Category Archives: harm to wildlife

Lake Erie ecosystem under threat by off shore wind turbines

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The Blade|By:Steve Pollack|August 11, 2018

Proposed Icebreaker wind project is not what it seems

It is hard to know where to start dissecting the slick spin-doctoringrecently published in The Blade’s Op-Ed pages by LEEDCo, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., which wants to erect North America’s first freshwater offshore wind-turbines in central Lake Erie off Cleveland.

So-doing would reach far beyond the scope of a newspaper “op-ed.” Beth Nagusky, LEEDCo’s director of sustainable development, is a master at cherrypicking and parading obscure statements as a fait-accompli. Her contentions about the goodness of the proposed six-unit Icebreaker Wind power-generation project, some seven miles offshore, lie between premature and erroneous.

RELATED: Turbines are part of a clean energy future for northern Ohio

They are a masterful act of dissembling, distraction, distortion, and deception. Perhaps “MisLEEDCo” would more appropriate.

Ms. Nagusky has posited that Icebreaker’s towering turbines would kill few birds and bats, a claim that simply does not hold up under scrutiny. This is shown clearly for anyone who assesses it thoughtfully.

LEEDCo is betting on the glitter of such buzz-words as “economic impact, jobs, and clean energy” to substantiate its stance that somehow the pre-construction research on Icebreaker’s impact is all said and done and we can gleefully ride off into a lovely green-energy future. Wrong.

It claims that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the project a low risk to birds and bats. Wrong again. The Service ruled that the project only posed a low risk to a few particular endangered species. It rejected the initial Icebreaker environmental assessment (EA), citing several insufficiencies in regard to birds and bats. The final EA has yet to be filed. No one, including LEEDCo, has seen it yet.

Among other unsettled issues, the required technology to monitor post-construction bird and bat mortality simply does not exist. And additional studies, including meaningful radar studies of migrations through the turbine zone, should be mandatory.

In its sugarcoating, LEEDCo ignores saying that the initial six units are just the tip of the iceberg. If the Ohio Power Siting Board and related agencies give the green light, this project opens a Pandora’s Box to hundreds or thousands more turbines on Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. Any negative impacts would be magnified by orders of magnitude.

The state of New York has issued a moratorium on offshore wind for just such considerations, as has the province of Ontario, which alone has put 1,250 proposed offshore Erie wind turbines “on hold” while it assesses Icebreaker deliberations. Do you think that the giant Fred Olsen Renewables, of Oslo, Norway, would bother with building just six units here? The big money lies in hundreds. A proposed “buildout” after Icebreaker may run to 1,600 turbines.

So this really is not just six little old turbines and a few dead birds and bats. The migratory pathway and wintering grounds of millions of birds, and migratory bats as well, lie in the paths of a potential phalanx of towering 500-foot rotors. Out of sight, out of mind, is no justification.

LEEDCo is counting on the public not bothering with facts. Ms. Nagusky singled out Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) for its criticism of poor, incomplete science that LEEDCo’s hired-gun consultants have proffered about unknown and likely devastating impacts of arrays of offshore turbines. This in the heart of what the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International has declared a Globally Important Bird Area.

The Ohio Power Siting Board staff has attached a daunting list of conditions to its preliminary analysis. Last October, contrary to LEEDCo pretentions, the USF&WS argued that a still-unapproved environmental assessment is insufficient. Instead a more serious, detailed, environmental impact statement should be drawn. Yet LEEDCo proselytizes incorrectly that a waffling preliminary assessment means that Icebreaker is clean and green.

BSBO’s analysis has been dogged over many months. Its conservation committee includes a professional engineer, an environmental law attorney, and no less than three lifetime professional wildlife and fisheries biologists. Contentions down Cleveland-way that the anti-LEEDCo campaign is an animal of the beleaguered coal industry is just another distraction. The project needs to stand on its own scientific merits, not smoke-and-mirrors……

This project should be stayed unless or until it can assure minimal wildlife impacts based on the most rigorous science. The public should thoughtfully educate itself on the project before forming opinion. Icebreaker is the first small wave in a floodtide. Read the record, not just a “windustry” spin-doctor’s selective fantasizing.

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Turbine Project Terminated

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Residents may see be seeing turbine sections leaving the County aftetr Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act received Royal Assent in the Ontario Legislature Wednesday. –  Irv Collier photo

Country Live|Turbine project terminated in Prince Edward County|July 25,2018

With Royal Assent received Wednesday for Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act 2018, wpd’s nine industrial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County is terminated.

“If members opposite wonder why I don’t fear contractual chill, it’s because the proponent in this case has never honoured its agreements with the government of Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Government Affairs, in the legislature. “This project deserves to die. It deserves to die exactly as it should die today – publicly and in front of the whole province.”

