Note how “pleased” Gilead is to apply for a permit to “kill, harm and harass” endangered species,” though they neglect to use those exact words, opting for “relating to” instead. Read between the lines to see whether Gilead’s “additional analysis,” and “review of cumulative effects” has actually changed anything about their plans.
Their “revised construction schedule” and “speed limit restrictions on the site” will most probably be helpful for endangered birds and turtles as they rush to move their nests to Gilead’s new and improved habit.
“Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park Project Update
Renewable Energy Approval Application
Gilead is pleased to announce that on May 16, 2011, the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) application for the Ostrander Point Wind EnergyPark was submitted to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Following the April 12, 2011 public meeting,Gilead has been focused on responding to stakeholder questions and making necessary changes to the REA reports to address public comments. The REA reports have been updated to reflect changes made to the Project in recognition of public comments. From the outset of the Project,Gilead has always sought feedback from the community and has incorporated this feedback into the Project design where applicable. This feedback has led to changes to the Project layout, additional analysis of alternative turbine siting options as well as a review of cumulative effects of the Project.
If the application and the REA reports are considered complete by the MOE, the application will be posted to the Environmental Registry (www.ebr.gov.on.ca) for a 30-day public review. Additional notification will be provided by Gilead at the time of the posting and the final REA reports will then be made available on the Project website (www.gileadpower.com) for reference. In order to be considered, all comments should be provided to the MOE via the Environmental Registry.
Following the 30-day public review, the MOE will consider public comments, review Gilead’s application and make a decision. If approved, members of the public will be provided with a 15-day period in which to appeal the decision to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT). The ERT’s primary role is adjudicating applications and appeals under various environmental and planning statutes.
With approval of Gilead’s REA, construction of the Project is scheduled to begin in October 2011, with commercial operation in early 2012.
Gilead applied for a permit under section 17 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) related to Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will on May 10, 2011. A copy of the notice is currently available on the Environmental Registry (www.ebr.gov.on.ca). As part of the permit application,Gilead will be providing an overall benefit to both species through the following activities:
- Gilead will acquire and manage a property outside the project area (that meets appropriate criteria as defined by the Ministry of Natural Resources) for the habitat preservation, rehabilitation and/or improvement of both Blanding’s turtle and Whip-poor-will.
- Gilead will publish Whip-poor-will survey methodology and the results of pre-construction monitoring.
- Gilead will provide financial support to fund graduate research related to Whip-poor-will.
- Beyond standard species monitoring, a benefit to the species will be achieved through value added monitoring for multiple years on both the newly acquired property, as well as the Project site, to gather new information and knowledge about Blanding’s Turtles and how they use their habitat. Steps will be taken to minimize any potential adverse effects on both species including a revised construction schedule and speed limit restrictions within the site.
We trust this newsletter provides you with an update on the progress made on the Project since our last communication and outlines opportunities for stakeholder input into the approvals process.”