Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Opposes Wind Turbines on the Moraine

The board of the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority by a vote of 6 to 2 on Thursday May 17th, 2012 passed a motion seeking a moratorium on industrial wind power plants on the Oak Ridges Moraine and demanding that FULL environmental assessments be conducted for ALL proposed industrial wind power plants. As it stands now under the Green Energy Act, only a cursory overview of the environment needs to be undertaken. On-site evaluations are not required, and yet developers have complained about even having to write cursory environmental summaries. The government is trying to make it even easier for developers by gutting environmental protection measures under Budget Bill 55 and making changes to the approval process.

The vote:

Moved by Willie Woo
Seconded by Heather Stauble

In Favour:
Mark Lovshin (Hamilton)
John Fallis (Cavan-Monaghan)
Miriam Mutton (Cobourg)
Heather Stauble (CKL)
Forest Rowden (Cobourg)
Willie Woo (Clarington)
Linda Thompson (Port Hope)

Opposed:
Ray Benns (Alnwick-Haldimand)
Mary Lou Ellis (Port Hope)

The motion:
WHEREAS the Oak Ridges Moraine is an environmentally sensitive, geological
landform that contains the headwaters of 65 rivers and streams and whose
aquifer systems provide drinking water directly to 250,000 people and
millions more;
WHEREAS the Oak Ridges Moraine is a protected landform under the Oak Ridges
Moraine Act;
WHEREAS municipalities are not the approval body on renewable energy
projects;
WHEREAS there are industrial wind projects proposed on the Oak Ridges
Moraine;
WHEREAS under legislation the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority is a
public commenting body under the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan;
WHEREAS the member municipalities of Clarington, Township of Cavan-Monaghan, City of Kawartha Lakes and Hamilton Township have passed resolutions calling for and supporting a moratorium on industrial wind projects;
WHEREAS the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has called for a moratorium on
the approval of industrial wind turbine projects;
WHEREAS STORM Coalition has called for a halt on the approval of energy
infrastructure projects on the Moraine until a cumulative assessment is done
on the impact of industrial wind projects on the Oak Ridges Moraine and full
environmental assessments are made mandatory;
THEREFORE be it resolved:
THAT the Board of Directors of Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority calls
for a moratorium on all industrial wind projects on the Oak Ridges Moraine;
and
THAT full environmental assessments be required for all industrial wind
projects as a condition of renewable energy approval;
THAT these resolutions be circulated to all municipalities in the Ganaraska
Region Conservation Authority watershed, AMO, Conservation Ontario,
Kawartha Conservation Authority, Otonabee Region Conservation Authority,
Minister of the Environment, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of
Natural Resources, Minister of Energy, the Minister of Transportation and
Infrastructure, MPP John O’Toole, MPP Laurie Scott and MPP Rob Milligan.

Not good news… the same motion to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine presented at the Kawartha Region Conservation Authority on May 23rd, 2012 was lost:

KRCA Motion lost 3-5 – recorded vote
:
In Favour:
Heather Stauble (CKL)
Ron Hooper (Clarington)
Ted Smith (Brock)

Opposed:
Jim Chaplin (Cavan Monaghan)
Don LaCombe (Galway-Cavendish)
Pat Warren (CKL)
John Hancock (Scugog)
Chuck Mercier (Scugog)

Did not vote – Chair – Donna Villemaire (CKL)

Follow-up Motion asking for a staff report – in favour – all staff.

To date there are 5 wind power plants to be built on the Moraine… likely many, many more to follow. There are 299 applications for FIT contracts being offered by the Ontario government for large scale wind power plants totalling over 6,000 industrial wind turbines.
In October 2010 there were 250 applications for FIT contracts for large scale wind power plants, by September 2011 there were 286 and now there are 299 applications. The McGuinty government plan is for 10,000 power plants by 2018… so there will be many more applications for sites unknown.

H/T http://www.socm.ca/

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