WPD announces plan to clear vegetation in Prince Edward County, despite successful appeal against wind farm

"Vegetation clearing" and road construction in Algoma in 2015. [Photo: Gord Benner]
“Vegetation clearing” and road construction in Algoma in 2015. [Photo: Gord Benner]
“Fundamentally disrespectful”: Environmental Review Tribunal finds for the appellant in wind farm fight over endangered wildlife: developer decides to clear trees anyway

From the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, this announcement.

March 6, 2016

wpd has notified APPEC, John Hirsch and the Director of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change of its plans to begin clearing vegetation for its wind project.  In an email early last week wpd stated that: “Further to the Tribunal’s decision dated February 26, 2016, I write to advise that wpd intends to proceed with vegetation clearing of private property on the Project site commencing on March 14, 2016.”

We are appalled by wpd’s chosen course of action.  It is fundamentally disrespectful of the appeal process not to mention an ERT decision that to anyone’s mind would bring the White Pines wind project to a grinding halt.  Instead, just four days after the Tribunal issued its decision to uphold the appeal, wpd is behaving as though the decision does not apply to them. 

Vegetation clearing for turbines and access roads will cause irreparable environmental destruction.  Of particular concern is the impact of heavy machinery that will be brought in on Blanding’s turtle habitat, where most of the wind turbines are located, and on Blanding’s turtles themselves as they emerge from their over-wintering sites early this year after a mild fall and winter.

APPEC’s legal counsel has responded quickly submitting a motion requesting the ERT to issue a stay of all physical activity associated with this Renewable Energy Approval until this matter has been resolved by the Tribunal. 

APPEC, Mr. Hirsch and the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) note the similarities between wpd’s attempt to start on construction while an appeal is underway and a prior attempt by Gilead Power to do the same at Ostrander Point.  In this instance the Ontario Court of Appeal had no hesitation in granting a stay on construction in order to prevent irreparable harm.  We are confident that wpd’s attempt will meet with the same outcome. 

Given the urgency of this motion we would expect that the Tribunal will issue a decision without delay.

Regards,

Orville Walsh

President, APPEC


High electricity bills, energy poverty behind municipalities’ call for no new wind power contracts

Ontario is paying too much for wind power, and it doesn’t help the environment anyway, says the Wainfleet Resolution. Reports of health effects worry Wainfleet Mayor.

Erie Media, March 4, 2016

Image result for image Wainfleet wind farm

51 Ontario Municipalities endorse resolution

The Township of Wainfleet has gained support from 51 other municipalities in Ontario who have endorsed the Townships resolution calling on the Ontario government to not award more Feed-In-Tariff contracts for power generation from wind.

In a press release issued by the Township of Wainfleet, “The resolution was based on December’s Auditor General Report which reported that Ontario has a surplus of power generation capacity and, under existing contracts, is paying double what other jurisdictions are paying for wind power.  Adding more surplus generation capacity would add to the already high costs of disposing of surplus electricity.”

According to the release, the cost of electricity is a concern for Ontario residents, straining household budgets and it states that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce noted that high electrical costs are affecting their members’ ability to grow their business which will affect their ability to create jobs in Ontario.

“This suggests the need for a full, cost-benefit review of the renewable energy program before committing Ontario electricity users to even more surplus power,” the release says.

“This quick response from other municipalities to the circulation of the resolution indicates that wind turbines are still front and centre as an important issue in rural Ontario,” said Wainfleet Township Mayor April Jeffs in the Wainfleet Township release.

It continues on to say that Mayor Jeffs is reporting that citizens reports of deteriorating health is a cause for concern, the reports coming in since the beginning of operations for one of the two projects in Wainfleet.

“We did have a family come to us before Christmas and had reported that they were suffering many health effects from the wind turbine near their residence,” Mayor April Jeffs said in a follow up interview. “The main complaint was sleep deprivation caused by infrasound created by the turbine.”

Since the complaint, the family has since sold their house in Wainfleet and moved to Port Colborne.

