Horizon Cutting Trees on Nor’Westers

Horizon Wind has lost in their application to have the Ministry of the Environment give them approval for the wind farm... appears that Fort William First Nation wins this one...
Horizon Wind Inc. lost in their application to have the Ministry of the Environment give them approval for the wind farm... it appears that Fort William First Nation wins this one...
Horizon says it is trimming trees on the Nor’Westers.

Tests and Tree Trimming Started by Horizon on Nor’Westers

THUNDER BAY – UPDATED – “Horizon put out a newsletter recently claiming that they were going to being conducting tests and ‘tree trimming’ even though the City of Thunder Bay‘s lawyer in April 2011 upon settling the lawsuit with Horizon expressed to both Council and the public that “not a tree would be cut until all approvals and permits were in place,” according to a statement issued by the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee.

Developing Story… 

Tim Commisso, the City of Thunder Bay Manager commented that “Horizon have the ability to access the site and nothing they are doing is outside of the agreement”.

Commisso adds that this is a part of the agreement and was presented to Council on April 1 2011. Horizon under that agreement can, “For the purposes of testing can do a limited amount of tree clearing”.

Neebing Mayor Ziggy Polkowski states that they have been advised that there is “tree trimming” ongoing on the site. However Mayor Polkowski in an interview with NetNewsLedger states that if it is more than trimming he will seek a legal opinion on what Neebing will do. 

Mayor Polkowski stated he has “Received an  avalanche of telephone calls this afternoon over the issue of what Horizon is doing on the Nor’Westers”. Horizon’s Kathleen MacKenzie had stated in an interview earlier that the company had not received any complaints.

Neebing is very concerned over the actions and the plans for the wind farm. Polkowski stated that when the project first came up, and opposition grew he suggested to Horizon that there is lots of land in the area where they could build their wind farm. “There are better places,” stated the Mayor. “Places where instead of nine turbines, they could build 900, and no one would be opposed”.

The Mayor and Neebing will be reviewing what is happening and then seeking legal opinion on their next actions.

Sharing pictures, the NMEPC: “Here is what Horizon has been doing this week — full road construction of approximately 1 km, cutting over 100 year old hardwood maple trees (rare to our area) and running over creek beds”.

Trails on NorWesters

Horizon spokesperson Kathleen MacKenzie states to NetNewsledger, “We are doing soil and geotechnical assessments”. Horizon also states that the City of Thunder Bay, who is the landlord on the property has signed off on the work that the company is doing.

This is not within the purview of the province – Bill Mauro

Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro states, “This is not within the purview of the province. There is still no final REA approval from the province for this project. Any work ongoing would be as per the conditions as allowed or disallowed within the lease agreement between the city of Thunder Bay and the developer”.

Tree trimming on Nor'Westers
Tree trimming on Nor’Westers

Sorry they feel that way – Horizon

Addressing concerns raised by the Nor’Western Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee, Horizon states, “We are sorry they feel that way”.

NetNewsLedger has contacted Bill Mauro MPP, Mayor Keith Hobbs, and City Manager Tim Commisso seeking to uncover if the City or the Province have issued any permits required to trim these trees. 

Horizon geotechnical surveys ongoing on Nor'Westers
Horizon geotechnical surveys ongoing on Nor’Westers

“This is both outrageous and provocative behaviour on the part of the Developer, showing no respect for either the City, Municipality of Neebing, Fort William First Nation, the residents or the Provincial Process for a Renewable Energy Contract,” charged NMEPC in a news release issued today.

Horizon states that the City of Thunder Bay has a “Registered Professional Forester” assigned to oversee the work.

Horizon states, “The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has determined that Big Thunder Wind Park’s Renewable Energy Approval application meets the requirements of the Green Energy Act and Ontario Regulation 359/09.  A paper copy of the application can be viewed at the MOE Thunder Bay District Office, 435 James Street South, Suite 331B, or in Toronto at 2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A.  The time period for commenting on the Environmental Registry site has now passed”.

Also at issue is the subject of proper consultation with Fort William First Nation. Members of the FWFN stated to NNL that no consultations have been done. Horizon states that they have done consultations, and would welcome talks. However in an interview with NNL, Horizon spokespersons say that they won’t change their position.

How Tall are the Proposed Wind Turbines?

Diagram supplied by Nor'Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee
Diagram supplied by Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee

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