Category Archives: Lack of municipal power in planning

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

 

 

Call for Action over claims of water well contamination

Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group

MEDIA RELEASE
14-September-2017

“Rural residents near Chatham Ontario have accused Samsung Renewable Energy, (a division of the Korean trans-national) of contaminating their drinking water wells.
The contamination is believed to have resulted from continuing pile driving for a 36 turbine development in North Kent on Bush Line near Highway 40. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) approved the North Kent Wind project even though it is situated on an important aquifer. Residents say the MOECC has ignored their concerns and refused to test their wells for heavy metals or even tell them whether their water is safe to drink……”

water glass.png

Noise from wind turbines may cancel a Sale

good neigboursParis – The noise of new wind turbines may justify the cancellation of the purchase of a house if the buyer claims it.

The purchaser, faced with this nuisance, may in fact invoke his own misjudgment which has vitiated his consent, especially if he has been preoccupied with the environment before buying, judges the Court of Cassation.

Although no one is at fault, the error of one of the parties leads to a defect in his consent which justifies the handing over of things to their former state, that is to say the reciprocal restitution of the house and its price, Admit the judges.

Since the construction of wind turbines is not a question of town planning, it may not be reported as such to the future purchaser, To inform the city council on urbanism projects, observes the judges.

This future purchaser can not therefore complain that it has not been reported to him. It would have been necessary to ask precisely the question of a project of installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences.

In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisance. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. 

(Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337)

This future purchaser can not therefore complain that it has not been reported to him. It would have been necessary to ask precisely the question of a project of installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences. In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisances. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. (Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337). (© AFP / 07 July 2017 09h55)

Installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences. In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisances. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. (Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337). (© AFP / 07 July 2017 09h55)

While knowing the project, no one could imagine the extent of the nuisances. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. (Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337). (© AFP / 07 July 2017 09h55)

Google translate Original text in French:

Link to Court Decision

Le bruit des éoliennes peut annuler une vente  

french wind project
Installation of wind turbines in France

Windlectric Fails to bully Council over Amherst Island Wind

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Loyalist Township Council Resists Bullying By Algonquin Power
Stella, May 30, 2017

The Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) applauds Loyalist Township Council’s decision to defer approval of Windlectric’s Operations Plan for the Amherst Island wind turbine project. Council resisted pressure from Algonquin Power to approve a Plan that in Windlectric’s own words, anticipates “Structural failure of lsland roads”.

On May 29, 2017, Mr. Jeff Norman, Chief Development Officer for Algonquin Power wrote:

“Due to the differences separating Windlectric and the Township, Windlectric can see no basis on which arbitration can be avoided on some of the issues identified in the Staff Report. Accordingly, Windlectric will have no choice but to commence arbitration proceedings under Part X of the RUA (Roads Use Agreement) if the OP (Operations Plan) is not approved by Council on May 29, 2017.”

APAI congratulates Council for choosing the public interest over Windlectric’s business interests by deferring at its May 29th meeting the Operations Plan pending receipt of:
a. legally supported definition of the extent of the Township’s road allowance, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township;
b. the confirmation that the width and capacity of the Township’s road allowances will support the construction and related detours as outlined in the Operations Plan, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township; and
c. that the issues noted by G.D. Jewell [Loyalist Township’s engineering consultant] be addressed to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township.

In its submissions to Council, APAI emphasized that:
• the fifth version of Operations Plan finally acknowledged that the lsland roads do not have the load bearing capacity to support the heavy equipment required for the wind turbine project and that structural failure of lsland roads is anticipated in section 2.6 titled “Potential Road Failure”. APAI asserted that it was inconceivable that Windlectric expected Council to approve a Plan that anticipates the total failure of roads on Amherst lsland, putting lives and the environment at risk.
• Windlectric’s Plan also fails to comply with commitments made to the Environmental Review Tribunal as Windlectric now plans to widen all haul routes to 6 m. This is totally contrary to the three minor and temporary widenings on which the ERT based its decision.
• the Operations Plan should be amended to place the onus on
Windlectric to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval Conditions of Approval, all federal, provincial, municipal laws, and commitments made before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
Windlectric’s Marine Logistics Plan fails to demonstrate how 24 barge trips per day crossing the ferry path can possibly be safe. According to the Operations Plan, two barges carrying fuel, hazardous materials, heavy equipment, turbine parts and personnel will cross the ferry path twenty four times per day from September to April.

APAI’s submission also addressed a long list of significant and very troubling matters including resolution of the important and complex issue of forced roads, the lack of baseline testing of residents’ wells for water quality and rate of flow, and Windlectric’s request for a blanket exemption to the Township Noise Bylaw.

The Amherst Island Wind Project has already caused a major power outage on the lsland, a fuel spill, and a water emergency in Prince Edward County. Consequently, it is reasonable that Council insist on absolute compliance without exception to protect the public and the environment.

APAI commends the expertise, tenacity and due diligence of Township staff and congratulates Council for standing firm in the face of bullying by Algonquin Power until the Operations Plan addresses all outstanding issues.

