Open letter to Ramona Afante, Senior Project Evaluator
Ministry of the Environment, Operations Division
Environmental Approvals Branch, Approval Services
2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A
Toronto, ON, M4V 1L5
re: EBR Registry Number: 012-1279 (Open letter to MOE concerning a proposed wind energy project that contravenes OMAF advice to farmers)
Dear Ms. Afante:
We own and operate a 200 acre Heritage Farm in Prince Edward County, acquired by my U.E.L. ancestors six generations ago in 1834. We respectfully demand to know why your government obviously has different rules for farmers than it has for multinational corporations, governing the siting of wind turbines. We would like you to explain why certain M.D.S. distances apply to us and not to wpd Canada.
Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Agriculture and Food, and Hon. Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment need to explain why MOE has deemed “complete” this proposal from wpd Canada for its White Pines Wind Farm project, even though the project clearly contravenes the OMAF web site instructions to farmers, to “make sure turbines are sited away from migratory bird corridors”.
The White Pines Wind Farm project proposes to site dozens of huge Industrial Wind Turbines in the Southeastern tip of Prince Edward County, which is in Ontario’s largest migratory bird corridor. This is an internationally-recognized “Important Bird Area”, in a heavily flown migration flyway extending from Point Petre to Wolfe Island.
Each turbine will be taller than the Toronto Star building at 1 Yonge Street in Toronto.
For common sense advice from OMAF about how farmers should participate in the generation of wind energy with smaller turbines, go to http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/ge_bib/wind.htm and scroll down to Benefits, Drawbacks and Potential Pitfalls.
Here is some of that advice, which was on the OMAF web site before Premier Wynne took office, and which has not been erased from that web site despite increased public opposition to the practice of siting turbines in Important Bird Areas:
• Wind turbines may generate low levels of noise that can be irritating
• Neighbours may object to the aesthetics of a wind turbine
• Turbines may kill bats
• Make sure turbines are sited away from migratory bird corridors
• To avoid safety issues, keep your blades free of ice and take precautions when climbing the tower to service your turbine”
Birds and bats are ravenous consumers of harmful insects and thus are natural aids to the farmer in his growing of good crops with minimal use of chemicals. This is also a plus for the alarmingly diminishing bee population. Wind turbines kill bats and birds and, as already demonstrated on Wolfe Island, the rate of avian slaughter by industrial wind turbines is exceptionally high in bird migration corridors.
We urge you, Ms. Afante, to remove this project from the EBR listing of projects awaiting technical approval. There are many reasons to not waste limited MOE resources on a detailed technical review of this project, and one very important reason for both farmers and consumers is that the White Pines Wind Farm proposal clearly contravenes OMAF’s prudent advice cautioning that wind turbines kill the migrating bats and birds that reduce farmers’ dependence on chemicals.
There are four major migratory flyways in North America. The cumulative effect of several proposed turbine projects surrounding eastern Lake Ontario creates a barrier across the Eastern Flyway that welcomes many millions of migrating birds from May to October. If approved, these projects will displace wildlife from our shorelines, the most important staging and resting habitats for many species. As appropriately advocated by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, wind turbines must be sited away from migratory bird corridors.
We reside at and farm our Murdale Farms property as full-time farmers. To the best of our knowledge, none of the neighbouring properties on which wpd Canada proposes to erect its 29 “White Pines” turbines are owned by people who will be living there, and farming there, on a full-time basis. Most are absentee turbine landlords who will not have to live with the devastating ongoing consequences of this project. In a separate letter, we will explain how wpd Canada, a multinational corporation, plans to site its noisy, flickering turbines much too close to the place where our family has lived and farmed in peace and tranquillity for the past 180 years.
Douglas and Janet Murphy
Murdale Farms, by No. 4 Turbine
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