Appeal dismissals mean more $$$ for Ontario ratepayers

Appeals were dismissed yesterday for two wind turbine projects meaning that they will proceed unless they are appealed to the courts. 

 
The South Kent Project approved today for Samsung/Pattern in Chatham-Kent is huge— 270 MW.  The Adelaide project approved today for Suncor in Middlesex County is  40 MW.
 
Here are the costs from these projects for Ontario electricity users:
 
                                        South Kent        Adelaide        Total
Annual Cost in $ Millions      $    92.6              13.7         $106.3
20 year Cost  in $ Millions    $1,852.0          $274.4        2,126.3
 
The annual cost for these two projects alone works out to $22.15 per household for 20 years.
 
The decision on the 270-MW K2 project appeal is expected by the end of January.  
 
This has been (another) costly week for Ontario ratepayers.

Platinum ERT decision expected today

WIND ENERGY

Decision by Environmental Review Tribunal expected Monday 158

By Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News

Tim Verbeek, an owner of Platinum Produce greenhouse, pictured on right, believes a concerted was made to get two turbines constructed, which are part of the South Kent Wind project, that his family business has an appeal over with the Environmental Review Tribunal. A decison from the ERT is expected on Monday. Diana Martin/Chatham Daily News/QMI Agency
Tim Verbeek, an owner of Platinum Produce greenhouse, pictured on right, believes a concerted was made to get two turbines constructed, which are part of the South Kent Wind project, that his family business has an appeal over with the Environmental Review Tribunal. A decison from the ERT is expected on Monday. Diana Martin/Chatham Daily News/QMI Agency 

Tim Verbeek has grown increasingly frustrated watching two wind turbines be constructed, despite the fact his family business has an appeal concerning the structures before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
A decision is expected Monday over the turbines, and Verbeek, whose family owns Platinum Produce greenhouse located south of Highway 401 on Communications Road, said it appears a concerted effort was made to get the two turbines erected before the decision is handed down.
The turbines in question are part of the South Kent Wind Project, a joint venture of Pattern Energy Group and Samsung Renewable Energy Inc.
Verbeek told The Chatham Daily News he findings it “coincidental” the two turbines that are in the appeal were built before others in the area.
However, Pattern and Samsung are well within their rights to construct the turbines, said environmental lawyer Eric Gillespie, who is representing Platinum Produce in its appeal to the ERT.
Gillespie said sometimes when an ERT appeal is launched, there is an automatic stop of the permit.
“In this case, the Ontario government decided to let them go ahead anyway, even if there is an appeal,” he added.
But this isn’t the first time the lawyer has seen this happen.
Gillespie, who represented the appellants that challenged the approval of the Kent Breeze Wind Farm near Thamesville in 2011, said Suncor Energy continued with construction of the project despite the matter being before the ERT.
“This is where many people would say there is a major disconnect between the government and the people living where these projects are moving ahead,” he said.
“The government has given an appeal right, but still allows wind companies to proceed as if there is no appeal,” Gillespie added. “That has been very difficult for many people to understand.”
The Daily News covered the Platinum Produce issue in December when Verbeek raised concerns then about construction of the turbines proceeding.
The location of the two turbines near the greenhouse was amended, because they were located inside the minimum setback of 550 metres of a bunkhouse used by workers at the greenhouse.
Pattern Energy previously told The Daily News it’s reason for proceeding with construction is it has Ministry of Environment approval to proceed on the amended layout for the project.
Platinum Produce is still objecting to the two turbines being located near the greenhouse, with one being within 240 metres. The model of turbine being used in the South Kent Wind Project can hurl chunks of ice that can buildup on the blades, up to 275 metres.

Read the entire story here.

St. Columban appeal dismissed; power project to cost Ontario millions

The appeal of the St. Columban wind power project has been dismissed, in a decision released by the Environmental Review Tribunal. The Tribunal said the appellants had failed to demonstrate any risk of serious harm to human health. The decision is here.
The 33-MW power project is being developed by Veresen Inc., and is located in the Municipality of Huron East.
The cost to the people of Ontario for this one wind power project will be $11.3 million, annually.

