Alberta raptor expert warns wind turbine developments may hurt birds of prey

Mia Sosiak, Global News

eagle nestCALGARY – John Campbell has worked with falcons, eagles and hawks in the wild for decades, all over Western Canada. He has monitored nests near Pincher Creek since the 1970s, and banded thousands of baby raptors, long before the area became the birthplace of wind power in Canada.

Campbell has been finding more and more empty nests in the area. “Currently there are 10 sites that could be occupied; only five are producing young right now,” Campbell said. In Alberta, several species of raptors are considered sensitive, or at risk.

The birds aren’t dying from turbine strikes, Campbell said. They are abandoning high-quality nests because of the pressure of turbine development. Wind turbines mess up the birds’ lives, much in the same way drivers would be stressed if a busy freeway suddenly closed. The raptors move to lower quality sites, where fewer chicks survive. Read article

Statement on Divisional Court ruling on Ontario’s Endangered Species Act

eagle nestOntario Nature
TORONTO — Ontario’s Divisional Court has upheld a provincial regulation that exempts major industries from the Endangered Species Act and allows them to kill species at risk and destroy their habitat.

“This is a disappointing decision for Ontario’s endangered and threatened wildlife,” said Ecojustice lawyer Lara Tessaro. “The Endangered Species Act is intended to put species first — not to let their survival be balanced against competing industrial interests. That would tip the scale towards extinction.”

When it was introduced in 2007, the Endangered Species Act was considered the gold standard law for species protection in North America. Unfortunately, recent years have seen Ontario shirk its duties to protect at-risk wildlife.

In 2013, the province introduced a regulation that exempts major industries from strict protection standards under the Endangered Species Act — in many cases giving them a free pass to kill endangered or threatened species and destroy their habitat, as long as this harm is “minimized.” To challenge this regulation, Ontario Nature and Wildlands League, represented by Ecojustice lawyers, brought a lawsuit that culminated in a hearing earlier this year.

“There are too many plants and animals that are teetering on the edge in this province,” said Anna Baggio of Wildlands League. “We will continue to speak up for them until their habitat is protected and until they are no longer at risk of extinction.” Read article

Cutting down trees for wind project in provincially protected zone was a “mistake”, Suncor and NextEra say

1297699121425_ORIGINALSarnia Observer, Tyler Kula
Ontario’s Environment Ministry is investigating after protected trees were recently cut down during land development for Suncor and NextEra’s Cedar Point wind farm in Lambton County. Strips of protected woods, together measuring 3,000 square metres, were levelled near Fuller Road and Proof Line in Lambton Shores last month, said Kate Jordan, a ministry spokesperson. That violates one of the conditions of Suncor’s environmental approval for the project, being built in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township.

“We have reminded the company that it must make sure that all of its contractors that are operating on its behalf do follow the requirements of the ministry approval,” said Jordan. “We have also referred the incident to our investigations and enforcement branch.” Ministry officials are talking to witnesses, the company, and others — gathering evidence to see if charges will be laid under the Water Resources Act, she said. “Certainly it is something that we are taking seriously,” Jordan said.

Some of the woodlots impacted, listed as provincially significant wetlands under Suncor’s Natural Heritage Assessment – Environmental Impact Study, include rare red bark hickory trees, said Santo Giorno, with the We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW) group that’s fought against wind turbines in the area. Read article

New regulations to reduce coal?

hagersvilleby Harvey Wrightman
I’ll bet you thought that Ontario is all cleaned up now that the coal generators are shuttered. What could be next. Well, those oh so helpful cement companies have a little problem. Hey need some “regulatory relief” and who better to deliver than the environmental fascists. Paint it green and it’s ready to roll for 2015. From the pro-wind website of Envirolaw, “New regulations to reduce coal?“:

[Para 3]  “Lafarge spent millions of dollars on an application to burn waste tires in its cement kiln.

What’s this all about?

