Category Archives: legal challenges

Green Energy vs Justice

GREEN ENERGY vs JUSTICE

A second peer-reviewed manuscript relating to the CCSAGE legal case has been published and is available on line. Entitled Ontario’s Green Energy Policy vs. Social Justice, the manuscript was largely based on the documents written to support the CCSAGE legal case. It has the stated objective:

To explore the development and implementation of Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the outcomes on social justice and risk of harm to Ontario residents. To provide examples of government actions taken to achieve its goals, and the occurrence of consequences, whether intended or unintended.

In memory of Alan Whiteley

Alan Whiteley

Whiteley, A., &Dumbrille, A. (2021). Ontario’s Green Energy Policy vs. Social Justice. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 447-486.https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2021.91033

Received: December 22, 2020
Accepted: January 26, 2021
Published: January 29, 2021

 

 

Justice Reform Recommendations using Green Energy Act

Lawyer Alan Whitely wrote to the Ontario government in July 2020, in an effort to affect modernization of the justice system. The goal was to improve access to justice for the people. The Green Energy Act was used as an example and recommendations were given to prevent this from happening again. He received no response from the Government. Even though the Green Energy Act was repealed in 2019 the consequences and impacts of renewable energy projects continue to divide Ontario.

Whiteley, A.,Dumbrille, A., & Hirsch, J. (2021). Access to Justice: Recommended Reforms to the Ontario Justice System Using the Green Energy Act as an Example. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2021.91001

Historic Win ~ Bald Hills Wind~ Too Close to Home

Bald Hills Wind Farm neighbours win historic legal battle against turbines ‘too close to homes’

By Jedda Costa |August 20, 2020|ABC Gippsland

The South Gippsland Shire Council and local residents have won a legal fight against the Bald Hills Wind Farm (BHWF) near Tarwin Lower, about 150 kilometres south-east of Melbourne.

Key points:

  • A council in Victoria’s south-east has won a historic legal battle against a wind farm near Tarwin Lower
  • Last year, the operator of the Bald Hills Wind Farm sued the South Gippsland Shire Council after a report found turbine noise was affecting the wellbeing of nearby residents
  • The Supreme Court yesterday ruled there were no legal errors made by the council

The operator of the windfarm sued the council in March last year after it commissioned an independent report, which found noise from the farm’s turbines was having an adverse impact on the comfort and wellbeing of residents.

The company appealed against the council’s findings and sought a judicial review of the report, claiming it was incorrect and unlawful, but the Supreme Court yesterday ruled no legal errors were made throughout the council’s investigation….

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Government’s right to cancel renewable power projects upheld

ripped contract

The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court decision saying the Ford government was within its rights to cancel numerous renewable power projects that had not yet met a critical milestone in the approvals process.

Grasshopper Solar Corporation v. Independent Electricity System Operator

Children received payment for illness claimed caused by wind turbines

thejournal.ie|by: Aodhan O Faolain|February 26, 2020

Three children receive €225,000 settlement over alleged illnesses caused by windfarm near family homewind refugee

THREE SIBLINGS WHO claimed their family had to abandon their home due to illnesses allegedly caused by a nearby windfarm have secured €225,000 as a settlement of their High Court damages claims.

The awards, were part of settlements made without admission of liability, made to Laura, David and Jack Kelleher.

The siblings claimed that they, along with their parents, had to leave their family home at Gowlane North, Donoughmore, Cork in late 2016 several months after a ten-turbine wind farm went into operation.

They claimed that the noise, vibrations and shadow flicker from the turbines, located just over 700m from their family farm, resulted in them suffering from various illnesses.

These included nosebleeds, ear aches, skin rashes, swollen and painful hands, loss of power in their limbs, sleep disturbance, and headaches.

Through their father Valentine Kelleher, the three siblings sued Green Energy Supply Ltd, which owns and operates a wind turbine installation known as Knockduff Wind Farm in Cork.

The actions were also against company director Michael Murnane of Gortyleahy, Macroom, Cork, who is the owner of Green Energy Supply….

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North Stormont Council Gets Update on Status of Nation Rise Wind

Nation Valley News|January 14, 2020
North Stormont Council receives an update on the status of the Nation Rise Wind Project. Councillor Roxane Villeneuve expresses concern that the township could be on the hook to refund building permit fees already collected.

Has Pension Plan bought into a huge Lawsuit?

Golden nest egg concept for retirement savings

CBC News|November 20, 2019

CPP might be ‘buying into a lawsuit’ through Pattern Energy acquisition, says lawyer

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) might be “buying into a lawsuit” by acquiring U.S.-based renewable energy company Pattern Energy, according to a lawyer representing Chatham-Kent residents whose lawsuit against the Ontario government — as well as three wind turbine companies, including Pattern Energy — was dismissed earlier this year.

Pattern Energy announced in early November that it had entered into a $6.1 billion agreement with the CPPIB that would see the federal pension plan’s investment arm acquire the renewable energy company.

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broken golden egg

 

Ireland fined over wind project mud slides

mud slideIreland fined €5m plus daily penalty of €15,000 over landslides at Galway wind farm

The fine relates to an incident which saw 50,000 fish killed in 2003.

November 12, 2019

THE EU’S COURT of Justice has fined the State €5m over its failure to comply with EU legislation that might have prevented landslides linked to the construction of a wind farm in the west of Ireland in 2003.

