Collingwood wind turbines will be ‘very dangerous’ for pilots, safety expert testifies

An aviation safety expert was “grilled” by lawyers for the Ontario government and the wind power developer. He maintains that the planned Fairview Wind power project represents a clear danger to airport operations and pilots.

Bayshore Broadcasting, June 2, 2016

Small plane landing at Chatham-Kent airport; several turbines were disallowed due to threat to safety
Small plane landing at Chatham-Kent airport; several turbines were disallowed due to threat to safety

Wind Turbine Opponent Grilled

Thursday, June 2, 2016 7:29 AM by Ken Hashizume
Charles Cormier says Mega Turbines simply too close to Collingwood airport.
(Collingwood) –  An aviation consultant returned to the stand at the Environmental Review Tribunal in Collingwood today.

Lawyers for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and WPD Canada cross-examined Charles Cormier, who was retained by the municipalities fighting mega wind turbines.

Charles Cormier testified that the turbines planned at the Stayner-Clearview field will be very dangerous to normal flight operations.

He said with pilot multi tasking all the time, a catastrophe is likely with the turbines so close to the approach to the runway.

Cormier said if the turbine is built in the approved location, the start point for approaches at the facility would have to move 4-thousand feet, well beyond the existing property boundaries.

Citing studies that blade turbulence from the turbines can extend out 15 diameters of the rotors, Cormier said the entire aerodrome would exhibit severe potential for aircraft accidents.

Lawyers representing the turbine developers have argued that planes can make their landing approaches from a higher altitude to avoid the turbines.

But Cormier told the hearing he designs approaches to bring planes in as low as possible to inspect the runway for vehicles and wildlife.

When obstacles are placed in the way, the only alternative is to make the approaches higher.

But, at 1000-feet, Cormier said, an aircraft may still be in cloud and unable to see what’s coming.

Cormier said there is not enough land available to mitigate the problem, so the investment in the aerodrome would be lost.

Both counsellors suggested that Transport Canada letters on the subject said safety concerns could be addressed by lighting the turbines.
But Cormier said the turbines are simply too close.

He cited Chatham-Kent were 19 turbines were cancelled because they presented obstacles to the airport. In that case they were planned at 1 to 1.3 miles from the flight path.

At Stayner-Clearview they would only be .4 of a mile away.

Read the full story here.

Wind farm location near Collingwood airport “unwise” says aviation safety expert

Safety expert says wind power developer’s comparison to Pincher Creek Alberta “not valid”—turbines there are half the size proposed for Collingwood area

Collingwood Regional Airport

Simcoe.com, May 31, 2016

An aviation safety expert says the location of wind turbines as proposed by WPD Canada would be “unwise.”

Charles Cormier also told an Environmental review Tribunal hearing on an appeal of the province’s approval of a renewable energy application (REA) for the Fairview Wind project that the eight turbines could have a negative impact on growth at the Collingwood Regional Airport.

Collingwood, Clearview Township and Simcoe County have joined Kevin Elwood, Preserve Clearview, and John Wiggins in appealing the approval by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

“It’s a growing airport, a very busy airport,” Cormier told the tribunal during four hours of testimony.

Cormier has reviewed the turbine issue several times on behalf of the Collingwood Regional Airport, and rebutted the opinion of experts hired by WPD Canada that the turbines would have a negligible effect on aircraft movements.

Read the full news report here.

 

Appeal begins in Collingwood as record six appellants object to wind farm

Three municipal governments are among the appellants fighting the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and wind power developer, Germany-based wpd Canada. At issue, aviation safety and the economic survival of Collingwood (the latter not allowed as basis for an appeal.)

Hearing begins in Collingwood this morning: already a shambles
Hearing begins in Collingwood this morning: already a shambles

May 16, 2016

Six tables of lawyers make up the front of the room as the appeal against the Fairview Wind power project begins in Collingwood, Ontario. The Environmental Tribunal members for this appeal are Dirk Vanderbent and Hugh Wilkins.

Already there are problems as both the Ministry of the Environment and the power developer have missed deadline for their evidence submissions related to aviation safety issues.

