Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Canada
After hearing arguments from the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists club, the tribunal revoked the renewable energy permit that wind developer Gilead Power had previously been granted. Tuesday the wind power company, Gilead Power, and Ontario’s ministry of the environment were in divisional court to appeal the ruling.
The Obama Administration’s decision to excuse turbines from statutes that protect eagles from other manmade dangers runs counter to legal precedent. Without fear of penalty, there is little reason to expect the wind energy corporations to deliberately site new turbines in areas removed from eagle migratory routes. The broken bodies of these magnificent eagles sprawled beneath the massive revolving blades are the preventable casualties of a new gold rush for federal incentives.
But the vibrating hum from the turbines seemed to have intensified recently, she said. “Our birds became very aggressive. They were never like that. They were very docile.” ...During one period of about 14 days, they lost five birds. “We can’t sit and watch the rest of these birds die.”
Gilead Power and the Environment ministry are challenging the findings of an environmental review tribunal, which last month sided with defenders of Blanding's turtle, and stopped a wind farm from being built on Ostrander Point. The decision, which overturned the province's earlier approval of the project, is now being appealed.
A turtle stops a wind farm in Prince Edward County. Eric Gillespie, the lawyer for the field naturalists, discusses the decision by the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal with host Wei Chen. Duration: 6 minutes 13 seconds
The roads associated with the wind farm would bring "increased vehicle traffic, poachers and predators, directly in the habitat of Blanding's turtle, a species that is globally endangered and threatened in Ontario," and that would result in "serious and irreversible harm" to the species, the tribunal has found. ..."This is the first wind project approval in Ontario that is proposed to be located entirely on Crown land"
The decision marks the first time an appeal of a wind turbine project has been upheld in Ontario. "Of course we're thrilled with the decision, but not surprised," said Field Naturalists' president Myrna Wood. "We always thought the ERT would recognize the importance of our south shore here in Prince Edward County and this confirms it.
The Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal has permitted the appeal of the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Project to proceed on the grounds that serious and irreversible harm to the natural environment will occur if the project is built. The permit granted by the Director of Ontario's Ministry of the Environment was revoked. The overview of the decision is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
The final arguments have been made. One lawyer against three. Not a fair fight but, then, that is the way it has been since that wintry day in March when hearings began in an appeal of the Ministry of Ontario's approval of an industrial wind turbine project at Ostrander Point.
"If we continue to allow industry to displace and destroy our habitat, we are really looking at an environmental disaster in the long run. It is not just the tundra swans, it is the geese, it is the eagles," said Muriel Allingham of the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group.
A proposed $15-million wind energy project in Pictou County can’t start spinning until the government gets more information on its potential impact on bats, birds and moose. Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau announced Tuesday that he needs more information about Watts Wind Energy Inc.’s McLellans Brook project.
Dr Barclay had mentioned he did not agree with Ontario Bat Guidelines for Industrial Wind Turbine projects. When asked why, he answered that the allowable threshold of killing seven bats per year per turbine was inadequate. With the numbers of turbines growing exponentially in North America, the cumulative effects of such a high fatality rate, on top of the effects of white nose syndrome, will cause harm to the species at the population level.
The MOE has already granted the developers of Ostrander Point the right to harm, harass and kill two endangered species-the Blanding's turtle and the whippoorwill. ...Now the MOE is being asked to look the other way as a developer industrializes the habitat of three endangered species.
"Gillespie's opening statement outlined the reasons for the PECFN appeal of the project approval. He noted Ostrander Point was recognized by local, provincial and national and international organizations as the worst site for wind turbines and that Ostrander Point is in the middle of the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area.
Biodiversity that takes centuries to evolve cannot be reinvented overnight, neither can the bald eagles that nested in a 100 year old cottonwood tree at Fisherville be expected to accept a Tupperware nest platform on a pole somewhere, when their instinct tells them they should be in a natural tree somewhere else. Legislation is purportedly in place to protect species at risk - that's why it is there. Legislation that can be bought, and then twisted to serve the needs of development is not legislation. It smacks of a corrupt system of the worst possible kind perpetuated by money and greed.
Groups across Ontario are demanding that: Wind turbines that are offending must be removed, democracy must be returned, and an immediate moratorium must be placed on new projects, permitted and planned. Despite obvious and substantiated evidence that the Ministry knew of serious health complaints back to 2006, they continued to permit.
By using mathematical formulas derived from these studies, the average distance of a large bird carcass found under the 2.3 MW turbines at Wolf Island would be 101 meters from their towers. This average is far outside the search areas used. The Wolf Island mortality studies used search areas of only 60 and 50 meters. These studies clearly missed most of the carcasses. It also does not account for wandering cripples and wind personal interference.
This home to nature is shortly to be under attack, not from hunters or foragers but from a Government approved industrial wind developer. Those of us throughout the province who admire and want to protect nature stand in disbelief at the carnage that will unfold and that is a result of the Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA) passed by the GTA centric Liberal Party.
As many as 30 natives in a convoy - some wearing traditional garb and waving native flags - interrupted work at several turbine and substation construction sites. ...Josie Hernandez, spokesperson for NextEra, confirmed that the protest was motivated in part by her company's removal of an eagle's nest near Fisherville two weeks ago.
If the Ministry bureaucrats-or the forces behind them-were hoping to catch residents, local government and other groups flat-footed, they failed. Council will decide later today whether it will take up the fight. Meanwhile, Prince Edward County Field Naturalists have stepped up to appeal the decision.