On March 5, 2016 APPEC submitted a motion for a stay stopping all physical activity related to the White Pines wind project. The motion was considered necessary after WPD, the project developer, notified APPEC that it would start clearing vegetation at the project site the following week.
APPEC received notice from the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) yesterday that the stay motion has been dismissed. The Tribunal did not provide any reasons for dismissal.
The tragic irony in this is that WPD will be proposing mitigations at the upcoming ERT to prevent serious and irreversible harm to Blanding’s turtles when it will already have caused that harm in the process of clearing the project site of vegetation, and will be doing so without a permit under the Endangered Species Act.
The permit process for endangered species falls outside of the renewable energy approval process. But at the end of the day the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change as well as the White Pines ERT Tribunal must be held equally accountable with WPD for the destruction of Blanding’s turtle habitat and for any turtles killed, harmed and harassed at the project site.
APPEC is currently examining possible courses of action and will use all legal means available to prevent WPD from carrying out its plans. APPEC, the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) and CCSAGE NATURALLY GREEN will continue to work together to prevent this destruction of the County’s natural environment.