K2 Wind Permit for activities with conditions to achieve overall kill & displacement “benefits” for bobolinks

bobolink-bEnvironmental Registry
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:
K2 Wind Ontario Inc is seeking a permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) to authorize an activity that would otherwise contravene section 10 of the ESA with respect to Bobolink in order to construct a wind facility in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, County of Huron, Ontario.

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 wind facility in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, County of Huron, Ontario. The proposed permit would be issued under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA.

Other Information:
The proposal to construct a 270 megawatt wind facility has the potential to adversely affect Bobolink habitat. The proposed permit conditions would provide benefits that exceed the adverse effects on Bobolink. Bobolink 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 (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.

Approximately 35.3 hectares of habitat for Bobolink has been identified within the project location and would be impacted by the development. K2 Wind Ontario Inc has applied for an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) to remove 35.3 hectares of Bobolink habitat for the purpose of developing the site into a wind facility to produce renewable energy.

Reasonable alternatives are being considered, including ones that would not adversely affect the species, such as:

– Removing the 11 turbines and associated project components proposed within Bobolink habitat from the project.
– Relocating the 11 turbines and associated project components that occur within Bobolink habitat to an area outside of Bobolink habitat.

Potential approaches to minimize adverse effects on individual members of Bobolink may include:

– Conducting vegetation removal and construction activities outside the breeding bird season when Bobolink would not be present on the site,
– Minimizing the width of access roads, turning radii and construction areas within Bobolink habitat
– Rehabilitating areas of temporary disturbance back to Bobolink habitat immediately after construction.

Potential approaches to achieve an overall benefit for Bobolink, may include:

– Securing 35.3 hectares of existing hayfield in a location approved by the MNR, to be managed as high quality habitat for Bobolink for the duration of the project;
– Monitoring the replacement Bobolink habitat for use by the species every 5 years after it is established, 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 weblinks 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

9 thoughts on “K2 Wind Permit for activities with conditions to achieve overall kill & displacement “benefits” for bobolinks

  1. Bobolink,
    For more information: This covers Ontario as well
    http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs/bbs/grass/a4940.htm
    See;
    Trends/Graphs/Maps
    This species is in decline.
    There are multiple sources for Bobolink information but maybe the present government dosen’t want to consider other known information on this bird species from outside Ontario.

  2. The Ministry of Natural Resources is inviting comment by the public on whether or not
    Capital &Power should be exempt from the Endangered Species Act section 10 in
    Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township in Huron County, Ontario.

    The K2, 140 turbine project, is requesting to remove 35.3 hectares of Bobolink habitat for an Industrial Turbine Facility.
    e-mails can be sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources until July 8, 2013 @:

    esa.quelph@ontario.ca
    place ER# 011-9283 in the subject line

  3. EBR Registry Number: 011-9283

    Title:
    K2 Wind Ontario Inc., Permit for activities with conditions to achieve overall benefit to the species – ESA s.17(2)(c)

    Ministry:
    Ministry of Natural Resources

    Date Information Notice loaded to the Registry:
    June 07, 2013

    This notice was originally published on June 7, 2013.

    Members of the public are invited to submit their written comments by July 8, 2013 by email to esa.guelph@ontario.ca and quote ER number 011-9283 in the subject line.

    Please Note: All comments and submissions received become part of the public record. You will not receive a formal response to your comment, however, relevant comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered in the decision making process for the authorization.

    Keyword(s): Electricity | Fish and Wildlife | Protected Areas | Conservation

    This notice is for your information. The Environmental Bill of Rights does not require this notice to be placed on the Environmental Registry, however, section 6 of the Act does allow the Environmental Registry to be used to share information about the environment with the public.

    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:

    K2 Wind Ontario Inc is seeking a permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) to authorize an activity that would otherwise contravene section 10 of the ESA with respect to Bobolink in order to construct a wind facility in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, County of Huron, Ontario.

    Decision:

    This notice will be updated when more information is available.

    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 wind facility in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, County of Huron, Ontario. The proposed permit would be issued under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA.

    Other Information:

    The proposal to construct a 270 megawatt wind facility has the potential to adversely affect Bobolink habitat. The proposed permit conditions would provide benefits that exceed the adverse effects on Bobolink.

    Bobolink 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 (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.

    Approximately 35.3 hectares of habitat for Bobolink has been identified within the project location and would be impacted by the development. K2 Wind Ontario Inc has applied for an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) to remove 35.3 hectares of Bobolink habitat for the purpose of developing the site into a wind facility to produce renewable energy.

