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Oak Ridges Moraine Wind Project a Threat to Ontario’s Water (So sayeth the Toronto Star)

Tip o’ the hat to D. Wrightman for this article.

Maude Barlow and Cindy Sutch — Toronto Star — July 7, 2014

The provincial government should revoke its approval of a wind project on the Oak Ridges Moraine and stop allowing development to take precedence over the protection of our water.

The Sumac Ridge wind project is the first industrial wind project approved on the environmentally sensitive and protected Oak Ridges Moraine, the rain barrel of southern Ontario. The approval sets a precedent to open up the Oak Ridges Moraine for other wind projects and industrial development of all kinds.

The project is currently under appeal before the Environmental Review Tribunal and has received a record number of 43 requests for status from community and First Nation groups.

Sumac Ridge is one of five proposed wind projects on the Oak Ridges Moraine that residents have been fighting for the last five years. Community members have spent significant amounts of time and money trying to protect and preserve the moraine.

When the Sumac Ridge wind project was posted on the Environmental Registry, 2,874 comments were registered. Frustration with the process is mounting along with the fees of lawyers and experts hired to prepare for the Environmental Review Tribunal.

While wind power is a sustainable green energy alternative to the environmental harms associated with fossil fuels, as with every industrial development, it can have important impacts in vulnerable areas and these must be fully assessed. The Sumac Ridge project and the other proposals will require the construction of access roads, clear-cutting of significant woodlands and the delivery of thousands of truckloads of gravel, sand and concrete onto the moraine.

The Oak Ridges Moraine is one of the last continuous green corridors in southern Ontario. The remnants of tall grass prairie and oak-pine savannas in the eastern portion of this ancient landform are globally threatened ecosystems and may be impacted by wind development.  Continue reading here…..

Oak Ridges Moraine

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