Kent Breeze Decision stresses more research needed

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Overview:  This case is a reminder that energy facilities can generate more than electricity; they can also generate conflict. Though this case involves appeals of Suncor’s Kent Breeze Wind Farm Project, the Appellants’ approach to this proceeding has largely been a test of whether turbines in Ontario will cause serious harm to human health. The Parties called experts from all over the world to speak to the issue of whether this Project, which was approved according to Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms and Ontario Regulation 359/09 made under the Environmental Protection Act; will seriously harm humans living nearby. It is clear that this case is a novel case that not only involves new legislation but also new scientific research.

For the reasons that follow, the Environmental Review Tribunal finds that the Appellants have failed to show that Suncor’s Kent Breeze Project, as approved, will cause serious harm to human health. However, the evidence shows that there are some risks and uncertainties associated with wind turbines that merit further research. In that regard, the Tribunal hopes that future debate focuses on the most appropriate standards rather than “yes or no” arguments about whether turbines can cause harm.

According to the evidence in this Hearing, where an impressive array of leading experts from around the world testified on cutting edge areas of scientific inquiry, the Tribunal cannot find that the Kent Breeze Project operated according to the current Ontario standards “will cause serious harm to human health”. That is the test in the statute, but the evidence presented in this Hearing is insufficient to meet it. What the Tribunal can state is that the need for more research came up several times during this Hearing. Time will tell as to what that research will ultimately demonstrate. The Tribunal is hopeful that, whatever the results, further research will help answer some of the concerns and uncertainties raised during this Hearing.

14 thoughts on “Kent Breeze Decision stresses more research needed

  1. “Suncor argued that wind power, by virtue of its legislated status as “green” or renewable energy, must be positive for the environment. TheTribunal finds that this argument is too simplistic because there are obviously locations wherecertain types of renewable energy projects should not be sited because the environmental costsof doing so are too high. This is one of the reasons why the regulations prohibit the siting ofprojects in certain locations.
    If a proposed project would cause serious and irreversible harm to a particular environmental
    feature (because either the regulations did not adequately protect that feature or the decision making process leading to the approval failed to do so), it would be a stretch to conclude that
    the project is nonetheless “green” because it involves a cleaner technology than others. The
    promotion of green energy needs to be done in an informed manner that results in significant
    net benefits. One cannot simply label an entire suite of technologies as “green” in order to use
    that label as an excuse to allow them to be operated anywhere.”

    “This case has served as a reminder that all types of energy projects
    (including renewable or “green” projects) can generate significant concerns and conflict. The
    precautionary principle’s focus on “preventing” the causes of environmental degradation calls
    upon all of us to take significant steps to reduce energy demands and encourage conservation.
    In this way, the precautionary principle serves as a modern reminder of the old adage that “an
    ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
    In this case, vote out Liberals so we can prevent being harmed.

    “Just because the Appellants have not succeeded in their appeals, that is no excuse to close the book on further research. On the contrary, further research should help resolve some of the significant questions that the Appellants have raised.”
    LaLaLaLa…..that’s Liberals trying to pretend they didn’t hear that.

  2. Once again the legal world ducks the issue of wind turbines and leaves us as victims of Liberal policy. I’m afraid our only hope is the up coming election.

    If you couldn’t find a reason to vote for Tim Hudak before, maybe this rubbish from the tribunal will change your mind.

  3. We need to bring this back with our NEW government. The conclusion will be different. Our new ministers of Health,Environment and Energy will have a realistic outlook and if all goes well will find hidden BS internal letters and aLso proof how our existing government have lied and hidden truth ultimately because the guy at the top made them do it. Of course there will be no repercussion as they WERE the voted government. Such a sad affair. I hope the Fiberals struggle behind the green party for seats for many years to come. Karma. God bless.

  4. How is it the Tribunal came to the fairly strong conclusion the Kent Breeze will cause no problems with the limited research? It is more likely the Tribunal was unwilling to say anything negative about the Kent Breeze project. Only a pathetic Tribunal would come to a conclusion like that. No balls.

  5. And the conclusion expected?
    Now are you all ready to take your pitchforks and wallets out and start fight by reaching out to the real courts ..the people.
    If you can’t get a positive agreement they cause health issues with all the evidince presented you know it was a controlled decision.
    A challenge was argued in a court owned by the province , tribunal paid by the province.
    They want you to go broke paying lawyers
    Now lets all unite and get everyone out of office and that means the civil service complicit in all this nonsense.

