Comments re: Wolfe Island Post Construction Follow-up Plan for Bird and Bat Resources, Environmental Screening Report
Dear Ms Harris:
Re: Wolfe Island Wind Project, CEAR #04-01-4667
Post Construction Follow-up Plan for Bird and Bat Resources; and
Environmental Assessment Screening Report
Please find enclosed Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s comments on the above-mentioned matter.
Wolfe Island is home to one of the most valuable and sensitive areas on the Great Lakes. It is an Important Bird Area, part of a corridor for migratory bats, provides important fish habitat, and is comprised of a variety of productive ecosystem types, including wetlands, marshes, woodlands and grasslands. A project to erect 86 wind turbines on the island is nearing completion.
To satisfy the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, an Environmental Assessment Screening Report was prepared by Natural Resources Canada and the Correctional Service of Canada. In order to ensure that the project does not cause further damage to sensitive bird and bat populations, a “Post-Construction Follow-up Plan for Bird and Bat Resources for the Wolfe Island Wind Plant” was developed by Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ducks Unlimited, and the proponent, Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation.
In order to mitigate harm to wildlife and habitat areas on Wolfe Island, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper submits that the post-construction phase of the process must be transparent and inclusive. Independent scientific research should be used as a baseline comparator for the effects of the turbines, and all collected data should be made available to the public. The monitoring strategy must include all affected areas of the island, including those where roads have been built or widened. Turbine shutdown is an essential part of the mitigation strategy and should be employed if evidence of harm to birds or bats is found.
Read our entire comment here.
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