Category Archives: Impact on: Natural environment
Impact of wind turbines on the natural environment
Here’s a great opportunity to add a festive decoration to your home, inside or out. Prince Edward County Field Naturalists is offering attractive winter planter arrangements, all natural, in various sizes and prices. Makes a great gift as well. Click on the image to enlarge.
Proceeds will go to PECFN’s legal defence of its Ostrander Point ERT win. Both Gilead/OPSEU and the Ministry of the Environment have appealed to Ontario’s Divisional Court, and PECFN expects that it will need another $50K of funding to protect its win. The appeal will be heard on January 21-23, 2014 in Toronto.
With over 49,000 turbines installed in 70 countries, Vestas is becoming acutely aware that people living near their products are reacting to loss of property values, health problems and avian mortality. So, Vestas produced this 2-minute “Act on Facts” video that shows a young girl cycling through the countryside with soothing background music, while the voice over attributes reactions against wind power to the power of negative emotions, flatly denies the claims against wind turbines, and claims that they can save the planet.
Anti-wind groups, including Ontario Wind Resistance, responded to Vestas’ disingenuous message with an 8:48 effort “on behalf of wind turbine victims everywhere”, that takes clips from the Vestas video, interjects “real facts” with quotes from wind turbine victims, unflattering photos of wind farms, medical effects of the wind turbine syndrome, animal deaths, 2,000 international anti-wind groups, stating that turbines are uneconomical and create more CO2.
Here’s Vestas’ pitch: <http://actonfacts.org/videos/act-on-facts/>
Here’s our response: <http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/11/07/get-real-vestas/>
Six County organizations having the natural environment and/or cultural heritage as their primary focus have formed a coalition to bring attention to the County’s South Shore, which it describes as a valuable and irreplaceable resource.
The coalition is asking that the South Shore Important Bird Area be identified in the County’s Official Plan as a Core Area within the County’s Natural Heritage System, where conservation is the preferred land use. Conservation status would recognize existing and future residential uses, protect cultural heritage features and discourage incompatible development within the area.
Formal recognition of the South Shore in the Official Plan would reinforce the County’s jurisdiction over the unique environmental and cultural heritage assets within this area and help to secure important economic benefits to the County.
Recognition of the South Shore in the Official Plan is an important initiative, with success being more likely through collaboration of the six organizations — not likely achievable by any of the groups acting on its own.
South Shore Coalition Members
[As you know, the Ostrander Point decision has been appealed by both Gilead / OPSEU and the Ministry of the Environment, so there's a chance that the revocation will itself be revoked, resulting in the project's going ahead.
Here is a request from County resident and dedicated naturalist Cheryl Anderson to sign a petition addressed to Premier Wynne. Please take a moment to add your name to those who want to save Ostrander Point.]
From: Cheryl Anderson
Subject: Avaaz petition
I have created a petition and I hope you can sign — it’s called: Save Ostrander Point In Prince Edward County.
We all know how important this issue is, and together we can do something about it!
Read more about it and sign it here: http://tinyurl.com/no4t2uo .
We have solid evidence that the County government is behind us – let’s move now to make sure the Premier knows how we feel about undemocratic actions by her government; the ERT decision must stand – please take a second right now to help out by signing and passing it on.
Thanks so much,
[Update: Council ratified the $20K donation to PECFN, but not unanimously. Councillors Forrester, Gale, MacDonald, Nowitski and Turpin opposed the motion.
Council did the right thing today (August 15) by voting to donate $20,000 to PEC Field Naturalists. This grant will help to cover legal expenses incurred in the group’s successful ERT appeal of the Ostrander Point wind project approval.
The vote (motion by Councillor Bev Campbell, seconded by Robert Quaiff), was near unanimous in favour. It needs to be confirmed at the Council meeting on August 27.
Both MOE and Gilead / OPSEU have now counter-appealed, so PECFN will be burdened with even more legal costs to defend its win.
There were several reasons voiced by Councillors for supporting this grant:
- Council had earlier passed a motion objecting to wind turbines in the South Shore Important Bird Area.
- Some Councillors were annoyed that MOE has appealed the decision of another provincial government body.
- Others were outraged that Gilead has asked to be awarded costs from PECFN if its counter-appeal is successful.
- Although unstated, there was a sense that Council admires and appreciates the dedication of this small group of naturalists.
Including the County’s contribution, PECFN has raised a total of $105K towards its original target of $125K. But due to the counter-appeal, PECFN will have to raise even more.
You can help PECFN reach its fundraising objective by making a donation yourself (or a second one!). Send a cheque made out to Ostrander Point Appeal Fund to OPAF, 59 King St., Unit 2, Picton, K0K 2T0, or donate online at www.saveostranderpoint.org .
[Following is a comment (slightly edited) submitted to the Whig Standard recently by Ian Dubin, who was qualified as a presenter and expert witness in the Ostrander Point ERT appeal. He is a civil / geotechnical engineer with additional qualifications in law and environmental impact assessment, and with decades of experience in the field of environmental protection.]
I was very pleased to see the Ostrander Point Environmental Review Tribunal Appeal decision. I am especially happy that my small contribution apparently helped the ERT to determine that the proposed Industrial Wind Energy project will cause unacceptable harm to the natural environment, in particular the Provincially threatened Blanding’s Turtle. This is a milestone decision – and I can only hope it helps open the door to more successful appeals against Industrial Wind Energy in Ontario.
However, this is a very narrow victory and I was less pleased that appeal evidence of other serious potential impacts was not allowed by the ERT.
Right at the August 2nd deadline, three appeals were launched against the recent decisions of the Environmental Review Tribunal relating to Ostrander Point. The first two were by Ostrander Point Wind Energy LP (alias Gilead Power) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) respectively against the Tribunal’s decision, sought by Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN), to disallow 9 wind turbines on the grounds of serious and irreversible harm to Blanding’s Turtles, an endangered species. The third, by the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) appeals the Tribunal’s decision dismissing APPEC’s claim that the turbines would cause serious harm to human health.
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While we in the County bask in the glow of PECFN’s win in the Ostrander Point appeal, our friends on neighouring Amherst Island continue to fight hard to stop a major 37-turbine wind project on their small island. This project is as large as Ostrander Point and White Pines combined, proposed for an island which is only 1/15th the size of PEC. Picture the County with 555 turbines! We can help our neighbours by taking a few minutes to compose and send an email on their behalf.
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