AMHERST – With a proposed wind farm near Amherst apparently back on the rails, Jim Milner is continuing his opposition to a project he fears will be devastating to the bird population on the surrounding wetlands.
“The Ramsar site is located adjacent to the proposed wind farm, a few metres away in fact, and no bird study has been done for more than 15 years,” said Milner, who has opposed any wind farm development on the site.
Milner, who delayed a previous wind project on the marsh when he filed an opposing submission to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, said the province and Nova Scotia Power are threatening to destroy the John Lusby Marsh in the rush to develop more green power from wind energy.
Milner wrote Nova Scotia Environment Minister Stirling Belliveau in early April saying his government has signed a contract that give a licence to kill the avian breeding area that is recognized worldwide. He feels previous environmental assessments on the project are flawed in that no protocol was developed with the Canadian Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited.
In his reply, Belliveau said all the steps were followed in protecting the environment.
“The Amherst Wind Energy Project received environmental assessment approval on May 26, 2008 following a thorough consultation process that provided time for concerns to be expressed, reviewed and considered,” Belliveau said, adding federal and provincial government departments and the Canadian Wildlife Service provided input.
As well, he said, pre-construction data on bird activity within the proposed project area followed a protocol developed in consultation with the wildlife service and Ducks Unlimited.
“I remain confident that the Amherst Wind Energy Project, constructed and operated in accordance with the conditions of approval, can offer substantial renewable energy benefits to the province,” Belliveau said.
After being on the backburner for a couple of years, Ontario-based developer Sprott Power announced in March that it has purchased the project’s assets from Acciona.
While Acciona planned to erect more than 20 turbines on the site on the marsh near the Wandlyn, Sprott plans to build 15 turbines that will be about 90 metres tall.
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