Category Archives: ERT Appeal

Citizen Group Gearing Up to Fight

Wallaceburg and area have formed a wind action group and are actively fundraising to appeal at the Environmental Review Tribunal if the anticipated approval for the Otter Creek wind project being developed by Boralex and Walpole Island First Nation is issued.  Water well contamination is a hot issue as they learn from reports of dirty well water in other areas such as Chatham Kent and the North Kent wind project.

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Citizen wind group prepares for fight

By David Gough
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Wallaceburg and Area Wind Concerns group is prepared for a fight.

The group held their first public meeting last week at the UAW Hall where they outlined their concerns, as well presenting their plan on fighting the proposed Otter Creek wind project.

The group is currently raising money so they can try and stop the wind turbine project. The group has set up an account at Wallaceburg’s TD bank, and estimates that a legal fight will cost at least $10,000 and possibly much more, depending on a number of variables.

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Rally Draws Hundreds

Picton rally 1

By Tim Miller, The Intelligencer
Sunday, October 15, 2017

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY — On Sunday opponents of wind turbine development in the County took to the streets to show that their concerns over a proposed wind energy project are about more than just a lot of air.

Hundreds of sign-waving and chanting residents marched down Main Street Picton shortly after the noon hour to kick off an anti-wind rally.

Upon reaching The Regent Theatre, marchers doffed their signs and settled in for the nearly three-hour town hall meeting to begin.

While people took their seats a video montage of anti-wind messages written by County residents in black marker on a stark white scroll of paper played on the big screen, followed by aerial drone footage of levelled and torn up fields. Over the montage played the melodic version of Dee Snider’s We’re Not Going to Take It.

Sunday’s town hall was in regards to the ongoing wpd Canada’s White Pines Wind Project which initially called for the erection of 29 wind turbines in the County.

The County has declared itself an unwilling host to industrial wind turbine projects that disrupt the lives and livelihoods of County residents and destroy the County’s historic landscapes while causing irreparable harm to the County’s wildlife and natural environment.

Because of challenges by local government and groups the initial plan of 29 turbines has been scaled back to nine — to be built near the south shore of Milford.

On stage activists sat beside entrepreneurs, doctors and local politicians. Their reasons for opposing the project was as varied as their backgrounds.

Dr Robert McMurtry, former Dean of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Order of Canada, spoke about the health impact turbines can have when placed too close to residential homes.

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Seeking Justice for Rural Ontario

aTurbine 109_v1 CRWind turbine approval process unfair to public

JIM MCPHERSON, SPECIAL TO THE TORONTO SUN
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2017
Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has approved numerous wind energy projects across the province.

But what if many of these approvals were improperly done, as determined by a court?

Rural residents have appealed several wind projects to provincial tribunals, but most are denied because Ontario’s Green Energy Act permits these appeals only on very narrow grounds of irreparable harm to the environment or human health.

For that reason, a citizen’s group in Prince Edward County recently filed for a judicial review of Ontario’s wind turbine approval process, in Superior Court in Ottawa.

The appellant is a not-for-profit corporation composed of hundreds of Prince Edward County residents, who claim their Charter rights have been violated by Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA).

They contend their rights have been violated by the “institutional bias” of the MOECC, and by its failure to properly consider matters of direct relevance to the wind energy project approval process.

The filing also alleges “an egregious instance of regulatory capture”, of MOECC and its affiliated provincial agencies.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.

In the view of the appellants, rural Ontario citizens receive only minimal procedural fairness under the GEA.

During the project approval processes, they are not entitled to present direct evidence but are restricted to submitting comments to a website.

In many cases, the information on which they are asked to comment is incomplete, as yet undisclosed, or subject to later amendment.

Appeals to Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) are possible, but again, only on very narrow grounds of proven, irreparable harm to the environment or human health.

Property owners living close to wind turbines have complained about the pollution of wells, restriction of land use, fires, flying debris, health impacts, killing of wild life, property value diminution and inhabitability of homes.

During and after construction, many municipalities are concerned about potential road damage, water pollution and financial damage to local economies.

Many residents complain that once wind projects are completed, the province fails to meaningfully enforce regulations connected with their operation.

Provincially regulated setbacks of turbines, while inadequate in the view of many rural citizens, nonetheless effectively mandate that wind energy projects are built only in rural neighbourhoods, as opposed to cities like Toronto.

Unlike cities, vote-poor rural communities are unable to successfully pressure the government to relocate wind projects they say are inappropriate.

By contrast, in vote-rich Oakville and Mississauga, urban residents convinced the Liberal government, leading up to the 2011 provincial election, to relocate two proposed natural gas-fired electricity plants at an eventual public cost exceeding $1 billion.

The Liberal government also suspended a proposed offshore wind project impacting urban ridings in Scarborough after protests by local residents.

