Wind farm will cause serious irreversible harm to wildlife, Tribunal finds

South Shore of Prince Edward County: [Photo Court Noxon, courtesy Point To Point Foundation]
South Shore of Prince Edward County: [Photo Court Noxon, courtesy Point To Point Foundation]
The decision on the appeal of the White Pines wind power project in Prince Edward County was released yesterday: the Environmental Review Tribunal found for the appellant and the environment (in part), in that serious and irreversible harm would result to the endangered Blandings turtle and the little brown bat. The Tribunal also noted risk to migratory birds.

This is a victory for a very hard-fought battle as members of this community fought to save the environment from Ontario’s own Ministry of the Environment.

See the decision in various formats here.

Statement from Orville Walsh, president of the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County:

We are pleased to announce that APPEC’s appeal of wpd’s White Pines Wind Project has been upheld in part.  The Tribunal has found that the White Pines project will cause serious and irreversible harm to Little Brown Bats and to the Blanding’s turtle.   
 
The Tribunal did not find serious and irreversible harm to human health, to hydrology or to migratory birds. However in regards to the latter the Tribunal did note that this wind project presents a significant risk of serious harm to migrating birds and that the project site was poorly chosen from a migratory bird perspective.
We are cautiously elated!  The Tribunal acknowledges that engaging in this wind project in accordance with the REA (Renewable Energy Approval) will cause serious and irreversible harm to animal life.  Therefore wpd no longer has an REA to stand behind.  
 
The ERT has ordered a hearing of submissions with respect to potential remedies. 
 
The board will be studying the decision over the weekend and following consultation with our legal counsel Eric Gillespie, will have more information to give you next week. 
 
Orville Walsh
President, APPEC
Please go to the Save the South Shore website for information on how to donate toward the legal costs of this fight for the environment. The work done by the community groups in Prince Edward County, Eric K. Gillespie’s legal team, and the witness statements benefit everyone in Ontario.
ToughonNature

Comments

Mike Jankowski
Reply

Once again, human health takes a back seat. Good on you all for your hard work. I sincerely hope a couple bat-houses and a recreation club for Turtles don’t overturn this.

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

The concern over wildlife is not exclusive to the concerns about health; everything is important, and every step is forward.

Mike Jankowski
Reply

Please do not read the three sentences as connected. Read them as separate thoughts. I agree with you and believe that obvious.

Pat Cusack
Reply

One wonders exactly how qualified those people who govern our lives actually are.

Tom
Reply

Not very – many of them are scary.

Lili
Reply

Once again, a human is in mocking mode simply because an outcome doesn’t reflect their personal priority. I think it’s disgraceful, disengenuine and downright ignorant.

Mike Jankowski
Reply

Many people, including myself are subjected to noise emissions, audible and inaudible bearing specific tonality which has caused us a range of health issues. I personally have brought these to the attention of our leadership and standards responsible along with observations and supportive science and while we do get some admissions that they see the science changing, the protections (which are seriously lacking) haven’t changed in years, no one is investigating our reports, no one is actually measuring the noise (audible and inaudible) over scientifically significant durations, no one is measuring where we live – inside our homes, despite multiple scientific professionals stating multiple reasons conditions can be worse inside a home than outside. I drove industrial trucks for 7 years, did not miss a single shift in thirteen, yet the impacts from large wind turbines left me unable to drive for months. (Single income family.) I am not old, I exercise at least 3 times/week and none of this happened to me prior the large wind turbines operating and inciting a subtle “WHOOM-WHOOM-WHOOM” noise in the concrete, furniture, bodies and walls.

I realize this might not influence your personal priorities, but as health of my family and that of my fellow persons is a priority for myself and many here, I hope you can see your way to excusing some negative feelings toward our current government which is beyond failing in its mandate to protect the health and wellness of its people with this.

Brenda Dunn
Reply

after 23 years with low thyroid, taking the same dose of pills and never a problem that whoomp whoomp that makes your house seem to have it’s own heart beat has destroyed my sleep patterns and the stress has cause my thyroid to now become hyperthyroid. MY specialist totally agrees, stress cause an auto-immune disease to get worse This is a horrible change, the medication has many side effects but not treating it could cause a heart attack or a stroke. Every part of your body is affected by your thyroid, my health will never be the same again

Lili
Reply

Fire away at the government, I’m in total agreement that they are responsible for your health issues. But, that’s not what you did. You never mentioned government when you mocked the fight to protect turtles and bats. It was a clear put-down of APPEC and it was childish. Don’t blame the turtles because your fellow human beings in the government don’t give a didley squat what happens to you! Someone has to speak up for those creatures that have no voice and protect the environment we live in. As far as I can see, no one has mocked you or put you down for standing up for human rights so please, afford the rest of us the same courtesy. I am very sympathetic towards your health issues. That is what these appeals are all about isn’t it? The win to deny the construction of wind turbines in a turtle and bat habitat can only help other human beings to escape the torture that you complain about. Even if you don’t give two hoots about turtles and bats, be charitable and give the rest of us a break. Give thanks that some humans may escape your suffering because of this hard fought win.

