Bats stand in the way of wind turbines

The Enterprise Bulletin
COLLINGWOOD – Citizen scientists have proven beyond a doubt there is a population of endangered little brown bats in the area where wpd Canada Inc. plans to erect eight 500-foot wind turbines. Evidence from three bat biologists was presented at the Feb. 28 appeal hearing of the Environmental Review Tribunal chaired by Dirk Vander Bent with panel member Hugh Wilkins in the Collingwood council chamber Feb. 28.

Witness and bat ecologist Sarah Mainguy said building turbines on the Clearview Township property would cause “serious and irreversible harm” to the endangered species. She was a witness for Preserve Clearview, a citizen group fighting the turbines. Mainguy provided the panel with a map showing the prevalence of habitat of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and other species in the wind turbine area in Clearview Township.

She said citizen scientists Betty Schneider and Susan Richardson collected 2,000 bat call recordings obtained over 43 nights from different houses. “I went through the recordings to identify myotis. I screened all the calls and came up with the conclusion that 152 calls were identified as myotis and 146 were confident of myotis, all of which are endangered,” she said. Mainguy said the women were not allowed on Beattie family land where the turbines would be built but were allowed on other properties in the near vicinity.

“We knew there were myotis but there are more than was earlier suggested. They are reasonably spread out in the area in red brick houses, which is their favourite.”

wpd has not provided information on where the bats are located, she added. “We feel there is a large gap in the information provided in the pre-construction studies on where the bats are located. I feel this is a considerable gap especially in light of us finding quite a large number of bats,” she said. Read article

Wind turbine appeal leaves wpd spinning

Gisele Winton Sarvis, The Enterprise Bulletin
The plan for wind turbines in Clearview has been suspended. In the David and Goliath battle between the small municipality of Clearview and the Government of Ontario and wpd Canada, subsidiary of an international wind energy company, the little guy won – for now.

The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) decision that the appeals were allowed was delivered by Dirk Vanderbent and Hugh Wilkins just after 6 p.m. Friday when the hearing was adjourned. The ERT ruled that the plans for turbines in proximity of Collingwood Regional Airport and the surrounding areas was proven to be a detriment both to human safety to planes using the airport and well and an environmental challenge to certain species, specifically the little brown bat.batspeciesmortalityontario

“It’s a great win for the Clearview,” said Mayor Chris Vanderkruys. “It’s a great win for the County of Simcoe. It’s a great win for the Clearview Aviation Business Park around the Collingwood Airport,” Vanderkruys said. “I think this has strengthened our vision of the industrial project and it will be a boom for the economy of Simcoe County,” he added.

The County of Simcoe, the Town of Collingwood and the Township of Clearview appealed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) approval of the wpd Canada Fairview Wind Project based on the threat to human safety with the turbines being placed in close proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport.

Kevin and Gail Elwood and Preserve Clearview Inc. fought on the basis of threat to human safety with the turbines being place in close to their privately owned Stayner Aerodrome. Elwood, a commercial pilot and Clearview councillor has spend a large sum of money fighting this project. “I’m so proud to represent the community both as an appellant and as a councillor. I’ve received strong support from the community,” he said. Read article

wind-stayner-006

MOECC pulls support for two turbine locations in Clearview Township wind project

C-K airportWasaga Sun, Ian Adams
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is pulling its support for two turbine locations at the Fairview Wind project because of safety concerns at the Clearview Aerodrome.

In the MOECC’s closing argument to the environmental review tribunal reviewing the order approving the renewable energy application, it was determined the location of two turbines conflicted with the privately-owned Clearview Aerodrome.

Dr. Raymond Cox, a risk assessment expert in public safety, energy, and transport, as well as fluid dynamics and turbulence, testified during the hearing in June the two locations were without a five-rotor-diameter distance from the Clearview Aerodrome approach centreline.