The power developer is claiming it cannot force the federal government to provide information for this appeal.

More details when available.

Hearings are scheduled for May 16, then 18-20, at the Collingwood Curling Club.

Wind farm appeal decisions could take months

Citizens’ groups say onus is on developers to prove no harm; legislation constructed otherwise

Blackburn News, April 26, 2016

Appeal Ruling Months Away

Anti-wind turbine groups are patiently awaiting a ruling by the Ontario Divisional Court on Suncor and Nextera’s Cedar Point Wind Power Project.

Last week, court heard an appeal on the approval of 46 turbines in Plympton-Wyoming. That ruling could take upwards of a few months to be handed down.

The approval of the project was initially granted by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and upheld by the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).

Anti-turbine groups argued the developers didn’t provide evidence to the ERT that the turbines would not cause adverse health effects.

The turbine groups say the onus should be on residents to prove they will be harmed.

It’s too early to tell what impacts a successful appeal would have.

In the future, he says it would be beneficial for the government to engage in an inclusive discussion with community members before any projects are approved.

Does the Environmental Review Tribunal really understand “habitat”?

Massive clearing of vegetation in Prince Edward County wetland area prior to a stay motion being granted.
Massive clearing of vegetation in Prince Edward County wetland area prior to a stay motion being granted. Photo courtesy APPEC.

Statement from the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) after the Environmental Review Tribunal decision yesterday, April 25.

Today the Environmental Review Tribunal issued a decision on APPEC’s motion for a stay on WPD’s proposed White Pines Wind Project.  The Tribunal has upheld APPEC’s motion in part, finding that vegetation clearing will cause irreparable harm to the Blanding’s turtle.  According to the Tribunal: “the Approval Holder’s vegetation clearing and site preparation activities in spring foraging habitat in the specific locations proposed for work in the Spring of 2016 will cause irreparable harm to Blanding’s turtles.”

While the Tribunal has put a stop to vegetation-clearing in the spring foraging habitat of these turtles it is silent with respect to the potential destruction of other types of habitat that are also critical to Blanding’s turtles, including their over-wintering habitat and oviposition habitat.  The decision does not bode well for these turtle which as we know use many types of habitats across the White Pines project site and depend on all of them for their survival.

For this reason we are disappointed.  We can only conclude that the Tribunal has an incomplete understanding of “significant habitat” and the importance of protecting all significant habitat, not merely one specific type.

The board is discussing the implications of the decision with our legal counsel and giving careful consideration to next steps.  More information will follow.

Regards,
Orville Walsh
President, APPEC

– See more including a link to the ERT decision at: http://savethesouthshore.org/ert-decides-in-favour-of-appecs-stay-motion-some-reservations-statement-by-orville-walsh/#sthash.K9g05Vu6.dpuf

 

Settlers Landing wind project back to judicial tribunal next week for “remedy” hearing

“Serious and irreversible harm” risk found for Capstone Infrastructure power venture

Kawartha Lakes This Week

April 21, 2016

By Mary Riley

MANVERS TWP – Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble provided an update on the status of three industrial wind turbine projects proposed in Manvers Township.

Coun. Stauble emailed This Week, noting the fight continues to try and block the projects, which have met fierce opposition from residents in Bethany and Pontypool, especially since several of the turbines will be built on the provincially-protected Oak Ridges Moraine.

Residents and community groups have fought for several years, mounting legal challenges alleging the turbines can cause significant harm to water, wildlife, the environment and human health.

RELATED: Opponents Of Wind Turbines Launch GoFundMe Campaign To Help With Legal Costs

Here is where each project currently stands:

– Sumac Ridge (wpd Canada) on Ballyduff Road:

In spite of efforts to protect this area on the Oak Ridges Moraine, the City was ordered by the Divisional Court (court file 37/15) to provide access and issue permits to the site. The City appealed to the Court of Appeal and will be heard in early May. However, in the meantime,  the developer has the legal authority to clear the road allowance.

wpd Canada has notified the City that it intends to start clearing trees along Wild Turkey Road, starting on Saturday, April 23.

