An appeal of wpd’s White Pines Industrial wind turbine project has been upheld in part and supporters are “cautiously elated”.
Orville Walsh, president of the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, (APPEC), said in an email to supporters, that in the decision, issued late Friday afternoon, the tribunal found the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to Little Brown Bats and to Blanding’s turtles.
The Environmental Review Tribual hearing for wpd’s 27-turbine wind project in Athol and South Marysburgh opened Nov. 2. APPEC had to prove, for the first time in REA history, that the turbine development “will cause harm, not may, or could”.
Approval for the project was granted in July. Local businessman John Hircsh, and APPEC, contested the approval on the sole grounds allowed – causing “serious harm to human health or the natural environment”. A review of the hearings here: http://countylive.ca/blog/?p=56395
The tribunal concluded in December and returned in January for oral submissions. It had expected to issue a decision Feb. 19.
“The Tribunal did not find serious and irreversible harm to human health, to hydrology or to migratory birds,” he said. “However in regards to the latter the Tribunal did note that this wind project presents a significant risk of serious harm to migrating birds and that the project site was poorly chosen from a migratory bird perspective.”
Walsh said the Tribunal acknowledges that engaging in this wind project in accordance with the REA (Renewable Energy Approval) will cause serious and irreversible harm to animal life.
“Therefore wpd no longer has an REA to stand behind,” he said. “The ERT has ordered a hearing of submissions with respect to potential remedies.”
Walsh said the board will be studying the decision over the weekend and following consultation with legal counsel Eric Gillespie, will have more information on the decision next week.
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