  6. Having read most of the report
    Here is what I came away with
    You have one side with experts in the field you need concluding there are without a doubt harnful effects
    Basically this side did tests , talked to people affected and were hands on as well as doing studies.
    Then you have another side that are NOT experts mostly relying on information , out of their scope of expertise , based on outdated select information and non comparable IWTs and situations.and their tesitmony was based on “he said she said “literature” without investigating how these conclusions were reached and who did them and if they had the qualifications to do the report in the first place. Or how biased the report in fact was they relied on.

    I just love the wordsmithing in the report….it was what brought the conclusion to what is is.
    Based on that it was a no win .
    No one could have won.

  7. What it boils down to is that the ERT won’t or can’t legally do a thing unless their is an epidemiological study showing harm to humans. The Liberals and the NDP reject doing a health study but the Conservatives have promised both a moratorium and a health study . So folks if we want to effect change and finally put this issue to bed we must do whatever we can to make sure the Conservatives are elected.

  8. This is a statement made by Dwight Duncan,

    “It would be irresponsible for the province and tax-payers to continue to subsidize electricity consumption, because it jeopardizes our ability to invest in health care and education. This is simply not sustainable, nor is it acceptable. The people of this province deserve better.”

    Monopoly , lack of competition for pricing , while huge subsidies and guaranteed long term prices of 4 to 12 times the present rate for power…..even if prices drop.
    We are subsidizing an industry to replace a public utility to serve the public good , which is now being rebuilt in favour of someone selling us power. to make money.
    It is like taking healthcare and breaking it up so that health businesses can come in and selling us care at rates 4 to 12 times what we pay now……
    Forget the health issues and birds and bats, though of course they matter, to us , the statement above is how we cam win the war.

  9. “For the reasons that follow, the Environmental Review Tribunal finds that the Appellants have failed to show that Suncor’s Kent Breeze Project, as approved, will cause serious harm to human health. However, the evidence shows that there are some risks and uncertainties associated with wind turbines that merit further research.”

    ….and until such time we hereby grant Suncor a license to harm until we stretch this out long enough for McGuinty to finish his mandate and to save face with his secret contracts to multinationals and we all pretend that we really feel good about this decision.
    Seriously? What is going on here?…..yes there are some risks but to hell with it and to hell with the vacant homes and the sick people. Unbelievable…

  10. We were fighting a legal battle in a provincial court system.
    There is no way on earth this was going to end in the peoples favour.
    These courts work for the government , not you.
    Just as the OPP work for the Province..not you.
    The province wants you to keep fighting on this basis.
    It will bankrupt you using your money to defend itself…..
    The fight must be redirected to a message that everyone can understand

  11. Hard to understand. People forced form their homes….Sleep disturbance…Increased rates of depression… etc. Somehow this is NOT “serious harm”. The global public health establishment has been pushing for decades that “mental health and well being” is AS important (if not more important) than “physical health”…and that the 2 are inseparable. In this case however… “mental health” is delegated to the back of the bus. Sad how the government health “experts” pick and choose what is important based on political and corporate agendas. Shameful.

    I guess we shouldn’t be too shocked by the outcome of the appeal though. Hard to win a game (and frankly… that’s all this is) when the referees are chosen and paid for by one side, and when the same side makes all the rules.

    • You say, “Hard to understand”.
      McGuinty Liberals would rather you not -‘think about it’ –
      they would prefer, we just –
      “shut up”

  12. The sad reality is the people affected by all this are not worthy by the courts or the representatives of the elected establishment. As far as the courts are they are as corrupt as the liberals. The legal system has a different language called legalize that unless you are part of Law Society you cannot understand it (The System,they all belong to the corporate system of making money not the real honest issues) . It is all about money by both parties and yes as far as someone to represent you with their promises to stop it, they better well do it. Cause I think there will be a growing list of victims that will follow if they do not. This has become so so ridiculous on how it is dragging on with these false hopes. The system is falling apart slowly because the majority are starting to smell what is really cooking with their agendas and it favours the people with making the money and has lots of money and controlling the MOE,ers. As for the farmers that are signing up, are also causing this nightmare for your community and neighbours and should realize money is not the answer to happiness their is now enough evidence from around the world to realize something is not right, wait until until they do a proper study..

  13. My greatest hope now is that the PC’s get elected and that MOE staff loose their jobs they have been working so hard to protect.

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