White Pines Wind Project ERT Hearing – November 12, 2015

Report on the ERT Hearing on the White Pines Wind Project – Nov. 12, 2015
By Henri Garand and Paula Peel, APPEC

The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) of the White Pines wind project devoted Day Five to hearing six members of the public previously awarded status as Presenters rather than expert witnesses.

Christopher Currie also sought to be qualified as an expert witness because he would be commenting, as a professional land use planner, on WPD’s application reports. But the Tribunal denied the request because Currie’s focus was on water bodies and he has no credentials in hydrology or related subjects.

As a Presenter, nonetheless, Currie gave a detailed review of the deficiencies in WPD’s assessment of water bodies on the project site. He pointed out that two fisheries biologists, not hydrologists, had carried out all the field work from June to mid-October, never during the wet season of November through April, and had used assessment standards inappropriate for alvar.  Due to these and other numerous flaws in methodology, the final report was incomplete and unreliable. Excavation, drilling, and hydrofracking for wind turbine bases would cause serious environmental harm to animals and plants by permanently altering the South Shore watershed.

Cheryl Anderson, president of Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO), described how White Pines would jeopardize the millions of birds which migrate each year through the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area (PECSSIBA). Soaring birds like eagles, hawks and vultures are especially vulnerable, and a dozen species at risk breed in the project area.  Moreover, PECSSIBA, which is globally significant for waterfowl and nationally significant for endangered bird species, meets all Environment Canada criteria for a location unsuitable for wind development. In light of high mortality at the nearby Wolfe Island wind project, Anderson called on the ERT to apply the Precautionary Principle.

read more: https://appec.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/white-pines-wind-project-ert-hearing-november-12-2015/

New report numbers the IESO days, shows wind impacting Ontario rates

A new report on Ontario’s daily electricity sector demonstrates the shortcoming of reporting of the sector’s costs that contributes to the poverty of intellect in much too common communication on the sector.

The new report is from me, and it is to provide consumers, and other critics, with a more intelligent summary than the little noticed “Daily Market Summary” produced by the province’s system operator (IESO). I hope some readers will work through the additional numbers as they can demonstrate the broad themes driving pricing in Ontario – and if some that do the work join a chorus calling for some transparency and meaningful reporting from the IESO,  my work in creating the reporting will be somewhat justified.

If one were to have no other information than the IESO Daily Market Summary reports for November 10th, and 12th, they’d think a little less demand – 187 megawatt-hours (MWh) – resulted in the price dropping $27.59/MWh to essentially free.

Ontario’s demand for electricity did not change. The IESO’s “demand” is not Ontario’s consumption, but the demand for supply from generators in the IESO’s market.

read more:  Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Cold Air

Day 6 of the White Pines ERT

Report on Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing on the White Pines Wind Project
November 16, 2015
by
Henri Garand, APPEC

On Day Six, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) of the White Pines wind project considered a procedural motion to exclude two environmental witnesses, heard testimony from four health case witnesses, and then ruled on the proposed schedule of expert witnesses.

Eric Gillespie, counsel for appellant APPEC, proposes to call Dr. Michael Hutchinson, a director of the American Bird Conservancy, and William Evans, a nocturnal bird migration monitoring expert, in reply to two witness statements provided by wind developer/approval holder WPD. James Wilson, WPD counsel, claimed these witnesses would either repeat evidence given by another APPEC witness or introduce new facts outside “proper reply.” Gillespie argued that APPEC, bearing the onus of proof, has the right to reply to WPD’s experts, and the expertise of the reply witnesses does not duplicate that of primary witness Dr. Shawn Smallwood, an ecologist.

The Tribunal reserved its decision until the next day.

read more: https://ccsage.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/day-6-of-the-white-pines-ert/

University of Waterloo Study on Infrasound- Press Release

Richard Mann

Research

For Media release (Nov 16, 2015).  My research on infra sound and wind turbines. here (PDF).

Announcement (Nov 3, 2015).  I am pleased to announce that on Oct 25, 2015, University of Waterloo (Office of Research and School of Computer Science) has approved funding for my research in Infra sound.  Research details are provided here (PDF).

Note: Accepting applications for undergraduate research assistants (part time (starting W16) and full/time co-op (starting S16) ).  Areas of interest: Embedded computing, Computer Audio, and/or Electronics.  Feel free to contact me for details. Continue reading University of Waterloo Study on Infrasound- Press Release

Rule of Law. Green Energy Act to be challenged by Judical Review. No one is above the law not even the Government

udicial review team challenging ‘oppressive’Green Energy Act

When government and the interests of big business align, it is often individual rights and freedoms that get trampled upon, according to the Osgoode Law School students working with a group of County residents and lawyers seeking a judicial review of the Green Energy Act (GEA).

“When that happens, we rely on the law to restore the balance,” said Sabrina Molinari. “No one is above the law—not even government.”

Molinari is one of five Osgoode Law School students working with Alan Whiteley and other County residents who believe that the GEA is badly conceived and flawed legislation that overrides citizens’ rights and diminishes environmental protections and safeguards for the benefit of developers and big business. Three of the five joined supporters of the cause at the Grange of Prince Edward winery on Saturday.

A judicial review is a legal process to examine legislation or a government order and has the power to invalidate laws if they are found to contravene higher authorities such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is a big job. Specifically, the group wants the court to examine how provincial authorities arrived at the decision to grant a developer with a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for the White Pines wind project, which comprises industrial wind turbines stretching from Milford south toward the edge of the Prince Edward Point national wildlife area.

read more:  The Times, November 13, 2015

White Pines Wind Project ERT Hearing

Report on the ERT Hearing on the White Pines Wind Project – Nov. 12, 2015
By Henri Garand and Paula Peel, APPEC

The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) of the White Pines wind project devoted Day Five to hearing six members of the public previously awarded status as Presenters rather than expert witnesses.

