Sadness and anger with the provincial government

Northumberland News

I live beside a farm near Millbrook which has been optioned to an industrial wind turbine company and have listened to the discussion of pros and cons of having IWTs located very close to people.

I oppose them for many reasons, not the least of which is their detrimental effect on wildlife populations. When I read last week Gilead Power Corporation has applied for a permit under clause 17(2)(C) of the Endangered Species Act to develop and operate the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park (near Picton), I felt a deep level of sadness and of anger with the provincial government.

Whippoorwill, bobolink, bats and other threatened or endangered species are present on our farm in Millbrook (beside the turbine site) and by extension the Millbrook site itself.

Modern macroeconomic theory must be wrong. Do we really need growth at any cost? Couldn’t we try controlled economic contraction for a few decades? The real problem is with our own species, not with wildlife harmlessly living in a place which is inconvenient for a proposed wind farm. There are seven billion humans on this planet. In the end, no amount of oil or wind or even fission can comfortably support all members of a human population which grows exponentially. We overwhelm other life forms.

We can say no to Gilead’s application. If you care about threatened and endangered species then speak out against this.

Start with simple e-mails (or phone calls) to the minister of the environment jwilkinson.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org, the minister of natural resources ljeffrey.mpp@liberal.ola.org and your MPP. Most importantly submit written comments on the Gilead Power application to esa.permits.agreements@ontario.ca and quote ER number 011-3181 in the subject line.

Don’t be a polite Canadian standing by and watching quietly.

Allan Agnew, Millbrook

18 thoughts on “Sadness and anger with the provincial government

  1. Is there no way that the citizens of Ontario could launch a class action against whoever started this underhanded proposal .I am no lawyer but its our money that is paying for this disgusting proposal .I personally would pay my fair share to stop this from going forward .Fines for breach of contract cant ever be as high as the price we will pay for the loss of Value of our lives and homes and wildlife and the beauty of our land

  2. Allan, well put. I and many many others are with you on this. Gilead, according to their website, has three or four more projects in Ontario at present. I think they should be refused Ostrander Point approval and banned from developing the others as well. Their mission statement and goals (on their website) do not line up with their actions at Ostrander. We need to get tough with these clowns who don’t give a rip for Ontario’s beautiful natural resources and environment.

  3. The rural Ontario IWT situation will go on as long as the wind developers are allowed to define the IWT issues to the public along with the eco-nuts who also support this.

    Have the wind developers ever disclosed to the public any of the worker and public safety issues involved in hosting wind farms in rural communities? Provided written information on these issues?

    1. Issue of the amount of current that needs to be safely ground for each installed turbine. If each turbine requires ~200,000 amp grounding capacity then a 20 turbine wind farm would require ~4 million amps grounding and there should be a safety capacity factor added to this. Private homes have a service of~300 amps and 220-240 volts. DOES YOUR COMMUNITY KNOW THIS? And be willing to live with this situation.

    2. Lightning strike issues associated with IWTs in a community. Wind farms must be evacuated when lightning is detected within a 50 km radius due to branch lightning. So far no information on what the evacuation distance is from an IWT for safety. WHAT ABOUT THE SAFETY OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC. Will the public in the immediate area of IWTs be provided with safety warnings? Or even be made aware of the lightning issues involved with IWTs in a host community.

    3. Have the safest IWT wind farm design, construction, and operation plans been submitted by the developers? Have those already installed been checked to know if they are of the highest safety level presently known?

    Stray voltage should not be present and be a problem if all safety standards have
    been met.

    Start asking the people in your community if they know about any or all of these worker and general public safety issues. The same for you local councils. People need to know how much electricity they are dealing with now or how much electricity any future wind developments will bring to their community.

  4. They have been killing ALL the named species on Wolfe.
    On more than one occasion there were thick copper lines pulled out of the ground by various road crew devices i.e. Graders!

    • Simco surfer,

      These copper lines could be grounding lines? So then what happens if the grounding lines/devices are destroyed or even some of them are lost?

      Have there been any stray voltage issues on Wolfe Island?

  5. The public safety/worker issue involves the unsafe production and transmission of electricity which can cause bodily harm or death.

    The lightning issues are another public safety issue as IWTs are also lightning rods.

    Stray voltage can cause bodily harm and even death.

    The risks/danger to a community in hosting IWTs need to be fully disclosed and understood.

  6. Which public safety /worker issues did Bill Palmer present in his testimony?

  7. we as Ontarians should be mad as Hell and stand up in one voice and tell them without legalese of the politicians saying half truths
    We not only need to insist it stops but that the farms that are causing such havoc be removed its not just about the present ,its the past and the future

    • P Klassen,

      Right on! Don’t think any Canadian court would allow the unsafe production and/or transmission of electricity. Or least let’s hope this is not the case.

  8. It’s not just our provincial government — the windies are trying to kill salmon to enrich themselves out in Washington state at the moment too:
    http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3729.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2203035&hq_l=7&hq_v=dcd2d59726

    I must also point out that we haven’t had any growth – and in fact I posted to my blog today just how coal generation was reduced from 2005-2010 almost entirely by demand reduction (since then it’s almost a 1-to-1 relationship to natural gas increases).

  9. Does anyone know this answer ? I’m walking in the back of my field. I’m within the ice throw zone. I get hit by enough ice to cool a keg for a year and the IWT is NOT on my property. WILL my wife have a chance of a lawsuit. ??? All this talk about safety. N crap and I feel I need to vacate my property just in case.

    • wind hater – hope your neighbour hosting
      the turbine has liability insurance. From
      what I understand, under most lease
      agreements upon completion of the project
      the assests/liab’s become responsibility of
      landowner (although if taken to court, the
      wind co. will pay legal bills for landowner).

  10. A little OT, but comments are due today (May 19) on the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s draft wind guidelines for birds. The American Bird Conservancy portal allows postal codes, so I assume Canadian comments are welcome. If you don’t have time, ABC has a draft letter with four recommendations that you can simply sign and send if you find you agree: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5400/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6259 .

    Some “Canadian” birds spend their lives moving back and forth across the border, and so even a quick comment on the USFWS guidelines can help safeguard them.

  11. Oops, darn! American Bird Conservancy website says postal/zip code, but Ontario postal code wasn’t recognized… (I should have checked.)

    The ABC’s model comment included the following recommendations:
    “The draft wind energy guidelines must be strengthened and made mandatory, including the following specific improvements:

    • All wind farms must establish and follow approved Avian Bird and Bat Protection Plans.
    • All wind farms must follow Avian Power Line Interaction Committee standards for protecting birds from the power lines associated with wind power. Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed each year by electrocution or collisions with power lines. Many deaths can be prevented if the standards are followed.
    • All wind farms must evaluate their potential noise impacts to birds. Research shows that even low sound levels can cause some bird species to abandon an area entirely or harm their ability to communicate, reproduce, or find food.
    • The guidelines need to be a stand-alone document, without important elements such as ways to safeguard sage grouse placed on a different website, where they can be easily changed or ignored. ”

    The USFWS with two guidance documents and comments to date can be found at http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/index.html

    The FWS website advises that: “Email comments can be submitted to windenergy@fws.gov. Please include “Wind Energy Guidelines Comments” or “Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance Comments” in the subject line, and your full name and return address in the body of the message. Please note that the email address will be closed when the public comment period closes.”

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