Back in 2008 cement and aggregate behemoth, Lafarge actually lost (hard to believe) an ERT appeal re: its proposal to burn used tires in its cement kilns at the cement plant in St. Marys. Coal was and remains the choice for fuel because of economics. Cement kilns need power-plant sized amounts of thermal energy to produce cement.  Steel making and other metal refiners are also dependent on a low-cost coal as a source of energy/heat for operations. But burning rubber tires? Anyone remember the tire dump fire at Hagersville in 1990 and those plumes of black, toxic smoke? Continue reading

Appeal denied relating to Dufferin Wind’s utility pole sealing work

Orangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
The Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) has dismissed an appeal centred around the remedial utility pole sealing program completed by Dufferin Wind Power Inc. along its transmission line.

Earlier this fall, local resident Karren Wallace claimed the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) had made an amendment to Dufferin Wind’s Renewable Energy Approval (REA) license without properly consulting the public.

After holding a preliminary hearing on the matter earlier this month, the ERT dismissed Wallace’s appeal on Monday (Dec. 22). The ERT meeting scheduled to be heard in Shelburne on Jan. 5 was cancelled as well.

“DWPI does not see the dismissal of Ms. Wallace’s appeal as a victory; rather it was the only outcome that could be expected,” Dufferin Wind said in a statement released to the media. “That being said, it is important to stress to the community that DWPI is acting in everyone’s best interests in terms of the pole capping mitigation measures that were voluntarily put in place to protect the aquifers.” Read article

At-risk turtles vs. turbines: Wind-power project before Ontario’s top court

blandings_turtleColin Perkel,The Canadian Press
TORONTO – An expert tribunal was entitled to conclude a proposed wind farm would devastate a population of already threatened turtles, Ontario’s top court heard Monday. The case, which pits turtles against turbines, could have widespread repercussions as to how endangered species are protected across Canada, and raises questions about the protection of unspoiled areas.

At issue is a proposed nine-turbine wind farm at Ostrander Point south of Belleville on the shore of Lake Ontario. Prince Edward County Field Naturalists Club had successfully argued before the province’s environmental review tribunal that the project on the 324-hectare site would threaten Blanding’s turtles in the area.

Gilead Power, through its Ostrander Point Wind Energy, had Divisional Court overturn that decision in February. It argued the tribunal had made a half-dozen errors in concluding the project would cause “serious and irreversible” harm to the turtles. Addressing the panel in the packed courtroom, lawyer Eric Gillespie, who speaks for the naturalists, pleaded with the three justices to defer to the review tribunal. Read article

Dufferin Wind has “No Comment” at tribunal hearing, refuses to make mitigation plans public

Hydro pole beside house at Kerwood and Townsend Rds.. Property devaluation much?Orangeville Citizen
At a preliminary hearing by Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal held Tuesday, Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) lawyers refused to explain why the corporation, which has erected 316 transmission-line poles between its wind farm and Hydro One’s Orangeville Transformer Station will not make mitigation plans public as requested by Melancthon Council and residents near the right-of-way. Citizen concerns arising from pole bore holes extending into the local aquifers, possibly allowing for ground water contamination, and fears that the pentachlorophenol (penta), a wood preservative coating the entire length of the poles, may travel into surrounding wells, prompted Green Party candidate Karren Wallace to file for the hearing as a private citizen.

The panel for the preliminary hearing, held at Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex in Shelburne, included Dirk VanderBent, Vice Chair of the Environmental Review Tribunal, and Tribunal member Justin Duncan. The Tribunal is an independent body that hears public appeals under the Environmental Protection Act. Also present were Sylvia Davies, lawyer for the Director of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Control (MOECC) and lawyer John Terry plus an additional lawyer for DWPI. The hearing was to confirm procedural directions for the main hearing to be held in the new year.

