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Power developer announcement it is about to clear land which is habitat for an endangered species is an attempt to force the Environmental Review Tribunal to issue a decision on the Prince Edward County wind power project, and proposed “remedies” for species at risk

The Environmental Review Tribunal determined the Blandings Turtle was endangered by the wind farm; the company is proceeding with construction in the absence of a final decision

April 15, 2017

Minutes before 4 PM on the Thursday of the Easter weekend, Germany-based wind power developer WPD issued notice to the Environmental Review Tribunal that the company intends to start clearing land in advance of building the White Pines power project.

Land clearing is to begin on Wednesday, the corporate power developer said, which meant there is only one day after the Easter weekend to file any documents against the action.

The White Pines project has been contested in an appeal before the Tribunal; the original decision found that the power project would cause harm to endangered species of turtles and bats. A hearing was held in late January to hear possible “remedy” actions to prevent loss of life, but a decision accepting or rejecting the remedies has not yet been rendered.

WPD is in danger of being in breach of its contract with the Ontario government if it does not begin supplying power by the critical Commercial Operation Date.

The Blandings Turtle, one of the endangered species at risk from the wind power project construction, has already been seen in the County by residents, so has emerged from hibernation.

The rush to construction shows how willing the wind power developer is to risk environmental damage, a spokesperson for the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County told news media Quinte News.

At an earlier phase of the White Pines project WPD began unauthorized land clearing but was halted by an order from the Environmental Review Tribunal. WPD is also the power developer behind the contentious Fairview Wind project near Collingwood. It threatened to sue the Ontario government if a contract was not issued for the power project.

Previous attempt by WPD to clear land for unauthorized construction of the Prince Edward County wind power project