Monday, August 05, 2013

Appeals Of The Ostrander Point Windfarm Decision

There are three of them, which you can read about through the link.  The one that most concerns me is:

The appeal by MOE could not likely have occurred without approval from the Ontario government of which it is a part, specifically of the Cabinet which includes the Premier. It is unlikely that any Ministry or Minister would act on its or his/her own initiative without such approval on a matter of major delicacy and importance. The only implications to be drawn seem to be that the Premier’s efforts to distance herself from her predecessor and her assurances of more cordial relations and cooperation with rural municipalities on Green Energy Act matters are spent.

The author of this is a wind-farm opponent, and so hardly unbiased.  However, the MOE action is troubling; the Environmental Review Tribunal's reasoning and ultimate decision relating to Ostrander Point seemed pretty clear.  The standard package of mitigations designed to protect endangered species in the presence of a wind-farm was not adequate for the Blanding's turtle population near Ostrander Point.   On the other hand, the most clearly stated MOE counter-argument (assuming this is an accurate account of it) strikes me as bizarre:

 The proponents now say that the serious and irreversible harm test applies province wide and that it was the responsibility of PECFN [Prince Edward County Field Naturalists] to prove that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the turtle population province wide.

If the province's stock of endangered turtles is parceled out into discrete sub-populations, of which only one or two would be effected by a particular development, how could you stop any development?

In any case, I am trying to get hold of the legal documents behind the appeal.  We shall see what sense they make.

1 comment:

Holly Stick said...

Huh, Albertans are a lot tougher than you effete Ontariariarians. We don't mind windmills!