Divisional Court dismissed APAI's appeal of the Environmental Review Tribunal decision on Tuesday January 31, 2017. Counsel for APAI has submitted Leave to Appeal.


Windlectric/Algonquin, the company granted approval to blanket Amherst island with 26, fifty storey turbines, has commenced dock construction on Amherst Island. The Company has not submitted a Marine Safety and Logistics Plan required by MOECC nor has it submitted an Operations Plan acceptable to Loyalist Township. No acceptable Emergency Response and Communications Plan is in place. No Roads Use Agreement with the County of Lennox and Addington has been approved.


In its first weeks of work the company blatantly disregarded commitments to only use the Island ferry for dock construction, to not disrupt the ferry schedule, to give notice of traffic disruptions and to consult with Amherst Island Public School staff and parents concerning road safety by the school. Not a good beginning!


Construction also ignores a Road Use Agreement between the Township and Windlectric signed in October 2015. The Agreement stipulates that “Windlectric will host a Town Hall meeting to obtain feedback from the public and address concerns to minimize the level of disruption, disturbance and inconvenience to the Municipality’s residents.”


Call to Action


Please request Premier Wynne (premier@ontario.ca or 416-325-1941) and Minister Murray (minister.moecc@ontario.ca or 416-314-6790) to cancel the project without penalty because of the company's inability to achieve its Commercial Operations Date and because it's absolutely the right thing to do.


We are being bullied AND we are resilient, tenacious, and absolutely committed.


Environment – Birds and Turtles at Risk

Amherst Island is nature’s bird nursery and steward and is the wrong place for wind turbines.  The entire Island is a globally recognized Important Bird Area on the Atlantic Migratory Flyway and a wintering hotspot for owls, eagles, and raptors.  Known as the owl capital of North America, Owl Woods attracts birders from all over the world.

Bird kill would exceed Environment Canada standards and habitats would be fragmented and destroyed.  Thirty-four species including the Blanding’s turtle, Eastern Meadowlark, Whip-poor-will and Bobolink on Ontario’s list are at risk on the Island.  Blanding’s Turtle was instrumental in a decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal to revoke the decision of the Ministry of the Environment on a proposal for wind turbines on Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.

Windlectric Turbines Adjacent to Owl Woods 2013-05-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windlectric/Algonquin proposes four turbines in proximity to Owl Woods.

Take a virtual walk in Owl Woods:

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Boreal Owl 5

Boreal Owl Amherst Island

Wintering Hawks and Owls

Amherst Island is known internationally for its concentrations of wintering hawks and owls with 10 species of owls recorded during a single winter. Short-Eared, Long-Eared and Great Horned owls reside on the Island. Snowy owls, Saw-whet owls, and the rare Boreal owl as well as Eastern Screech and Barred owls add to the owl population during late fall and winter. Red-tailed and Rough-legged hawks are usually present with frequent sightings of Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons and Turkey Vultures.

Biodiversity

Islands of Life, a Biodiversity and Conservation Atlas of the Great Lakes Islands, ranks Amherst Island second in biodiversity significance. The Island contains at least 16 vegetation communities, 8 wetland, 3 lowland forests, 2 upland, 2 beach and 1 dune community with about 350 species of vascular plants, 77 species of birds, 11 species of herpetofauna and 8 species of mammals…. Several floral and faunal rarities have been reported within this site.

The Kingston Field Naturalists remain firmly opposed to the project on the basis that increasing the length of the roads on the Island will fragment habitat and make the remaining forested area less suitable for nesting, the projected bird mortality will be similar to Wolfe Island which exceeds Environment Canada standards, and the impact on coastal wetlands rapidly disappearing in Ontario, will affect rare birds such as the Black Tern, Least Bittern, and Wilson’s Snipe.

400 Hectares of Provincially Significant Coastal Wetland

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Life Science Checksheet provides the following information: “Norris has reported on the site diversity and notes that the site contains at least 16 vegetation communities, 8 wetland, 3 lowland forests, 2 upland, 2 beach and 1 dune community. Norris also noted that the site contains approximately 350 species of vascular plants, 77 species of birds, 11 species of herpetofauna and 8 species of mammals…. Several floral and faunal rarities have been reported within this site.

Coastal Wetlands

Windlectric/Algonquin Power’s treatment of wetlands and other environmentally significant areas suggests a total disregard for these important features of the Island’s natural environment. No hydrology studies have been completed by Windlectric so it is impossible to assess the impact on the Island’s wetlands. The failure to have adequate regards for wetlands may have grave consequences for the biodiversity of Amherst Island if the project proceeds.

Substandard Field Work

Windlectric/Algonquin Power’s minimal field work to support its natural heritage assessment failed to fully consider the negative impacts of the project on a wide range of wildlife. Habitat will be destroyed and fragmented. Construction across the entire Island will disrupt life cycles for up to three years. The turbines will create an impenetrable barrier on the Atlantic flyway especially when the cumulative impact with Wolfe Island is considered.

Read detailed reports describing the deficiencies of Windlectric/Algonquin Power’s natural heritage assessment.

APAI Comments – NATURAL HERITAGE ASSESSMENT – Executive Summary

Comment Nat. Heritage – Environmental Impact Study – No Appendix

Appendix 1- 2