September 24, 2015
This Open Letter was sent to the Ontario government by Mark Duchamp, president of Save The Eagles International, and was published in today’s Financial Post.
On of our members, the Association to Protect Amherst Island, has advised us of the approval of a wind project that will cause a 25-year running massacre of protected wildlife.
Amherst Island, as you know, is an internationally important migration stopover fro Monarch butterflies and many threatened bird and bat species. It is also a famous wintering area for 11 species of owls, all of which are protected by law, and all of which are particularly in danger where wind turbines happen to be erected.
Words fail us to express our dismay at this abominable decision, which relies on an environmental impact study (EIS) authored by a consultant hired by the promoter. Experience shows that such studies are so biased as to be worthless. The Wolfe Island wind farm proves the point: its EIS (written by the same consultant Stantec Inc., did not predict the turbines would be killing so many birds and bats, including eagles, ospreys, and dozens of other protected species. They will keep doing it for another 20 years, in numbers at least ten times higher than the official figures, taking a high toll on the protected wildlife of Ontario, Quebec, the United States and Mexico, a toll which is all the more unsustainable when considered cumulatively with other wind farms.
Amherst and Wolfe Islands are only separated by 8 km of water. In the highly developed industrial and commercial development along the shores of Lake Ontario, they stand as largely preserved natural habitats. They are essential to the survival of increasingly endangered migrating species, which need staging posts along their way.
Wind turbines produce intermittent energy, which independent engineers denounce as useless for a modern economy, and immensely costly to boot. This makes the crime of destroying rare wildlife, ruining natural areas as well as the life of wind farm neighbours, a particularly odious one.
What is most remarkable about the approval of the Amherst Island wind scam, is the cynicism it reflects. The Ontario government obviously doesn’t mind about the slaughter of protected eagles, ospreys and other species that is occurring year after year on Wolfe Island: it is willing to repeat the same mistake on Amherst.
Let the record show that we have condemned the political decision to convert Amherst Island into a population sink for owls, ospreys, eagles and other rare birds, rapidly declining populations of bats, and Monarch butterflies.
In a surprise and almost last minute move, the Environmental Review Tribunal announced this afternoon that the hearings scheduled for tomorrow and the rest of the week on the appeal of the Ostrander Point wind power project, have been postponed until the end of October.
The hearings were adjourned abruptly following testimony from Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at-risk species expert Joe Crowley, that he had recommended a permit NOT be granted for the power project due to danger to the Blanding turtle, and other wildlife.
This statement comes from the appellant, the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists:
PECFN’s lawyer Eric Gillespie said that it is a big step forward in learning what the MNR experts thought about the development of this site. He has been able to read some of Joe Crowley’s documents which show the degree to which the habitat of several Species at Risk was discussed. There are many more documents to read. He has also requested disclosure from Gilead Power.
“PECFN is disappointed at yet another adjournment”, said Myrna Wood, President, “in our ongoing fight to protect the PEC South Shore. However, we feel that we are beginning to get to the bottom of why and how this important natural site was threatened with destruction. We welcome full disclosure no matter how long it takes.
For more information or to help with legal fees, please visit www.saveostranderpoint.org
The appeal of the Ostrander Point wind power project approval resumes tomorrow in Demorestville at 10 a.m. The hearings halted abruptly several weeks ago, when at-risk species expert Joe Crowley testified that it was his opinion a permit not be granted for the project due to the danger to the Blandings turtle.
When the Environmental Review Tribunal resumes tomorrow, it will be expecting a response to its direction to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to produce documentation on the permit process and Mr Crowley’s recommendation. The Ministry has already telegraphed to the media that its process is “nuanced” and approvals are not based on the opinion of just one staff member.
The appeal will be heard September 23-25 in Demorestville at the community hall. The appellant is the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists who are in need of funding to cover legal costs for this multi-year fight. For more information go to www.saveostranderpoint.org
For more information on efforts to protect the entire area of Prince Edward County, go to Point2Point Foundation here.
This report is fascinating; it confirms that ideology and profit–not science–may be driving energy and environment policy. In Ontario, we have the resumption of the Ostrander Point appeal tomorrow where a wildlife expert’s recommendation to NOT build a wind power plant because of the danger to wildlife was over-ruled by the government actively pursuing an environmental ideology.
Forbes.com September 18, 2015
The Energy & Environmental Legal Institute is a D.C.-based advocacy group dedicated to “free market environmentalism through strategic litigation.”
Recently, E&E has been examining environmental policy by searching public records and filing FOIA requests with state and federal agencies, and then tenaciously litigating over the resulting efforts at obfuscation. The strategy requires patience, given government’s endless capacity for stalling and mendacity, but it is producing results, and E&E has issued a series of reports (listed at the end of this post).
The tale told is appalling. The demarcation between the EPA and the major environmental groups is blurred to the point of non-existence. The revolving door spins like a top, and the meetings, memoranda, and plotting are continuous, with NGO staff acting as de facto agency staff, and vice versa.