Ms. Wallace had said previously that her objection was based on DWPI’s mitigation plan for transmission lines never having been formally approved. The transmission poles, located alongside the County-owned rail corridor, will carry power from 49 new turbines in Melancthon to the transformer station near Dufferin 109 and the 3rd Line of Amaranth. Ms. Wallace looked at the issue of possible health risks posed by DWPI penta-covered transmission pole holes, many surrounded by water, some constructed in wetlands, and others near manure piles, “Walkerton had one conduit for contamination,” she said. “We now have 316.” Read article

Bird Studies Canada’s (and CanWEA, MNR) July 2014 Bird/Bat Fatality from Wind Turbines Summary

birdcartoonBird Studies Canada  – why bother doing the summary if you know more than half the birds are not being collected? Why is the specific data on each projects ‘kill’ confidential? Do the wind companies own the wildlife here too? Seems like it. 

“In Ontario, 1,187 bird carcasses were found, comprising 118 identified species. Passerines were the most common fatality, representing approximately 69% of all bird fatalities in Ontario. The most prevalent passerine species found were: Golden Crowned Kinglet (9.39% of all bird carcasses found), Red-eyed Vireo (6.91%) and Horned Lark (5.39%). Raptors represented 8% of all bird fatalities, with Turkey Vulture (2.29%) and Red-tailed Hawk (3.99%) found most commonly. Gulls represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities; with Ring-billed Gull (1.59%) the most often reported Gull species. Waterbirds represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities, with Mallard (1.29%) as the most frequently reported waterbird species.

Table 4 lists the top 20 bird species found during post-construction mortality monitoring at wind power projects in Ontario and the proportion of carcasses found of each species, listed from lowest rank (most prevalent across sites) to highest rank (least commonly found). A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.”

Table 4: The top 20 bird species found at wind power projects in Ontario based on fractional ranking and percent species composition. A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.

Rank        Species                     % Composition

  1. Golden-crowned Kinglet     9.39%
  2. Red-eyed Vireo                      6.19%
  3. Horned Lark                          5.39%
  4. Purple Martin                        6.09%
  5. Tree Swallow                         8.79%

“The total number of operating turbines in Ontario as of February 2014 was 1,331 (CanWEA, personal communication) resulting in an estimated mortality of 7,250 bird fatalities (95% confidence interval of 6,236 to 8,265 fatalities) in Ontario between May 1st and October 31st based on February 2014 installed capacity.”


The mortality estimates presented here potentially underestimate true mortality as they are based solely on carcasses that fell within 50 m of the turbine base. It is expected that a certain proportion of birds and bats will fall outside of this radius, and there are several different approaches to quantifying this correction factor as can be inferred based on extrapolation of Figures 11 and 12. Zimmerling et al. (2013) reported that turbine heights were very similar (~80 m) for most turbines installed in Canada as of 2011 and estimated the proportion of carcasses expected to fall outside of 50 m to be up to 51.8% of birds, based on 4 studies that searched a radius up to 85 m. These values were further validated based on a field trial that searched up to 85 m from the turbine base (Zimmerling et al. 2013). Smallwood (2013) found that the proportion of both birds and bats that fell within 50 m of the turbine base varied with turbine height and estimated higher correction factor values for carcasses falling outside of 50 m than Zimmerling et al. 2013. Smallwood (2013) fit a logistic function to carcass distributions, and the proportions of carcasses falling within the search radius were calculated based on a variety of search radius and turbine height combinations. For 80 m turbines, carcasses were expected to fall to a maximum distance of 156 m. These findings indicate that the mortality estimates presented here may underestimate true mortality, but still allow for comparisons amongst sites and regions as long as turbine heights are similar; this is an important consideration for future investigation of landscape level factors and mitigation measures.”

Read more here

Opposition leader Jim Wilson slams Dufferin Wind

wilson jonesBill Tremblay, Orangeville Banner
Wilson, a Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey, joined Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones and Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill for a tour of wind farm installations in north Dufferin on Friday (Oct. 17). “I think this is the worst case I’ve seen and I’ve been on a number of tours of wind farms,” Wilson said.

Dufferin Wind, and its construction of a 230 kV transmission line from its 49-turbine wind farm drew the most criticism from the interim leader. Wilson questioned the company’s placement of utility poles and the possibility of ground water contamination. Earlier this summer, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) asked Dufferin Wind to revise those plans after a local resident argued some of its utility pole foundations could act as conduits for surface water pollutants to enter the groundwater supply.