Under the GEA, municipalities can no longer use official plans or land use bylaws to protect citizens from inappropriate land use.

Many believe this is a reprehensible failure by Ontario’s government, but it cannot be attributed solely to the provincial regulating agencies.

In many cases, skilled, professional staff working for these agencies have basically been rendered inoperative by provincial legislation that makes them ineffective.

Comparing rural citizens fighting industrial wind turbines to the Liberal government pulling the strings, one is reminded of what was said about Allied troops in the First World War: “We have lions led by donkeys”.

Perhaps the judicial review requested by Prince Edward County residents will help restore fairness to the battlefield.

To the very end

To the very end…

“It will be expensive. And it’ll be expensive when I win my suit in Ottawa because that will make all of the IWT’s illegal, they’ll all have to come down, and somebody’s going to have to pay the bill.”
– Alan Whiteley re: Ontario’s “Fair Hydro Plan”

Alan Whiteley presentation to the committee on Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan  links the government’s  response to escalating electricity rates and harsh decisions people are forced to make in the face of energy poverty.  Ontario is taken to task over to its failure to assess costs ,benefits and adverse consequences of its renewable energy policies.

 

heat or eatAlan Whiteley is the legal lead for the Judicial Review before the Courts of Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA).  The challenge is predicted to be successful and would result in making all erected Industrial Wind Turbines in Ontario illegal resulting in a very expensive bill to be paid as remedy.

For more information about CCSAGE Naturally Green’s Judicial Review of the GEA.

The following media report has an edited written version of Mr.Whiteley’s presentation to the Ontario Fair Hydro Act 2017 committee in June 2017:

Ontario’ Fair Hydro Act a Ponzi Scheme

amherst NS

 

 

Fairwind Project Approval Revoked

Collingwood_Airport_12[7] 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)

brown bat
little brown myotis

 

Victory! Turtle Power Rules!

blandings-on-forest-floorWhite Pines Wind (WPD) proposed to be located on the shores of Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County has been dealt a severe blow by the Environmental Review Tribunal. The decision from the “remedies hearing”  dealt with issues surrounding the findings of the Tribunal that serious and irreversible harm to the environment to the endangered Blanding’s Turtles, Little Brown Bat and other species at risk would result from the project’s activities.  WPD never the less began land clearing construction in sensitive wetland habitats and continued just days prior to the ruling being rendered.

Photos via APPEC

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Removal of 18 of 29 turbines leaves lingering questions if the wind project remains financially viable.  The residents of Prince Edward County and world wide can only hope that this is a final and fatal blow to the White Pine Wind that will result in halting the invasion of industrial wind turbine generators.

DECISION
[166] Under s. 145.2.1(4)(c) of the EPA, the Tribunal alters the decision of the Director by amending Renewable Energy Approval No. 2344-9R6RWR as follows:
1. Adding the following conditions to the REA:
i. Condition J7.1. The Company shall implement the Mitigation Plan for Operation of the White Pines Energy Project, dated July 21, 2016 prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd., including:
1. Implement the monitoring and mitigation measures as
outlined in Table 2 of the Mitigation Plan;
2. Adjust cut-in speed to 5.5 m/s between sunset and sunrise
from May 1 to September 30 at all turbines for the operating
life of the Project; and
3. In the event of a mortality of a bat species that is a species
at risk, successively increase the operational mitigation as
detailed in Table 2 of the Mitigation Plan.
ii. Condition L2. Further, the Company shall implement the additional
avoidance and mitigation measures as outlined in the report
“Additional Avoidance and Mitigation Measures to Minimize
Potential Impacts to Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)”,
prepared by Natural Resources Solutions Inc., dated July 22, 2016,
65 15-068
including implementation of the mitigation measures described in Tables 2-1 to 2-5 and 4-1 of that report.
2. Removing from the REA the turbines proposed to be accessed by upgraded municipal secondary and tertiary road segments and intersections in Blanding’s turtle habitat, as identified in Figure 2.2 of the report “Additional Avoidance and Mitigation Measures to Minimize Potential Impacts to Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)”, prepared
by Natural Resources Solutions Inc., dated July 22, 2016, specifically Turbines 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29.
Renewable Energy Approval Altered

15-068 HIRSCH V. ONTARIO (MOECC)

The WPD White Pines Wind decision can be read here:

15-071 WPD WHITE PINES WIND INC. V ONTARIO (MOECC)

White Pines Wind (WPD)

Turbines 12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 are removed from  the project.

white pines wind

 

 

 

Judicial Review of White Pines Wind

The judicial review of the White Pines cultural heritage process, brought by Liz Driver and Edwin Rowse against wpd Canada and Ontario, will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 6–7, at Osgoode Hall, in Toronto. The hearing begins at 10 am each day.

It will be important to show the court that the community cares about the project’s visual impacts and construction vibrations on the County’s cultural heritage.

