Who Pays To Tear It Down?

When an Industrial Wynne Turbine has to be taken down, for whatever reason, who pays for the teardown?[OntarioWindResistance]. Read original article in Farmers Forum: Who ponies up for Wind Turbine Teardown?.

Technically, and politically, it’s called “decommissioning”. The problem is not limited to the present but extends out 20 years, to the so-called lifespan of turbines; “decommissioning’ then becomes a problem, who does it and who pays for it?

“Many of these companies are relatively small or based outside of Canada and that creates what appears to be a real risk as there will be no pocket you can go to 20 years from now when a cleanup is actually required,” says Eric Gillespie, who has represented landowners and municipalities with wind turbine concerns. [FF]

Who’s left in this case? Landowners, municipalities, taxpayers. Wynne Turbines can weigh as much as 70 tonnes; a farmer and his tractor can’t take them down anymore than can the local municipality. World-wide costs for doing the job range from $30,000 to $80,000 per turbine. Developers need to present plans for turbine teardowns when they make their project proposals.

There is already a good model in place, says Gillespie. Under the Environmental Protection Act, the government will ask for financial assurance if there is a risk of adverse effects that could require remedial work. A letter of credit or security is required up front.
“Anything other than that might keep lawyers busy for a long time but won’t help communities. It’s about addressing the issue now rather than waiting for the end and crossing your fingers. It should be the companies that are earning the profits that have to pay the bill.”
[FF, emphasis added]

The costs of decommissioning would be an unbearable burden were they to be foisted on the municipalities. For the smallest ones, like Wainfleet, it would be a fatal burden. Any sensible opinion would state that the Province should have a decommissioning plan in place for Wynne Turbines, so that unwilling host communities will not be doubly burdened or taxed for these namesake Turbines.

Wainfleet, Hit Again

Construction impact [OWR] of Wynne Turbines hitting home in Wainfleet [Port Colborne Leader – Read article].

“There is no notice,” said Concession 6 property owner LeaAnne Robins, who has seen construction devastate roadside trees in front of her property. “They’ve massacred all the 80-year-old oaks on the road,” she said, explaining she expects construction of transmission towers to follow the clear cutting.

Construction has repeatedly blocked access at the north end of the road, forcing residents to take long detours.
“The school bus won’t even come down the road,” said Scott Murphy, whose four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter now have to walk about a half kilometer through a construction zone to catch the bus.
“At one time they had both ends of the road blocked,” said Murphy, adding he is concerned that in an emergency situation first responders may be delayed or even prevented in reaching the area.

In olden days, it was called rape and pillage: rape of the land and pillage of property!
The leader of the gang is the person for whom the IWT’s are named: Industrial Wynne Turbines.

Greed Energy runs roughshod over rights and responsibilities, doing things even Hydro wouldn’t or couldn’t legally do.

West Lincoln

West Lincoln asked to collect noise data. [WCO Blog] Niagara This Week, January 13, 2016, story by Amanda Moore.

With some of the largest industrial wind turbines in North America rising from the rural West Lincoln landscape, two citizens groups are asking the local government to begin monitoring noise.
“We want the township to appreciate the scope of the risk we are about to run with one of the largest wind projects in North America next to such a densely-populated area,” said Mike Jankowski, chair of the West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action Group (WLGWAG), which made a joint presentation to West Lincoln’s planning, building and environmental committee Monday with Mothers Against Wind Turbines (MAWT). “There are some risks that aren’t mitigated and we require the township to start collecting data both before and during the turbines.”

MAWT, specifically, has concerns with numerous changes to the NRWF project currently under development. The Township of Wainfleet has sent a letter to Ontario’s minister of energy questioning why there was no public process on major changes to the project. Both groups pressed West Lincoln committee to send correspondence to that same effect to the province.
“The township should press for answers,” said Jankowski.

Wainfleet Trail

Niagara Pennisula Conservation Authority has performed it usual “sell-out” to Wind Developers: NPCA sells out, again, reported by Welland Tribune and blogged by OWR:
Despite concerns from Wainfleet leaders, Niagara Region Wind Corp. has been given the green light to use the Gord Harry Trail. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board approved an agreement with the company Wednesday night, that will allow 635 metres of the 13-kilometre trail to be used to bury wind turbine conduits.

