On Monday, July 18 the Environmental Review Tribunal delivered
its ruling in Erickson v. MOE. It found against the
appellants who stood in opposition to the Suncor Kent Breeze Wind
project. The Tribunal held that the appellants had failed to
provide sufficient evidence to show that the low frequency sound
generated by wind turbines will cause serious harm to human health.
In the decision, the Tribunal stated that the evidence presented by
the appellants was largely "exploratory" in nature, and
gave it little weight. Instead, they relied on the testimony of
several expert witnesses who stated that the relevant research was
still in its earliest stages and that it had not yet progressed to
a point where reliable conclusions could be drawn.
Despite finding against the appellants, the Tribunal emphasized
that the question as to whether wind farms pose a health risk to
humans was by no means resolved, and that above all the action
revealed a pressing need for further research. Though the evidence
was not sufficient to establish a concrete causal link between wind
farms and health problems in humans, it was enough to expose a
worrying degree of uncertainty regarding the potential adverse
effects of these facilities. The issue then has become one of
degree in terms of what precautions are necessary to protect people
from any negative impact these facilities might have. The decision
establishes that currently, the evidence does not warrant a
re-evaluation of the regulatory regime concerning wind farm
facilities, but expressly leaves open the possibility of change
should further research reveal a need for it.
Lauded by many as a significant step forward in the transition
to sustainable power generation, the decision is a major setback
for those set against wind farm development in Ontario.
Disappointed, but undeterred in her opposition, Katie Erickson, the
named appellant stated on Tuesday, July 19 that she may move
forward with an appeal of the ruling.
The decision can be found at
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The Imperial Oil refinery pled guilty to one offence for discharging a contaminant, coker stabilizer, thermocracked gas, into the natural environment causing an adverse effect and was fined $650,000...
Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change continues to roll out its Climate Change Action Plan with its proposed GHG guide for projects that are subject to the province's Environmental Assessment Act.
In June, 2016, Justice Faieta of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded damages of $57,712.31 plus interest against legal counsel who failed to file a claim within the required limitation period.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).