LITTLE CURRENT—The ‘stay of approval’ requested by the Manitoulin Coalition for Safe Energy Alternatives (MCSEA) when it filed for an appeal against the Ministry of Environment’s (MOE) Renewable Energy Approval last month for Northland Power’s (NPI) McLean’s Mountain wind farm project has been denied.
“The stay of approval request aspect of our appeal has been denied,” wrote MCSEA spokesperson Raymond Beaudry in an email to The Expositor. “This allows Northland to begin with tree removal and any construction planned.”
MCSEA requested the stay when they filed for an appeal against NPI’s Manitoulin wind project two weeks ago in an attempt to hold off construction of the McLean’s Mountain wind farm prior to and during the appeal process.
Despite Mr. Beaudry stating that NPI can move forward with tree clearing, McLean’s Mountain wind farm project manager Rick Martin told The Expositor that it is not part of the company’s plan.
“We have not even had the preliminary hearing yet regarding the appeal,” said Mr. Martin. “We are following the legal process and are currently in a state of flux. Theoretically we have the permit to begin construction and are allowed to advance, but right now we are not starting to clear trees or planning any long-term work until after the appeal has been addressed by the tribunal (Energy Review Tribunal, ERT). We are simply in a limbo situation following the legal process.”
Mr. Martin did say, however, that some minimal work was taking place with the project, but so far it’s just “surveying crews establishing setback and identifying sensitive areas, but as far as official construction work or tree clearing, none is currently taking place.”
The preliminary ERT hearing addressing MCSEA’s appeal will take place on Tuesday, December 18 at 1 pm at the Lions Den in the Little Current Recreation Centre, with the hearing to take place on January 10, 2013 at 10 am at the Lions Den.
Individuals who are landowners near the potential site of the McLean’s wind farm or who have an interest in the hearing have been contacted and offered the opportunity by the ERT to attend or participate as a presenter, participant or party.
Those wishing to participate in the ERT hearing are asked to contact the ERT case coordinator, Tracee Wessam, to indicate their intention by 4 pm on December 14.
Rules and practice and practice directions of the ERT are available at www.elto.gov.on.ca or can be mailed upon request.
Mr. Wessam can be contact via mail at 655 Bay Street, Suite 1500, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1E5, email at [email protected], telephone at 1-866-448-2248 or fax at 416-314-4506.