“The Endangered Species Act (ESA) allows some activities to proceed under a clause 17(2)(c) permit with specific conditions if: avoidance and reasonable alternatives have been considered; adverse effects will be minimized; and an overall benefit will be achieved for the species in Ontario. Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the ESA involves undertaking actions to improve circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is more than “no net loss” or an exchange of “like for like”. Overall benefit is grounded in the protection and recovery of the species at risk and must include more than mitigation measures or “replacing” what is lost.”
Residents opposed to wind turbines in the community say council should make health a priority.
Representatives of West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action Group and Mothers Against Turbines Inc. were before council again last Monday, asking for assistance from council in their fight against industrial wind turbines. The groups are asking for $110,000 — $50,000 to assist MAWT in launching a judicial review of the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing in December, $40,000 towards a charter challenge both groups are part of as well as for the establishment of a noise bylaw and purchase of equipment to measure noise and another $30,000 for community outreach.
“The health is a priority,” said Caistor Centre resident Ed Engel, a member of WLGWAG.
Engel told members of council funding to mitigate health problems should be a “top priority” for the township. He said residents are already experiencing impacts on their health and more are destined to once Niagara Region Wind Corporation’s project is built and operational.
“Protection of public health should rate with fire protection and safe bridges,” Engel told council at last week’s budget meeting. Continue reading Wind groups seek township’s support
Ottawa (April 9, 2015) – A new expert panel report, Assessing the Evidence: Wind Turbine Noise, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies provides an in-depth examination of 32 potential adverse health effects linked to wind turbine noise. For most of the identified symptoms, the evidence is inadequate to draw a direct link between wind turbine noise and a negative health effect.
However, there is sufficient evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to such noise and annoyance.
Determining whether wind turbine noise causes adverse health effects is an important issue as demand for renewable energy, including wind power, is expected to grow in Canada and around the world. The wind sector has expanded rapidly since the 1990s, and Canada is now the fifth-largest global market for the installation of wind turbines. With this demand, however, come concerns that the presence of wind turbines may pose a public health risk to nearby residents. In response to public concern, Health Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies to conduct an in-depth expert panel assessment to evaluate the evidence and identify gaps in knowledge.
Toronto ON/ On April 9 the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) will release a report in Canada evaluating the literature on the impacts of wind turbine noise on human health called Understanding the Evidence: Wind Turbine Noise.
The group Canadians for Radiation Emissions Enforcement (CFREE) wants the endless reviewing of the literature on wind turbines and health to cease.
“The people of rural Canada don’t want any more expert reviewers reviewing other expert reviewers year after year”, says Shawn Drennan spokesperson for CFREE. “We are at a crossroads with the wind industry. We want action. The government of Ontario is plowing ahead with the planned 6000 industrial scale wind turbines while communities are desperate to be heard and protected. Why is the Radiation Emitting Devices Act – a Law created to protect Canadians from acoustical waves such as those emitted by wind turbines – being ignored?”
“How many people in rural Canada need to complain and suffer from the operation of wind turbines before justice takes hold?” Drennan added. Continue reading “The people of rural Canada don’t want any more expert reviewers reviewing other expert reviewers year after year”
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The DACES (Durham Area Citizens for Endangered Species) Inc. judicial review of the MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) was heard in Brampton, Ontario, on March 19th, 2015.
The judicial review alleged that the MNRF failed to protect sensitive endangered species habitat from wind turbine construction in a protected area of Ontario. Primarily at issue was whether the Ontario Government, through its Ministry, allowed a for-profit corporation to “self-regulate” with regards to determining whether its construction activities would harm the habitat of an endangered species, the Redside Dace.
Judgement was handed down on March 25, 2015. The Court dismissed the DACES Inc. application, on the grounds that the decision made by the MNRF did not constitute a “statutory power of decision” which the Court could review judicially. Continue reading DACES (Durham Area Citizens for Endangered Species) Inc., Press Release
A legal challenge of Suncor Energy and NextEra’s 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Power project in Lambton County is moving on to the Divisional Court for Ontario.