Contact: Michèle Le Lay
President, Association to Protect Amherst Island
protectai@kos.net

SOURCE (emphasis and links added)Association to Protect Amherst Island

“Windlectric’s proposed haul route on South Shore for heavy equipment, turbine parts and concrete trucks – 10,322 trucks! The scene by Peggie’s house this morning Monday May 29. Windlectric says roads will fail and has finally discovered what Islanders have known all along: Island roads do not have the load bearing capacity for an industrial turbine project.
Be careful out there: South Shore is closed by Bruce and Andrea’s. South Shore to the east is being pounded by waves and the eroded bank may collapse”  FaceBook, May 29, 2017   Caption on photos corrected:  Road damage shown due to high water levels 

Motion to Halt Industrial Wind Turbines- Queen’s Park

sam oosterhoff- queens park
Motion tabled at Queen’s Park to halt industrial wind turbines by MPP Oosterhoff

(Queen’s Park)  April 6, 2017

Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Sam Oosterhoff :
“The Liberal government forced turbines on municipalities across rural Ontario against the wishes and concerns of residents and communities such as West Lincoln,” said Oosterhoff. “This stubborn initiative of the Liberals shows no respect for municipalities or for the ordinary concerns of Ontarians.”
“Industrial wind turbines are one of the causes of our sky-rocketing energy costs because of the unaffordable contracts made by the Liberals,” noted Oosterhoff. “Heat or eat is not a decision people should have to make.”
“The Liberals have a long history of ignoring municipalities and local residents. The NDP pretend to support local decision-making, but instead they supported the legislation that left municipalities without a voice on the placement of industrial turbines,” said Oosterhoff. “Tomorrow, they will have a chance to make amends and show respect for our communities by voting for my Motion.”
Motion:
“That in the opinion of this House, the Government should place a moratorium on the installation of industrial wind turbines in unwilling host communities in the Province of Ontario.”
Debate on the Motion:   
Media Articles:
Recorded vote:
vote of IWT motion

Don’t throw turbine neighbours under the bus

thrown_under_the_busHuron Daily Tribune

Wednesday April 5, 2017

To the editor:

You’ve heard that wind turbines are no louder than refrigerators at 40 decibels? That measurement is taken a foot or two away from the bottom of the refrigerator.

If 40 decibels is acceptable to you, then maybe refrigerators should be installed on your night stand next to your bed. Please make sure the refrigerator is set to turn on and off, on and off every two seconds to simulate the wind turbine blade’s movement. Do you really think that two-second intermittent noise all night long will lull you to sleep?

The scientific studies referred to by wind energy companies are often wind energy-funded studies. And when recent studies from many independent researchers are published that comment on audible noise, pulsation/vibration, and shadow flicker affecting nearby residents, the wind faction is quick to dismiss, trivialize, debunk, and simply ignore that information.

Michigan State University has been promoting sample zoning for wind energy systems that was highly permissive toward wind development and darn near hostile to neighbors of wind turbines. The animosity created in communities with unsafe wind development favoring wind developers may take years to disappear.

It’s a brand new ball game because, on March 6, MSU released its new wind energy sample zoning regulations. MSU researchers don’t condone prohibiting turbines. They condone safe setbacks.

The study informs the uninformed about wind development and reasonable land use regulations. These new recommendations are extremely important and confirm all of the things so many people in Michigan have worked so hard for.

Here are some highlights of the MSU recommendations:

Sound Level — On-site use wind energy systems shall not exceed 40 dB(A) at the property line closest to the wind energy system. This sound pressure level may be briefly exceeded during short term events such as utility outages and/or severe wind storms.

One MSU recommendation is a turbine setback of 2,500 feet from the property line of any parcel which is not receiving compensation for the Utility Grid Wind Energy System.

And, to show how wind energy is losing its grip in Michigan, here is a recent straw poll: In Ingersoll Township, Michigan (just south of Midland), board officials took a poll of 88 people at their March 22 board meeting. Results?

• 75 against wind development in township

• 3 for wind development in township

• 10 undecided

The money a community can make and the money a large landholder can make certainly is important. But, it’s the only bullet the pro wind faction has. However, to allow so many large landholders a financial gain is to throw the neighbors of wind turbines under the bus.

Norm Stephens

Caro

WindTurbinesComparision_BySchindler

New wind energy resource for planning commissions; Michigan State University

MPP Oosterhoff tables motion to Stop Industrial Wind Turbines

sam oosterhoff- queens park
MPP  Niagara West-Glanbrook: Sam Oosterhoff    Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Today, I tabled a motion in the Legislature to place a moratorium on industrial wind turbine development, that will be debated this coming Thursday, April 6. Queen’s Park

SHARE this post if you want to see the Liberals stop the wind turbines!

Across Niagara, and across the province, residents and municipalities have seen industrial wind turbines shoved down their throats by a government that fails to recognize local decision making.

My motion reads as follows:

“That, in the opinion of this house, the Government should place a moratorium on the installation of industrial wind turbines in unwilling host communities in the Province of Ontario.”

MPP Sam Oosterhoff for Niagara West-Glanbrook

Wind Turbines --- say NO

Wind Infrastructure and Fatal Collisions

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Who is liable?

It can no longer be said that wind infrastructure placements are an accident waiting to happen.  Guardrails, junction boxes and monster transmission poles are all part and parcel of any wind powered installation. Under the Green Energy Act normal planning controls have been removed from the jurisdiction of local municipalities. This has seen transmission poles placed precariously close to road edges in the right of ways along our public roads.  These “engineered” marvels are more then visual blight or examples of questionable planning as they are claiming human lives in multiple fatal collisions.  Recently a transmission pole owned by Kerwood Wind ILP project which is a subsidiary of NextEra was involved in a collision that claimed the life of the car driver and resulted in serious injuries to the passenger .

READ HERE: http://www.strathroytoday.ca/default.asp?pid=9149287&wireid=02598_Kerwood_Road_Fatality_072156#.V_4p2GvbakF.twitter

(Photos Courtesy of Ontario Wind Resistance: Infrastructure located in Kent- Lambton- Middlesex for the wind projects)

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MPP Monte McNaughton of Kent- Lambton- Middlesex wrote to Minister of Energy Glen Thibeault asking Who is liable?

Letter to Minister of Energy from MPP McNaughton; Nov.10.16