After a lengthy appeal process was launched by its opponents, development of the Bow Lake Wind Farm project will go ahead as originally approved by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, an Environmental Review Tribunal ruled Wednesday.
The Bow Lake Wind Farm project is a partnership between Nodin Kitagan of Batchewana First Nation (BFN) and Calgary’s BluEarth Renewables.
The Bow Lake Wind Farm project, a plan for 36 wind turbines, is to be located on traditional BFN land approximately 80 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) first approved the Bow Lake Wind Farm project December 16, 2013.
In early January, Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR) spokesperson Gillan Richards and Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) Co-Chair George Browne announced James Fata and 2401339 Ontario Ltd. (a corporation resident in Ontario) would request the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) revoke MOE approval of the Bow Lake Wind Farm.
Groups such as SOAR and LSARC state they are opposed to wind farm development in the Sault and Algoma region, insisting wind turbines are hazardous to human health and wildlife, an environmental disruption, and ruin the natural, rugged beauty of the Algoma landscape.
“The courage and persistence of both appellants, James Fata and 2401339 Ontario Ltd., in the face of insurmountable odds, including the scoping of the appeals which was limited to the appellants proving that the Bow Lake Wind project would cause serious harm to human health and serious and irreversible harm to the environment, is little short of heroic,” SOAR stated in an email.
Another SOAR and LSARC-supported appeal of a separate project, the Goulais Wind Farm, was dismissed earlier this year.
Along with the Prince Wind Farm, there will now be three industrial wind facilities in Algoma.
SOAR has stated it will continue to speak out against industrial wind farm development in both northern and southern Ontario.