“As it was the opinion of all expert witnesses, who opined on turbine wake … that there was an unacceptable safety risk where turbines are located within five rotor diameters from the centreline approach, the director can no longer support the locations of turbines 3 and 7 as currently approved,” wrote MOECC counsel Sylvia Davis and Andrea Huckins in their closing submission to the tribunal in August.

Clearview Aerodrome owner Kevin Elwood, who is one of the appellants to the MOECC’s  decision to approve WPD Canada’s renewable energy application, said it calls to question all eight turbines. Read article

Turtles topple turbines as ERT revokes project approval

sign blanding turtleCounty Live
The County’s Blandings turtles, and nature in general, are victorious in the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists’ more than six-year battle to protect the south shore of Prince Edward County.

The Environmental Review Tribunal in the Ostrander Point industrial wind turbine hearing has decided “remedies proposed by Gilead Power Corporation and the Director (MOEE) are not appropriate” and has revoked the Renewable Energy Approval for the nine turbine project.

“The tribunal decision says that no matter how important renewable energy is to our future it does not automatically override the public interest in protecting against other environmental harm such as the habitat of species at risk,” says Myrna Wood, president of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists. “This was the basis of PECFN’s appeal. This decision not only protects the Blanding’s turtle but also the staging area for millions of migrating birds and bats and the Monarch butterflies.”

In their decision, ERT vice-chairs Heather Gibbs and Robert Wright state “The Tribunal finds that to proceed with the project, when it will cause serious and irreversible harm to animal life, a species at risk and its habitat, is not consistent with the general and renewable energy approval purposes of the Environmental Protection Act, protection and conservation of the natural environment and protection and conservation of the environment, nor does it serve the public interest.

“In this particular case, preventing such harm outweighs the policy of promoting renewable energy through this nine wind turbine project in this location.” Read article

Tribunal agrees approved Pontypool wind project would destroy plant and animal life

pontypoolKawartha Lakes This Week, Mary Riley
MANVERS TWP – Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble was literally doing a happy dance at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre after learning opponents of an industrial wind turbine project near Pontypool scored a huge victory on Thursday (Nov. 19). Coun. Stauble was at a special council meeting when she got the news that the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) had announced its decision on the appeal of the Settlers Landing Nominee Ltd. wind project.

Announcing the decision to council, she was visibly overjoyed as councillors hugged and congratulated her. “This a huge, huge step forward for the community,” she told This Week.  She noted this is only the second ERT decision in Ontario that has overturned a wind energy company approval in favour of a community.

The Director, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change issued a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) to Settlers Landing Nominee Ltd., granting approval for the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of a Class 4 wind facility with a total name plate capacity of 10 megawatts in Pontypool. Settlers Landing wind park would have put five industrial wind turbines near the village. SLWP Opposition Corp. appealed the REA to the Tribunal in May on the grounds that the project will cause serious harm to human health and serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. Read article

Accidental whistleblower

Whistleblower-e1441814182602Rick Conroy, Wellington Times
Ministry expert warned that Ostrander Point wind project posed a high risk to Blanding’s turtles before it issued permit to developer to “harm, harass and kill” the endangered species

It was three days into eye-wateringly dull expert testimony, technical language and lawyer-speak. Three days in a hot, humid room with three ineffectual fans lazily turning above a wilting crowd, with barristers in their shirtsleeves as jackets hung over chairs. Then, without warning, the room was seized by high drama. Suddenly, the very credibility of Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approvals process was thrust into the spotlight.

Last Wednesday morning, as far as the eye could see, Demorestville was lined with parked cars. The town hall of the tiny hamlet was hosting the second Environmental Review Tribunal for the proposed wind turbine project at Ostrander Point.

Although the original Tribunal ruled against the turbines, Gilead Power Corporation and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) had appealed the ruling, arguing that the Tribunal did not have the chance to see their updated plan, one that would mitigate damage to the endangered Blanding’s turtle, which makes its home at the point.

