Niagara Field Naturalists warned of impacts of wind power project on wildlife

The Short-eared owl: one of many species affected by Niaga wind power project. But we'll never know how many, due to incomplete or absent studies
The Short-eared owl: one of many species affected by Niagara wind power project. But we’ll never know how many, due to incomplete or absent studies

Huge Niagara project to be built in Blandings turtle habitat, on migratory bird pathways, and near wetlands. Wind power developers get a free pass under the Green Energy Act

Niagara area resident Loretta Shields recently gave a presentation to the Niagara Peninsula Field Naturalists on the impact of wind power development on the environment and specifically, the fact that the Green Energy Act allows corporate wind power developers to escape the protections afforded by Ontario’s laws created for endangered and at-risk wildlife.
Here is an excerpt from a report on the presentation:

One serious concern of the project approval is the incomplete physical site investigations within the 120-metre zone of investigation for the industrial wind turbines. In most of the turbine locations, the 120-metre zone of investigation includes neighbouring lands where the landowners are not participants of this project.  Loretta showed several field notes where the surveyors for this project could not fully conclude the ecological land classification within the survey area (i.e., “interior not visible, only edge”);  30 percent of the field notes were inconclusive for reptile hibernacula, bat roosting areas, stick nests and vernal pools.

While the Renewable Energy Regulations do allow for alternative site investigations (surveys from the roadside instead of physical site surveys), these must be supported by an explanation as to why it was not reasonable to physically survey the site. An explanation (other than it was not reasonable) was not provided in the Natural Heritage report provided by the wind energy company, but the project was approved nonetheless.

Read the full report here: LorettaShieldsPresentationReport

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