New regulation under the Environmental Protection Act to close the White Pines Wind Project

ERO number
013-3835
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
October 17, 2018 - December 1, 2018 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
October 17, 2018
to December 1, 2018

Decision summary

We decided to make a new regulation to require that the closure of the White Pines Wind Facility is carried out in a way that is protective of human health and the environment.

Decision details

In Ontario, you need a renewable energy approval for large wind, solar or bio-energy projects.

The White Pines Wind Project Termination Act, 2018, came into force on July 25, 2018.  It revoked the Feed-in-Tariff contract awarded by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO); the renewable energy approval issued for the project by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and the permit issued for the project under the Endangered Species Act, 2007, by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The renewable energy approval issued by MECP included requirements for constructing, operating and decommissioning the facility at the end of its useful life, including restoring lands affected by the project. Because the renewable energy approval has been revoked, the MECP has made a new regulation under the Environmental Protection Act and an associated technical closure document, to govern the closure of the facility in a way that is protective of human health and the environment.

The new regulation and technical closure document include requirements for the proponent, White Pines Wind Incorporated (the proponent), to follow to safely and securely dismantle and take down the nine fully or partially constructed wind turbines.

The documents include measures that will protect the local community and surrounding wildlife and cover the following general themes:

  • Pre-dismantling activities;
  • Equipment dismantling and removal;
  • Site restoration;
  • Stormwater management;
  • In-water works;
  • Water takings;
  • Necessary precautions to avoid impacts on the Blanding’s Turtle;
  • Restoration of natural and cultural heritage features;
  • Archaeological resources;
  • Emergency response and communications plan;
  • Consultation/Notification;
  • Record keeping; and
  • Handling of complaints.

The documents also allow for consideration of existing agreements between landowners and the proponent and require that the proponent conduct monitoring at the project site after it is decommissioned.

Comments received

Through the registry

524

By email

31

By mail

45
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

We received comments from a range of interested stakeholders, including members of the public, representatives of the proponent, local municipal officials and advocacy groups.

Comments received during consultation that were specifically about the content of the regulation and the technical closure document resulted in the following changes:

  • Comments relating to timing of the decommissioning activities.
    • The two-year time limit for the closure of the facility was removed from the regulation since it was determined that compensation provided for under the under the White Pines Wind Project Termination Act, 2018 could provide for adequate milestones
  • Comments about greater local oversight of decommissioning activities.
    •  The proponent is required to provide draft plans and decommissioning reports to Prince Edward County as well as MECP prior to implementation of those activities.
  • Comments about the decommissioning work and restoration of lands to their previous state being more damaging to the environment than leaving the facility in place.
    • Clarified wording in the new regulation and associated technical closure document regarding measures that require the proponent to decommission the project in a way that will protect the local community and surrounding wildlife, including necessary precautions to avoid impacts on the Blanding’s Turtle.
    • Clarified wording in the new regulation and associated technical document related to the taking down and removal of wind turbines and consideration for agreements between the proponent and landowners to allow project components (e.g. turbine foundations and access roads) to remain.

Supporting materials

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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Client Services and Permissions Branch
Address

135 St Clair Ave West
1st Floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1P5
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-3835
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Proposal posted

Comment period

October 17, 2018 - December 1, 2018 (45 days)

Proposal details

Description of Regulation

The proposed regulation would require White Pines Wind Incorporated (WPD) to do a number of activities to close the facility, including:

  • dismantle and/or remove equipment safely and securely
  • restore lands impacted by the project
  • take precautions to avoid impacts on the Blanding’s turtle.

Further details are set out in the draft regulation and draft technical closure document.

Purpose of Regulation

The White Pines Wind Project is an 18.5 megawatt (MW) wind project that had been under construction in Prince Edward County near Belleville.

On July 25, 2018, the White Pines Wind Project Termination Act, 2018 came into force.

This act:

  • terminated the Feed-in-Tariff contract for the White Pines Wind Project
  • revoked the renewable energy approval issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The renewable energy approval included requirements for closing the facility, including restoring lands affected by the project. The proposed regulation will require the closure of the facility in the absence of a renewable energy approval.

The site poses no immediate risk to human health or the environment.

Regulatory Impact Statement

There are no anticipated administrative costs to small business that will occur as a result of the proposed regulation. This regulation will impose costs on the company for the closure. The company may be eligible for compensation for these costs.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Client Services and Permissions Branch
Address

135 St Clair Ave West
1st Floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1P5
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from October 17, 2018
to December 1, 2018

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