It’s springtime – birds singing…
Or at least we hope so. Is anybody checking? I mean is the wind company busy collecting carcasses, or listening to bird song? Is the government monitoring the cumulative impacts from the massive wind developments that have been deployed all over Ontario in the last few years?
In short, no. But here’s a test you can all try (and I hope you do): try looking for a Bird/Bat
Mortality Report of any wind project of your choosing in Ontario. It’s like an easter egg hunt, or an eagle egg hunt. Not a very fruitful one though – I’ve only found two – both from before 2012. One is the infamous Wolfe Island bird carnage (all reports are fully listed on the company’s site), and the other is for the Harrow project, but it’s posted here on OWR… so that doesn’t really count as a brownie point for the wind company.
That’s all I can find but if anyone else can point out some more – please share. You’d think the wind developers would have these reports on their websites, especially after all those reassurances at the meetings that the kills would be ‘monitored’ and ‘mitigated’ and of course the people would be kept in the loop.
In my old backyard of Middlesex County there was an active eagle nest smack in the NextEra Bornish Wind Project – 400m from the massive substation, and surrounded by hundreds of wind turbines now. It’s hard not to think about those eagles and wonder how they are doing, how their offspring fared. Same with the eagles in Haldimand that were evicted from their nest – what happened to them? And the swallows too, flocks of them at this time of year skimming the pond.
In reading the Adelaide Community Liaison Report NextEra said they would submit these mortality reports at the beginning of March this year. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Yeah, well – too good to be true. March comes and I’m checking all over their website – no documents.
I start looking for other Bird and Bat Mortality Reports for other recent projects and find myself coming up empty handed. What the hell?? By now there should be tonnes of them considering all the projects in operation!
So I contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, where the reports were submitted to. They tell me to go ask NexTerror first. (Kidding, they said NextEra, but they were probably thinking it!).
I breathe in, and write them. (By now I’m losing my cool with this company for multiple reasons, this is as nice as I could be.)
I’m looking for the Bird and Bat Monitoring Report for the Adelaide and Bornish Wind Projects.
From the Community Liaison Committee meeting notes, they should be available by March 1, 2016. “Annual report provided to MNRF by March 1 following each year of monitoring“.
This was my home for 33 years and I still give a damn about the eagle nest, and the multitude of barn swallows and bat colonies. It appears if nobody asks for this report, then nobody knows.
Please direct me to where the public can access these reports, or alternatively send me them both on to me.
The reply comes a couple days later, from someone named “Steve”.
A quick letter back to Steve (that didn’t get any answers):
Dear Steve (last name?),
A ‘summary’, in ’90 days’, ‘maybe’?
Could you not just send me the same full bird/bat death report you sent the MNRF right now, since you already have it?
Or does it have to be manipulated first, for public consumption.
The MNR reassures me that they have these documents but haven’t reviewed them and then I’m told the only other way to retrieve them is to file a Freedom of Information request to see them. I throw my $5 into an envelope and send it in to the Information and Privacy Commissioner, and wait. Continue reading