Jeffs pointed out that Huron County Health Unit has now begun an investigation into health complaints from industrial wind turbines in their community. They will be surveying resident’s complaints of several symptoms including headache, ear pressure, nausea, anxiety, pressure in the head, bloody nose, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, vertigo and sleep disturbances.

“Appropriate long term health studies weren’t done before putting the things up, now they are there and people are noticing problems,” Mayor Jeffs said. …

Read the full story here

 

51 municipalities tell Wynne government: NO new wind power contracts

Township of Wainfleet

“Wainfleet – find your country side!”

MEDIA RELEASE

Municipalities Call for Ontario to Stop Issuing Wind Turbine Contracts

WAINFLEET – March 4, 2016 – Fifty-one municipalities have endorsed the resolution passed by the Township of Wainfleet Council in late January 2016 that calls on the Ontario government not to award more Feed-In-Tariff contracts for power generation from wind.

The resolution was based on December’s Auditor General Report which reported that Ontario has a surplus of power generation capacity and, under existing contracts, is paying double what other jurisdictions are paying for wind power. Adding more surplus generation capacity would add to the already high costs of disposing of surplus electricity.

The cost of electricity is a key concern for many Ontario residents as it is adding strain to already stretched household budgets. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has also reported the impact of high electricity costs on their members’ ability to grow their businesses and create jobs in Ontario. This suggests the need for a full, cost-benefit review of the renewable energy program before committing Ontario electricity users to even more surplus power.

April Jeffs, Mayor of the Township of Wainfleet, is very pleased with the support that her Council’s resolution is receiving from across the province. “This quick response from other municipalities to the circulation of the resolution indicates that wind turbines are still front and centre as an important issue in rural Ontario,” stated Mayor Jeffs.

She reports that at least one of the two projects in the area is the cause of citizen reports of deteriorating health that started when the turbines began operation. She is particularly concerned about the second project currently under development in her area which involves 77, 3.0-megawatt wind turbines being installed in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and eastern Haldimand County. The more powerful turbines are located in areas with a sizeable residential population with an estimated 2,000 households living within 2 kilometres of these turbines. The project will operate under one of the older, expensive FIT contracts criticized by the Auditor General. The Wainfleet resolution asks the government to review options under the contract to cancel the project.

Now that coal-fired power plants have closed, the government should have met its carbon reduction goals for the electrical power system in Ontario which is now largely based on carbon-free hydroelectricity and nuclear power. This gives the province an opportunity to assess renewable generation alternatives that have less impact on the host communities.

Clauses in the 2015 RFP documents issued by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) do not commit the government to issue any wind contracts, so the government is protected against law suits from the bidders should it change course at this time.

-30-

Contact: Mayor April Jeffs (905) 899-3463 ext. 227 ajeffs@wainfleet.ca

Municipalities that have supported the Township of Wainfleet’s resolution calling on the Ontario government not to award more Feed-In-Tariff contracts for power generation from wind:

1. Coleman Township

2. Loyalist Township

3. Municipality of Bluewater

4. Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston

5. Municipality of Charlton and Dack

6. Municipality of Dutton-Dunwich

7. Municipality of Grey Highlands

8. Municipality of Kincardine

9. Municipality of Morris-Turnberry

10. Municipality of North Middlesex

11. Municipality of North Perth

12. Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula

13. Municipality of Red Lake

14. Municipality of Tweed

15. Municipality of West Elgin

16. Municipality of West Grey

17. Municipality of West Perth

18. Norfolk County

19. Town of Amherstburg

20. Town of Blue Mountains

21. Town of Bruce Mines

22. Town of Erin

23. Town of Gananoque

24. Town of South Bruce Peninsula

25. Town of Thessalon

26. Township of Alberton

27. Township of Amaranth

28. Township of Armour

29. Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh

30. Township of Blandford-Blenheim

31. Township of Calvin

32. Township of Carling

33. Township of Cavan Monaghan

34. Township of Chatsworth

35. Township of Enniskillen

36. Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen

37. Township of Howick

38. Township of Huron-Kinloss

39. Township of Ignace

40. Township of La Vallee

41. Township of Macdonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional

42. Township of North Frontenac

43. Township of North Kawartha

44. Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan

45. Township of Pelee

46. Township of Perth East

47. Township of Severn

48. Township of South Algonquin

49. Township of Warwick

50. Township of West Lincoln

51. United Counties of Prescott and Russell

 

 

Huron County Health Unit to launch investigation of wind farm noise complaints and health

This announcement is from the Huron-area community group, Huron East Against Turbines (HEAT).

