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This consultation was open from:
July 29, 2022
to August 28, 2022
We are seeking public input on a proposal for a socio-economic benefit permit to be issued to NextStar Energy Inc. for impacts to Butler’s Gartersnake, a species at risk. The permit will include actions to minimize adverse effects on the species and its habitat and actions to support the protection and recovery of the species.
Site location details
The proposed project is located within the Twin Oaks Business Park (southwest of the intersection of EC Row Avenue East and Banwell Road, City of Windsor, County of Essex, Ontario). The specific area of species at risk concern can be viewed in the map shared under the Supporting Materials section of this notice.
Site location map
The location pin reflects the approximate area where environmental activity is taking place.View this location on a map opens link in a new window
NextStar Energy Inc.
199 Bay Street
Why consultation isn't required
We are not required to consult on this permit proposal as it relates to an animal and therefore does not meet the required criteria set out in subsection 1.3 (6) of the Ontario Regulation 681/94 under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993.
We are voluntarily posting this notice to advise the public of this proposal and to invite the public to submit written comments to the contact person identified in this notice.
NextStar Energy Inc. is seeking a social or economic benefit permit under clause 17(2)(d) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) for building an electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario, which may adversely impact Butler’s Gartersnake.
The proposal may adversely impact:
- Butler’s Gartersnake individuals
- approximately 1.72 hectares of Butler’s Gartersnake habitat
Protecting species under the Endangered Species Act
The Ontario government is committed to protecting species at risk and providing strong environmental oversight while working to support development opportunities in the province.
Ontario provides protections for species at risk and their habitats under the ESA. Sections 9 and 10 of the ESA provide protection for individual members of a species and their habitat if that species is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as either:
Butler’s Gartersnake is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as endangered; therefore, it and its habitat are protected.
Under clause 17(2)(d) of the ESA, the Minister may issue a permit authorizing a person to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by sections 9 or 10 of the ESA if the Minister is of the opinion that:
- the activity authorized by the permit will result in a significant social or economic benefit to Ontario
- the activity authorized by the permit will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species in Ontario
- reasonable alternatives have been considered, including alternatives that would not adversely affect the species, and the best alternative that would allow the projects to continue has been adopted
- reasonable steps to minimize adverse effects on the species are required by conditions of the permit
Significant social or economic benefit to Ontario
The EV battery manufacturing facility is expected to result in significant social and economic benefits to Ontarians, such as:
- developing the electric vehicle industry in Ontario
- ensuring Ontario’s automotive sector remains robust as the global market shifts from gasoline-powered to electric vehicles
- creating 2,500 new jobs, comprising operators, engineers, technicians and business staff
Reasonable alternatives being considered
Alternatives, including alternatives that would not adversely affect Butler’s Gartersnake and its habitat may include:
- Alternative 1 – no development
- Alternative 2 – partial development with avoidance of Butler’s Gartersnake habitat
- Alternative 3 – full development including removal of 1.72ha of Butler’s Gartersnake habitat while also implementing protection and recovery actions for Butler’s Gartersnake within the City of Windsor
NextStar Energy Inc. has proposed that the best alternative is Alternative 3 as it strikes a balance between the development of Ontario’s automotive sector and implementing additional measures to protect and recover Butler’s Gartersnake in Ontario.
Actions to minimize adverse effects on the species
The permit would include conditions requiring that steps are taken to minimize adverse effects on Butler’s Gartersnake and its habitat. These may include:
- providing training to all site workers about the species and what to do if one is encountered
- installing temporary exclusion fencing to prevent Butler’s Gartersnake from gaining access to the construction area
- installing coverboards and conducting targeted salvages in the enclosed construction site to remove any Butler’s Gartersnakes from the construction area
- engaging a qualified professional to oversee the installation and inspections of the exclusion fencing and to conduct targeted salvages
- conducting wildlife sweeps prior to the start of construction each day to ensure no species at risk have entered the area
- installing permanent exclusion fencing to prevent Butler’s Gartersnake from gaining access to the project site in the long-term
- monitoring mitigation measures to ensure they are effective
Actions to protect and recover the species
The permit would also include conditions requiring that beneficial actions be taken to support the protection and recovery of Butler’s Gartersnake in Ontario. These may involve:
- enhancing and/or creating Butler’s Gartersnake habitat within the Windsor-Sarnia region
- creating key habitat features that support life functions such as basking, nesting or hibernating
- monitoring the effectiveness of the proposed beneficial actions for a minimum of five years
The proposed beneficial actions are anticipated to improve the quality of existing habitat and/or increase habitat area for the species.
The Province has published a government response statement (GRS) under subsection 12.1 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) with respect to Butler’s Gartersnake. The GRS will be considered as part of the permit decision-making process.
Posting this proposal on the Environmental Registry of Ontario does not imply that the Minister will issue a permit. A permit may only be issued where the legal requirements set out in section 17 have been satisfied.
View materials in person
Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.
Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.
40 St Clair Ave West
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