I appreciate the opportunity to submit comments and concerns regarding this proposal. I am a citizen of North Stormont. I attended and participated as a witness in the recent Environmental Review Tribunal process pertaining to the NationRise Wind project. The Conservative government promised us that if we voted for them, "Help is on the way". We helped you to get your majority but we are still waiting for help in return. NationRise IS PRE-CONSTRUCTION. Yet somehow it is still moving forward AND this proposal would grandfather it under the old rules leaving our municipality and our citizens without any democratic rights. We are being stripped of the basic human right to enjoy good health and the peaceful enjoyment of our properties that we worked very hard to establish. This is NOT in the public interest and it is NOT what was promised.
The following was prepared by a fellow citizen in our Township and, with his permission, I am adding it here as it accurately reflects my concerns as well.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. The Repeal of the GEA, ensuring that renewable energy approvals are only issued if confirmation of zoning approval is received from local municipal authorities and restoration of planning authority to municipalities going forward is welcomed in general. Grandfathering of existing negative aspects IS NOT in the public interest and perpetuates significant harm to the detriment of the current government and the citizens who voted for change. Projects Affected
The definition of “applications the ministry is already reviewing” must be clarified to determine if it includes those with a conditional REA and the comment period reset for the benefit of affected Ontarians if it does in fact do so.
While one could assume it’s included the opposite is equally possible. The Nation Rise Wind Farm, for example, is under review as it has a highly conditional REA being reviewed for successful completion of conditions. It’s also not clear that projects such as UNIFOR and others with significant complaints are under review. If so, does this ERO exempt all of them from municipal oversight? This needs to be called-out, clearly defined and reposted for a minimum of 45 days.
One-of transitional approvals via council resolution should not be allowed. The existence of municipal regulations must be a mandatory requirement so that decisions are well thought out and considered, so as to not have orphans, precedents and exceptions that cannot be regulated in future. As such, Municipalities with citizens that want renewable energy would be incented to establish regulations as a priority and those that do not are protected from undue pressure.
When things are as they should, a conscientious experienced municipality might be allowed the authority to establish set-backs that are protective of their unique circumstances. The issue is when less than ideal conditions exist on council. An updated provincial minimum standard would be helpful to prevent a corrupt or overzealous municipality from causing further harm. There must be mandated provincial minimum standards before they are allowed to be entered into local zoning regulations with provisions for a plebiscite in each municipality to determine the choice to adhere to this minimum or establish standard setbacks and conditons that exceed provincial standards
Before municipalities are encouraged to pass zoning by-laws, which will include set-back provisions, updates to the set-backs contained in Regulation 359/09 need to be revamped by the province, reflective of complaints, changes in height of turbines, research, international regulations, and
experience gained since 2009 in Ontario, neighboring Quebec and other jurisdictions with more experience, such as the various states in Germany and Poland.
Municipal consultations must be disclosed to the public immediately upon first contact by a potential proponent and the municipality should be required to have a minimum 45 day public consultation period before any municipal confirmation of interest.
Wider changes are required to Regulation 359/09 to provide mandatory opportunities for full public input, which must be considered.
New provincial guidelines and municipal by-laws should apply to any upgrading major maintenance or repowering of turbine components.
Grandfathering cannot and must not be indefinite thereby subjecting human and animal health and the natural environment to continued abuse where there exists current and updated knowledge and standards. Repowering, Upgrades, significant maintenance, replacement and rebuilds requiring construction cranes must follow the most current O:reg 359/09 approval process as for new installs, including municipal approvals.
All complaints regarding the operation of the existing turbines need to be resolved to the satisfaction of affected residents before changes, updates or repowering of turbines can be approved. There needs to be a complementary and public process to manage frivolous or vexatious complaint.
The Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR), grants Ontario residents the right to comment on, appeal and submit applications for review or investigation of certain instruments prescribed under the EBR. Regardless of the type of instrument being used, an instrument’s effectiveness at protecting the environment is only ensured when the issuing ministry monitors and enforces the instrument’s conditions, as such;
o Measurements, tools, standards and technology must be in place to adequately address residents’ complaints on Industrial Wind Turbines including for low frequency and infrasound. They are currently lacking.
o Measurements, tools, standards and technology must be in place to adequately assess Industrial Wind Turbines including for low frequency and infrasound. They are currently lacking and as such construction can be allowed to commence or continue until in place.
The Nation Rise Wind Project is pending a highly conditional REA. An immediate moratorium must be put in place for it and those projects in progress, under review or not completed construction. The moratorium is not only pending successful completion of the conditions of a flawed REA but an assessment of public input to EBR 013-1674 that may or may not have been properly considered or evaluated and those harm to human health or the environment based on current standards. (Including but not limited to current Noise guidelines).
The Minister has an obligation to act in the public interest; which may not necessarily be in the best interests of a specific commercial entity who operates in violation of or in the absence of measurable controls. The large number of unresolved complaints on Industrial Wind Turbines clearly
demonstrates that allowing ‘projects under review’ to continue under the old terms of the Green Energy Act would clearly not be in the public interest.
Since this ERO 13-4040, sponsored by the MECP, seems intended to be complementary to ERO 013-4265 by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as well as the MECP’s own ERO 13-3800; all comments from those two should be considered as equally applicable when taken in context to the stated purpose.
Submitted January 17, 2019 3:58 PM