Christopher Currie also sought to be qualified as an expert witness because he would be commenting, as a professional land use planner, on WPD’s application reports. But the Tribunal denied the request because Currie’s focus was on water bodies and he has no credentials in hydrology or related subjects.

As a Presenter, nonetheless, Currie gave a detailed review of the deficiencies in WPD’s assessment of water bodies on the project site. He pointed out that two fisheries biologists, not hydrologists, had carried out all the field work from June to mid-October, never during the wet season of November through April, and had used assessment standards inappropriate for alvar.  Due to these and other numerous flaws in methodology, the final report was incomplete and unreliable. Excavation, drilling, and hydrofracking for wind turbine bases would cause serious environmental harm to animals and plants by permanently altering the South Shore watershed.

Cheryl Anderson, president of Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO), described how White Pines would jeopardize the millions of birds which migrate each year through the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area (PECSSIBA). Soaring birds like eagles, hawks and vultures are especially vulnerable, and a dozen species at risk breed in the project area.  Moreover, PECSSIBA, which is globally significant for waterfowl and nationally significant for endangered bird species, meets all Environment Canada criteria for a location unsuitable for wind development. In light of high mortality at the nearby Wolfe Island wind project, Anderson called on the ERT to apply the Precautionary Principle.

read more: Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County

Report on the Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing on the White Pines Wind Project

November 10, 2015

by

Henri Garand and Paula Peel, APPEC
The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) of the White Pines wind project focused, on Day Four, on Joe Crowley, a species-at-risk expert in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF).  Due to numerous procedural disputes, however, the hearing lasted from 10 a.m. till 8:30 p.m.
Crowley was summoned to testify on the basis of his evidence at the Ostrander Point ERT, and he was similarly qualified as an expert witness, specifically as a “herpetologist with expertise in Blanding’s turtles.”  At MNRF he is employed in the Species Conservation Branch, where his work includes assessment and review annually of some 70 projects affecting reptiles and turtles.  He confirmed he is the only MNRF employee with special expertise in the Blanding’s turtle, though other biologists may have general knowledge.
However, Crowley was never consulted about White Pines despite its adjacency to Ostrander Point.  Nor did he know just who was consulted in MNRF.
APPEC counsel Eric Gillespie asked Crowley whether the White Pines project could have similar impacts on the turtle population.  Crowley made clear he knew nothing about White Pines, but after reviewing a project map he admitted that Turbines 12 – 24 and 26 – 29 might be in suitable Blanding’s turtle habitat.
At several points Crowley recanted testimony made a month earlier at the Ostrander Point ERT and repudiated his own previously-held opinions:

  • Crowley said he overestimated turtle numbers at Ostrander Point and is no longer confident there is a “healthy and viable” population.
  • Crowley supposed it is “conceivable” that Blanding’s turtles could be moving along the shoreline.   Gillespie reminded Crowley of his Ostrander ERT testimony that Blanding’s turtles were known to range both along the south shore and inland 2 to 6 kilometres.
  • Despite his own references in MNRF documentation to a

​n interconnected

wetland complex

​ on the south shore​

, Crowley now considers that it’s only possible turtles move off the Ostrander property because their home range is typically 2 kilometres.

  • Crowley identified two critical habitats for Blanding’s turtles at Ostrander Point.  When reminded of the ERT’s finding that the entire site is critical habitat Crowley responded that it would depend on the definition of critical.

Due to nest predation and other threats, Crowley explained that a female turtle may have only one surviving offspring over 20-30 years of reproduction.  Given this low survival, he had considered at one time that Blanding’s turtle populations could only withstand mortality rates of up to 2%.  However, he now believes that as much as

​5

% mortality is sustainable.
Due to the number of reversals from his testimony at the Ostrander Point ERT, Crowley was required to leave on two occasions while lawyers and the ERT panel discussed how to proceed.   Gillespie asked the Tribunal to declare Crowley an adverse witness because his testimony was couched with imprecise words such as “could,” “possibly,” and “may.”  This request would allow Gillespie to ask leading questions and speed up the process.   But the Tribunal denied the request even though counsels for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and wind developer WPD had been pressing Gillespie to reduce the time of his examination.

During cross-examination by Sylvia Davis, counsel for the MOECC Crowley discussed the need for mark-capture surveys in order to assess population size.  After further questioning by Gillespie he agreed that such studies were not done for either the Ostrander Point or White Pines projects. Crowley also informed the Tribunal of a study demonstrating that driver training could have good results in decreasing road mortality.  When asked about this study by Gillespie, Crowley clarified that it concerned the Eastern Foxsnake and not Blanding’s turtles.

There were some positive points that came out of the testimony.   Blanding’s turtles will move from Ostrander Point into the White Pines project area.  Crowley’s 2011 statement from the Ostrander project, where he refers to interconnected wetland complexes throughout southern Prince Edward County is now on record.  The number of turtles and the quality of their habitat cannot be in dispute given the conditions set out within the Renewable Energy Approval.
The ERT resumes on Thursday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m. at the Essroc Centre, Wellington.

Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma

2015_Presentation_Elec_Dilem

Click to access 2015_presentation_elec_dilem.pdf

Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates 2 Outline of Presenta>on ² Data Sources ² Original Goals for Electricity System Transforma,on ² Technology Limita,ons ² Unexpected Surprises ² Ontario’s Electricity Demand ² The Cost Impact of Curtailing Genera,on Output ² Why Are Electricity Prices Rising So Fast in Ontario ? ² Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants ? ² What Can We Do to Mi,gate Increases in Rates and Emissions ? ² What Are the Enabling Policies and Technologies That We Need ? ² Summary ² Q&A period.