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Horizon Wind not giving up

Horizon Wind is to appeal a provincial decision to deny its application to build a wind farm on the Nor’Westers escarpment.

The Ministry of Environment said Monday the Toronto-based company announced its intention to appeal the ministry’s decision on Nov. 12., just a few days before the deadline.

The appeal is to he heard by the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal. A date for the appeal has yet to be set, an MOE spokeswoman said Monday.

In a decision released by letter last month to Horizon Wind Inc., the ministry found that the company’s proposal for 16 turbines did not provide “certain specific information in response to the ministry’s detailed inquiries on the potential impacts on moose and moose habitat.”

The ministry said it needed that information to address concerns “that the potential impacts on moose, moose habitat and the traditional moose-hunting practices of member of Fort William First Nation had been adequately assessed and mitigated.”

“It’s what we’ve been saying all along,” Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins said in an earlier interview. Collins said that among other things, the First Nation hunters felt that a proposed requirement to stay about three kilometres away from the turbines was too restrictive.

Horizon Wind could not be reached for comment Monday. The company has been trying to develop the $50-million, 32-megawatt Big Thunder Wind Park for several years.

Horizon has argued that moose wouldn’t have been negatively affected by the turbines because the animals would benefit by having additional pathways to browse for food.

The wind farm was to be built on 7,000 hectares of land owned by the City of Thunder Bay in the Municipality of Neebing, leased to Horizon.