Dufferin Wind appeal is dismissed

DECISION
[523] The Tribunal finds that the Appellants have not established that engaging in the Project as approved will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment.
[524] The Tribunal finds that the Appellants have not established that engaging in the Project as approved will cause serious harm to human health.
[525] The Tribunal finds that the Appellants have not established, on the facts of this case, that the renewable energy approval process violated the Appellants’ right to security of the person under section 7 of the Charter.
Appeals Dismissed 
Good afternoon,
 
The decision with respect to the above noted file is issued on December 23, 2013.
 
The Tribunal will not be mailing a copy of the decision to the parties.
 
The decision will be available on the Tribunal’s website: http://www.ert.gov.on.ca

Community undaunted: Manvers community to file appeal today

Storm or no storm, wind opponents will file an appeal by Dec. 24  

Credit:  Storm or no storm, wind opponents will file an appeal by Dec. 24; Manvers Wind Concerns is leading the charge against the decision for wpd Canada to build five wind turbines | Kawartha Lakes This Week | December 23, 2013 | www.mykawartha.com ~~
Manvers Township residents opposed to a recently approved wind energy project near Bethany are determined to meet the Dec. 24 deadline to file an appeal to the Province.
Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble said there is a team in place working hard to prepare the appeal, and much of that work was already done “because the community was prepared for the possibility the project would be approved.”
Coun. Stauble said when wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge five wind turbines were approved earlier this month, the Province virtually ignored the 2,874 comments from the public opposing the project.
She said the deadline to appeal changed to Dec. 24, and the weekend’s severe ice storm that hammered the region has made filing its appeal in Toronto “challenging,” but confirmed it will be done.
The councillor added that given the number of people who submitted comments to the Province, “it would not look good at all if they don’t grant the appeal.”
Following the filing a request for an appeal, a Notice of a Preliminary Hearing date will be sent to every individual or organization who filed a comment with the Environmental Registry, Coun. Stauble said.
“Any individual or organization may then apply for status as a party, participant or presenter at the environmental tribunal anytime up to four days before the preliminary hearing date.”
In an email sent to her constituents, Coun. Stauble advised residents who live in the area and any individuals or organizations who have an interest can express their concerns at the tribunal. A lawyer is not necessary for this process.
She said there is no guarantee the group — headed by Manvers Wind Concerns — will win the appeal, but remains hopeful the multi-million dollar Cham Shan Buddhist Temple planned for the City may carry some weight.
The four temples, one in Cavan-Monaghan (almost completed) and three more planned in the City, is overseen by the Buddhist Association of Canada and represents a meditational pilgrimage that mirrors the same in China.
Coun. Stauble, noting the project could represent an investment of up to $100 million and is in jeopardy, as the Buddhists feel the wind turbines would have a negative impact on a temple promoting peaceful meditation.
“They have made it clear they will not build the remaining three temples” if the wind project goes forward, she said.
Coun. Stauble recalled a recent meeting with Minister Bob Chiarelli, also attended by local MPP Laurie Scott “where we were told there would be more discussion” before wind projects for the City were approved. Pointing to current legislation protecting the environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, Coun. Stauble said by approving wind energy projects, the Province “is overriding its own legislation.”
She added this will be “a Christmas [the community] will never forget.”
For those who would like to know more about the legal Appeal or would like to make a financial contribution, contact manverswindconcern@gmail.com or visit http://manverswindconcerns.wordpress.com.

Source:  Storm or no storm, wind opponents will file an appeal by Dec. 24; Manvers Wind Concerns is leading the charge against the decision for wpd Canada to build five wind turbines | Kawartha Lakes This Week | December 23, 2013 | www.mykawartha.com

Goulais bay appeal concludes; Ontario awaits ruling

The appeal of one of two wind power projects in Ontario’s Algoma region has concluded; a ruling may not come down for months.

Appeal completed; ruling could take months

By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star

(QMI Agency file photo)
(QMI Agency file photo)
  • A decision into the appeal of the Goulais Wind Farm project may not be rendered until mid April.

