NORTH STORMONT – The local group that tried to stop the Nation Rise Wind Farm has dropped their fight and won’t pursue a court appeal, clearing the way for the developer to resume construction on the partially completed half-billion-dollar project without the looming threat of an unresolved legal battle.
The Concerned Citizens of North Stormont (CCNS) also report in a press release this morning that the Ministry of the Attorney General has indicated that Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, won’t attempt to appeal the Divisional Court decision reversing his earlier cancellation of the 29-turbine project, either.
The release also says the CCNS has negotiated an agreement with the developer that “recognizes and respects that the project as proposed will have the most stringent bat mitigation of any wind power project in Ontario.”
The deal includes the creation of a $150,000 community-based “home improvement fund” that will allow “homeowners who perceive impacts” to apply for up to $5,000 for noise and visual mitigation measures. It also provides $50,000 for the Cornwall-based St. Lawrence River Institute to fund independent bat-related research.
The developer has also agreed to cover fees and disbursements incurred by the CCNS, an amount of $80,000, according to the group’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General said the province was not party to any settlement discussion. Ontario’s decision to not pursue a Court of Appeal challenge of the Divisional Court’s May 13 ruling was made “after carefully reviewing the Court’s decision to determine appropriate next steps,” said Jenessa Crognali by email. “We respect the decision of the Court and the government will comply with its legal obligations.”
This article was edited to add comments by Jenessa Crognali of the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, as well as confirmation by Eric Gillespie of the sum the Nation Rise developer has agreed to pay the CCNS.