More than 100 people crammed into the hall to hear the Tribunal, scheduled over three days and set to end on Friday. Each day brought new expert testimony. On day one, Dr. Fred Beaudry, an expert on Blanding’s turtles, testified that he did not believe Gilead’s mitigation plan of building artificial turtle habitat would be effective. On day two, researcher Kari Gunson, an expert on road migration, cast a doubt on the company’s plan to prevent damage to turtles by gating the project site.

On day three, the MOECC introduced their witness, but the heat, the flies, tedious expert testimony and other commitments caused folks to slowly drift away, leaving a half-empty gallery, some jotting notes, others knitting or shuffling papers to pass the time. Read article

Ministry expert admits he advised not to allow initial ‘kill, harm and harass’ permit for Ostrander Point Wind Project

sign blanding turtleCounty Live
Admission by an MNR senior manager that his initial advice was not to allow a permit to “kill, harm and harass” the Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s turtle at Ostrander Point halted the third day of Environmental Review Tribunal proceedings Friday in Demorestville.

Witness Joe Crowley, a species at risk expert herpetologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, was on the stand Friday to provide a statement and answer questions about the effectiveness of various mitigation measures proposed by industrial wind turbine developer Gilead Power to protect the endangered species Blanding’s turtle.

Cheryl Anderson, of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, said this unexpected turn came at the end of the day when Crowley was asked about his role in the granting of the Endangered Species Act permit for the project on the south shore of Prince Edward County.

“Mr. Crowley stated his advice at the time was not to allow the permit because the project roads would prove a risk to the site’s indigenous Blanding’s Turtles,” said Anderson. Read article

And read more: Save Ostrander Point

ERT dismisses Manvers wind turbine project appeal

buddhist-1My Kawartha
MANVERS TWP – Opponents of a controversial wind energy project have lost their bid to keep five mega-turbines out of the Pontypool area.  The Environmental Review Tribunal released its decision in a 200-plus page report on Thursday (Feb. 19), ruling in favour of wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge project.

The Sumac Ridge Renewable Energy Approval was submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in June of 2012.  In December, 2013, the Province approved the project and the decision was immediately appealed to the Tribunal. The appellants were the Buddhist Cham Shan Temple, Manvers Wind Concerns and Cransley Home Farm Limited. In presenting their case, they called 17 witnesses (pre-qualified by the tribunal).

The Cham Shan Temple planned to build four temples in the Bethany area on land they’ve owned for 20 years; mirroring the four Temples in China for a spiritual pilgrimage. They maintained the wind turbines would interfere with their freedom of religion, preventing the peace and quiet necessary for such a pilgrimage, which would draw Buddhists from around the world to the City of Kawartha Lakes. They planned to invest about $100 million and maintained that if Sumac Ridge went ahead they would abandon the Temple project. Read article

Councillor in awe of volunteers who helped with wind turbine appeal

kawartha_lakesKawartha Lakes This Week, Mary Riley
(MANVERS TWP) Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble says she’s “in awe of the amount and the quality of the work” that went into a legal challenge to the building of industrial wind turbines in Manvers Township.

As those fighting wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge wind energy project prepare for a decision next month, Coun. Stauble had nothing but praise for those who put “a tremendous amount of time, energy and skill” volunteering to help the case.

In December 2013, wind energy company wpd Canada was granted Ministry of Environment (MOE) approval to build Sumac Ridge wind energy farm, which involves building five 500-metre high industrial wind turbines near Pontypool. Two of those would be on the Oak Ridges Moraine. 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

Grand Bend wind development green-lighted – another 40 turbines

Approved-Rubber-Stamp-724817[Note to LFPress Editor: Please please please discontinue using the word “farm” when speaking of wind turbine developments. Anyone who lives in a rural area knows there is zero “farming” going on when these machines are installed. The land had to be rezoned “industrial” to allow them in – if that doesn’t say it all.]