“As a former minister of the environment, I can’t believe they’re getting away with not putting the poles in the ground properly and properly protecting the environment and ground water,” Wilson said. “You don’t have a very good corporate citizen in terms of Dufferin Wind. It is disappointing what we’ve seen.” Read article

Green energy vs. endangered species: Barn Owl

https://mothersagainstturbines.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/capture4.gif?resize=245%2C287Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc.
Appellants from Port Ryerse opposing the Boralex project
Because of the barn owls the MOE has asked for an additional adjournment of 5 months until March 31st 2015.

However, Boralex has requested an” Overall benefit permit”  for the Owl predicament.

This means they have requested to be able to disturb the owls nesting habitat
They can also get a permit if killing the birds will improve the economy of Ontario. THIS will be THE FIRST ever benefit permit in Ontario given ( or not) for barn owls . Read article

No such hoops for turbine builders

2014_06010098Peter Epp, London Free Press
[excerpt] Yet there is something else that is troubling about the authority’s [St. Clair Region Conservation Authority] response. How is it that this agency of the Ontario government can so zealously guard the environmental integrity of its watershed, and yet the same provincial government pays little heed to the consequences of its Green Energy program – even when that program takes in the same watershed?

Chatham-Kent is dotted with hundreds of wind turbines, and Lambton County is beginning to catch up, and most of these installations are located on farmland and built on foundations containing tons of concrete, concrete that will likely remain long after the turbines are gone.

It’s a curious paradox. Here we have a farmer who wants to grow corn on land formally used as a golf course, and he’s forced to walk a gauntlet of environmental red tape. But there is no such difficult path for the corporation that intends to build a wind turbine and leave behind a concrete legacy. Read article

Amherst Island group to appeal Ontario government decisions

wolfeBy Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
Opponents of a wind energy development on Amherst Island are appealing two recent decisions about industrial developments near the island. In late August the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change rejected a pair of requests from the Association to Protect Amherst Island. The association had asked for a full environmental assessment of the TransCanada Napanee Generating Station.

TransCanada is in the early stages of developing a 900-megawatt natural gas-fuelled electricity generating station on the site of the Lennox Generating Station. The group had also asked for an assessment of the cumulative impact of four planned or existing industrial projects near the island, including the existing Lennox generating station, the proposed TransCanada project, a planned upgrade of the Lafarge cement plant and the proposed Windlectric wind energy development on the island.

Instead, the MOE accepted a TransCanada study that showed noise from the new generating station would be acceptable. APAI is appealing both decisions to Environment Minister Glen Murray. John Harrison, a Queen’s University professor emeritus in physics and a member of APAI, said the TransCanada study did not account for fact that the sound would travel across water. “In my view they pulled numbers out of the air to come up with a noise assessment for the north shore of the the island that just so happens to satisfy the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change guidelines on noise,” Harrison said. Read article

PEC Naturalists’ court date set for final appeal to prevent turbines

Ostrander-PointCountylive.ca
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists will be back in court in December in a final appeal to prevent Gilead Power and the Ministry of Environment from putting wind turbines on important natural habitat at Ostrander Point. The appeal of a Divisional Court Decision is to be heard Dec. 8-9 at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

PECFN started opposing this plan when it was first announced in 2007,” notes Cheryl Anderson, of the PECFN. “The opposition is based on a strong belief that the South Shore of Prince Edward County is the wrong place for wind turbines.  The area is important to migrating birds, bats and butterflies, it contains Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest, provincially significant wetlands, globally imperilled Alvar habitat and is the home and breeding ground of several avian, reptilian and amphibian species at risk. ”

In spring 2013, PECFN participated in an Environmental Review Tribunal appealing the government’s decision to allow Gilead’s development.  The ERT panellists agreed that the development should not proceed.  The Government and Gilead appealed that decision to the Divisional Court of Ontario. Read article

Toronto court to decide fate of Lake Ontario wind farm

Ostrander-PointCBC.ca
A group fighting a controversial wind farm development south of Picton, Ont., says its final appeal will be heard in December. The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists says it has been told that the Court of Appeal for Ontario will hear the case in Toronto on Dec. 8 and 9.