Lawyers for Aberarder residents Kimberley and Richard Bryce filed an appeal of a recent Environmental Review Tribunal decision to uphold Ontario’s environmental approval of the project being built in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
In a decision released in early March, the provincial tribunal rejected the Bryce’s appeal following a hearing where the family raised concerns about health impacts from wind turbines, and also argued the province’s approval process violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The appeal dated April 1 asks that the Divisional Court revoke Suncor’s provincial renewable energy approval for the Cedar Point project.
It also asks that the appeal be heard in London.
“The appellants felt strongly enough that they wanted to carry it forward,” said Santo Giorno, a member of We’re Against Industrial Turbines, Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW), a group that has been fundraising in the community to help the Bryce family with legal costs.
As well as collecting donations, the group recently held a fundraising dance and auction at the Camlachie Community Centre.
A new study of eagle mortality at a wind facility near Palm Springs may well prove frustrating to both supporters of wind energy and those concerned about the technology’s effect on wildlife. But if you look beneath the surface, the paper underscores a big problem with the issue of win energy and wildlife: we just don’t have the data we need to make smart decisions.
The paper by USGS research ecologist Jeffrey Lovich, to be published this month in the journal Western Birds, describes eagle mortalities at the Mesa Wind Project Site, which is part of the larger San Gorgonio Pass wind area near Palm Springs. Wind industry critics won’t find a smoking gun in the study, which documents just two eagle mortalities in the last 20 years, the most recent in 1997. And while wind partisans may try to find validation in Lovich’s study, that’s going to be difficult: Lovich carefully details a number of reasons why eagle deaths may be ongoing but undetected.
The big story here, though, is the existence of the paper itself. Why would a study that details two eagle deaths during the Clinton administration find its way into a peer-reviewed journal in 2015? The surprising answer emerges when you think about the way science is actually done.
A House committee Tuesday passed Senate Bill 808 by a vote of 12-8. The bill would stop wind turbines being within 1.5 nautical miles of an airport, public school or hospital and put additional financial reporting requirements on wind developers for decommissioning old wind farms.
A bill putting more reporting requirements and siting restrictions on wind farms in Oklahoma passed out of a House committee Tuesday.
Senate Bill 808 would stop any wind turbines from being erected within 1.5 nautical miles of an airport, public school or hospital. It also would require developers to submit information to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission within six months of when they plan to begin construction on a wind farm.
“It’s been negotiated by all parties,” said Rep. Earl Sears, a Bartlesville Republican who presented the bill at the House energy and natural resources committee. “I’m very, very pleased with the wind industry in regards to their participation in helping us with these proposed regulations. I believe it’s a win-win for everybody.”
The bill passed 12-8. It now goes to the full House for a vote.
Sears said SB 808, which he sponsored with Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, would be the main wind industry regulation bill this session. Sears said his House Bill 1549, which contained similar provisions, would be dropped.
SB 808 also makes several amendments on wind farm decommissioning to the Oklahoma Wind Energy Development Act, which passed in 2011.
The Corporation Commission, which is in the middle of putting rules around decommissioning language in the existing law, will be asked under SB 808 to verify evidence of a surety bond of at least 125 percent of the expenses for decommissioning.
Oil and gas developers must post standard surety bonds as a requirement for operating, but the commission’s public utility division doesn’t have any experience with collecting or analyzing surety bonds for wind developers.
Commissioner Dana Murphy said about 3,000 oil and gas operators make surety filings every year at the Corporation Commission.
“There’s a standard threshold for oil and gas,” Murphy said in a phone interview. “For wind, there won’t be that many operators but each wind farm has a different level of evaluation. We’d have to establish a staff person in the public utility division just to analyze and evaluate the filings.”