March 4, 2016
 
TO:                  All concerned
 
FROM:            Area-wide Concerned Residents of Huron County:
                     Jeanne Melady, Gerry Ryan, Patti Kellar, Carla & Mike Stachura
 
SUBJECT:      Huron County Health Unit –  Health Concerns from IWT’s
                 
On March 1, 2016, the Huron County Health Unit stated it will investigate the concerns of residents regarding potential health effects of wind turbines, in keeping with their legislative duty to investigate potential population health hazards.
 
      The Health Unit plans to launch an online and paper survey in May 2016.
 
      information from the survey will help the HCHU decide the next steps to investigate concerns.
 
      Health Unit staff will present their action plan to the Board of Health as part of a report in April, 2016.
 
The HCHU made this decision as a result of correspondence from numerous residents of Huron County to the Huron County Health Unit (HCHU) describing negative health impacts from living close to Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs).  
 
A delegation had been formed to make a presentation to the Huron County Board of Health on March 3, 2016.  As our delegation was requesting information and the decision by HCHU to proceed with the health investigation, the HCHU scheduled two meetings on March 1, 2016.
                                                                                                                       
The first meeting on March 1, 2016, the HCHU met with Carmen Krogh to further discuss the complaint tracking form that was developed with Public Health Ontario in the fall of 2015.  Dr. Clark and Carmen Krogh have been working together since introduced by Safe Wind Energy for All Residents (SWEAR) in 2014.
 
Later the same day, the HCHU – Dr. Janice Owen (Medical Officer of Health),
Dr. Erica Clark (epidemiology) and Jean-Guy Albert (environmental health) met with
Jeanne Melady, Gerry Ryan, Carla and Mike Stachura.
 
At the meeting, the HCHU detailed their plan to implement an investigation on health complaints from Industrial Wind Turbines. 
 
The following is a synopsis:
 
Phase 1 – The health unit is developing a survey to track wind turbine complaints. 
Carmen Krogh and Tanya Christidis (University of Waterloo) are involved in developing the survey. A small number of affected individuals (5-10) will have input into the survey development during the pilot testing phase in April 2016.
 
The survey will be available electronically (using FluidSurvey) and also as a paper survey. The survey is expected to launched in May 2016. Those wanting to participate will need to register with the health unit first. The initial interview will be done by Dr. Erica Clark and/or additional health unit staff members.
 
Note: Information provided on this survey is owned by the individual.  This means that the health unit cannot share individual responses without permission from the person who provided those responses.  If a person wants to withdraw from the investigation, they have the right to ask the health unit to delete all of the information he/she provided.  Only aggregate (grouped) data will be published.
 
Registering will involve answering an initial series of questions including age, gender, address, health conditions that existed before the IWTs were turned on, how many IWTs are visible from the house, etc.  These initial questions will not be part of the wind turbine complaint tracking.  After completing the survey, individuals will receive a personal code known only to them.  When they enter information into the complaint tracking survey, they will use their personal code so that they do not need to enter information included in the initial interview. 
 
When an individual is experiencing negative impacts, they complete the survey online or on paper.  The survey can be accessed without the code; however, there will be a question that asks for the code.  The personal code is a substitute for answering questions about name, gender, age, address, etc. every time the survey is completed.  
 
The survey will consist of “tick” boxes and a 1-5 “Likert” scale. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.  It will include weather conditions, noise description (i.e. whining, whooshing, wooing, thumping, crashing, whumping, swooshing, tonal sound etc.), the health complaints being experienced at that moment for example – headache, ear pain/pressure, tinnitus, nausea, anxiety, pressure in the head and chest, bloody nose, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, vertigo, sleep disturbances including quality and quantity of sleep, shadow flicker etc.  
 
