Amherst Island residents ask Environment Minister to revoke approval

The Amherst Island project is now materially different from what was reviewed by the Environmental Review Tribunal. Residents ask the MInister to review the situation today, and revoke approval. Photo: APAI

November 15, 2017

The Association to Protect Amherst Island has filed a formal letter of Appeal to the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Chris Ballard, reminding him that it is within his power (contrary to the wind power developer assertions) to review the current situation with regard to the Windlectric project now under construction, and revoke its approval.

In a letter dated November 14th, the Association wrote:

This is an appeal on “matters other than law”.  Accordingly, you are not bound by precedent nor by the efforts of counsel for the Approval Holder, Windlectric Inc., and counsel for the Government to limit your authority to consideration of errors or to the narrow test required at the ERT to demonstrate “serious harm to human health; or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment”.  You are wrongfully advised by counsel for the opposing parties that even Government policy and political risk are irrelevant to this matter and that you don’t even have the authority to request the Director to require a modification to the project to reflect critical changes or to impose mitigation measures which Tribunal members accepted as essential. Please do not be guided by lawyers’ efforts to limit your authority. Your mandate is much broader than the restrictive views expressed by opposing counsel in the responses to APAI’s appeal.

You are respectfully requested to do what is in the public interest: to revoke approval of the Amherst Island Wind Project.

You have a real choice.

… The Association to Protect Amherst Island respectfully requests that you exercise your authority to revoke approval for the compelling reasons set forth in our earlier submissions:

  • Enforce and respect commitments made by the Approval Holder during the ERT to mitigate potential negative impacts on the environment. The ERT decision specifically states that the Tribunal Members considered commitments made by the Approval Holder that were not included in the REA conditions when coming to their decision. However, Mr. Paul Nieweglowski, Assistant Deputy Minister MOECC, advised that the MOECC has no mandate to enforce commitments not included in the REA conditions. The project under construction is now radically different from the project considered by the ERT and in layman’s terms appears as a classic “bait and switch” described more fully in our earlier brief.

APAI outlined the risks to the environment now being seen:

  • Safeguard Amherst Island residents’ access to clean water. All Island residents rely on wells.  The potential adverse impact of the construction of 26 turbines on groundwater on a vulnerable and isolated Island and the failure of MOECC to heed the initial advice of its own expert hydrologist to implement a comprehensive groundwater monitoring requires your intervention.  In the REA conditions, the MOECC required no studies and no monitoring.  MOECC advised that no geotechnical studies have been conducted.
  • Be proactive and protect human health by consistent application of noise regulations. If the Amherst Island Wind Project were proposed today the noise regulations implemented in 2016 would require significant changes to the project.   A minimum of ten homes would be subject to noise exceeding the new standards.     Why should Amherst Island residents be subjected to noise that MOECC acknowledges exceeds today’s safety standards?  You have an opportunity to take preventative action especially important when it has become widely known that MOECC has not investigated thousands of noise complaints related to wind turbines throughout rural Ontario.
  • Save $500 million by inviting the Approval Holder to terminate its FIT contract for the unneeded 75 MW Amherst Island project across the channel from the idle 2000 MW Lennox Generating Station paid monthly curtailment fees, the soon to be idle 800 MW Napanee Gas Plant to be paid over $13 million per month to NOT generate electricity, and 115 MW Northland Power whose offer of power at 5.6 cents per kilowatt was not accepted in contrast to the 14 cents per kilowatt to be paid on Amherst Island.
  • Address the many risks described in our submission to your predecessor, the Honourable Glen Murray, which forms part of this brief: construction of a cement plant adjacent to the Island’s only school (something that would not be allowed anywhere else in Ontario), impact of construction on lands considered historic by First Nations, conflict of barge traffic with the Island ferry in winter, impact on the Owl Capital of North America and an Important Bird Area, the decimation of the bat population, loss of grazing land for sheep farmers and consequent potential end of the farm, impact on health, damage to the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Island, and the high risk to public safety and the environment.

Read the full letter on the APAI website here.

Comments

Stan Thayer
Reply

Thank you APAI for that great article.
As a Power Worker I will invite you to our site, PWU.ca, hit the menu bars and touch on the, (better energy choices), directive. Scroll to wind and solar for a short entry of how we view this situation.
Ontarians are being bullied, harassed and robbed. All with the arrangements of this Liberal government.
And I can prove that!
Stan the power man

Sommer
Reply

Yes Stan, this situation with industrial scale wind needs to be fully exposed and we need the help of engineers. Can the PWU help somehow?
As you can see the residents being harmed are at their wit’s end trying to figure out how to stop this.

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html#power-plants

Under wind or power plants

23 of the power plant projects in Ontario are currently running at or exceeding nameplate capacity…

Use this as evidence to prove MOECC is failing to protect the citizens of Ontario…..

Stan Thayer
Reply

Hey Sommer where have you been?, we have been fighting this for over ten years and the Ontario Society of Engineers too!
The government departments and their affiliates along with the Toronto ridings are enough to keep the Wynne Liberals in power. Rural Ontario has been offered up as a, (highest bidder gets it), region. We live in a democracy and the majority calls the tune we dance to.
This morning I was in the snow and ice just west of Montreal and tonight I am ony way to Deseronto because I love what I do. Noone in this government gives a damn about me or you or if the lights are out somewhere else. When asked what the people should eat as there was no bread, a well off french woman once said,” then let them eat cake”. Of course she had lots of bread and cake. Sort of like this Liberal government attitude.
We have an over educated idiot pretending to be a prime minister and an under educated idiot pretending to be a premier!
And majority rules!
The OPP know who signs their paycheques but if you can convince them to lay charges and arrest the corrupt ministry officials maybe a Crack can be opened up in halls of Queens Park!
We keep the lights on man!
Stan Thayer

Sommer
Reply

My apologies to you, Stan, if it seems that I have in any way suggested that the fact that this government has ignored the advice of our expert engineers for the past 10 years on the subject of industrial scale renewables is a minor issue.
Ignoring the advice of engineers in Ontario is a clear sign of incompetence. This might be a good time to compile and publish the efforts made by PWU to get through to this government on behalf of rural residents of Ontario whose communities have been deeply impacted already as well as the people of Amherst Island who are facing the threat.
The statement re: industrial scale wind on the PWU website is very clear. Everyone needs to see it.
Specifically, the grid instability issues that have been mentioned need to be exposed thoroughly. Is there a possibility that ‘extreme fluctuations’ might be causing health issues?

Sommer
Reply

Here’s a very recent interview done by Scott Thompson with Parker Gallant:
https://globalnews.ca/hamilton/program/scott-thompson-show
There’s no mention of the harm being caused to residents in Ontario who are being forced to live within wind power stations against their will.
When turbines are being curtailed or are stopped these people experience relief. Some describe it as euphoria. They have the safety, security and pleasure of their homes back again. Why is it taking so long to get through to ‘the powers that be’? Are we being governed by psychopaths?

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html#power-plants

Under wind or power plants

14 of the power plant projects in Ontario are currently running at or exceeding nameplate capacity…

Use this as evidence to prove MOECC is failing to protect the citizens of Ontario…..

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

http://Www.gridwatch.ca

Under wind or power plants

19 of the power plant projects in Ontario are currently running at or exceeding nameplate capacity…

Use this as evidence to prove MOECC is failing to protect the citizens of Ontario…..

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

http://Www.gridwatch.ca

Under wind or power plants

25 of the power plant projects in Ontario are currently running at or exceeding nameplate capacity…

Use this as evidence to prove MOECC is failing to protect the citizens of Ontario…..

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