gillespie, had filed the appeal with the Environmental Review Tribunal. Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR) is supporting Moseley’s appeal.
The Goulais Wind Farm project had been approved by the ministry in October. The decision, posed on Ontario’s Environmental Registry, said the renewable energy approval has been issued to SP Development Limited Partnership to engage in a renewable energy project for a Class 4 wind facility that will have a total capacity of 25 MV. Read article
Chatham Daily News
BLENHEIM – Tim Verbeek, co-owner of a large greenhouse operation near here, is accusing developers of the South Kent Wind Project of snubbing the environmental review process. He contacted The Chatham Daily News concerning the construction of a turbine proceeding near Platinum Produce on Communications Road, south of Highway 401, despite the fact the greenhouse currently has an appeal about the location before the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).
Verbeek said one turbine in question was originally going to be constructed 503 metres from the bunkhouse used by migrant workers employed by Platinum Produce, which violates the minimum 550-metre setback.
Pattern Energy and Samsung Renewable Energy, developers of the South Kent Wind Project, moved the turbine back 50 metres, but Verbeek said it is still 240 metres from a section of the greenhouse. Another turbine, which is part of the ERT, is also close by the greenhouse. Read article
Area residents jolted by rising hydro costs have turned the energy file into what could be the key local issue in a possible 2014 Ontario election campaign, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark says. “Certainly in our constituency office, it’s the number one issue,” Clark said Sunday following his annual Christmas reception for constituents at the Royal Brock.
Residents turned off by the surge in hydro rates expected to accompany the Liberal government’s recently unveiled energy plan have been flooding the constituency office with angry feedback, Clark said. “A day doesn’t go by that somebody doesn’t come into my constituency office furious at the government, with their policy,” said Clark.
Even with conservation efforts, residents are still seeing their bills “skyrocket,” he said. Reiterating his Progressive Conservative party’s stance that the Liberals’ plan is designed merely to get the government through a possible spring election, Clark said the Tories provided possible energy solutions in their “white paper” on energy reform. Read article
TORONTO – Three senior Ontario Power Generation executives were fired following a scathing auditor’s report that uncovered “very generous” pensions, salaries and perks. Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced OPG had terminated its chief financial officer, executive vice-president for strategic initiatives and vice-president for internal audit. “The auditor’s findings indicate that Ontarians can and should expect better,” he said. “(OPG) understands that these findings are not acceptable.”
Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s first annual report Tuesday revealed a number of areas where citizens are not getting value for their hard-earned dollars. Health cards and driver’s licences issued to dead people. Four-year waits for autism treatment. Fifteen thousand women turned away from emergency shelters. A supposedly money-saving Ontario Northland sell-off that could cost taxpayers $820 million — or even more .
An audit of OPG compensation offered one shock after another. “Generous, very generous” is how the understated Lysyk described it, adding all of the costs will be passed on to ratepayers who face a 42% jump in hydro bills over the next five years. Read article
National Review, Robert Bryce
We have to kill eagles in order to save them.
That’s now the official policy of the U.S. Interior Department. On Friday, the agency announced that it would grant some wind-energy companies permits that will allow them to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty.
The move is an unprecedented gift to the wind-energy industry, which has been lobbying for the 30-year permit for several years. Shortly after the deal was announced, the wind-energy lobby issued a statement that would make George Orwell proud. An official with the American Wind Energy Association declared that this “is not a program to kill eagles.” It is, he claimed, “about conservation.”
Well then. We can now rest easy. Big Wind is saving eagles by getting permits to kill them. Read article
The Ontario Liberal Party’s opponents in Sarnia-Lambton aren’t impressed with the recent update of the province’s long-term energy plan. It predicts the average monthly residential bill of $125 will rise to $178 within five years, a 42% hike, as Ontario stops burning coal, goes ahead with refurbishing the Bruce and Darlington nuclear stations and continues adding renewable energy, such as wind turbines and biomass.
“I think it’s unfortunate that ratepayers aren’t going to see any break,” said Brian White, president of the Sarnia-Lambton NDP riding association, and a former candidate. It is only getting worse, he said.
“The approach of putting private corporations first, who stand to profit from the Green Energy Act, and who stand to profit from delivering power to Ontarians, is continuing to be the Liberal priority.” Read article