Resident’s will be encouraged to complete a survey each time they are experiencing negative health impacts.  This could be up to several times a day if the weather is changing etc.  
 
Resident’s that do not have access to the internet will be provided paper forms to complete that will later be entered into the system. 
 
Information will be gathered for each person for a year.  This is necessary because negative health effects are often dependent on seasonal weather patterns. 
 
Data will be analyzed seasonally to determine trends. The process will be open and transparent and results will be made available to the public on a seasonal basis.  
 
The HCHU will be attempting to determine patterns of when and under what conditions people are experiencing difficulty. 
 
Phase 2 – Analysis of the phase 1 results will help the HCHU determine the next steps of the investigation.  The health unit stated next steps may include acoustical testing of both audible noise and infrasound inside and outside of homes of agreeable participants.  The details of phase 2 are still being developed so there is no further information available on phase 2 at this time.
 
Dr. Owen stated that the HCHU’s mandate does not include setting up a medical referral centre or designating a referral physician; however, Dr. Owen is aware that Carmen Krogh is making inquiries on that issue.  If a physician is found that is willing to take referrals, area physicians could refer people to him or her for further testing.
 
 
Timeline:
 
The HCHU will require two “point people” from the “health affected resident group” to communicate with committed residents willing to participate in the development/ testing phase of the survey. 
 
HCHU expects the initial draft survey will be completed by the end of March.
 
HCHU will need a committed group of 5-10 people to “test” the survey beginning in April.     
 
HCHU expects a final version of the survey to be available by May 1st and to begin a long term/full year investigation by May 1st.
 
Note: HCHU inquired as to the best method to find participants.  Interested individuals can contact the HCHU @ (519) 482-3416 or email @ hchu@huroncounty.ca
We also discussed press releases, news media, radio, newspaper, door to door, flyers in the affected area, various email lists, and the HCHU website.  
 
This is the first county health unit investigation, in Ontario, regarding industrial wind turbines, where the affected resident’s health complaints will be tracked long term.
 
Note:  Dr. Owen stressed that this is NOT a research study.  It is an investigation. It will not prove causality. The HCHU is required to do an investigation when there appears to be a community environmental health issue.  Due to the number of complaints the HCHU is receiving from the community, they believe they must do an investigation. The Health Unit is not making a judgement on wind turbines with the survey. They are only investigating whether there is a potential population health hazard.
On March 3, 2016 Jeanne Melady and Gerry Ryan made a presentation detailing the health effects being experienced by Huron County residents.  Statements of 26 households were displayed on a screen.  There were over 80 people in attendance. It was standing room only. This board meeting is rarely attended by the public.
On March 3, 2016, The Huron County Board of Health voted: “to direct staff to prepare a report regarding the presentation by “Concerned Citizens of Huron County” about concerns of health complaints by Huron County citizens exposed to Industrial Wind Turbines”.

 

Ontario communities mount ‘intense backlash’ but Wynne government set to issue more wind power contracts

Nowhere near Toronto and Queen's Park: Ontario set to issue more contracts for unneeded wind power despite community opposition
Nowhere near Toronto and Queen’s Park: Ontario set to issue more contracts for unneeded wind power despite community opposition

Wind power not needed, produced out of phase with demand, says Wind Concerns Ontario president

London Free Press, March 2, 2016

Contracts for 300 megawatts to be announced soon

By John Miner

Ontario will press ahead with more wind farms despite calls from critics for a halt to the multi-billion dollar projects in the face of energy surpluses.

A spokesperson for the Independent Electricity System Operator said Wednesday that Ontario will award contracts within weeks for another 300 megawatts of wind power after receiving proposals for more than 100 projects.

“Originally, we said we would award contracts by the end of the year, but that wasn’t possible given the number that we received so that was pushed back to March. We are on track to announce it this month,” said IESO spokesperson Mary Bernard.