Smith told thte legislature the company has been building non-stop since the middle of June, even after the government announced its intentions to legislatively terminate the project on July 10.

“They’ve had construction crews working over the weekend and trucks heading into the county at all hours to try and complete construction before this Legislature can conclude its work on Bill 2…. And they are nine white elephants. They will do nothing to help this province fight climate change—absolutely nothing. Their total capacity now, after previously being 60 megawatts, is down to about 18 megawatts of power.”

He also noted recent ministry charges over violations. “Finally, it was just a couple of weeks ago that the major multinational corporation developing the project was charged not once, not twice, but three times by the province’s Ministry of Environment for multiple violations. That’s because, under the renewable energy approval, to protect endangered species in the area, they’re not supposed to be constructing after May 1.”

The act, retroactive to July 10, terminates permits and revokes approvals, including the Feed-in-Tarriff contract and Renewable Energy Approval issued in July 2015. It requires decommissioning and to “maintain the lands in a clean and safe condition”.

Smith said it’s been seven long years, but he’s glad to be able to have accomplished this feat.

“It certainly seemed like the deck was stacked against us at times,” he said. “Apparently, construction has now stopped. The legislation requires the company to dismantle and return the property to its original state.”

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Why on Earth?

“Tens of billions in tax subsidies have failed to make “green” energy the steady source of power promised. And now, for instance, Germany’s subsidies for wind power are coming to an end, so as many as 20% of German wind turbines will have to be decommissioned each year with nowhere to dispose of the 30-metre concrete bases or the huge turbine blades.”

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Niagara Wind- Enercon Industrial Wind Turbine Construction 2015

Lorne Gunter|Toronto Sun|July 21, 2018

GUNTER: Why on earth is Trudeau still so committed to the failing carbon tax?

Cancel the White Pines Project

News Release

Ontario’s Government for the People Shares Top Legislative Priorities for Upcoming Sitting

July 10, 2018

Protecting York University students and repealing cap-and-trade carbon tax to top new government’s agenda

TORONTO — Upon the resumption of the legislature, the people of Ontario can expect to see urgent action to protect York University students from the ongoing labour dispute and repeal Ontario’s cap-and-trade carbon tax law from the books, Minister of Government and Consumer Services and Government House Leader Todd Smith announced today.

“We have decided to recall the house because it is clear there are areas of public interest that require urgent attention,” said Smith. “The people of Ontario cannot afford to wait, and they won’t have to.”

Smith singled out three priority areas where the government intends to introduce urgent legislation that will:

  • Protect the students at York University and their families by ensuring that the ongoing labour dispute is quickly and fairly resolved
  • Strike Ontario’s cap-and-trade carbon tax law from the books so that a future government would not impose another cap-and-trade carbon tax under the law
  • Cancel the White Pines Wind Project, effective today, which received notice to proceed during the election period before the government had a chance to make any decision on the project for the benefit of the people of Prince Edward County

“These three priorities send a clear and serious message about what you can expect from our government,” said Smith. “We are prepared to act. And we will always put the best interests of the people first.”

Source:  News Ontario July 10, 2018

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Blanding’s Turtle

Dutch fishing armada sails into Amsterdam to protest wind turbines

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Dutch fisherman take protest against offshore wind to Amsterdam

Fishermen take protest to Amsterdam

Published by FiskerForum, 03-06-2018 · info@fiskerforum.dk

Hundreds of fishermen from Holland and Belgium took their grievances against the discard ban and the loss of fishing grounds due to the expansion of wind farms to Amsterdam this weekend, making plain their dissatisfaction with the way their industry is heading.

Seventeen fishing vessels docked in the centre of Amsterdam, a city that built its wealth and prosperity on the herring fishery. Between 600 and 700 fishermen from Holland and Belgium arrived in the city for a peaceful but highly visible protest that was followed by dozens of journalists.

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International Wind Turbine Noise Conference 2019

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Enercon Wind Turbine- Niagara Wind  located in Southern Ontario

2019 Theme and Subjects

When: June 12-14, 2019   Where: Lisbon

Consolidating our Knowledge

In 2019 we would like to devote a part of the conference to consolidating what we know. As Bo Sondergard said when I suggested that to him “there is no single point in time, our knowledge is always on the move”. That’s true, but I think it would be a good time to try to pull together, perhaps in literature reviews, what we know about:

  • Propagation
  • Annoyance and other effects on people
  • Predicting background noise level
  • Amplitude Modulation
  • Modelling Source Noise

And, of course, what we don’t know – so where the research energy should go next.