The group will explain why it is opposed to Gilead Power’s plans for a nine-turbine facility at Ostrander along the north shore of Lake Ontario. The activists believe it is the wrong place for a wind farm for a number of reasons, including the area’s importance to migrating birds, bats and butterflies. The group was granted permission earlier this summer to appeal an Ontario Divisional Court ruling. Read article

When green energy kills

Sun News

whengreenenergykills

MOE asks Dufferin Wind to guard against ‘potential’ water threat

july aug 2014 128Orangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is asking Dufferin Wind Power to seal the foundations of more than 300 utility poles to guard against possible groundwater contamination in Melancthon and Amaranth. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved Dufferin Wind’s plan to construct a 230 kV transmission line from its 49-turbine wind farm in Melancthon to Amaranth last year.

Earlier this summer, however, the MOE asked Dufferin Wind to revise its construction blueprint. Ministry officials made that request after a local resident argued some utility pole foundations Dufferin Wind was constructing could act as conduits for surface water pollutants to enter the groundwater supply.

A memo written to municipal officials by Gary Tomlinson, senior environmental officer in the MOE’s Guelph office, identifies “it is possible that it can happen,” although he noted utility pole foundations aren’t particularly efficient pathways for large quantities of water. Read article

Before it’s gone

Ostrander-OverviewWellington Times, Rick Conroy
Bioblitz event this weekend seeks to understand the nature of Ostrander Point
Paul Catling spent the long weekend tromping through fields and woodlands in Prince Edward County, searching for undiscovered species of plants, animals and insects. The highly regarded taxonomist and researcher works for the federal government in the department of agriculture and agrifood. But his passion is the hunt for the rare and unique, and in the County he found a treasure trove.

Dr. Catling provided compelling and captivating testimony about the rare alvar habitat at Ostrander Point before an environmental review tribunal (ERT) last year that examined the potential impact of a proposed industrial wind project nearby. The ERT revoked the developer’s permit—effectively stopping the project—persuaded by the serious and irreversible impact the project would likely have on the Blanding’s turtle. An appeal is set to be heard later this year.

One of the troubling items emerging from Catling’s testimony, echoed by others including the developer’s consultant, was just how little is known about the flora and fauna that dwell and nest, or migrate through, Ostrander Point. Read article

More than 150 hectares of Lambton County grasslands will be impacted by Suncor wind farm, group says

bobolink-bSarnia Observer, Barbara Simpson
A pair of ‘threatened’ bird species who help ensure crop survival could be in harm’s way with a proposed Suncor wind farm set for Lambton County, says a local anti-wind group. Members of We’re Against Industrial Turbines (WAIT) – Plympton-Wyoming have taken their concerns to the Ministry of the Environment after reviewing a species at risk report for the site of the 46-turbine wind farm planned for Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.

More than 150 hectares of grasslands that are home to bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks will be affected by the Cedar Point project, said Kristen Rodrigues, who reviewed the report on behalf of WAIT-PW. “The bobolink and the eastern meadowlark are on the largest decline of any species at risk,” Rodrigues said. “They’re showing the sharpest down trend.” Bobolinks are actually among the top 10 species killed by wind turbines in Ontario, according to a Ministry of Natural Resources report. Part of the problem is these birds have been known to collide with tall lighted structures at night. Bobolinks also perform aerial mating displays, making them once again susceptible to collisions with turbines.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has prepared a recovery strategy to help restore the province’s population of these ‘threatened’ birds who are likely to become endangered unless action is taken. Suncor spokesperson Nicole Fisher said the company doesn’t believe that area bobolinks are being put at risk with the project, and instead pointed to protection measures being put in place. Read article

Pictures of NextEra & Suncor destruction in Middlesex & Lambton Counties

Sometimes I have to force myself to write a single line, because I’m so spitting mad – this is one of those times. Just look through these pictures taken on a “nice country drive” along the border of Lambton and Middlesex counties, where 92, no… plus 44, oh and 45, 38, 20  turbines are going up. You do the math. And all the transmission lines need to connect them to the grid.  So you have to sacrifice a pile of beautiful oak trees, no biggie – it’s all to help the big green dream. Trust Toronto, they know what “green” looks like – not an oak tree (you silly country bumpkins!) – wind turbines and steel trans poles are the image of “natural”!

