Category Archives: legal challenges

Falmouth Ordered to shut down Turbines

falmouth wind turbine clock is ticking

By Ethan Genter  Cape Cod Times

Posted Jun 20, 2017 at 9:09 PM
Updated Jun 20, 2017 at 9:34 PM

BARNSTABLE — A Barnstable Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the town of Falmouth to shut down two town-owned wind turbines.

Judge Cornelius Moriarty issued his decision at about 4:30 p.m. in the case which pitted the town against its own Zoning Board of Appeals and a neighbor of the turbines. The Board of Selectmen had appealed a decision by the zoning board that found the turbines are a nuisance.

In an emergency meeting Tuesday night, selectmen instructed the town manager to comply with Moriarty’s order.

“We are going to abide by what the judge has ordered,” said Doug Jones, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Known as Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility have been subjected to a litany of lawsuits, with neighbors saying the turbines have negatively affected their health and enjoyment of their properties.

Moriarty’s decision was welcomed by Barry Funfar, who lives next to one of the turbines and has sunk more than $100,000 into fighting their operation.

“We’ve been waiting for this decision for six months,” Funfar said.

The last action in the case was in December.

“My wife and I have been taxed by these turbines, right out of our home. … I’m very, very happy,” Funfar said.

Wind 1 has already been shut down under a prior court ruling, and Wind 2 had been reduced to 12-hour operation cycles.

In their emergency meeting Tuesday, the selectmen only touched on what to do as of 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, when Wind 2 is scheduled to go back online for its next 12-hour cycle.

Jones declined to comment on what the town plans to do after losing its appeal.

“The Town is evaluating the decision with its attorneys,” according to a statement issued by Town Manager Julian Suso.

The selectmen are scheduled to meet again on Monday in executive session to further discuss the judge’s decision, which contradicts another court decision.

In April, a Barnstable Superior Court jury sided with the town, saying there was no nuisance at a Wind 1 neighbor’s property.

There are several other lawsuits working their way through the courts, and while he looks forward to seeing what the selectmen decide, Funfar said he sees Tuesday decision as a “happy bump” in what will likely remain a long road ahead.

“My wife is going to be so happy to hear this,” he said.

 

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Big Green and Mean

next era bullies

Big ‘Green’ and Mean: A Wind-Energy Giant Attacks Small-Town America

by ROBERT BRYCE May 2, 2017 4:00 AM @PWRHUNGRY

The world’s biggest wind-turbine company has filed lawsuits against five rural governments because they stand between it and millions in tax subsidies.

NextEra Energy, which bills itself on its website as “the world’s largest generator of renewable energy,” is suing a tiny municipality in one of Oklahoma’s poorest counties. In mid February, NextEra, which operates 110 wind projects in 20 states, filed lawsuits in both state and federal court against the town of Hinton, population: 3,200. Why is the wind giant suing the Caddo County town? Simple: Hinton stands between NextEra and nearly $18 million per year in federal tax subsidies. NextEra isn’t suing only Hinton. Since last October, the wind giant has filed lawsuits against five rural governments from Oklahoma to Michigan, all of which have imposed limits on wind-turbine development.

The company has also filed a libel suit against Esther Wrightman, a Canadian activist who opposed a project NextEra wanted to build in Kerwood, Ontario. Wrightman’s offense? She called the company “NexTerror” and “NextError” on her website, ontario-wind-resistance.org. That libel suit, filed four years ago, is still pending.

To be certain, the oil and gas industry has filed lawsuits against local governments that have sought limits on hydraulic fracturing. The difference is that NextEra is using taxpayers’ money to fund its courthouse mugging of small-town America. Between 2008 and 2015, according to a recent report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, NextEra accumulated profits of $21.5 billion but didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes. Over that time frame, only ten other American companies received more in tax subsidies than NextEra. Nor does it appear that NextEra will be paying federal taxes any time soon. In its 10-K filing for 2016 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported $3 billion in tax-credit carryforwards that it can use to directly offset tax liabilities in future years. Remember, tax credits are more valuable than a deduction from revenue or accelerated depreciation. As my accounting consultant (and brother) Wally Bryce, a CPA, reminds me: “You’d much rather get a tax credit because it applies dollar for dollar against what you owe the government.”

NextEra wants more tax credits. And it’s litigating to get more. But each lawsuit NextEra files against a yet-smaller rural town or yet-smaller website owner provides another example of the backlash against Big Wind and, even more appalling, how Big Wind is using the issue of climate change as an excuse to make a run on the Treasury. Since 2015, more than 130 government entities in states from Maine to California have moved to reject or restrict the encroachment of the wind industry. And while other wind companies have also sued small towns, none can match NextEra’s scorched-earth tactics……

Read more at National Review 

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Esther Wrightman holding notice of lawsuit filed against her by NextEra

SLAPP Lawsuit Filed by NextEra Against Esther Wrightman

Statement of Defense filed by Esther Wrightman

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

 

 

 

Chatham-Kent Should Stay out of Investment Biz

Letter to Editor:

Sir: Chatham-Kent municipal Corporation continues to make taxpayer funded investments that continue to end in taxpayer liability, when continually given evidence not to.