Take pictures before it’s gone forever–Councillor Stauble

Coun. Stauble wrote, “For those of you who have enjoyed the peace and quiet of Wild Turkey Road, go and take one more walk and lots of pictures before it is gone forever.”

Capstone Infrastructure has provincial approval for two wind farms in the area.

– Settlers Landing (Pontypool)

The Environmental Review Tribunal adjourned after the Tribunal did find there would be “serious and irreversible harm.” The wind company now has an opportunity to present a “remedy” to the Tribunal.

Settlers Landing is one of only two projects where the ERT did find serious and irreversible harm.

The ERT Hearing on Settlers Landing will take place at the Pontypool Community Centre on Monday, April 25 at 11 a.m.; Tuesday, April 26 at 9 a.m.; Wednesday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, April 28, at 9 a.m.

Snowy Ridge (North side of Hwy 7A – east of Hwy 35):

Capstone has given a Notice that it needs to change its REA for Snowy Ridge to increase the construction and lay down areas, re-route roads and distribution system.

Donations to help with the legal challenges are appreciated. For info re Settlers Landing – Dave Bridges at dbridges@1-zoom.net. For Snowy Ridge contact Ron Awde, rawde@sympatico.ca or Manvers Wind Concerns: www.gofundme.com/gzpxr22k.

Read the full story here.

Grey Highlands wind farm appeal begins in London

Onus of proof that there is no harm should be on the wind power developers, say appellants

London courtroom moments before the appeal began at 10 a.m., April 19th: seeking fairness
London courtroom moments before the appeal began at 10 a.m., April 19th: seeking fairness

News release from Grey Highlands Wind Concerns

WIND TURBINES NEVER PROVEN SAFE!

Municipality of Grey Highlands, April 18, 2016 – Lawyers for Gary Fohr will appear before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in London on Tuesday April 19, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. to argue an appeal of the Environmental Review Tribunal’s decision to affirm the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change’s decision to approve the Grey Highlands Clean Energy industrial wind turbine project in the Municipality.

Mr. Fohr is a resident of the Municipality of Grey Highlands and a member of the local advocacy group, Grey Highland Wind Concerns (GHWC). Falconers LLP of Toronto is representing Mr. Fohr.

GHWC’s appeal is based on the assertion that the Environmental Review Tribunal made an error in law that misinterpreted an earlier Superior court ruling. The Superior court ruling stated that the Tribunal must follow its statutory mandate and make a positive determination that a wind turbine project will not cause relevant harm prior to confirming the approval of the project. The Tribunal found that there is presently no scientific basis to prove that industrial wind turbine installations are safe for Ontario residents.

“The expert witnesses who testified at the ERT for the government and the wind company agreed under cross examination that there are no long term peer reviewed studies to prove that wind turbines are safe for citizens of Ontario living in the vicinity of the wind projects.” said Gary Fohr, the appellant in this appeal as well as the original ERT appeal.

Mr. Fohr is the president of the Brewster Lake Home Owner’s Association and a member of GHWC. “The Ontario government requires citizens to prove that wind turbines are harmful to human health and/or the environment yet the big wind companies and the Ministry are incapable of proving the safety of large industrial wind turbines for people or the environment. For example, drug companies are required to prove the safety of their products before releasing them to the public, yet the Ontario government does not hold the wind industry accountable for the safety of industrial turbines,” said Mr. Fohr.

Doug Dingeldein, a spokesperson for GHWC, agreed. “To date, the onus has been on citizens to provide proof of harm to human health and/or the environment. That’s an almost impossible hurdle for any citizen to overcome. We know from lots of anecdotal evidence that people are being harmed. If a Superior Court decision shifts the onus to establish safety onto the wind companies, then perhaps there will finally be some relief for embattled citizens and municipalities,” Mr. Dingeldein said.

The nine-turbine project will be located less than one kilometer from the community of Brewster Lake in the Municipality of Grey Highlands. The 130 residents in the community are concerned that the turbines will cause the same negative health impacts already experienced by citizens in other Ontario communities who live near industrial wind turbines.

Grey Highlands Wind Concerns

See related story here.