London Free Press
Ontario’s Environmental Review Panel has given the go-ahead for the Grand Bend Wind Farm, a 40-turbine, $380-million project hugging the Lake Huron Shoreline. Major construction can now go ahead on the wind farm.

Developer Northland Power had applied the brakes to its plans, putting off major construction until appeals were settled. The original plans for the facility called for 48 turbines, but that was scaled back to 40. It will be located in the Huron County municipalities of South Huron and Bluewater over about 2,400 hectares. It will have a total capacity of 100 megawatts.

“Our company policy is not to do much during an appeal process,” Gord Potts, director of business development for the company, had told The Free Press this summer. Potts had said at that time that Northland anticipated the Grand Bend Wind Farm would start commercial operation in 2016. The farm is a joint project of Toronto-based Northland Power and the Aamjiwnaang First Nation at Sarnia and Bkejwanong First Nation at Walpole. Read article

Health Canada wind turbine raw data ‘1/2 price’ for Suncor

M'Chigeeng Protest June15,2012(5)Petrolia Independent, Heather Wright
A Plympton-Wyoming family trying to stop Suncor Energy from building industrial turbines will have to shell out $10,000 to look at data they think will help prove turbines hurt human health.

Lawyers for the Bryce family have asked the Environmental Review Tribunal to adjourn the hearing into the appeal of the project for six months so they can study data collected by Health Canada.

The federal agency recently released the preliminary report and the family’s lawyer believes there is evidence that can link some of the noise caused by industrial wind turbines to problems such as headaches and sleeplessness.

But Asha James told the ERT Stats Canada will only allow a researcher 22 days to analyse the data for $10,000. Lawyers for Suncor also told the ERT adjudicators they had applied to see the raw data as well but had been told it would cost $4,500. Read article

Spectators at wind turbine appeal suspicious of last-minute objections

pontypoolMy Kawartha, Mary Riley
PONTYPOOL – The lawyer representing the appellants opposed to a controversial wind energy project in Manvers Township told the chair of the Environmental Review Tribunal that he had never before heard people ‘boo’ a tribunal. “And, I’ve been doing this for 20 years.” Eric Gillespie made his comments on Friday (Dec. 19) as the hearing of the appeal of wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge industrial wind turbine project entered its last day at the Pontypool Community Centre.

It was a full turnout as those opposing Sumac Ridge made a last stand, calling ‘reply witnesses’ to rebut previous testimony from witnesses for wpd Canada. The Environmental Review Tribunal is an independent body that has conducted the appeal hearing for the last few weeks.

Citizen group Manvers Wind Concerns, Cransley Farm Homes and the Buddhist Association of Canada’s Cham Shan Temple launched the appeal last December after the Ministry of Environment (MOE) granted wpd Canada approval for Sumac Ridge. That involves the building of five industrial wind turbines (two of them on the Oak Ridges Moraine), which met fierce opposition from residents. Read article

Lawyer at wind turbine hearing ruffles bird expert’s feathers

kerlinger2MyKawartha, Mary Riley
PONTYPOOL –The lawyer acting for the appellants at a hearing opposing the controversial Sumac Ridge wind turbine project in Manvers Township ruffled a bird expert’s feathers during his cross examination on Friday (Dec. 12). Paul Kerlinger is an expert on the effect of wind turbines on birds and their habitat. He was appearing via video link on behalf of wpd Canada, who received provincial approval last December to build five industrial wind turbines in the Bethany area.

But, the question of how industrial wind turbines could affect bird species was never answered, even after tough questioning from Eric Gillespie. The Environmental Review Tribunal is an independent body conducting the hearing in Pontypool after several groups opposed to industrial wind turbines appealed the Ministry of Environment (MOE) granting approval the approval to wpd Canada. Sumac Ridge involves the building five industrial wind turbines (two of them on the Oak Ridges Moraine), which met fierce opposition from residents. 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

Mothers appeal turbine approval

mum march12Grimsby Lincoln News, Amanda Moore
WEST LINCOLN — Despite government approval, a group of West Lincoln resident continues to fight impending industrial wind turbines. Earlier this month the provincial government gave the green light to a wind farm planned by Niagara Region Wind Corp. The company plans to erect 77 wind turbines with the majority located in the township. Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. is doing anything but accepting the approval and has filed an appeal the project.