No specific date for announcing the contracts has been released.

After facing an intense backlash from many communities opposed to wind farm development, especially in Southwestern Ontario that’s home to the province’s largest wind farms and its largest number of turbines, Ontario overhauled the process, requiring companies submitting bids to consult with municipalities.

Many communities bristled when the province, in its plunge into green energy, took away their zoning control over where the giant highrise-sized turbines can be built.

This time, companies also stand to be given preference if they can win backing of municipalities, local landowners or First Nations communities.

The 300 megawatts of power — equivalent to about what four large-scale industrial wind farms would produce — to be awarded this month is a relatively modest amount compared to earlier procurements that pushed installed wind energy capacity in Ontario to more than 3,200 megawatts in 2015.

It’s estimated one megawatt of wind power can supply enough electricity to power about 270 Ontario homes. Besides contracting for additional wind power, Ontario is set to award contracts for 140 megawatts of solar energy, 75 megawatts of waterpower and 50 megawatts of bioenergy.

Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of groups opposed to wind energy, said the 300 megawatts Ontario plans to contract through IESO will be intermittent and unreliable power that isn’t needed.

Read the full article here.

Wind power generation whacks ratepayers: surplus power sold at fire sale prices

wind contract banner

IESO just released their January 2016 Monthly Market Report with details on electricity generated and demanded, along with prices and impact on ratepayers.   It is interesting to compare January 2016 with January 2015 to get an idea of how the push for renewable energy is hurting Ontario’s ratepayers.   The comparison of the facts (and some estimates) year to year is disturbing and solidifies the notion that rate increases will not slow down or stop, no matter what Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy claims.

Ontario’s demand fell 5.6% or 735,000 megawatt hours (MWh) but exports of surplus generation increased by 10.2% or 247.000 MWh even though IESO reported generation decreased by 4.5% (net of exports/imports) or 668,000 MWh. The reduced demand and increased exports wound up costing ratepayers a lot more in the current year than 2015 for a variety of reasons as we will show.

The IESO Market Report for January 2015 valued the cost of electricity production at $80.23 per MWh (GA of $50.68 + HOEP of $29.55) versus a cost in January 2016 of $105.48/MWh (GA of $91.79 + HOEP of $13.69). The cost increased $25.25/MWh or 31.5%, without factoring in the 10% reduction we received in 2015 from the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) or the nominal savings from the removal of the DRC, both of which became effective January 1, 2016.

A lot of the big jump in costs can be attributed to: Ontario’s net exports (exports less imports) which increased 67,000 MWh; the drop in the market value (HOEP) down by $15.86/MWh or 53.7%; a huge increase in curtailed production1. from wind (up from 41,000 MWh to 141,000 MWh) and nuclear (up from 26,000 MWh to 68,400 MWh).   Additionally wind power generation increased 247,000 MWh and,  including curtailed wind, was up 348,000 MWh or 35% from 2015.

As surplus exports are sold at the HOEP price the revenue generated from their sale in January 2016 was well down as Ontario’s ratepayers picked up the jump of $41.11/MWh in Global Adjustment or GA costs.

In total, the January 2015 net exports, together with the cost of curtailed wind and nuclear cost Ontario ratepayers approximately $97 million. The January 2016 cost of surplus exports and wind and nuclear curtailment was $191 million — that’s a jump of $94 million or 97% year over year. Net exports amounted to 1,851,800 MWh and wind generation and curtailed wind generation amounted to 1,339,000 MWh, which equates to 72.3% of net exports. What this means: power generation from wind is surplus.

Ontario’s long suffering 4.9 million rate-paying households in only the first month of the current year have each been forced to subsidize our fire sale of surplus energy to the tune of $39.00.   If the pattern continues (February may be worse) Ontario’s ratepayers will pick up wasted costs of $470.002. each annually.

Minister Chiarelli should immediately cancel his directive to IESO for the acquisition of more intermittent and unreliable wind and/or solar generation.

