Planes and wind turbines don’t mix.
In August, the Environmental Review Tribunal upended the renewable energy approvals for a proposed eight-tower wind turbine project in Clearview after nearly a decade of protests by neighbours, and the objections of both township council and Collingwood because of the turbines’ proximity to the regional airport.
In February 2016, the director of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change approved the REA for WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind project. Resident John Wiggins was first to file an objection, and was followed by Kevin and Gail Elwood, whose aerodrome off County Road 91 would also be adversely affected by the proposed locations of the towers.
Both Collingwood and Clearview — along with the County of Simcoe — would follow suit in appealing the decision on the basis the location of the towers near the regional airport represented a threat to human health.
“It was worth it, but the worth was in making a change to a government policy that didn’t respect a huge sector of the community … the aviation community,” said Elwood, a Clearview councillor and pilot who also has a hangar at the Collingwood Regional Airport.
Elwood said the tribunal’s decision was one that could have been arrived at 10 years earlier by the provincial government when they implemented the Green Energy Act.
At that time, Elwood said, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association testified at the committee level there could be conflict between turbines, aerodromes and flight procedures, and “the province ignored it at that stage.”
“It took them 10 years to recognize there were safety risks and that irreversible harm to human health existed,” he said. “The government made a decision that green energy was … above everything, above all other interests.”
 As described in greater detail below, the Approval Holder has proposed an amendment to the REA to include additional curtailment measures designed to reduce little brown myotis mortalities. The Tribunal finds that these additional measures, provided they are amended to require that they be implemented from sunset to sunrise, is likely to significantly reduce little brown myotis mortality over the life of the Project. However, as neither the Approval Holder nor the Director has proposed effective means to mitigate the serious harm to human health, as found by the Tribunal in its October 2016 Order, the Tribunal concludes that the decision of the Director should be revoked. As such, an amendment to the REA to address harm to little brown myotis via an amended mitigation plan is rendered unnecessary.
READ FULL DECISION & ORDERS HERE : 16-036 WIGGINS V. ONTARIO (MOECC)
Wind project developer (WPD) have been granted another chance that could allow them to install wind turbines at Clearview. They lost at the Tribunal on the grounds the project would cause serious harm to human health due to the wind turbines interfering and creating risks for safe aviation movements at the adjacent Collingwood airport. Serious harm to bats was proven.
ON TUESDAY, FEB. 28. LITTLE BROWN BATS ARE CENTRE STAGE!
A REMEDY HEARING has been granted to allow WPD to present their mitigations measures which need to prove that the mortalities caused by the wind turbines will not cause irreversible harm to the critically endangered bat population which is facing possible extinction.
(28-Feb-17, 10:30 AM)
(01-Mar-17, 10:00 AM)
WHERE? Council Chambers, Collingwood, Town Of Collingwood, P.O. Box 157, 97 Hurontario Street, Collingwood, ON
To confirm dates and times look up case number 16-036 under hearings section on the Environmental Review Tribunal website: http://elto.gov.on.ca/ert/hearings/
 The Tribunal finds that over the lifespan the Project, it is more likely than not that the Project will cause serious harm to the local population of little brown myotis from which it will not recover and cannot be reversed. Therefore, without additional mitigation measures in place, the Tribunal finds that engaging in the Project in accordance with the REA will cause irreversible harm to little brown myotis.
Wpd will be given an opportunity to provide remedial action after a tribunal ruled wind turbines to be located near two aerodromes in Clearview Township threaten the health and safety of pilots, and little brown bats.
The Environmental Review Tribunal heard from parties during conference calls in December on procedural issues regarding the form and scheduling of the remainder of the hearing. It was determined the remedy phase of the hearing to be held in Collingwood from Feb. 27 to March 1.
The decision is in response to a request by wpd Fairview Wind Incorporated to submit evidence and make submissions on appropriate remedies to address the Tribunal’s Oct. 7 finding that engaging in the project in question in accordance with the impugned renewable energy approval will cause serious and irreversible harm to animal life, plant life or the natural environment. None of the parties has requested an opportunity to produce evidence or make submissions on the Tribunal’s finding of serious harm to human health.
As one of the appellants, the Township of Clearview will play a peripheral role in the upcoming remedy hearing, the extent of which has yet to be determined, said township solicitor Harold Elston.
Why wpd would want to address the former while accepting the latter, Elston said, “that’s The $64,000 Question”. He said there is some speculation that it could affect some other project where bats are a factor.
TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government denies Opposition charges that it interfered with the witness list for a hearing into a plan to install at least six, 152-metre-high wind turbines near the Collingwood airport.
Progressive Conservative house leader Jim Wilson says the province decided at the last minute to call a witness from NAVCanada instead of an expert from Transport Canada at an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing.
NAVCanada is a private corporation that owns and operates the country’s civil air navigation service, while Transport Canada is the federal government department responsible for transportation policies and programs.
Wilson says the witnesses were changed because Transport Canada has concerns about putting industrial wind turbines between the Collingwood Regional Airport and the Stayner aerodrome.
He says the Ontario government refuses to acknowledge that putting giant turbines so close to the small airports pose a hazard to aircraft operations.
But Environment Minister Glen Murray says it would be against the law for him to play any role in determining witnesses or influencing the environmental tribunal.
“After the plane struck the wire, the cable wrapped around power lines, prompting Xcel to temporarily shut off power to the wind turbines. While crews repair the damage, federal investigators will work to piece together what led up to the crash that claimed the life of a veteran pilot, once honored by the FAA for his safe flying record.”
Near Ruthton, MN USA
A crop-spraying job ended in tragedy amid wind turbine country in southwest Minnesota.
The plane nose-dived into a soybean field west of Ruthton Friday morning after striking a cable. Investigators say the pilot, 68-year-old James Arnt of Worthington, died instantly.
A bent electrical tower high above this bean field is a telltale sign of tragedy in southwest Minnesota.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot’s family and friends.
Safety should be paramount no matter what your views are for wind power. Ontario needs to hear from you about the lives being put at risk with the approval of wind turbines being situated near aviation. It isn’t a matter of “if” lives will be lost it is a matter of when.
COPA (Canadian Owners & Pilot’s Association) spell out their concerns and are urging letters be sent to Ottawa to bring some common sense to this issue, for safety sake.
SAMPLE LETTER: for wind project proposed next to the Collingwood Regional Airport:
Make your voice heard! Contact your Parliamentarian and show your support for COPA and general aviation issues locally and nationally.
Dear COPA member,
Your association is asking you to contact your Federal Member of Parliament to request their support against the proliferation of Wind Turbine tower in the vicinity of airports and aerodromes across Ontario and Canada. This is an issue of SAFETY to pilots and the Minister has the authority to intervene.
Go to this link for background, sample letter and your MP contact information:
Cher(ère) membre COPA,
Votre association vous demande de prendre contact avec votre député(e) fédéral(e) afin d’obtenir son appui pour stopper la prolifération des éoliennes autour des aérodromes en Ontario et au Canada. C’est un enjeu de sécurité auprès des pilotes et du public en général, et le ministre possède l’autorité d’intervenir et d’y mettre fin.
Vous trouverez au lien suivant une lettre-type, les instructions pour contacter votre Membre du Parlement et de l’information supplémentaire.
A Second World War plane successfully dodged the wind turbines and landed safely after experiencing engine problems. The off airport landing was in a field outside of Cayuga and occurred on June 18, 2016 in Haldimand County. The pilot and passenger were reported to be uninjured.