UPDATE: Mayor disappointed WPD has started clearing land for wind project
The mayor of Prince Edward County said he is disappointed the developer of a proposed 27-turbine wind farm south of Picton has started working at the site.
Robert Quaiff said he was surprised to learn WPD Canada had begun vegetation clearing on the north side of Royal Road today, since the company hasn't completed a road use agreement with the municipality, and hasn't applied for a building permit.
He said a county supervisor visited the site, and officials are deciding what action, if any, can be taken.
The Environmental Review Tribunal approved a stay for the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County last year, preventing WPD from working in the Blandings turtle spring foraging habitat.
County Coun. Steven Ferguson said heavy equipment was seen on the north side of Royal Road.
WPD's legal counsel informed the Environmental Review Tribunal it would commence the work, and WPD also wants a motion date to hear its request to lift the stay the APPEC received.
APPEC chair Gord Gibbins stated in an email to the media his group is "taking steps to counter WPD's actions," including contacting the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
He stated the action by WPD shows it "is evident how little respect WPD has for the ERT appeal process."
An ERT official said the clearing won't be investigated unless the agency receives a complaint.
The tribunal ruled last year work at the site would cause serious and irreversible harm to Little brown bats and the Blandings turtle, and a final decision on the fate of the facility was expected before the end of March, and is due at any time now.
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