©Parker Gallant,

March 2, 2016

 

  1. Hat tip to Scott Luft for his provision of the curtailment estimates.
  2. This doesn’t include the impact of the OESP (Ontario Electricity Support Program) or spilled hydro.

Wind farms cause animosity in Ontario communities

3-MW wind turbine and house near Brinston: Ontario hasn't learned a thing. [Photo: Ray Pilon, Ottawa]
3-MW wind turbine and house near Brinston: communities “torn apart” by conflict. [Photo: Ray Pilon, Ottawa]
While the Wynne government claims to be “Building Ontario Up” the reality is different for rural communities where wind power developers offered leases to farmers, who then chose money over their neighbours and community

Farmers Forum, Eastern Ontario Edition, March 2016

TEARING US APART

Wounds not healing after wind turbines turned friends into bitter enemies

By Tom Collins

BRINSTON—Wind turbines tear apart communities and relationships, causing animosity that lingers for years, warn farmers who have lived through the ugly battles.

Don Winslow signed up almost immediately in 2013 when a wind company planned to build five turbines near Peterborough. Three months later, after immense public pressure and hostility, he couldn’t do it anymore.

“It relieved our stress tremendously [to cancel the contract],” the then-70-year-old Winslow told Farmers Forum after he cancelled his turbine. “We don’t have to sneak around the neighbours hoping not to run into them. There is always an element of society that is going to go overboard but people I respected were just as upset as the real radicals.”

There are only three wind turbine projects in Eastern Ontario – Brinston (10 turbines), Wolfe Island (86 turbines) and 5 turbines just west of Kingston, but there are more than 1,200 turbines in the province with another 1,500 on the way. The province is expected to announce new projects this month that could include another 98 turbines in Eastern and East-Central Ontario.

Most turbines are in Western Ontario where the stories are shocking.

They put their pocketbook ahead of the community

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, said Guelph-area dairy farmer Tim Martin. “There are people here that have absolute hatred for others. I have never seen anything so divisive in our community, ever, in my entire life. You try to say forgive and forget, but a lot of people say ‘We forgive them but we remember.’ They put their pocketbook ahead of our health and above the community’s well-being, and people don’t forget that.”

See an excerpt of this article here: Farmers ForumMarch2016-Tearing UsApart

To see the full article, go the FarmersForum.com next week or call 613-247-1334 to purchase a copy.

Ontario municipalities demanding no new wind power contracts now 24

wind contract banner

Huron-Kinloss and West Lincoln have joined 22 other Ontario municipalities supporting the Wainfleet Resolution; the total is now 24.

The resolution refers to the Auditor General’s 2015 report in which Bonnie Lysyk detailed the amount of money Ontario citizens have paid for renewable power in a program that never had  cost-benefit analysis. Ontarians paid twice as much for wind power as they should have, she said, with the result that Ontario consumers have seen their electricity bills skyrocket. Worse, she said, is the fact that Ontario is in a situation of surplus power generation, which means regular losses as power generators are paid to “constrain” production, and surplus power is sold off at bargain-basement process on the electricity market.

The Wainfleet Resolution asks that the province not give out any new wind power contracts; the IESO accepted bids for more than 2,000 megawatts of new wind power generation last year, and planned to let contracts for 300 megawatts of new projects, despite the surplus.

While Ontario has over 400 municipalities, only about 100 are rural/small-town communities vulnerable to wind power development. Wind power projects have also been proposed in Northern Ontario where there are no organized municipalities but “unorganized territories.”

Wind power site “poorly chosen” : Environmental Review Tribunal

Power developer admits it was unaware of degree of risk to endangered wildlife

Toronto Star, February 29, 2016

By:

John Hirsch, a board member of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, filed an appeal of the Environment Ministry’s White Pines wind turbine approval. The appeal was upheld.
John Hirsch: appellant with Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County against WPD wind project
Blessed are the small and humble, for they, it seems, shall halt wind turbines.

