Risk of Harm to Blanding’s Turtles from a Wind project
“This is the first time that the Tribunal has exercised its remedial powers in relation to the successful appeal of an REA on the grounds that it would cause serious and irreversible harm to the environment.”
On June 6, 2016, the Environmental Review Tribunal (Tribunal) issued a ruling revoking the renewable energy approval (REA) granted by the Director of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to Ostrander Point GP (Ostrander) for the installation of nine wind turbine generators and supporting facilities, including new access roads and upgrades to existing roads, on the south shore of Prince Edward County.
Appeal of the Ostrander REA
The Director’s decision to grant the Ostrander REA was appealed to the Tribunal by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) in 2013 on the grounds that engaging in the wind turbine project under the REA would cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal or the natural environment. In its July 3, 2013 decision, the Tribunal found that PECFN had met this “environmental harm test” and revoked the Ostrander REA. Specifically, the Tribunal found that the installation of access roads and improvement of existing roads for the construction, maintenance and monitoring of the wind turbines would pose serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s turtle, a species listed in Ontario as “threatened,” through increased vehicle traffic, poachers and predators.