Companies charged with an Environmental Protection Act violation by cutting trees to make way for a wind farm project will be back in a Sarnia court on July 14.
Prior to the July 14 appearance the companies will be reviewing the prosecution’s evidence.
Contractor AMEC Foster Wheeler Americas Ltd. – along with current wind farm owner Cedar Point II GP Inc. and former owner Suncor Energy Products Inc. – have all been charged under the Environmental Protection Act.
The tree companies have been charged with a provincial offence for failing to comply with a condition of a renewable energy approval by removing vegetation and/or woodland during the construction of the Cedar Point wind farm in 2015.
Almost an acre worth of Lambton Shores trees – some of those in provincially-significant wetlands – were cleared.
That’s on top of another acre of Lambton Shores woodlands inappropriately removed by a private landowner with ties to the Cedar Point project.
The private landowner paid a fine of $6,000 in early 2016 but the environment ministry hadn’t laid any provincial environmental charges against the companies involved in the separate woodlot-clearing case until recently.
The now fully-operational 46-turbine Cedar Point wind farm spans across Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township, generating enough electricity to power 30,000 homes in an average year.
Ministry officials started investigating the inappropriate tree cutting tied to the Cedar Point project in May 2015 after they received a report of protected trees being cut down by the project’s contractor.
Members of We’re Against Industrial Turbines, Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW) noticed the damaged woodlots and reported it to the ministry, spokesperson Santo Giorno has said.
Giorno said Friday he will be returning in July to watch proceedings.
– With files from Barbara Simpson
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