Opponents of a wind energy project in Plympton-Wyoming are worried after the approval of a nearby project.
NextEra has just been given the go ahead for its 92-turbine Jericho project in Lambton Shores, Warwick and Middlesex County. One of the big concerns of the project is how close the industrial turbines will be to the Thedford Bog where thousands of tundra swans land each spring during migration. It’s a concern the group WAIT-PW shares.
It’s been fighting to keep Suncor Energy from building a 42-turbine project in the same area. One of WAIT’s most recent concerns is the company’s study of migratory birds including tundra swans.
In its document to the Ministry of the Environment Suncor said it studied the area for a day and saw only a handful of swans. The MOE says it has fulfilled the requirement of the study, but WAIT officials are angry no one will check any of the facts to see if the turbines could be in the path of the migration.
Audrey Broer has been researching the issue of tundra swans for WAIT. She says NextEra’s report was incomplete but was more detailed than Suncor’s. And the MOE approved the project.
“Concerns were raised regarding impacts to tundra swans and tundra swan habitat,” according to the Environmental Review Tribunal of the NextEra project. “All of the proposed turbines exceed the minimum setback requirements for Significant Tundra Swan Stopover and Staging Areas and therefore no mitigation measures or monitoring is required for any turbines.”
That worries Broer. She says both the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural has to acknowledge the study has been done, but no one looks at the facts.
“It looks like these two ministries have checked the box and that’s it…they look at legislation check the box that’s it and not check the facts…Who goes to the site, no one goes to the site, each one says that’s not my job that’s the other guys.
“That does not leave me with a good feeling.”