Osgoode Hall is at the northeast corner of Queen and University. There is Green P parking underground next door at City Hall or parking across the street under the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Osgoode Subway Station is at the intersection.

More Information:  CCSAGE NATURALLY GREEN (“CCSAGE”)

White Pines Wind Project

osgoode hall
Osgoode Hall  

Bat remedy hearing concludes

brown-bat

Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson demands to know why wind power developers get a remedy hearing on endangered bats when harm has been proven. Minister Murray replied he would have to resign if he intervenes in the independence of the Environmental Tribunal process but it is the Green Energy Act that allows wind projects to be approved. Under the Green Energy Act the Minister has authority to intervene.  The Minister to resign over the harm caused by wind projects?  What an interesting idea!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Turbine Hearing Concludes

Collingwood | by Catherine Thompson  

yet more submissions in long-running case

A hearing to do with a wind turbine proposal near Stayner took one day instead of three.

The Environmental Review Tribunal allowed WPD Canada to have a Remedy Hearing to present ways to reduce harm to natural heritage, mainly the Little Brown Bat.

The hearing, held in Collingwood council chambers, was originally to start on Monday, but that day was cancelled because a witness was unavailable. The hearing, on Tuesday, heard from three witnesses.

Dr. Scott Reynolds, presenting for WPD Canada, via Skype, says they would slow down the turbine speed when bats are in the air in an effort to decrease the number of bat deaths.

The second witness, Susan Holroyd, a wildlife biologist specializing in bats, appeared by Skype, on the appellant, Preserve Clearview’s side.

The third and last witness was Ecologist Sarah Mainguy, also for the opponent’s side. She told the hearing there are huge uncertainties in this application such as the number of bats and their exact route in the areas of the turbines. She added that the mitigation suggestions from WPD Canada are not good enough.

Witnesses and lawyers could not comment on the hearing proceedings, but Chuck Magwood of Preserve Clearview, was in the audience.  He says he agrees with their witnesses that one dead Little Brown Bat, which is an endangered species, is too many.

WPD has until March 31st to make written submissions, the opponents have four weeks to reply and then another two weeks for WPD to rebut the reply, taking the latest round in the turbine discussions to May 12th.

Magwood says he expects a decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal in June.

READ AT: http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=91434

 

Pack The Halls! SAVE the County!

pec-blockThe final oral submissions of the APPEC/Hirsch Environmental Review Tribunal ERT will be heard in the County. We encourage all to attend. Filling the hearing room to capacity for these final submissions will show the Tribunal that PEC cares.

The next major event of the White Pines ERT is Friday, January 27, 2017 when the ERT will convene in Prince Edward County to hear closing arguments. This will be our LAST opportunity to present our case to the Tribunal before it adjourns to make a final decision on the White Pines wind project.

This is also the last and ONLY day in over a year that the Tribunal has deemed to hold a public hearing, with the past ten months of this ERT taking place entirely behind closed doors. This is your opportunity to let the Tribunal know that County residents did not appreciate being left out of the appeal process. In order to make that point – and to make clear where you stand on the White Pines wind project – you will need to be there!

The hearing will be held as follows:

Date: January 27, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Wellington and District Community Centre, Highline Hall, 111 Belleville Street, Wellington.

More information please contact CCSAGE: https://ccsage.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/white-pines-ert-friday-january-27-10am-wellington-community-centre-lets-pack-the-hall-and-save-the-county/

Constitutional Challenge Court: January 19, 2017

shawn-tricia

On January 19, 2017  Shaun and Trish Drennan  will continue to pursue the Constitutional Challenge against the Green Energy Act.  Self represented this time- they will be bringing before the Ontario Superior Court a revised statement of claim seeking remedy found in the protections guaranteed in Canada’s constitution.  Most importantly the action’s goal is to actively use the law to grant relief and prevention of harm from wind powered complexes.

WHAT: Constitutional Challenge  WHEN: January 19, 2017  10 am

WHERE: Goderich Court House (Ontario Superior Court-Divisional)

Unite The Fight

In 2014  four families (Dixon, Ryan, Drennan, Koplein) acted as the appellants leading the novel case. Falconers LLP acted on behalf of the families.  The Court’s decision failed to move the contested issues towards the desired resolution. Documents from the hearing can be reviewed at: http://www.falconers.ca/casestudy/wind-turbines-drennan/

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Ontario Superior Court

The renewable energy approvals for  K2 Wind, Amrow Wind and St.Columban Wind remain in the  sights and cross hairs of law and legal argument. If the action succeeds it will impact statutory authorities enabling wind power.

Mothers Against Wind Turbines joined forces with other community- based interest groups  that formed the Community Coalition (14 groups in total) which was accepted as interveners in the  original hearing in 2014.   (Lambton County was accepted as an independent intervener)

Please show your support to Shaun and Trish.  Your seats in the seats would be appreciated. dscn4290