MNR considering permit for wind company to “adversely affect Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat”

Environmental Registry
SUBMIT COMMENT: Members of the public are invited to submit their written comments by April 3, 2013 by email to esa.ptbo@ontario.ca and quote ER number 011-8141 in the subject line.

Rationale for Exemption to Public Comment: This proposal is exempted by Ontario Regulation 681/94 under the Environmental Bill of Rights as a classified proposal for an instrument, because the species for which the permit is sought is an animal. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is voluntarily posting this notice to advise the public of the proposal and to invite the public to submit written comments on this proposal to the contact person identified in this notice.

Description: WPD Canada Corporation has submitted a proposal in relation to an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) with respect to Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat in order to construct a 60-megawatt wind power facility on privately owned land in South Marysburgh Township, Prince Edward County.

Purpose of the notice: The purpose of this notice is to ensure that the public is made aware of, and given an opportunity to comment on, the overall benefit permit proposal for the construction of a 60-megawatt wind power facility on privately owned land in South Marysburgh Township, Prince Edward County. The proposed permit would be issued under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA.

Decision: This notice will be updated when more information is available.

Other Information: The proposal to construct a 60-megawatt wind power facility has the potential to adversely affect Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat. The proposed permit conditions would provide benefits that exceed the adverse effects on Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat.

Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List, in Ontario Regulation 230/08 of the ESA, as Threatened.

Habitat protection under the ESA applies to Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will (subsection 10(1)).

The ESA allows some activities to proceed under a clause 17(2)(c) permit with specific conditions if: avoidance and reasonable alternatives have been considered; adverse effects will be minimized; and an overall benefit will be achieved for the species in Ontario. Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the ESA involves undertaking actions to improve circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is more than “no net loss” or an exchange of “like for like”. Overall benefit is grounded in the protection and recovery of the species at risk and must include more than mitigation measures or “replacing” what is lost.

The Minister may issue a permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA that authorizes a person to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by section 9 or 10 of the ESA if the Minister is of the opinion that:
(i) an overall benefit to the species will be achieved within a reasonable time through the conditions of the permit;
(ii) reasonable alternatives have been considered, including alternatives that would not negatively affect the species, and the best alternative has been adopted; and,
(iii) reasonable steps to minimize negative effects on individual members of the species are required by conditions of the permit.

WPD Canada Corporation is proposing to construct up to a 60-megawatt wind power facility on privately owned land in South Marysburgh Township, Prince Edward County, for the purpose of generating electricity. The wind power facility is proposed to be located within Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat. WPD Canada Corporation has applied for an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA for the purpose of developing a wind power facility that will affect the habitats of Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will.

Reasonable alternatives are being considered, including ones that would not adversely affect the species, such as:
– Conducting the activity in an alternative location;
– Using alternate methods, equipment, designs, etc. for carrying out the proposed activity; and
– Adjusting timelines to avoid species specific sensitivities (e.g. active periods for the species).

Potential approaches to minimize adverse effects on individual members of Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will may include:
– Conducting vegetation removal and construction activities outside of the breeding bird seasons, when Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will would not be present on the site (i.e. August 15th to April 1st); and
– Training and educating contractors and staff on identification and appropriate action to take if encountering Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will
Potential approaches to achieve an overall benefit for Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will may include:
– Partnering with an accredited post-secondary institution to conduct research and fill knowledge gaps for Eastern Whip-poor-will;
– Conducting pre and post-construction monitoring for Eastern Whip-poor-will to assess use of the habitat by Eastern Whip-poor-will at a wind power facility;
– Securing and actively managing an area(s) to create and maintain suitable Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat at least equivalent in size to the area adversely effected by the activity, for the duration of the project.

Please note that the posting of this proposal on the Environmental Registry does not imply that a permit will be approved; a permit may only be issued where the legal requirements set out in clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA have been satisfied.

The following web-links provide additional information.