The appellants allege they have several grounds to prove the proposed project will cause “serious and irreversible harm to plants, animals and the natural environment” — which is what the tribunal can make decisions based on. MAWT alleges the project could harm butterflies and an endangered tree species within the project study area. They say that studies on both by the proponent are incomplete and that site surveys for several natural features were not conducted.

The group also alleges the project will harm human health, alleging that more than 600 people will be experience negative health effects from the turbines and that the project is a violation of rights granted to all Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read article

Wind turbine appeal to be heard in Smithville

South Kent Wind Samsung Pattern Chatham Kent Sinclair Ln 7Dan Dakin, Welland Tribune
As they said they would, an advocacy group has appealed the decision to allow a 77-turbine wind farm to be built in west Niagara, but they have no disillusions of their chances of winning. A preliminary hearing for a tribunal that could overturn the wind farm approval has now been scheduled for Dec. 19 at the Wellandport Community Centre.

That building, on Canborough Rd. in Smithville, has become a key site in the wind turbine debate, with numerous public meetings held there as progress on the massive development has slowly moved forward.

Niagara Region Wind Corp. was given the green light to move forward with its industrial wind turbine project in early November when the Ministry of the Environment issued its Renewable Energy Approval. Read article

Decision from three-judge panel in landmark wind turbine appeal expected before January

ERT injusticeBy Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
A judicial fight over the future of wind turbines in Ontario wrapped up Thursday with the fate of the province’s green energy law in the hands of judges. On one side is big money, wind energy giants like Samsung and a Liberal government intent on becoming a world leader in creating green energy.

On the other are four families in Huron and Bruce counties whose homes are close to dozens of proposed turbines. But while it seems a David and Goliath affair, the underdogs have enlisted a legal pugilist who Thursday seemed to dance circles around the arguments of his adversaries, wrapping up a four-day hearing in London with an emotionally-loaded challenge to three Superior Court justices.

“The system has utterly broken down,” said Julian Falconer. “You have been tasked with keeping these people safe.” Falconer was the most dynamic of lawyers representing four families in Southwestern Ontario battling the building of wind farms. It’s not the first time lawyers have challenged the Green Energy Act in court. Three years ago, wind opponents lost in court fighting a decision by an environmental review tribunal to allow a wind farm. But the 2011 effort had a handicap this one does not — it was a judicial review, in which judges must give deference to the tribunal.

This time, Falconer wants the three-judge panel to:

  • Halt, by issuing what’s called a stay, wind farms that are expected to be tested in January.
  • Rule the environmental tribunal violated the constitutional rights of wind opponents when it refused to allow new evidence from a Health Canada study.
  • Allow wind opponents to stop wind farms by showing they might be seriously harmed rather than proving they had been harmed. Read article

Niagara Wind Project approval appealed

democracy liberty freedomBy Dan Dakin, Welland Tribune
The company planning to build one of Canada’s largest industrial wind turbine farms in Niagara has been given the approval to move forward.   Niagara Region Wind Corp. said Wednesday it is on track to build its 77-turbine wind farm in Niagara region and Haldimand county, after the Ministry of the Environment issued its Renewable Energy Approval last week.

The turbines being installed — the majority to be located in West Lincoln — are some of the largest available at three megawatts each. The total development has a capacity of 230 MW, enough to power 70,000 homes and make it the fifth-largest wind farm in North America. “The is confirmation of all the work we’ve done over the past seven and a half years,” said Merv Croghan, CEO of NRWC.