The bribe paid for the use of the Trail is $100,000, plus a @200,000 payment for 20 years.

Given the NPCA’s conservation mandate, Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said she feels the decision is steeped in hypocrisy.

“People look at us to be stewards of land in general, especially our own land,” said Jeffs, who represents the township on the conservation authority’s board.

“We tell people they can’t do things on their property, but then with ours say, ‘Sure, come on in — and bring your trucks.’ ”

The board argued, she said, that the trail is a recreation area, not a conservation area. “But perception is reality.”

Read the article by Maryanne Firth, here, where she reports, A proposed alternative would have seen the conduits buried in a farmfield parallel to the trail. The  NPCA’s rationalization is revolting.

NPCA-Logo (image purloined from Ontario Wind Resistance)

Noise By-Law

Plympton-Wyoming stands behind new bylaw aimed at wind turbines, blogged by OWR.

“Suncor Energy and the Town of Plympton-Wyoming are at odds again over a wind turbine bylaw.” [report by Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer]. Suncor stated that it intends to build and operate its Turbines pursuant to Provincial noise limits without regard to municipal by-laws.

“Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper said the noise bylaw was written in consultation with a lawyer, and added that it follows the province’s regulations.
“But, we added the low level sounds,” Napper added.
“We’re fairly confident about it. We think that it’s something that needed to be addressed.”
Napper said council asked the Suncor representative to put the company’s concerns in writing and to return to council at an upcoming meeting.
“We’ll look at it at that time, and see what the concerns are.”
Napper said he hopes the municipality and company don’t end up in court over the bylaw.”

Obviously, the Municipality hopes to reach a working agreement with Suncor on noise levels. Other municipalities need to be looking to passing similar by-laws that regulate Noise, Set-backs, Construction etc, all of which are intended to protect health and safety. The Wainfleet Set-back test case proved such by-laws are valid within the limits of the Municipal Act but need to be framed within Green Energy and other Regulations.

There is room for creativity in By-law enactment with respect to environmental and natural resources law. Limits on bird and bat kill comes to mind with fines for destruction over the limit, why not? And so on, and so forth.

If this is done consistently and continually, a critical mass will be reached eventually, enough to get the government thinking about citizens and its voter base.

Close to Home

West Lincoln township officials have come up with a way to protect residents from IWT noise by reviewing local by-laws and those in other municipalities.

Plympton-Wyoming may have hit on a way of doing this:
“The Municipality of Plympton-Wyoming, near Sarnia, Ont., has passed a bylaw that requires an expert in decibel reading to deal with noise complaints. Should a noise exceed the allowable limits of the municipality’s noise bylaw, a fine can be applied. The municipality’s CAO confirmed to township staff they have a sound engineer on retainer to address complaints under the bylaw, should any occur.” [Grimsby Lincoln news] [OWR].

The Ontario Green Energy Act states that noise levels from Turbines cannot exceed 40dB. After reviewing the cost of noise inspections, West Lincoln Township is considering a by-law modelled on the one in Plympton-Wyoming which includes measurement of low frequency sound (infra-sound). A report back to Council on the matter should be forthcoming in the near future.

Wainfleet, next door to West Lincoln, presumably is listening, waiting and wanting the same thing.

Turbine Hearing begins Friday

InPort News report by Allan Brenner

Parents and grandparents concerned about the potential impact large industrial wind turbines could have on children will have an opportunity to discuss those concerns during an Environmental Review Tribunal, starting Friday.

A preliminary hearing looking into plans of Niagara Region Wind Corp to build wind turbines in west Niagara communities begins at 10 a.m. at the Wellandport Community Centre.

Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner launched the tribunal in response to an appeal by Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. filed Nov. 26, two weeks after the Ministry of the Environment granted renewable energy approval for the project.

The hearing will focus on community concerns about the project to build 77 wind turbines in the communities of West Lincoln, Lincoln, Wainfleet, Haldimand and on Region of Niagara property, with a total capacity of generating 230 megawatts of electricity.

Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said she may stop in during the hearing depending on her schedule, since six of the wind turbines being proposed are planned for her community.

“Three (turbines) are going in the Wellandport area in the northwest, and another two or three will be down here along the lake on the Haldimand border.

“I’m sure there will be residents of Wainfleet attending,” Jeffs said, adding several members of Mothers Against Wind Turbines live in Wainfleet.

The organization says the turbines will be up to 135 metres tall, and the blades of which will have a diameter of 101 meters.

“These will be some of the largest turbines to ever be introduced so closely to people and their homes in North America,” the organization said in a media release.

The full hearing is scheduled to start Jan. 19.

Calls and e-mails to Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc., as well as Niagara Region Wind Corp. to discuss the hearing were not returned, Thursday.

allan.benner@sunmedia.ca

Wainfleet Council

All but one of the incumbents were re-elected Oct.27 to Wainfleet Town Council.

Re-elected were, Mayor April Jeffs, Alderman Richard Dykstra, Alderman Ted Hessels, and Alderman Betty Konc.

New to Council will be Alderman Terry Gilmore.

Town Council meeting previously scheduled for Oct.28/14 has been cancelled.  Next Meeting is Nov.11 and coincides with the dedication of the new Cenotaph for the Township of Wainfleet.

Unofficial Results: Elected.

TV Turbine Report in Niagara Region

The Ongoing Controversy over Turbines continues, is the gist of this CHCH TV report [also blogged on OntWindResistance]. TV reporter, Lisa Hepfner tries to examine both sides of the issue in West Lincoln (which will soon be metal porcupine country with a total of 77 IWT’s). The IWT’s will stretch from West Lincoln to Wainfleet.
The reporter quotes residents who are being bombarded with noise & health issues. She also quotes OPA on the issue, whose spokesman tells what amounts to a duplicitous lie: Shawn Cronkwright, Ontario Power Authority: “With wind turbines, you have to pay to install the equipment, but after the equipment is installed the cost of the fuel is zero. Wind actually is a key piece of keeping prices lower in the entire portfolio.”
The zero cost of “fuel” is disingenuous, to say the least. There’s the huge cost of accessing that “fuel” paid for with tax dollars in the billions; there’s the huge cost of paying for the consumption of that “fuel”, and the huge cost of re-selling that excess “fuel” to other jurisdictions at a less than the cost of production. Then there are the hidden healthcare costs caused by the effects of that “fuel”, the transmission costs (hydro has to shut down to allow wind energy onto the Grid); the air pollution costs caused by the diesel engines needed to operate the turbines; and the costs of lost agricultural production from the industrialized land needed to erect these 60 story towers.
And let’s not even mention the slaughter of millions of flying creatures the earth needs to keep its balance.
Or the Charter Rights being breached by forced acceptance of turbine development. Or the loss of land value. Or increased carbon emissions.
Wind energy is not “free” or “clean” or “green”; these words are government and industry mantras aimed at deluding the public into thinking that the outmoded technology of wind is cutting edge. The edge has been dulled in Europe and the many countries that are abandoning it. Landowners who give their land over to the production of wind instead of crops will be disappointed when their “windfall” lasts much less than 20 years, when the landscape will be dotted with stopped and rusting turbines. But the thieves who run this scheme will have had their money and others will have left office.

SKYDIVE BURNABY will Appeal

I’ve been away, enjoying the wind without turbines, so this GOOD news arrived before my return.

The Welland Tribune reports [Greg Furminger] that the Appellants, Tara&Mike Pitt, will appeal the ERT decision against them concerning the building of two turbine that will intersect their flight path [OWR also reports] in Wainfleet.  Construction has been halted by Court order until the Appeal is heard and a decision handed down.  The construction site is approx. 1.5 km from Skydive Burnaby.

The Appeal to the ERT was filed last October over concerns that the IWT’s will pose a serious hazard for skydivers.  The Appeal failed (decision handed down in May).  A new Appeal will be heard in August, 18th & 19th, but this time by the Ontario Divisional Court (which is to say, not by the rubber-stamp government agency).