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MNR posts notice of application affecting endangered species at Gilead Power site

The Ministry of Natural Resources posted a notice to the Ontario government Environmental Registry May 10, 2011 to invite public comment on a “Permit under section 17 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) to allow Gilead Power Corporation to kill, harm and harass Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will as well as damage and destroy the habitat of Whip-poor-will for the purpose of the development and operation of Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park in the Township of South Marysburgh, Prince Edward County.”

Members of the public are invited to submit their written comments by June 9, 2011 to the contact person listed on the sitet or by emailing esa.permits.agreements@ontario.ca and quote ER number 011-3181 in the subject line. Visit the site at http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/ then use the number 011-3181

The Ministry states the Environmental Bill of Rights does not require the notice to be placed on the Environmental Registry, however, section 6 of the Act does allow the Environmental Registry to be used to share information about the environment with the public.

“The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is voluntarily posting this notice to advise the public of the proposal and to invite the public to submit written comments on this proposal.”

The contact listed is Paula Norlock, Agreement Specialist with the 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.

Description:
Gilead Power Corporation has applied for a permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) to kill, harm and harass Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will as well as damage and destroy the habitat of Whip-poor-will for the purpose of the development and operation of Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park in the Township of South Marysburgh.

The proposed Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park would consist of 9 wind turbines, up to 22.5 MW installed capacity, and is expected to produce enough electricity for approximately 6,000 homes. The project is proposed on 324 hectares of Crown land, along the shores of Lake Ontario, in Prince Edward County.

Purpose of the Notice:
The purpose of this notice is to ensure that the public is made aware of, and given an opportunity to comment on, the proposal, including the proposed conditions and outcomes of the permit for which the applicant is applying in order to kill, harm and harass Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will as well as damage and destroy the habitat of Whip-poor-will for the purpose of the development and operation of Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park in the Township of South Marysburgh, Prince Edward County. The proposed permit would be issued under section 17 of the Endangered Species Act 2007.  No MNR permits or authorizations will be issued until the Renewable Energy Approval has been issued by MOE.

Other Information:
Both Whip-poor-will (Caprimlugus vociferous) and Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), are listed as threatened on the Species at Risk in Ontario List in Ontario Regulation 230/08 (O. Reg. 230/08) of the ESA. Clause 9 (1)(a) of the ESA provides that no person shall kill, harm, harass, capture or take a living member of a species that is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as extirpated, endangered or threatened.

Whip-poor-will currently has general habitat protection under the ESA. Clause 10(1)(a) of the ESA provides that no person shall damage or destroy the habitat of a species that is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario list as an endangered or threatened species.

The Minister of Natural Resources may issue a permit to an applicant under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA that authorizes the person to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by section 9 or 10 of the ESA if the Minister is of the opinion that the main purpose of the activity authorized by the permit is not to assist in the protection or recovery of the species specified in the permit, but,

* (i) the Minister is of the opinion that an overall benefit to the species will be achieved within a reasonable time through requirements imposed by conditions of the permit, and,
* (ii) the Minister is of the opinion that reasonable alternatives have been considered, including alternatives that would not adversely affect the species, and the best alternative has been adopted, and,
* (iii) the Minister is of the opinion that reasonable steps to minimize adverse effects on individual members of the species are required by conditions of the permit.

An overall benefit to both species would be achieved through the following activities:

* Proponent to acquire and manage a property outside the project area (that meets appropriate criteria as defined by the Ministry of Natural Resources) for the habitat preservation, rehabilitation and/or improvement of both Blanding’s turtle and Whip-poor-will.
* Publication of Whip-poor-will survey methodology and the results of pre-construction monitoring
* Financial support to fund graduate research related to Whip-poor-will for one of the following subjects of interest: variation in nesting success rates with proximity to turbines, variation in fledging dates with proximity to turbines, variation in territory size with proximity to turbines, foraging behaviour differences in response to turbines, and site fidelity. This research would be peer-reviewed and published.
* Beyond standard species monitoring, a benefit to the species will be achieved through value added monitoring for multiple years on both the newly acquired property, as well as the windpower site, to gather new information and knowledge about Blanding’s Turtles and how they use their habitat. Value added monitoring being considered includes; successful techniques and methods to restore damaged Blanding’s Turtle habitat, movement patterns between life-cycle sub-habitats such as hibernation and nesting. Other value added monitoring efforts are being considered by Gilead and will be agreed upon with the MNR district. Reports summarizing monitoring results will be submitted to MNR annually.

Reasonable alternatives have been considered, including alternatives that would not adversely affect both species and the best alternative was chosen in considering six different site layouts to eliminate or reduce adverse impacts to Whip-poor-will and its habitat and Blanding’s Turtle. The best alternative to balance the development plans and achieve overall benefit for Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtle was selected. Construction windows were adjusted to avoid adverse impacts to species during the active season.