In the latest instalment of the epic machine vs. nature struggle being played out in Prince Edward County, environmental activists have scored another victory against construction of wind turbines they say will do serious and irreversible harm to already endangered species.  This time, in a ruling released Feb. 26, an Environmental Review Tribunal upheld an appeal against a turbine development it concluded posed serious risk to the Little Brown Bat and the Blanding’s Turtle.

Last July 16, the Ontario Environment Ministry issued an approval to White Pines Wind Inc. to install and operate a facility of 27 turbines on the pristine south shore of what locals call the County. As it happens, a man named John Hirsch was scouting property in the County at the time for he and his wife to move to after wrapping up a career in customs consulting.

Hirsch had already become a board member of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, one of the most important bird-banding stations in Canada. He suspected — even before eventually buying property in another part of the County — that the White Pines proposal would profoundly alter the south shore. He was also, owing to his career in customs administration, quite familiar with tribunals.

By July 29, Hirsch had filed an appeal — “it’s not all that complicated” — of the Environment Ministry’s White Pines approval, getting in a day ahead of the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward Country.

“It turns out a case gets named after whoever gets in first,” he told the Star on Monday. “That’s why the case is named Hirsch v Ontario.”

“We didn’t think we were going to win”

While Hirsch, 66, might have got top billing, the alliance “came to the rescue,” he said, with funding, legal representation and recruitment of expert witnesses. During November and December, Hirsch, who now works part-time at Home Depot in Belleville, sat through 21 days of hearings, after which he wasn’t terribly confident of the outcome.

“Were we expecting this? No!” he said. “We didn’t think we were going to win. We didn’t get the birds. But we got the bats!”

The tribunal dismissed appeals on the grounds of human health risks. It also rejected appeals on the threat to birds, although it did call the project site “poorly chosen from a migratory bird perspective.”

The panel upheld the appeal because of the risk of serious and irreversible harm to the Little Brown Bat and Blanding’s Turtle.  …

Read the full story here.

ToughonNature

 

North Frontenac tells Wynne government: we will appeal wind power project

Kingston Whig-Standard, February 29, 2016

By Elliot Ferguson

PLEVNA — North Frontenac Township is to appeal any large-scale wind energy project approved for the township.

Township council agreed on Friday that an appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal would be pursued if either of the large wind energy projects proposed for the area are approved.

“We just had a general discussion and I asked council that if the wind turbine decision was in favour of the proponents, are we agreed that we would appeal it based on our position paper and our decisions made back in October?” Mayor Ron Higgins said. “They all agreed yes.”

NextEra Canada has proposed two projects for North Frontenac and neighbouring Addington Highlands Township. The Ontario government is expected to announce in the coming weeks which of the almost 120 proposed energy projects would be approved. The government is seeking to add up to 565 megawatts of renewable energy to the province’s electricity supply. Of that new energy, up to 300 megawatts is to come from new wind projects, 140 megawatts of new solar power, 50 megawatts of bioenergy and 75 megawatts of hydro electricity.

The NextEra projects include the 100-megawatt, 50-turbine Northpoint I in North Frontenac and the 200-megawatt, 100-turbine Northpoint II in Addington Highlands and North Frontenac. Seven of the 100 turbines proposed for the Northpoint II project are in North Frontenac, and the township provides the shortest, most affordable route to connect the project to the transmission lines.

In early June last year, citing public opposition, North Frontenac council unanimously voted to declare the township “not a willing host” for the proposed wind energy projects. The council voted not to provide municipal support to the project. Next door, Addington Highlands council voted to support the proposal.*

Higgins said the whole process of new energy procurement has been marked by secrecy and a lack of information being shared amongst involved parties.

“There was no collaboration from a number of different ministries within the Ontario provincial government,” Higgins said. “Everything came on us without any communication or collaboration whatsoever. We were kind of taken off guard.”

Higgins said he has asked four times to meet with Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli but has received no response …

Read the full story here.

*Web editor note: Addington Highlands council did vote to support the project but that was after a poll of taxpayers was conducted, with the results that 81% of residents did NOT support the power project. Council voted to support it anyway. See www.bearat.org for more details, including FOI documents.