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Then there is the proximity of these poles to our roadways- what the hell – they are FEET from the road! Is anyone monitoring this? Where are the road supervisors? The OPP? The Ministry of Transportation (I know, tack a LOL on that). Except there is nothing funny about this at all.

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Join the BioBlitz! Save Ostrander Point, August 9 &10

bioblitz-poster-final-low-colour-page-001

SaveOstranderPoint
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public invited to help inventory the biologically significant Ostrander Point.
Prince Edward County (July 30, 2014) – The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are hosting the county’s first ever BioBlitz at Ostrander Point. The event runs over a 24 hour period from noon on Saturday August 9 to noon on Sunday August 10, 2014 and includes guided tours for the public focussing on how to identify a variety of species from plants to birds, insects and amphibians and reptiles.

Continue reading

Nova Scotia seeks info on wind farm’s effect on lynx

lynxBruce Erskine, the Chronicle Herald
Provincial Environment Minister Randy Delorey wants more information on what impact a $110-million Cape Breton wind energy project might have on endangered Canada lynx. The minister said Friday he needs more information on the environmental assessment of the proposed 50-megawatt, 30-turbine East Bay Hills Wind Project near East Bay.

“During the environmental assessment review, it was determined that additional information is required to evaluate the high potential for adverse effects within the limited remaining habitat of endangered Canada lynx,” the minister said in a July 25 letter to Tom Bird of project developer BluEarth Renewables Inc. of Guelph, Ont. “Study methodology and project scope must be developed in consultation with, and to the satisfaction of, Nova Scotia Environment and Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.”

BluEarth is developing the project, located on Crown land 50 kilometres southwest of Sydney, through subsidiary Cape Breton Hydro Inc. Read article

*Note: The company’s major investors are the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and ARC Financial of Calgary.

NextEra makes a dump of Adelaide township

Adelaide concrete2From Adelaide Twp:
This (at right) is a pile of concrete rubble from a turbine base in the Adelaide Wind Project from NextEra. Well, better known as NextError, how else could this pile happen… The base was poured in the spring, on one of the nice days unlike some of the others that were done while thunderstorms were happening. Recently we saw that the base was chewed up and piled near the edge of the participant’s land. If you look close enough you can see the rebar in the cement.

So lets figure this out… how many trucks of cement was needed to pour the 800 metric tons of concrete for each turbine?  Forty. Then also 40 tons of rebar loaded on 4-6 flatbed trucks, then it needs to be busted out by what and how many diesel machines? Then the used cement is loaded by more diesel machines, into more diesel machines and dumped in a big pile. Can’t you just smell the green fumes?

From there it’s picked up by another excavator and loaded into more dump trucks and buckets and taken to another site. In this case some of it was seen being taken to another participant farmer and placed into another pile for fill and dispersed yet again for other sites for fill. So… is this how the first few feet of concrete will be “disposed of” when the turbines die? Buried somewhere again in our township? We can probably safely assume that’s what will happen with the hundreds of fiberglass blades as well. Strike a deal with a local quarry or something. This is what ‘decommissioning’ really looks like. Shoot, why didn’t they have pretty pictures of rubble piles at those wind company public info meetings!

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And then the beginning of the hamster wheel to get the next 40 trucks of cement and rebar for the cement base re-do! Oh yes so green! Can anyone figure out the carbon footprint figure for all that? This is just one pile, there was talk of more mistakes in this project alone that were done.

Wouldn’t it have just been easier to plant some trees instead of the turbine? Nope, they burn trees. The township is becoming part of NextEra’s new landfill business.