MNR’s Species at Risk website
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Species/index.html

Endangered Species Act, 2007
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_07e06_e.htm

Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List, Ontario Regulation 230/08
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_080230_e.htm

General regulations and species-specific habitat regulations under the ESA, Ontario Regulation 242/08
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_080242_e.htm

Individuals who wish to view additional information on this overall benefit permit may visit MNR’s ESA Authorization Tracker website, where information about this permit may be updated periodically.
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Species/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_087316.html

WPD Canada Corporation website:
http://canada.wpd.de/projects/in-canada/white-pines.html

14 thoughts on “MNR considering permit for wind company to “adversely affect Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat”

  1. I’m having a hard time doing comments for these anymore. All I can write is: !!*&%#@*&^@#$^%!!

    The Green Energy Act is such an invasive, draconian act. It touches everything.

    • I hear you, I find myself at a loss of words daily. It’s emotionally, physically and physiologically exhausting trying to keep up with the mass destruction going on around us. We can’t let them wear us down…our numbers are increasing daily in the anti-turbine fight. *my mantra* And take it from someone who follows the comments on a number of sites….you are noticed and appreciated…and give inspiration. 😉

    • Yessiree, they had to make sure they got this out right in the middle of the Ostrander Point hearing / March Break vacation period, maybe hoping nobody would notice.

      Couldn’t they at least have waited until a more convenient time, say, the upcoming Christmas Holiday season.

  2. I always marvel at the investigation of “reasonable alternatives”; simply because it’s generally a subjectively defined term.

    In broad terms I have no doubt that there are ample reasonable aternatives across this province where the endangered species noted would not be subject to a percieved threat. The problem is, the corporate interests take the position that any position other than theirs is unreasonable; and.further, our courts and authority bodies appear to.support this “stupidity”.

    We, as a Province, and a people, need to develop.a much more holistic and forward thinking frame of.reference.

    Thanks.for the.opportunity of.commenting.

    Sincerely

    Jeff laidlaw

  3. Pretty sure, even though lots of comments were forwarded to MNR, that no earlier requests have ever been denied. This is a charade. This makes people think that by commenting it will alter the outcome. The outcome will be as predicted – APPLICATION APPROVED!!!!!

  4. Yes, the powers that be are just going through the motions, they must think the opponents are simple.

    • They are going to find out the hard way…just how “simple” we are. We’re not simple enough to take any more of their garbage and lies.

  5. “…..The proposed permit conditions would provide benefits that exceed the adverse effects on Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Eastern Whip-poor-will habitat…..”
    Well…..this is clearly impossible…because wind power doesn’t provide any benefit whatsoever to the Environment….to the Economy….to the Province…nothing….nada. How can a benefit of zero (or a negative) exceed any effect on anything?
    The only explanation is that the “benefit” must be to the industry, not to the Province and it’s people.

  6. Yes, the amount of money they will make, will exceed the value dollar, (in their minds), of a bunch of wild birds, who were making them NO money at all. Wind weasel economics…101

  7. The MNR permit will open the door to further the infestation of wind turbines at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. First Wolf Island, then Ostrander Point and next Amherst Island. The recognized fly way for migration will be closed across these Important Bird Areas. There are so few places already in Ontario to see, recognize and enjoy these creatures of God. I thought the Ministry was to protect our Natural Resources. Money can’t buy natures beauty. Let’s not let it be destroyed further.

  8. “Oh the “patronage” of it all”.

    Only in Ontario can corporations get permits to kill birds and animals of all kinds, damage their environment, run rough shod over people’s rights and health’s, destabilize democracy and all with the blind blessing of our governments. IMHO, only folks getting rich of these IWT contraptions are their owners, corrupt officials and the lawyers for and against. Money trumps all it seems; maybe it’s is time to combine words with deeds.

    My dad used to say that he got more attention when he was combining a kind word with a good solid swat to the assets, than just with just the kind word alone. You know, after a few sore assets darned if he wasn’t right.

    Keep your stick on your sign…… at least for now

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