An Environmental Review Tribunal heard arguments for more than two days earlier this week from opponents who don’t want to see a wind farm created in Goulais.
The appeal was filed by Heyden resident Doug Moseley with the assistance of Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) and the law offices of Eric Gillespie. The appeal was also supported by the Save Our Algoma Region (SOAR) groups.
In October, it was announced that the Goulais Wind Farm project had been approved by the provincial government.
The decision, posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry, said the renewable energy approval has been issued to SP Development Limited Partnership to engage in a renewable energy project for a Class 4 wind facility that will have a total capacity of 25 MW.
The 11-wind turbine facility must be built and operational within three years.
But opponents argued that the industrial wind turbines are harmful to human health and disruptive and destructive to the natural environment and wildlife habitat.
They also argued that the wind turbines contribute to the rising cost of electricity and are totally unnecessary to produce clean energy in Ontario.
Involved parties will file their final written submissions to the tribunal by Jan. 20 and a decision on the appeal is expected to be made before April 22.

Read the full story here.

Health effects the focus of Armow ERT

Here from Bayshore Broadcasting, a report on the first official day of the Armow Environmental Review Tribunal hearing. The audio clip is of engineer William Palmer.

Health Effects at Wind Turbine Tribunal

Friday, December 20, 2013 7:00 AM by John Divinski
Hearings into an appeal against a wind project, centred on medical testimony

There is audio for this story.

MP3 - click to open

click to open MP3 version
or click the play button to listen now.

(Kincardine ) – Much of the first day of hearings by the Environmental Review Tribunal into an appeal against the Armow Wind Project in the Kincardine region centred on qualifications of a presenter and whether or not anecdotal medical testimony would be allowed without formal medical diagnosis.
Retired engineer Bill Palmer was the subject of questioning by counsel for the Director, Ministry of the Environment, Danielle Meuleman and counsel for the Approval Holder, Samsung Pattern, Sarah Powell and appellant counsel Asha James.
Palmer says after the submissions from the three parties, the tribunal reserved judgement as to whether or not Palmer can testify as an expert.
The MOE and Samsung Pattern have concerns in that area.
Palmer says he’s asked to be qualified as a professional engineer to testify about the public safety and acoustic issues that will relate to the Armow project.
Earlier in the day, the tribunal dismissed any effort to exclude medical evidence that wasn’t backed up by formal medical diagnosis.
ERT Chair Marcia Valiante said witnesses could testify to personal health effects and symptoms but they could not draw conclusions from those events.
Appellate lawyer Asha James says she believes the tribunals decision is the correct one.
The hearings come as a result of an appeal by Ken and Sharon Kroeplin who charge the Armow wind project could be a major threat to their health.
The Kroeplins say one of the more than 90 turbines to be constructed will be within 600 metres of their home.
The hearings are continuing today and an additional three weeks have been set aside in January, beginning on the 6th.
The Armow Wind project was approved by the province in October.

Environmental Review Tribunal issues stay against turbine construction near Wainfleet

The Environmental and Lands Review Tribunal has issued a stay against the construction of two industrial-scale wind turbines near Wainfleet, Ontario.

Precedent setting decision stops wind turbine construction

TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2013 /CNW/ – The Environmental Review Tribunal of Ontario has ordered a stay preventing the construction of two industrial wind turbines in Wainfleet, Ontario.
The motion, decided by Executive Chair Lynda Tanaka who oversees the ERT, OMB and three other tribunals, temporarily stops the construction of two turbine towers during the appeal of the Ministry of the Environment’s approval of the project. The Appellants, Skydive Burnaby Inc. and the company’s co-owner Mikel Pitt, argue the turbines are too close to their skydiving school.
“We’re so relieved,” said Pitt, “This project is a real threat to our business and the Tribunal appears to have recognized that at this early stage.”
The Appellants’ lawyer, Eric Gillespie, has argued a number of Industrial Wind Turbine appeals in Ontario.  Gillespie said, “this is a precedent setting decision, it’s the first time a stay has been ordered during a Renewable Energy Approval appeal. We’re very pleased for our clients.”
Gillespie’s associate, lawyer Ian Flett remarked, “the Tribunal gave all the parties a fair opportunity to make our cases, we’re happy with the result”.
The hearing of the main appeal is scheduled to begin January 6, 2014 in Wainfleet, Ontario.
SOURCE Eric K. Gillespie Professional Corporation

For further information: Ian Flett at 416-703-7034 or iflett@gillespielaw.ca

Goulais wind project appealed


October 22, 2013
For Immediate Release:

“A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to SP Development Limited Partnership to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of 11 wind turbines, with a total name plate capacity of 25 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Great Lakes Power’s distribution system.