But while the REA is one big hurdle, the private company is still a number of steps away from being able to start construction. “We’re moving forward with our very detailed construction design plans,” Croghan said. “We’re getting into the real micro detailing of the project.” Read article

Tribunal hears appeal of Suncor wind project approval

ERTSarnia Observer, Paul Morden
An Aberarder couple is concerned the health of their children will be impacted by Suncor’s plan to build wind turbines near their home, Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal heard Wednesday. Asha James, a lawyer for Kimberley and Richard Bryce, spoke about those concerns during her opening statement on the first day of testimony before the tribunal at the Camlachie Community Centre.

The Bryce family, and Lambton County, appealed the provincial government’s environmental approval for the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project Suncor Energy plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. James said two of the Bryce family’s four children have been diagnosed with communication disorders and are sensitive to noise.

“The youngest child, Luke, suffers from ear infections and has difficulty sleeping,” James said. “The Bryce family have a legitimate fear that the eight turbines that will be erected around their home will cause harm to their health.” Read article

Provincial tribunal dismisses Jericho wind appeal

july aug 2014 149Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
An appeal of Ontario’s environmental approval of a 92-turbine wind project under construction in Lambton Shore and Warwick Township has been dismissed by the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal. In its decision, the tribunal found the appellant, Sylvan resident Robert Lewis, and Lambton County, a party to the appeal, had not established that the project will cause serious harm to human health.

“It was exactly what we expected, which is what happens when the government and industry are working together,” said Marcelle Brooks, a Lambton Shores resident who has been working to oppose the wind project being built by NextEra Energy. “It’s a betrayal of the community,” she said.

While the tribunal’s decision was predictable, opponents went ahead with the appeal so they could put their concerns on the record, Brooks said. Read article

Wind opponents await ‘big motion day’

windprelimBy Jason Bain, The Peterborough Examiner
Manvers Wind Concerns members have circled Oct. 3 on their calendars. That’s when those opposed to wind turbines in the south end of the City of Kawartha Lakes hope to learn the dates of hearings that will decide how the five-turbine Sumac Ridge wind farm in the Bethany area, southwest of Peterborough, will proceed. The motions day in Toronto on Oct. 3, called “big motion day” by group member and Omemee-area resident Paul Reid, could lead to hearing dates to be held in Lindsay.

“Things are still up in the air,” Reid said. Already a Ministry of the Environment-approved project, Sumac Ridge can now only be cancelled by an Environmental Review Tribunal, the appeals process set to take place, or a judicial review. The last tribunal-related session, which included project developer WPD, took place Sept. 4.

The Lindsay hearings are an opportunity for opponents to make their case. A key part of the MWC argument is that the 10.25-megawatt project southeast of the intersection of Hwy. 7A and Hwy. 35 would cause “irreparable change” to the Oak Ridges Moraine. “We have been trying to stop the project by forcing them to follow their own rules,” Reid said, referring to issues such as setbacks. Read article

Aberarder family challenges Suncor wind turbine approval

suncorSarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal may just be the first stop for opponents of a 46-turbine wind project Suncor Energy plans to build in Lambton County. The provincial government’s approval of Suncor’s Cedar Point renewable energy project is being appealed to the tribunal by Lambton County, and Aberarder Line residents Kimberley and Richard Bryce.

The Town of Plympton-Wyoming is also seeking to participate in the hearings. The tribunal’s hearings are scheduled to begin in early November at the Camlachie Community Hall, with a preliminary hearing set for October.

The Bryce family is being represented by the Toronto-based law firm headed by Julian Falconer. “They have four young kids and they’re just concerned about the possible health effects associated with having their young children living in close proximity to these wind turbines,” said Asha James, an associate of Falconers LLP. She added the family’s concern is heightened by the fact Health Canada is currently studying the health impacts of wind turbines, “because there are data gaps, and there just isn’t enough research to show how these will affect families, or residents living in close proximity to these turbines.” Read article

For turbines, trust is a two-way street

trustGrimsby Lincoln News, By Amanda Moore
Ontarians are to trust that the government is doing what’s best them, but how can we trust the government when it fails to protect us? That is the question Anne Meinen has been asking since industrial wind turbines were erected next to lands she has farmed for four decades. Her issue isn’t with the turbines themselves, but with the fact that one was located closer to her property line than government regulations stipulate. And last week she heard the reason was that the government trusted the proponent. Because the proponent said the turbines met the regulations, no-one bothered to take a look.