Mike Jankowski
Reply

Lili and all; I am very sorry I stated this in a way it could be comprehended in such a way.

I deeply respect our environment and it’s occupants of all stripes. I also respect the principles and the firm commitment demonstrated by APPEC in achieving this tremendously impactful milestone. I know every aspect of gain impacts the other and it is all good and hard fought.

Here is what I thought I had communicated:
1. I congratulated APPEC for its hard work.
2. My disappointment is in the fact despite your team having solid representation, that the serious harm to health aspect was not successful.
3. My comment about bat houses and recreation clubs for Turtles was not in ANY way intended to trivialize the issues or your team’s efforts – it is rather an expression of a lack of confidence in the MoE and it’s processes and perhaps speculation that the proponent can with minimal effort somehow succeed in remediation.

Perhaps it is time for me to migrate back to where I came from – out of public view.

I am sorry for any distress my comment may have caused. It was not my intent. Good speed to yourselves and teams.

Barbara

Don’t disappear Mike, people are just tired and some very disappointed and everyone is needed.

Sommer

Mike, your voice and your courage is needed in Ontario. I wish there were many more people like you right now doing this work on behalf of absolutely innocent people who are being exposed to noise and infrasound radiation. I wish there were people who are not being directly impacted standing up out of compassion and saying “This is wrong!”
When I first saw a comment on twitter from you about your instinct to protect your family, I was so impressed with you! We become ferocious when we’re protecting our loved ones because the health effects are downright frightening…to say the least.
The anger that we feel is difficult to manage, especially when we have Ministers of Health at both a provincial and federal level who are responsible for this and yet impossible to reach. People are being harmed and these Ministers of Health remain oblivious, despite enormous efforts to communicate this situation and our pleading for them to make the necessary changes.
We all need to get beyond moments of sheer frustration and keep the momentum high right now. In the end, we will expose every complicit player in this province.

Barbara
Reply

There are people in need of immediate relief from the health effects of IWTs for about 10 years now.

Those involved in IWTs have no intention of listening to those suffering. What has been gained by even taking to these people?

Mike Jankowski

I appreciate the thoughts. It was my post which started this in a bad way. Technology gives us quick and easy access from situations when we ought to be actually doing something else. In this case, I saw the great news during a quick break while cutting wood. From that point, I had some thoughts, some of which were placed in the first comment above from my cellphone and then I went back to work. I did not review it prior to posting and didn’t put much though into how it looked. In hindsight, the congratulations should have come first, then the expression of frustration that the health aspect did not win and then the concern for the next steps and possibility of mitigation and what the MoE&CC might consider “good enough”. This really is what I thought when I typed the initial message. I wish I would have changed the order and used a few more words to more clearly state this. It seems I am making more mental mistakes and I have seen an impact from these on both my immediate teams and now also the poster Lili and potentially other readers. I hope this changes her initial understanding of my view and does not de-motivate.

Thanks Sommer, Barbara and Brenda – I should not be the focus of this discussion. I look forward to seeing what the team is faced with in this review next, how they respond and what the MoE&CC does. APPEC have broked new ground and we can all look to see what is crawling around in it. Thanks APPEC.

Barbara

Mike you might be interested in this information:

U.S. SEC, Form S-1, Files Aug. 9, 2013

P.7 PEG LP/Pattern Energy Group

In late 2009 PEG LP formed a JV/joint venture with “Samsung” to develop at least 1,000 MW of wind power in Ontario.

Access:
http://www.sec.gov > Search Edgar > Pattern Energy Group > Pattern Energy Group Inc. > Form S-1, filed Aug.9, 2013 which is several pages to the document.

It takes a little practice to find SEC documents but Pattern is a U.S. company.

Agreements and contracts with developers mean that projects have to be approved except for health and environmental reasons.

This is take or pay for the government so rural Ontarians have to “pay” the price.

Barbara

Mike, quick means to this particular information:

Google:
St Joseph wind farm + Pattern Energy + SEC

“Form S-1-SEC”

This is public information available to everyone.

Lili

Jim Coyle at the Toronto Star has picked this story up. This is a crack in the closed door. We need to widen it up. Please everyone with health issues due to turbines please write to him! His contact information including email address and telephone number can be found here: http://www.thestar.com/authors.coyle_jim.html

Mike, keep writing. We all do things in the heat of passion that sometimes don’t sound right after we reread them…me included. This is a small opportunity and everyone should try and make use of it. Make Coyle listen. Perhaps he could/would do a human health story if enough people made him listen.

Barbara
Reply

We hear all of you that are suffering from IWT health effects but you have to win with the “tools” you have!

Grant Church
Reply

Al Capone was finally defeated for tax evasion.

Mike Jankowski
Reply

HI – Thanks Barbara and Lili for these leads. I have written to Jim Coyle just now with open offer to introduce him to people in worse shape than I. Barbara – will digest this information.

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