Reasonable steps to minimize adverse effects on both species would be taken and addressed as conditions of the proposed permit. Reasonable steps for both species include; education of workers and staff about Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtle; speed limit signage would be installed and limits of 30km/h would be implemented on roads; prior to construction, the limits of vegetation clearing would be staked out where appropriate to ensure that no construction disturbance occurs beyond the staked limits; best management practices would be implemented for dust, spills and waste collection; educational signage would be installed where appropriate; speed bumps on roads with appropriate signage would be installed after construction and during the life of the operations to decrease potential for collisions with Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtle; road maintenance would be completed at an appropriate time of year (outside nesting season) and include avoidance of chemical spraying; construction window (October – April) would avoid most critical life cycle periods for Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtle; most construction would occur in areas not containing habitat which supports breeding; and mortalities and species sightings would be recorded and reported both during construction and operation/maintenance.  Nesting habitat will be strategically created on the eastern side of the proposed windpower site to minimize the likelihood of Blanding’s Turtles being attracted to the roadway to lay their eggs. This would reduce new road mortality for adult and hatchling turtles after the roadways are upgraded.

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  1. Randy Cross says:

    The Green Energy Acti is a $28 Billion Government Boondoggle

    Forget Green Energy –
    IT’S FAKE

    http://www­­.youtube.­c­om/watch­?v­=JMklQL­ekg­6E

  2. John Thompson says:

    Lori, I understand that the Company which had a wind option on some land owned by Kieth MacDonald has allowed that option to expire. Therefore, no more pecuniary interest on his part.

  3. Lori Smith says:

    How is that Keith MacDonald was even voting on this issue? On previous council he used to abstain from voting on any wind turbine issues, having declared a conflict of interest as he owns land that was optioned for wind generation.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    From Quinte News:

    Wind Power Project in Prince Edward

    The Prince Edward County Naturalists want a stop put to the wind turbine project planned for Ostrander Point, near Point Petre.

    And, last night, County council agreed with their position that the turbines would kill too many migrating birds. Ostrander Point is in an area recognized as a globally significant resting area for hundreds of thousands of birds flying north and south. Councillor Robert Quaiffe spoke for most of council….when he said it’s the wrong project at the wrong time and there are too many questions still to be answered by the province.

    Councillors MacDonald, Marisett, and Forrester voted against putting a stop to the wind farm at Ostrander Point.
    ……………………..
    FINALLY!!

  5. Chris Keen says:

    From Quinte News:

    More Wind Turbine Opposition in County

    Tue, May 24th, – 7:30 am

    “Prince Edward County council will hear more opposition to a wind turbine projects at Ostrander Point at it’s regular meeting tonight. Representatives from the Prince Edward County Naturalists will address council, telling them that Ostrander Point, near Point Petre, is in a globally significant Important Bird Area. During spring and fall, the area is home to thousands of types of birds as they migrate north and south.The Naturalists are looking for council’s support to put a halt to wind farms in the area. Prince Edward County council meets this evening at 7:30 at Shire Hall.”
    ………………………………………
    This will be interesting. Even though Council asked the provincial government for a moratorium for health reasons earlier in the year, only three Councillors seem to care one iota about the now obvious environmental impact of this project, despite the fact that the environmental damage that will be done to this ecological gem is acknowledged, in advance, by Gilead Power.

    Only three Councillors attended the Wind Power Ontario event on Friday. Barb Proctor, The Councillor for South Marysburgh is missing in action on the environmental issue. Leona Dombrowsky pays lip service to residents’ concerns, and was conveniently otherwise engaged last Friday. With a few exceptions, the current Council has shown zero leadership on this issue and seems far more interested in debating where Gilead Power should build an “interpretive centre” for area students! Unbelievable!!

  6. John Thompson says:

    Yes Doris, 4 locations with 11 burners available, only three burners operating today. 1010 MW showing from wind at 4 pm and only 4 MW showing from coal each hour today. Much better than 2005 when 16% of Ont power came from coal burning.

    The Clean Air Alliance is posting that it Ont could meet peak demand now with all coal burners shut down and just kept available for start up in case of an emergency.

  7. Doris Lane says:

    John I checked your website and there are only 4 places where coal fired plants are located–it looks as if some of the plants have more than one generator but only 3 report any electricity as being produced. Coal fired plants are not an issue in Ontario
    We get our fumes from the US. I did notice the extent of water generated electricity and it is quite extensive and with the new tunnel at Niagara we should get more.

  8. John Thompson says:

    http://www.sygration.com/gendata/today.html

    The site shows 11 burners now. Atikoken 1, Lambton 2, Nanticoke 6 and Thunderbay 2 = 11. There used to be more.

  9. Dayton Johnson says:

    11 coal burners?? Awhile back Mooney said 4…so which is it?
    This whole topic is getting Boooring! He said..She said…kinda pointless.But,Have at it.

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