Pictured below you can see this project participant willingly took refuse from cleared turbine sites. There was a pile of cement (not in this picture, behind the other waste), where it was dumped and worked on by other machines for a long while. This pile was later set on fire and burned for days. Here’s a question… how much money is offered to take garbage on a large parcel of land only to put it in between your barns and set it on fire?

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Oak Ridges Moraine wind project a threat to Ontario’s water

Oak_Ridges_Moraine_mapThe Star, By Maude Barlow and Cindy Sutch
The Sumac Ridge wind project is the first industrial wind project approved on the environmentally sensitive and protected Oak Ridges Moraine, the rain barrel of southern Ontario. The approval sets a precedent to open up the Oak Ridges Moraine for other wind projects and industrial development of all kinds. The project is currently under appeal before the Environmental Review Tribunal and has received a record number of 43 requests for status from community and First Nation groups.

Sumac Ridge is one of five proposed wind projects on the Oak Ridges Moraine that residents have been fighting for the last five years. Community members have spent significant amounts of time and money trying to protect and preserve the moraine. When the Sumac Ridge wind project was posted on the Environmental Registry, 2,874 comments were registered. Frustration with the process is mounting along with the fees of lawyers and experts hired to prepare for the Environmental Review Tribunal. Read article

 

Wind turbine near hydro and water lines raises concerns

2014_06010041By Nicole O’Reilly, The Hamilton Spectator
DUNNVILLE Residents opposed to a Haldimand County wind project say they’re concerned about at least one turbine being built too close to hydro and water lines. However, the Grand Renewable Energy Park developer Samsung says it’s following all laws and regulations. “The REA (Renewable Energy Approval) does not require specific setbacks from water mains,” Samsung spokesperson Tim Smitheman said. “Each turbine has received a building permit from the Haldimand municipality.”

Ministry of the Environment spokesperson Lindsay Davidson said the Green Energy Act only contains setback requirements for noise, natural heritage and water bodies. Brad Smith, who lives just outside Dunnville and has a turbine under construction just 900 metres from his property, said he believes there should be setback requirements for hydro and water lines. “The Green Energy Act just supersedes anything,” he said.

Smith, who is part of the group Wind Concerns Haldimand, said the project has decreased his property value and the trucks for the construction have destroyed roads. Read article

More concrete used in wind project than to build CN tower

Concrete Base Platform for One Turbine

Concrete Base Platform for One Turbine

Don Robinet, Chatham this Week
Ontario’s largest wind farm is officially open for power generation. South Kent Wind is a 270 MW project consisting of 124 turbines and as project manager Liam Duffy told the gathering of company officials, politicians and residents who are hosting the turbines, more concrete was poured for the project than was used to build the CN Tower.

Duffy, of RES Canada, which managed the construction, said 36,472 cubic metres were poured. He said each of the turbines was broken down into 10 components, meaning there were 1,240 large truckloads of turbine parts delivered. About 280 km of underground cable was laid, about 70 km of gravel access roads were built, about 35 km of overhead transmission lines were installed and there is a 1 km transmission line that runs under Highway 401. Read article

Liberal wind turbines invading Ontario

ManitoulinToronto Sun, by Mike Strobel
KAGAWONG – 
Looks like Martians landed on Manitoulin Island this spring. Liberal Martians. They hulk on McLean’s Mountain behind Little Current, Manitoulin’s metropolis, pop. 1,500. What a shocking sight it is as you approach the century-old iron swing bridge, the only land link.

When I left last October, there was nothing between that ridge and God but treetops and clouds. Now? Someone call Orson Welles.

“It’s like we’ve been invaded,” Deb Turner tells me at Turners of Little Current, a 135-year-old department store. The War of the Worlds giants also march along the Cup and Saucer trail behind M’Chigeeng, the closest Ojibwa reserve to my woodsy shack near Kagawong, “Ontario’s Prettiest Village.” “They’re a blight,” says Deb’s husband, Jib, who is running for Tim Hudak’s Tories.