    Reasonable alternatives are being considered, including ones that would not adversely affect the species, such as:

    – Removing the 11 turbines and associated project components proposed within Bobolink habitat from the project.
    – Relocating the 11 turbines and associated project components that occur within Bobolink habitat to an area outside of Bobolink habitat.

    Potential approaches to minimize adverse effects on individual members of Bobolink may include:

    – Conducting vegetation removal and construction activities outside the breeding bird season when Bobolink would not be present on the site,
    – Minimizing the width of access roads, turning radii and construction areas within Bobolink habitat
    – Rehabilitating areas of temporary disturbance back to Bobolink habitat immediately after construction.

    Potential approaches to achieve an overall benefit for Bobolink, may include:

    – Securing 35.3 hectares of existing hayfield in a location approved by the MNR, to be managed as high quality habitat for Bobolink for the duration of the project;
    – Monitoring the replacement Bobolink habitat for use by the species every 5 years after it is established, 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 weblinks 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

    Contact:

    Guelph District
    Species at Risk Biologist
    Ministry of Natural Resources
    Regional Operations Division
    Southern Region
    Guelph District
    1 Stone Road West
    Guelph Ontario
    N1G 4Y2
    Phone: (519) 826-4132
    Fax: (905) 562-1154

    Additional Information:

    The following government offices have additional information regarding this Notice. To arrange a viewing of these documents please call the Ministry Contact or the Office listed below.

    Guelph District
    1 Stone Road West
    Guelph Ontario
    N1G 4Y2
    Phone: (519) 826-4955

  4. The legacy of the McGuinty-Wyne government is it’s okay to destroy a species so we can generate enough electricity for people in Toronto to run their air conditioners and not feel guilty, because it’s “green” energy. The only thing “green” about IWT’s is the money being made by developers, politicians and organized crime.

  5. Dear Ministry of Natural Resources/ Environmental Registry,
    email address: esa.guelph@ontario.ca

    RE: (EBR# 011-9283) located in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township, Huron County, Ontario

    As a resident of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township, it is completely UNACCEPTABLE for K2/ Capital Power to displace Bobolink habitat for the purpose of an Industrial Turbine Facility. It is almost impossible to fathom the hypocrisy of the liberal government of Ontario to even consider this. Well, actually, I guess it’s easy to fathom this current government’s hypocrisy considering the wind turbine companies have bought and paid for the current government in power. This government should be ashamed of the money that they have accepted from wind turbine lobbyists. The liberal MP’s have prostituted out their vote.
    The hypocrisy comes from the liberal government mandating expensive studies by local governments and private developers when it comes to developing land with endangered species. The cost of these studies have made development nearly impossible for local government to improve roads, infrastructures, etc. Now, come the wind turbine companies and their millions of dollars in lobbying efforts and this government does not even think twice about endangered species.

    I wrote a comment letter during the early stages of the K2 development, pointing out that the siting of these wind turbines were too close to woodlands and wetlands possessing endangered and watched species such as the bobolink, great horned owls, blue herons, eagles, hawks, etc. These comments were ignored both by K2, your office and the Minister of Energy. Now, in the last hour before final approval of the project, K2 has made this disingenuous request to displace this endangered species with a completely irrational and unworkable plan. Their plan is also incomplete and void of any details.
    Your approval of this plan would further make a mockery of this entire approval process. The entire approval process has been flawed from the start, probably due to the Green Energy Act being written, in most part, by the wind turbine industry. The residential setbacks developed by your government are not in line with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines as your government claims. The 550 meter setbacks are a bastardized version of the 40db limit WHO has in place.. WHO standards are 1,000 meters from residences. These haphazard standards are proof of the lack of concern of the health of the people in this province. This government’s concern for endangered species has proven to have even less regard.
    Capital Power had a fire with their Kingsbridge I IWT development in April. This near disaster demonstrated that Capital Power had no emergency plan for notification of local fire departments, nearby residents or even their own personnel. The local fire department did not possess the capabilities of extinguishing a IWT fire. A fire of this magnitude near woodlots could be devastating. To date, Capital Power still cannot determine a cause of this fire; and therefore, cannot assure the community that it will not happen again in the future.
    The request by K2 to displace the bobolinks should be turned down as a first step by this government to re-establish some credibility in regards to wildlife in this province. The entire project should be put on hold, as Capital Power/K2 has demonstrated their lack of planning for this development . These wind turbine projects are proving to be an environmental disaster with this liberal government responsible.

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