The Ontario Court of Appeal will hear new evidence in opposition to the clearing of vegetation at 27 industrial wind turbine sites by WPD Canada in Prince Edward County Wednesday.
The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) has recently had two appeals against White Pines site preparation dismissed (the Environmental Review Tribunal and the Ontario Divisional Court).
Environmental lawyer for APPEC Eric Gillespie told Quinte News new evidence shows the amount being cleared is more than anticipated but most importantly he said the endangered Blanding’s Turtle (whose habitat is within the project site line) has awoken from hibernation.
“There were two sightings on Saturday,” said Gillespie. “Due to the mild winter the turtles are already back and are all through the area. That information was not available to the ERT and the Divisional Court when they made their decision that the clearing could take place until April 30 as the turtles would still be hibernating.”
WPD has started clearing land on Army Reserve Road.
“There are 26 more sites and in our clients’ view it is completely worthwhile to stop the clearing,” said Gillespie.
In February, the ERT ruled the turbines would cause serious and irreversible harm to the Little Brown Bat and the Blanding’s Turtle. The decision suspended WPD’s Renewable Energy Approval pending remediation hearings which no date has been set yet.
Quinte News has reached out to WPD Canada and is awaiting further comment.
The hearing is open to the public and gets underway at 10 a.m. at Osgoode Hall on Queen Street in Toronto in Court Room 7.