The penalty is set to increase further as EU’s top court set an additional daily fine of €15,000 until the Government achieves compliance with environmental legislation on assessing the impact of the wind farm Derrybrien, Co Galway.

The fine is due to the “seriousness and duration” of the failure to carry out an environmental impact assessment on the wind farm in the 11 years since a previous CJEU ruling on 3 July, 2008.

The legal action by the European Commission followed a massive landslide at Derrybrien on 16 October, 2003, when tonnes of peat were dislodged and polluted the Owendalulleegh River, resulting in the death of around 50,000 fish.

At the time Derrybrien was the country’s biggest-ever wind farm, and one of the largest in Europe, with 70 turbines. Its construction required the removal of large areas of forest and the extraction of peat up to a depth of 5.5 metres.

The European Commission said two investigations had concluded that the environmental disaster had been linked to the construction work on the wind farm.

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On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby:

1.      Declares that, by failing to take all measures necessary to comply with the judgment of 3 July 2008, Commission v Ireland (C215/06, EU:C:2008:380), Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 260(1) TFEU;

2.      Orders Ireland to pay the European Commission a lump sum in the amount of EUR 5 000 000;

3.      Orders Ireland to pay the Commission a periodic penalty payment of EUR 15 000 per day from the date of delivery of the present judgment until the date of compliance with the judgment of 3 July 2008, Commission v Ireland (C215/06, EU:C:2008:380);

4.      Orders Ireland to pay the costs.

READ COURT DECISION HERE

Ontario & Wind companies face legal action over contaminated wells

So it begins and to be continued.  Christine Burke started legal action challenging the Ontario Government, Ministry employees and the Wind companies. October 30, 2019 @ 10am is the next scheduled court date.

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SAVE THE DATE come out and show your support.  Car pooling is encouraged.

Next Court Date: October 30, 2019 @ 10am
(Dates and times subject to change on short notice)

Location: Blenheim court house, 21633 Communications Rd, RR#5, Blenheim

“The accusations – largely concerning the potential for contamination of private water wells by black shale and hazardous metals in the North Kent area – were submitted by Dover resident Christine Burke. The private prosecution charges – filed under section 14 of the Environmental Protection Act – name Ontario Environment minister Jeff Yurek, the Ministry of the Environment and several wind turbine companies with projects in the area.”

Wind case put over to Oct. 30|by: Trevor Terfolth|Chatham Daily News| August 14, 2019

Court adjourned until October for wind turbine, Environmental Protection Act charges|CBC News|August 14, 2019

Lawyers to review 2,000 pages of documents in CK water contamination case|

“When the pile driving and construction of the wind turbines started on our shallow aquifer our drinking water slowly turned black and is now unsafe to consume, cook with or even bathe in,” she says in court documents. “This issue continues today and we are not the only family affected by this devastation.”

Engie Canada, Pattern Energy Group and Samsung Renewable Energy are all also charged in relation to their work building the East Lake St. Clair Wind Farm and North Kent 1 Wind Farm.”

Ontario minister, wind companies charged under environmental protection act|| Published July 26, 2019- The Star

Minister Responds to Wind Turbine Charges

water dirtyMinister responds to being named in wind turbine charges

Chatham Daily News|by: Jake Romphf|August 9, 2019

Ontario’s Environment Minister Jeff Yurek has responded to being named in charges regarding the Ontario Court of Justice determining there are reasonable grounds to believe environmental offenses were committed at several wind turbine projects in Chatham-Kent.

Ontario’s environment minister, Jeff Yurek, has responded to being named in recent charges regarding environmental offences allegedly committed at several wind turbine projects in Chatham-Kent.

The private prosecution charges are under section 14 of the Environmental Protection Act and were submitted by Christine Burke, a Chatham-Kent resident, according to the court summons document. The Ontario Court of Justice determined there were reasonable grounds to believe that environmental offences had been committed.

Yurek is accused in one document of failing to take reasonable care to prevent the installation and operation of the turbines at the East Lake St. Clair Wind Farm, run by Engie Canada, and at the North Kent 1 Wind Farm, run by Pattern Energy Group and Samsung Renewable Energy, from discharging, or causing or permitting the discharge of contaminants.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment is accused in another document.

When the charges were originally announced in late July, a spokesperson from Yurek’s office said “as the matter is before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment.”

However, Yurek submitted a statement on the matter to Chatham Daily News this week, noting it wasn’t his government that approved the wind projects at the centre of the charges.

“While the resident chose to name me in the charges as the current minister responsible on this file, it is my hope that the future media coverage will accurately reflect that these decision (were) made under the previous Liberal government,” Yurek said.

Yurek said the previous Liberal government “forced wind projects into the backyards of unwilling communities in municipalities across Ontario.”

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent, which is not named in the action, holds a 15 per cent equity interest in North Kent Wind through its affiliate, Entegrus Renewable Energy Inc.

“The municipality offered to pay for testing, water testing, for residents. … (We’ve) tried to engage the Ministry of the Environment, who have jurisdiction over the wind turbines and environmental matters,” John Norton, the municipality’s general manage of community development and chief legal officer, previously told the Chatham Daily News.

Yurek said he’s “taking the public’s concerns about the wind projects very seriously and will continue to stand with the families living in Chatham-Kent.”

In July, the province announced an independent panel will conduct a health-hazard review of the area’s private water wells after residents voiced concerns over sediment in their water. That review will focus on the water’s quality and not the source of the sediment.

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