Municipalities should not be in the investment business. They are hired by taxpayers to prudently manage to create dividends, not to mismanage to create liability. The Bradley Centre, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in net annual losses; the Industrial Park, which accumulated a $20 million total to date loss; the Capital Theatre, having a total provincial and municipal gross loss of about many millions, not the skimpy losses generally reported; Kingston Park with a $2 million overrun in costs; taxpayer funded annual municipal wage and pension payout of about $138M, with only about $146 million in general annual revenues.

If I understood the recent clouded, scattered and incomplete municipal budget correctly, C-K has nearly $40 million in interest payments on such capital projects. Canada-wide, taxpayers are paying about $62 billion and $11 billion annually just to service the debt of Canada and Ontario respectively. All of day-to-day cash of government operations come from the private sector, you and I, but yet, governments continue to financially rape their only source of income by introducing about 120 taxes on everything we do, on every nickel we earn, and continue to make irresponsible and fool hardy investments that never comes out of their pocket book, only ours.

The Provincial Green Energy Act, paving the way for wind turbines, created a 70-per-cent hike in electricity costs, costs consumers an extra $37 billion, and under the Auditors report will cost us an additional $133 billion by 2032.

The auditor’s report confirms for each wind energy job created, three Ontario jobs are lost. The mayor supports wind turbines, and his short sighted thinking makes Chatham-Kent nickels and dimes, while the province is losing billions, whereby billions have to be made up by taxing us more to make up the losses.

Recently, C-K council approved an $8-million investment in wind turbines, cited by the mayor to give us an $11-million profit after 20 years, which will keep taxes down. This thinking is worse than a migraine and mirrors how the province manages tax dollars. More specific to the wind turbine investment. C-K will become “common” shareholders in 15 per cent of a foreign company, meaning if the company dissolves or liquidates or reconstructs itself we as “common” shareholders lose all to preferred stock holders, bond holders, creditors, etc., not to mention if no profits are realized due to provincial or legal intervention. $8 million from reserves invested with compounding interest could give us up to $15M after 20 years without risk. Taking money from reserves means we have to replenish it, either by cashing in bonds, creating higher taxes, reducing infrastructure investment or by other means.

We have reserves for good reason.

If any dividends were realized from the turbine investment taxpayers won’t see a dime nor will any reduction in taxes be apparent. C-K will create a separate corporation, under the Business Corporations Act, RSO- 1990 for this manoeuvre, transferring same to Entegrus, which disallows taxpayers, although it’s all your money, to not know what’s going on, unless Entegrus/Corix wishes you to.

Additionally, Entegrus is courting to grab up to $30 million more from Chatham-Kent taxpayers for future investments with private companies.

Companies like Entegrus are more inclined to use investment income as an indirect way to feed their own wages, pensions, travel, perks and allowances, office upgrades, company vehicles etc., before any benefit is given to the taxpayer.

Furthermore, having Chatham-Kent a wind turbine investor, how the hell can council and our municipality speak against the turbine company respecting any legal action, public safety liability or other?

John Cryderman

Chatham

Published April 24, 2017 The Chatham Voice

randy hope
Mayor Randy Hope of Chatham Kent- Wind Industry award recipient continues to actively promote industrial wind turbines 

Damages & Costs for families forced to abandoned their homes

Ireland’s wind industry has been put on notice.  Damages and costs will be decided for the families adversely harmed by the noise emitted from wind turbines.  The implications for the industry will no doubt reverberate worldwide. (Read prior court ruling by following link below)

Enercon Admits Liability in High Court Ireland

Court Case Has “Serious Implications” For Wind Farms – Local Campaigner

The future of wind farms in Ireland could be called into question this week.

Seven families from Cork, who claim they had to leave their homes five years ago due to noise levels, will have damages and costs decided by the High Court tomorrow.

It is the first action of its kind in this country and may open industrial wind developers to further legal challenges.

Laois woman Paula Byrne, PRO of Wind Aware Ireland, outlines the significance of the case.

Listen here: http://www.midlands103.com/news-centre/court-case-serious-implications-wind-farms-local-campaigner/

enercon turbines

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

 

Is there a remedy to Industrial Wind Turbines?

Is there a Remedy for People Suffering, Health Issues, Financially, etc. from Industrial Wind Turbines in Ontario ?– approximately 7700 planned for Ontario.

shawn-tricia
Trish & Shawn Drennan

“Congratulations to Trish and Shawn Drennan!”

The Goderich Superior Court Room was filled to capacity when Shawn and Trish Drennan went to Court on January 19th to reverse the negative impact that the 140 Industrial Wind Turbine Project (K2), two transformer stations and several transmission lines have on their family, home and their Heritage Farm operation.

