Developer threatens legal action as Ontario government cancels wind farm over concerns for bat population

A wind turbine is framed by a sun dog, an atmospheric phenomenon, on Dalhousie Mountain, N.S. on Friday, April 23, 2010.
A wind turbine is framed by a sun dog, an atmospheric phenomenon, on Dalhousie Mountain, N.S. on Friday, April 23, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks said Tuesday that they have decided to cancel a wind turbine project in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

In a statement sent out from Minister Jeff Yurek’s office the ministry cites the concern for the local bat population as the reasoning behind the cancellation.

“Upon careful consideration, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has decided to revoke the Renewable Energy Approval to Nation Rise Wind Farm GP Inc. for the building of 33 turbines at various locations in the municipality of United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry,” said ministry spokesperson Gary Wheeler.

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“It is the Minister’s belief that the project is likely to cause serious and irreversible harm to the local bats population.”

EDP Renewables Canada Inc. is the company responsible for building the wind farms and according to a release from the company the decision comes as a surprise and the company is assessing all avenues of legal action.

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“This unprecedented decision means the REA that was issued by the Minister’s own staff, defended by Ministry legal counsel and subsequently ratified by the Environmental Review Tribunal (Tribunal) is no longer in effect. As a result, EDPR has been forced to halt all construction activities,” said the company in a release.

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“While EDPR is wholly perplexed by this unfounded decision on the part of the Minister, it is prepared to pursue all legal courses of action in response and fully trusts the Canadian justice system as a means of positioning EDPR to resume the construction activities at Nation Rise Wind Farm.”

The company goes on to say that research was conducted by the Environment Review Tribunal before the project began and it was found that the project would have no adverse effects on the environment.

Construction on the project began in May of this year says EDPR and several wind turbines a have already been erected.

When asked about the potential legal action against the project, the minister’s office did not provide comment.

Prince Edward County wind turbines coming down
Prince Edward County wind turbines coming down