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Motion to stay construction at turbine site granted – in part

On Monday, April 4, White Pines Wind Inc (wpd) began clearing trees at sites for the 27-turbine project on the south shore of Prince Edward County. APPEC took this photograph to the Appeals Court in Toronto today in hopes to stop the work in the area, known to be habitat for the endangered Blandings turtle which has emerged early from their winter hibernation. - APPEC photo

On Monday, April 4, White Pines Wind Inc (wpd) began clearing trees at sites for the 27-turbine project on the south shore of Prince Edward County. – APPEC photo

A motion to stay construction on White Pines Wind Inc turbine site was granted, in part, on Monday but those with the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) seeking the stay, are still disappointed.

The Environmental Review Tribunal ordered Monday that vegetation clearing and site preparation activities associated with the project in areas identified as Blanding’s turtle spring foraging habitat in the Stantec Species at Risk Report of 2012 are stayed pending the resolution of appeals.

“While the Tribunal has put a stop to vegetation-clearing in the spring foraging habitat of these turtles, it is silent with respect to the potential destruction of other types of habitat that are also critical to Blanding’s turtles, including their over-wintering habitat and oviposition habitat,” said Orville Walsh, president of APPEC. “The decision does not bode well for these turtle which as we know use many types of habitats across the White Pines project site and depend on all of them for their survival.

“For this reason we are disappointed. We can only conclude that the Tribunal has an incomplete understanding of ‘significant habitat’ and the importance of protecting all significant habitat, not merely one specific type,” said Walsh.

The stay granted April 8 was only an interim stay until the resolution of APPEC’s motion for stay.

The ERT explains it weighed the public interest in renewable energy and protection of a threatened species in deciding work in specific spring foraging habitat for the turtles will cause irreparable harm.

“The conditions in the REA (Renewable Energy Approval) prohibit or greatly restrict construction activities in the project area after May 1 in order to protect nesting species of birds as well as turtles. The Tribunal expects that the remedy hearing will be completed and a final decision on these appeals while those conditions apply. Given these timing factors, the Tribunal finds the public interest in renewable energy will not be impeded by a stay of the REA pending the final resolution of these appeals.”

wpd had argued the REA conditions apply to cleared areas regardless of whether the project is ultimately approved by the Tribunal. The conditions require replanting of vegetatation and monitoring, among other measures.

Dr. Christina Davy, a conservation biologiest, stated she was “disturbed by the amount and extend of damage that has been done to date. This damage cannot be repaired, certainly in the foreseeable future, if ever.”

wpd submitted an affidavit from Ken Todoroff, the senior site manager, who has supervised the vegetation clearing. He stated no turtles have yet been encountered in the work areas.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    Sorry, I accidentally posted this comment on the wrong article – here it is now at the correct one…

    I read today on the CBC site that the Ontario government paid a total of $800K to wealthy people who bought the Porche 918 Spyder – valued at $1.1 million!! Why you might ask? Because these cars are deemed to be environmentally friendly and the government provides such incentives to the rich. Another example of the Green Energy Act – all paid for by the taxpayers! If it helps bring a smile to your face – Michael Wekerle of the CBC’s Dragons Den owned a Porche 918 Spyder, until it went up in flames at a Caledon gas station, last year. And we have to pay for this nonsense??

  2. Jeff says:

    What bothers me is the obvious use of drones will this be the new low in spying on our neighbor

  3. Susan says:

    Have you ever heard such malarkey? What is up with the ERT? Can they not just make a decision.

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