The provincial natural resources minister won’t issue a permit for a controversial Thunder Bay wind farm project saying it will kill an endangered bird species.
In a Sept. 1 statement, Linda Jeffrey said Horizon Wind’s proposed Big Thunder Wind Park is “likely to harm, harass or kill peregrine falcons.”
Jeffrey said the project site on an escarpment, located in rural municipality of Neebing on the city’s outskirts, requires a permit that would otherwise be prohibited under the Endangered Species Act. The ministry says the site is home to “one of the largest and densest populations” of this bird in Ontario.
Jeffrey said, “based on the material provided to me by the ministry as well as my knowledge of the project location, I don’t know how the proponent could satisfy the conditions to allow my ministry to issue a permit to allow the project to proceed.”
The project has faced bitter opposition by local residents who formed the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee.
The ministry says it has not received a permit application for the project from the company and no application has been filed with the Ministry of Environment.
Horizon Wind does have a project agreement with the City of Thunder Bay, which owns the land in Neebing. The Toronto company also has a Feed-in-Tariff contract with the province for this project.
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