This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Goulais Wind Farm, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as power lines. The wind facility is located in the Unorganized Townships of Pennefather and Aweres, Algoma County. (http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTE5MDI5&statusId=MTgwNzEz&language=en)”
Appellant, Doug Moseley, Heyden Ontario, with the assistance of Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) and the law offices of Eric Gillespie, has requested a hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal  (ERT) into the approval granted by the Ministry of the Environment to the Goulais Wind Project and posted October 4, 2013 on the Environmental Registry website following a 45-day Public Comment Period.
Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR) fully supports Mr. Moseley’s appeal.
Both LSARC and SOAR oppose industrial wind development in Algoma and elsewhere in Ontario on the grounds that industrial wind turbines:

  • ·         Are harmful to human health
  • ·         Are disruptive and destructive to the natural environment and wild life habitat
  • ·         Contribute to the rising cost of electricity 
  • ·         Are totally unnecessary to produce clean energy in Ontario.

Further, both groups have objected to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process which through the Green Energy, Green Economy Act, 2009:

  • ·         removes the authority to approve industrial wind projects from local governance
  • ·         supersedes Environmental Protection Acts
  • ·         empowers wind developers to control public information sessions and consultation opportunities.

Citizens wishing assistance to participate in the appeal of the Goulais Wind Project may contact:
George Bowne, Co-Chair, LSARC at:
Email:             action@lsarc.ca
Telephone:      (705) 542-3482
Skype:             LSARC1
Submitted by:
Gillan Richards, Executive Member
Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR)
150 Churchill Blvd.
P.O. Box 20052
Sault Ste. Marie, ON  P6A 6W3

 

“Activists” shut down Middlesex ERT hearing

An update on the Adelaide appeal at the Environmental Review Tribunal, held in London this morning, from the London Free Press.

London hearing on health effects of wind turbines shut down due to activists 36

By Debora Van Brenk, The London Free Press

It was a turbulent beginning to a hearing about the impact of turbines on human and environmental health, as the adjudicator shut down the process after only a few minutes.
As two protesters refused to turn off their video equipment, hearing chairperson Dirk VanderBent warned they must comply or he would have to adjourn the hearing.
They didn’t; he did.
At issue are 37 turbines wind energy giant NextEra Canada plans to build in Adelaide-Metcalfe, west of Strathroy.
The Environmental Review Tribunal, VanderBent said, is to hear and adjudicate whether the Adelaide wind farm would cause serious harm to human health or serious, irreversible harm to the environment.
Anti-wind activist Esther Wrightman was set to argue that the turbines would pose unacceptable health risks and should be scrapped.
Sitting in the gallery were about 30 other wind opponents, many of them holding signs.
As the hearing at the Middlesex County buidling started Tuesday morning, Wrightman asked that cameras be allowed in the room to accommodate a person with a learning disability.
That was denied, except for VanderBent’s opening statement, after which he asked that all cameras be turned off.
One person continued to record with her iPad and another with her camera.
Exasperated, VanderBent adjourned until the afternoon.
Marcelle Brooks, who continued recording with her iPad until lawyers for NextEra and the provincial Environment Ministry had left the room, said she has no plans to comply. “The people in Ontario have a right to see what goes on in these tribunals…People need to see.”
Her frustration escalated as she learned that several of the witnesses she had planned to call — including Skype (video phone via the Internet) testimony from an Australian doctor and a property appraiser from Chicago — would not be allowed as witnesses.
With nine of her 11 witnesses barred from testifying, or whose testimony would be severely restricted, “It’s dead. This hearing is dead,” she said as she pondered her next steps.