Jib’s great-great-grandmother was migrating west when her boat arrived at this Paradise and she declared, “I don’t know about you, but I’m staying right here.” Who could blame her? Or the Martians? The Ojibwa call this Spirit Island with reason. Read article

Port Elgin Public Community Meeting – speaker: Sherri Lange (NAPAW)

sherriwithwildastersppPublic Community Meeting
Topic:  Industrial wind turbines what you should know
Date: Thursday May 15
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Maple Hall, 643 Mill St.
Port Elgin MAP
Featured Speaker: Sherri Lange (NAPAW)

Come out and hear Sherri’s presentation delivered at the recent ROMA (  Rural Ontario Municipal Association ) meeting in Toronto attended by elected officials from all over rural Ontario including Saugeen Shores.

Saugeen Shores’ town council has recognized that industrial wind turbines do harm residents’ health and has asked UNIFOR to cease operation of their outdoor industrial electricity generator based on hearing citizen deputations last August. Continue reading

Naturalists to pay Gilead $40,000, reduced from $125,000 demand

New environmentalismCounty Live
Prince Edward County’s Field Naturalists will pay $40,000 in legal costs instead of $120,000 demanded by Gilead Power. The Divisional Court has found turbine project developer Gilead Power’s demand for $120,000 in legal costs from the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists “was too high and lowered it to $40,000,” said Myrna Wood, PECFN president. “More importantly, the reason given is that “clearly the case is of important public interest. It is significant that two judges have based decisions on the importance of the case to the public interest. We see this as a positive indicator that permission to appeal will be given. We will also be able to use this argument for an appeal against paying any legal costs to Gilead or the Ministry.”

The naturalists group has filed its submission to the Court of Appeal asking for leave to appeal the Divisional Court reversal of the decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal. Last July, the Tribunal revoked the approval of a Gilead Power wind turbine project at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block in the centre of the Prince Edward County’s South Shore Important Bird Area. There have been more than 20 appeals of Renewable Energy Approvals since the Green Energy Act came into effect in 2009. All but the PECFN appeal resulted in dismissals. Read article

PECFN Files for Leave to Appeal Divisional Court Ruling

sign blanding turtleSave Ostrander Point
For immediate Release
Picton: PECFN has filed their submission to the Court of Appeal asking for leave to appeal the Divisional Court reversal of the decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal. Last July the Tribunal revoked the approval of a Gilead Power wind turbine project at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block in the centre of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area. There have been more than 20 appeals of Renewable Energy Approvals since the Green Energy Act came into effect in 2009. All but the PECFN appeal resulted in dismissals. In allowing PECFN’s appeal, the Tribunal rendered a landmark and precedent-setting decision.

Soon after the Divisional Court decision Gilead Power announced its intention to start construction in April. PECFN brought an urgent motion for a Stay of construction and leave to appeal the Divisional Court decision to the Court of Appeal. In his decision submitted on March 25, Judge Blair of the Appeal Court held that he had “no hesitation in granting the Stay” because the issues raised on the proposed appeal are of “broad public implication in the field of environmental law”. Further he found that the irreparable harm criterion had been satisfied on the basis that “once a habitat is destroyed, it is destroyed – for at least short-term purposes, in any event – and the species sought to be protected here is a vulnerable and endangered species.” Read article

Protesters speak in support of Tundra Swans

swansBy Terry Heffernan, Times-Advocate
LAMBTON — The provincial government has committed to a green energy plan for the foreseeable future, but at what cost? That’s the question from a group of protesters who gathered at the edge of the Thedford Bog on Greenway Road on Sunday. The group gathered to try and protect the resting and feeding stopover used by Tundra Swans every year on their way north to their nesting grounds on Canada’s northern tundra. Protesters claim that one of the effects of placing wind turbines near the bog will drive the swans away from the area, forcing them to seek other stopovers on their migratory path.

In addition to trying to protect the swans, protesters also point out that the Green Energy Plan is unsustainable from a financial and health aspect. Financially the protesters claim that the cost to implement and install wind turbines has cost the taxpayer over $2 billion and the cost will continue to rise. They add that there is too much power being produced, forcing Ontario to dump power overage into the U.S. at a reduced rate, again driving up the cost to the taxpayers. Read article