On September 19th, The Saskatchewan Minister of the Environment refused approval for a possible 79 turbines to be located in Chaplin, 200 kilometres west of Regina. The proponent was the same one that intends to blanket our own Amherst Island with turbines, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power Co.
The Ministers’ welcome decision was based on the unique nature of the project area and the importance to the sustainability of populations of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, the potential for mortality of migratory birds including species at risk and disruption to migratory flyways and also that none of the proposed mitigations would satisfactorily address the potential effects of the project within a known migratory corridor.
Every one of the Minister’s findings could, and should, be applied to the flyway from Wolfe Island through Ernestown, Amherst Island and the County’s south shore but Queen’s Park refuses to apply these basic principles of common sense, instead deliberately restricting evidence on appeal before Environmental Review Tribunals to harm to human health and serious and irreversible harm to the environment. Evidence such as that rightly considered in Saskatchewan is not allowed, nor is evidence about damage to local economies, heritage and landscape.
On the same day, Saskatchewan issued guidelines for future renewable energy projects, including a five kilometre buffer zone around environmentally sensitive areas and putting proponents on notice that applications for projects in higher risk sites will inevitably lead to approval delays, operational restrictions and higher costs.
Queen’s Park has much to learn from its sister Province; the tragedy to rural Ontario is that it won’t.
Garth Manning.

(we very much appreciate John Hirsch having brought the Saskatchewan decision to our attention).

Posted on September 30, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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