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June 9 deadline to comment on Gilead Wind Project plans

The Ostrander Point Wind Project is an example of a renewable energy project located in the wrong place and we need to act now!  The deadline for public comment is June 9th.
Gilead Power plans to build a wind power project in Prince Edward County along the shores of Lake Ontario.  If approved, the permit will give Gilead the legal right to “kill, harm and harass” at least two endangered species, the Blanding’s turtle and the Whip-poor-will.  Here is the link to the CBC article that aired a few weeks ago (text and video): http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/05/12/ontario-green-endangered.html.  In fact, Gilead’s draft Environmental Impact study (EIS) highlights that there are a total of six endangered species in the general vicinity of the proposed site.

The project also sits in a globally significant birding area for migratory and breeding waterfowl, raptors, and land birds (map attached).  It appears that Gilead chose to ignore data from the nearby Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPTBO), just a few concessions east of the proposed project, which has documented 298 species of birds in total and records 220 species on average each year.  Gilead has downplayed the significance of this important migratory route in order to advance its bid for this outrageous project.

It should also be noted that Nature Canada (a non-profit organization that advocates for nature) strongly opposes this location despite being supportive of most wind energy projects (copy of Nature Canada letter attached).  The letter clearly demonstrates that Gilead’s draft EIS is flawed / biased.  Gilead has failed to address the following key conclusions from Nature Canada:
·         Ostrander Point is extremely important for migrating birds and has a significant breeding bird community with many species of conservation concern.
·         The methods used by the consultant to assess bird populations are at times inconsistent and flawed.
·         This site should be protected from any and all industrial activities and not sacrificed for a small scale wind energy project.
·         Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park is a threat to other wildlife.

Additionally, site investigations by Stantec and other consultants fall short of adequately documenting the number of species that inhabit and/or breed in the area. (e.g. – snapping turtles, painted turtles and squirrels are but three quick examples of species excluded in the EIS.)

Finally, Gilead plans to acquire and manage a property outside of the project area “for the habitat preservation, rehabilitation and/or improvement of both Blanding’s turtle and Whip-poor-will.”  However, few details were provided on how this will be accomplished.

Your assistance is urgently needed to protect endangered species and other wildlife along the south shore of Prince Edward County. Gilead is hoping to start construction in August 2011.  Time is running out to voice your opposition.  The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is allowing members of the public to submit their written comments by June 9th, 2011.  Your efforts today will mean a chance for these species in the future.
1.      To register your opposition to this project, email the MNR at esa.permits.agreements@ontario.ca by June 9th and quote the ER number 011-3181 in the subject line.  The contact person is:
Paula Norlock (Agreement Specialist)
Ministry of Natural Resources, Policy Division
Species at Risk Branch
300 Water Street, Floor 2
Robinson Place South Tower
Peterborough Ontario,  K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-1788
Fax: (705) 755-5483

2.      Write a letter to other relevant decision-makers (listed below) stating your concerns about this project, and remember to ask for a reply. Email list below.

Jack Sontrop
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
·         Gilead Power’s draft Environmental Impact Study:  http://www.gileadpower.com/pdf/draft-reports-feb9th2011/DRAFT%20NHA%20and%20EIS.pdf
·         Grim reading about the nearby experience of Wolfe Island: http://amherstislandwindinfo.com/wolfebirds.htm
·         Nature Canada blog: http://naturecanadablog.blogspot.com/2011/05/gileads-application-for-endangered.html
·         Windfall (a documentary): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBYjZG8O6qE&feature=related

EMAIL CONTACT LIST:
Leona Dombrowsky (MPP Prince Edward Hastings): dombrowsky.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Dalton McGuinty: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Andrea Horwath (Leader of Ontario NDP): ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca

Tim Hudak (Leader of Ontario PC Party): timhudak@niagara.net

Mike Schreiner (Leader Ontario Green Party): admin@gpo.ca

Elizabeth May (Green Party of Canada): info@greenparty.ca

Brad Duguid (Minister of Energy – Ontario): bduguid.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Daryl Kramp (MP for Prince Edward-Hastings): daryl.kramp@parl.gc.ca

Ontario Trillium Foundation:  trillium@trilliumfoundation.org

Ministry of the Environment (Shannon McNeil): shannon.mcneill@ontario.ca

Ministry of Natural Resources (Paula Norlock):  esa.permits.agreements@ontario.ca

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    https://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/save-the-blanding-turtle-and-the-whip-poor-will/

    This link will take you to Wind Concerns Ontario’s website. Scroll down and you will find a message which you can cut and paste (or modify) which will then be e-mailed directly to the appropriate individuals.

  2. Doris Lane says:

    Be sure and get your comments in before June 9–Lets try and keep the government from making a huge mistake which will affect our county in the future,

  3. Cheryl Anderson says:

    Thank you for doing this. Hopfully many people will see this posting and take time to write an e-mail. It is the only way to let the government know that they are makinga huge mistake this time.

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