“The MOE believed the turbines were 95 metres or greater from the property line,” Vic Schroeter told an environmental review tribunal last week. “First and foremost we trust the information submitted to us by the applicant.” First and foremost the government trusts the applicant? What about, first and foremost the government ensures the applicant meets the regulations to protect citizens?

The provincial government cannot deny that wind turbines are not always welcomed with open arms by host communities. Those who oppose these developments have brought their issues to Ontario’s doorstep. They have rallied and protested at Queen’s Park, they have written their MPPs and countless ministers as well as Premier Kathleen Wynne. Read article

Cedar Point wind project in Lambton County appealed

Suncor Cedar Point JulyBy Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
A date hasn’t been set yet for the start of construction on the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project Suncor Energy has received provincial approval to build in northern Lambton County. The project has a contract to sell electricity to Ontario and just recently received provincial renewable energy approval.

This week, that approval was the subject of appeals filed with the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal. “We’ve not there yet in terms of establishing a start date for construction, but that’s something we’re working towards,” said Suncor Energy spokesperson Jason Vaillant. He added he couldn’t say if work will begin later this fall, “with any degree of certainty, at this point.”

The wind project is planned for Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. The company has said the turbines could be up and operating by late 2015. One of the appeals of Suncor’s provincial renewable energy approval was filed by Lambton County. Read article

Mayor and anti-wind groups considering their next steps

suncor_jpg_1327041cl-8By Brent Boles, Sarnia Observer 
A Suncor plan to build 46 wind turbines in and around the Town of Plympton-Wyoming has been given the green light by provincial officials. A decision posted on the Ontario environmental registry Friday shows that the Cedar Point Wind project has been given renewable energy approval.

“We were expecting it. It’s highly disappointing,” said Ingrid Willemsen of the group We’re Against Industrial Turbines Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW). “All the wind turbine projects seem to get a rubber stamp no matter how many arguments are in place against them.” Other turbines are slated to go up in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.

While it wasn’t immediately clear when work on the turbines will break ground, Willemsen said she believes the decision means crews could begin building as early as this fall. One of the conditions of approval says that the project must be finished being built within the next three years. When the province reached out for public consultation at the end of 2013, they received more than 1600 comments in return. Read article

South Huron opts not to support turbine appeals

2014_06010033By Scott Nixon, Times-Advocate
SOUTH HURON — Citing a desire not to waste taxpayers’ money, South Huron council has decided not to support the Municipality of Bluewater’s appeal of Northland Power’s Grand Bend Wind Farm project. South Huron held a committee of the whole meeting in the afternoon of Aug. 11 to deal with six requests it had recently received from James Corcoran of the local Trees Not Turbines group.

As previously reported, Bluewater has decided to appeal both the Northland Grand Bend turbine project and the NextEra Goshen project. Corcoran’s first request to South Huron was that it support the appeal of the Grand Bend project.

Coun. Dennis Hockey said after South Huron has consulted with its lawyer, it has determined such appeals “are not winnable” because the province has taken away municipalities’ power. Read article

NextEra faces another appeal

next terror protest 004Renews
Opponents have appealed NextEra Energy Canada’s 102MW Goshen wind project in Ontario to the Environmental Review Tribunal. Provincial regulators granted a renewable energy approval in July.

The municipality of Bluewater, one of the host communities, and resident John Gillespie allege the project will cause serious harm to human health. Gillespie also claims the approval process violates his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Goshen, part of NextEra’s eight-project portfolio in the province, has a 20-year feed-in tariff contract with the Ontario Power Authority. 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