Plympton-Wyoming in court next week: prove wind turbines NOT harmful to health

Plympton-Wyoming citizens head to court next week

*Note change of date; venue remains the same

Tuesday, April 19th, 10:00 a.m.

Divisional Court, London, Ontario

Courthouse Address: 80 Dundas St. London, ON

Parking Address: 100 Queens Ave, London, ON

Your attendance is encouraged and appreciated.

 

Legal Summary:

In December 2014, The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (higher Court) in a ruling indicated that the Environmental Review Tribunal is required to engage in a two step analysis on appeals of wind turbine projects. While an Appellant is required to show that the project will cause harm (step 1), the Tribunal must also be satisfied that the project will NOT CAUSE harm (step 2).

Recent evidence that came out of the appeal of Gary Fohr showed that while the scientific evidence has been unable to conclusively demonstrate harm, the experts for the wind company and the government agreed that there is NO SCIENTIFIC DATA available to demonstrate that wind turbines do NOT CAUSE harm. The Fohr appeal has been joined with our appeal.  We, as well as the court, will have the benefit of the Fohr evidence at our appeal.

—————

The provincial government has recently approved more industrial wind projects into Ontario communities who were unwilling hosts.  More projects are slated for 2017.  On Monday, we have an opportunity to make a difference.

We appreciate your support, your attendance and your financial contributions. 

Your donations can be made:

  1. Online using Paypal or Credit Card www.wait-pw.ca
  2. Cheque made to WAIT-PW and mail to P.O. Box 219 Plympton-Wyoming, ON, N0N 1TO
  3. Deposit directly with Southwest Credit Union in Wyoming or Sarnia, ON

New evidence submitted in Prince Edward County on endangered turtles

The Environmental Review Tribunal accepted new evidence of harm to the natural environment in the form of aerial photos and a statement from a turtle expert

Hang on turtles! Somebody cares (not the Ministry of the Environment)
Hang on turtles! Somebody cares (not the Ministry of the Environment)

 

Save The South Shore, April 8, 2016

Late this afternoon the Environmental Review Tribunal granted a temporary stay of WPD’s Renewable Energy Approval (REA).  As a result of the stay all construction work at the project site has been brought to a halt.  The Tribunal will schedule a written hearing at a later date to decide on the merits of a more permanent stay.

This long-awaited decision is the outcome of a tremendous effort by Eric Gillespie and Priya Vittal, who have worked tirelessly around the clock since Wednesday when the Tribunal issued its reasons related to our previous stay motion.

In giving its reasons the Tribunal indicated that a further motion could be brought to the Tribunal should new evidence become available.  Thanks to the efforts of many individuals and above all our legal counsel, this new evidence was submitted this morning in the form of photographs showing the level of destruction, an affidavit from a Blanding’s turtle expert that turtles are out of hibernation and moving across the project, and letters from local and national groups including the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

We have many to thank for this welcome news including those who attended the Court of Appeal hearing in Toronto on Wednesday.  The concern and public engagement left an impression which may have reached out past the courtroom.

The good news is that WPD has been ordered to stop all construction at its project site.

In the meantime however our legal bills are growing.

Donations can be made by cheque or by PayPal on APPEC’s website www.appec.ca.  Please make cheques payable to the South Shore Appeal Fund and mail to the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, P. O. Box 173, Milford, ON K0K 2P0.

Regards,
Orville Walsh
President, APPEC

– See more at: http://savethesouthshore.org/details-regarding-the-stay-statement-by-orville-walsh/#sthash.tWBt30B7.IpiXaqVk.dpuf

 

Motion for stay in White Pines wind farm granted by ERT

Devastation in Prince Edward County as power developer proceeded with unauthorized construction activity this week[Photo: APPEC]
Devastation in Prince Edward County as power developer proceeded with unauthorized construction activity this week[Photo: APPEC]
April 8, 2016, 5:45 PM

Just a few moments ago, the Environmental Review Tribunal released its decision in the matter of a motion for a stay of construction activities by power developer WPD Canada.

The decision is as follows:

“The Tribunal grants APPEC’s motion for an interim stay of the REA until the resolution of APPEC’s motion for a stay, with reasons to follow.”

The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) will have a statement soon.