They put a compelling and sensible case together and spoke with passion and the strength of truth behind their words.  One comment was that some felt they were witnessing an important step in this fight.  I heard, from a lawyer,… “that a lawyer could not have done a better job in arguing the case”.  Most felt the judge really got it and it was in no small part because of the time, work, expense and personal sacrifice they both have given to their case to put the facts on the table.

shawn-drennan
Shawn Drennan at home on his farm operation

Shawn, “presented himself”, and told the court that the government has created an impossible barrier when he has to prove “Serious Harm to human health” at an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT), when the turbines have not been installed or in operation yet. The ERT appeals and Divisional Court Hearings occur prior to the IWTs becoming operational. The Divisional Court also confirmed that the ERT’s lack the jurisdiction to determine the validly of section 47.5 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and its constitutionality. In addition, to date, there appears to be no definition for the term “Serious Harm” even after all the ERT’s, Judicial Reviews and Divisional Court cases here in Ontario.

Shawn declared that the many witnesses who have come forward to testify that they have been harmed by turbines all over this province have not been given the gravity and respect they deserve for putting their testimony forward.  Shawn told the hearing that the government and K2 knew the turbines will harm people even before wind project proposals and permits went ahead.  The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) lobbied the government to remove Infra and Low Frequency Sound regulations and testing when the Green Energy Act was written and this requirement was subsequently removed. If Judge Raikes had asked, at least half or more of the people in the court room that day could have stood up and said, “ I am the evidence of harm from Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs).”

Shawn told the hearing that the difference between then, (ERT Hearings prior to operation) and now (May 29 2015), is that now the switch has been turned on, and the IWT’s are operational and we are being harmed.k2-wind-turbine

Judge Raikes challenged K2 and the MOE to tell him what remedy the Drennans have besides more time in court. We all watched them try to answer to no avail, because as was pointed out the only remedy right now is to move away. “Most people do not want to move away to begin with but do so to regain health.  They  are often penalized yet again when they have to lower the sales price to even get the home sold.

kingsbridge-120910
Home with a K2 industrial wind turbine just a few hundred metres away

When Judge Raikes looked at the K2 lawyer, Mr Bredt,  the judge tried to paraphrase what the lawyer had just said to him, “ So, the Drennans went to the ERT and Divisional Court, have complained to MOE, and still have no remedy, so it’s tough luck for them?  Bredt replied, “Yes.” which drew gasps of disbelief from the full gallery of people who attended.

When it came time to argue about who should be named as defendants in the Charter Challenge; K2 and /or govt., it was interesting to watch the judge see both parties try to throw each other under the bus.

Those in attendance are waiting to hear Judge Raikes decision and keep their fingers crossed that Shawn and Trish can move forward in finding a remedy for the harm they have experienced.  This hearing has implications for property owners and people living within at least a 10 km radius of a turbine project here in Ontario.

Thank you, on behalf of a whole lot of us in Ontario.

Dave Hemingway, Reporter, The Landowner

People vs Wind Turbines

vive-a-la-resistance-2Ontario Superior Court- Goderich  January 19, 2017

Congratulations to Trish and Shawn Drennan!

You put a compelling and sensible case together and spoke with passion and the strength of truth behind your words today.  One comment was that some felt they were witnessing an important step in this fight.  I heard, from a lawyer, that a lawyer couldn’t have done a better job in arguing the case.  Most felt the judge really got it and it was in no small part because of the time, work, expense and personal sacrifice you’ve both given to this to put the facts on the table. 

You told the court the govt has put up an impossible barrier when we have to prove at an ERT that a turbine installation that isn’t built yet, will seriously harm us and that the judicial review confirmed the ERT’s decision.

You declared that the many witnesses who have come forward to testify that they have been harmed by turbines all over this province have not been given the gravity and respect they deserve for putting their testimony forward.  You told them the govt and the wind company KNOWS it will harm people even as the proposals and permits go ahead.  And I note that if the judge had asked, at least half or more of the people in that room today could have stood up and said, I am the evidence of harm from turbines.”

You told them that the difference between then and now, is now the switch has been turned on, the turbines are running and you too are being harmed.

The judge challenged the wind company and the MOE to tell him what remedy the Drennins have besides more time in court and we all watched them try to answer to no avail, because as was pointed out the only remedy right now is to move away. 

When the judge looked at the wind company lawyer and tried to paraphrase what the lawyer had just said to him with, “ So, the Drennins went to the ERT and judicial review, have complained to MOE, and still have no remedy, so it’s tough luck for them?  The wind company lawyer replied, “Yes.” which drew gasps of disbelief from the full gallery of people who attended.  

When it came time to argue about who should be named as defendants; wind company and /or govt., it was interesting to watch the judge watch both try to throw each other under the bus.

I await to hear the decision and keep fingers crossed that you can move forward. 

Thank you on behalf of a whole lot of us.

Lorrie Gillis

 

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/

dscn4286
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