Otherwise, we still want general papers and here are a few areas where more work is required:

  • Does background noise vary with seasons?
  • How well does background noise mask turbine noise?
  • Small turbines – they can be as much a problem as large.
  • Cyclical Pitch Control. Can it help reduce AM or overall sound power?
  • How do meteorological conditions affect propagation?
  • More dose response tests on turbine audible noise to allow us to produce more robust regulations.
  • More ways of reducing trailing edge noise.

And, of course any other subjects that are useful to further the knowledge of Wind Turbine Noise.

Dick Bowdler

May 2018

More Information: International Conferences on Noise 2019  

Mothers March Against Industrial Wind

DSC04218The mothers and their children took a walk on May 27, 2013 protesting the Summerhaven Wind project that was under construction at the time.  We marched together providing a record and demonstration of our non consent to the wind project. It also spiked a lot of interest from the Ontario Provincial Police and wind project security.   The police decided they needed to be present with a marked police escort and their undercover members.

Mothers Against Wind Turbines remains firm in giving a thumbs down to industrial wind.  We have not remained silent.  We will not remain silent.  No still means no.

Ontario Wind Resistance posting May 2013: Mothers March to Say NO!

 

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Where is MOECC? Blanding’s Turtles face imminent harm

Windlectric Defies Its Own Turtle Protocol – Blanding’s Turtles Endangered

Posted May 6, 2018  on FaceBook by: Association to Protect Amherst Island 

“Windlectric (AQN-T) was advised of the presence of a nesting Blanding’s Turtle on Front Road on Amherst Island in immediate proximity of collector installation. Instead of stopping work in accordance with its own protocol, the company continued to install collector lines, transport cement and use heavy equipment.

Honourable Chris Ballard, Minister MOECC, has been requested to require compliance and protect endangered species.

Blanding’s Turtles nest at maturity and live to be 70 to 100 years. The loss of one turtle or one nest devastates the species.

The ERT decision says:

The ERT in its decision understood the grave harm to the population of Blanding’s Turtles and said without equivocation:

[325] Additionally, the Tribunal finds that the mitigation measures incorporated as conditions of the REA have all but eliminated the potential for turtle mortality and have minimized the potential for indirect impacts to habitat during the construction phase. The construction window of November 1 to March 31 for those portions of the Project closest to the coastal wetlands, and the window of September 1 to March 31 for the remainder of the Project, will ensure that construction takes place outside the period during which turtles are active outside of their resident wetlands. Additionally, in the rare event that a turtle remains active during construction, the Tribunal is satisfied that the exclusionary fencing to be used, mostly on private agricultural land, will ensure that turtles are not able to access construction areas.

[337] Despite having made this finding, due to the uncertainty around the location of temporary areas of flooding and water bodies, and recognizing that there is a chance that a turtle may nest on an access road while Project staff are not present and nests may remain hidden from view, the Tribunal makes two recommendations as follows:

a. that no access roads be used during any flooding events during the active season for Blanding’s Turtle in order to ensure that should any turtles be present that they are given time to vacate the access road before Project staff use it; and

b. that no road grading take place during the nesting season for Blanding’s Turtles in order to ensure that any road-side nests are unharmed as a result of grading activities on access roads.

[338] The Tribunal is of the view that these two additional measures will add an additional layer of protection in the unlikely event that a turtle finds itself, or nests, on an access road.

Windlectric Inc. has violated the timing restrictions every business day since April 1 and most recently has worked on Sunday.

What say you Robert Wright and Justin Duncan?”

To contact Minister Chris Ballard ,MOECC (Minister of Environment & Climate Change):
Email: minister.moecc@ontario.ca
Phone:   416-314-6790
Mail: Ferguson Block 11th Flr, 77 Wellesley St W, Toronto, ON M7A 2T5

Fight to Save Endangered Turtles from Wind Turbines

blandings-turtle 3Residents fight to protect endangered Blanding’s turtles as unwanted construction of industrial wind proceeds  with the invasion of Amherst Island.  Ontario meanwhile fails to enforce its own rules and ruling of the Environmental Review Tribunal.

[325] Additionally, the Tribunal finds that the mitigation measures incorporated as conditions of the REA have all but eliminated the potential for turtle mortality and have minimized the potential for indirect impacts to habitat during the construction phase. The construction window of November 1 to March 31 for those portions of the Project closest to the coastal wetlands, and the window of September 1 to March 31 for the remainder of the Project, will ensure that construction takes place outside the period during which turtles are active outside of their resident wetlands.

Extraction from ERT Ruling:15-068 HIRSCH V. ONTARIO (MOECC)  

Global News April 25, 2018:
https://globalnews.ca/video/embed/4168160/