Environmental Review Tribunal…………anything but “Environmental”, let alone “Review”…. just a “gaggle of Lawyers”!

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

Anyone who has gone up against the Ontario Government in order to push back from a dictatorial unfair ruling that a citizen feels is unjust and illegal knows only too well that they have a “snowball’s chance in hell” of ever getting a reversal!

Try an OMB hearing…………..Good Luck, unless your a multi-millionaire with a bigger “quiver of lawyers” than the other side has……………but then if your a multi-millionaire your probably on the Government’s side any way!

The following report highlights how absolutely unjust our Ontario Government is treating their own tax payers and citizens who are trying to just maintain a healthy home front, not change the world!

Disgusting is just too damn polite a word!

Bats in the Belfry, Part 1: The Environmental Review Tribunal

A number of rural residents and anti-wind groups in Ontario have launched appeals of the Ministry of the Environment’s rubber stamping of Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) for industrial wind turbine (IWT) projects claiming various health effects. These appeals are heard by the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).  The ERT consists of 12 full and part time participants of whom 11 are lawyers appointed by the Government. So far all appeals have favoured the Ministry of the Environment (MoE). The MoE have a plethora of lawyers (public servants) on hand, to defend licensing approvals and to beat back the rural residents who claim they are affected by those industrial installations. The MoE lawyers are supported by the licensee’s (“Approval Holder’s”) team of counsel who are normally from the big Bay Street law firms. So how much chance does the little guy have?

Those humans who appeal the licensing of those IWT developers are regarded as “receptors” in respect to the various noises and shadow flicker emanating from those 400 /450 foot turbines that may be as close as 550 metres (or closer in some of the older approvals granted by the MoE).

If they were bats however they might be much better off.  In the case of bats in Ontario the restrictions are much more stringent as IWT setbacks are 1000 metres. Other provinces have more severe setback requirements. As an example New Brunswick’s setback for bats is 5 kilometres. Nevertheless, no matter the restrictions, whether on humans or bats the MoE doesn’t appear to do anything that affects the license holder. As an example the acceptable “bat mortality rate” set by the MoE is 10 bats per year, per turbine, but the mortality rate at the Trans Alta Wolfe Island IWT development of 86 turbines kills some 3800 bats annually for an average of 44 per turbine. The Wolfe Island IWT development continues to operate and to the best of this writer’s knowledge the MoE has not pursued charges or withdrawn the license to operate.

Killing bats affects farmers as dead bats will be unable to consume insects (up to 600 mosquitoes per hour) that may destroy or harm crops resulting in the need to use pesticides. In Pennsylvania (420 wind turbines installed by the summer of 2011) it is estimated bats saved the state’s farmers $277.9 million or $74.00 per acre. In Ontario the savings would be well over $600 million based on the estimated 9 million acres (2006) dedicated to the production of crops.

Based on the foregoing, when one calculates the cost of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) contracts with the industrial wind developers, costs of pesticides should be added to the contracted dollars per MW. Those pesticide costs show up on store shelves as increases in the cost of local foods so everyone in Ontario will feel the bite and another bite (from mosquitoes) might result in increased West Nile virus cases.

It is ironic that many of the environmental charities and non-government organizations (ENGO) actively lobby for energy production from wind turbines while also lobbying extensively for the elimination of pesticides.

Perhaps many of those running the ENGOs should get those “bats in their belfry” removed so they can see the irony in their efforts to save the world.

Parker Gallant,
October 9, 1012

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