Community group to appeal wind power approval
Well-water protection, noise are issues of concern
For immediate release
Ottawa, May 29, 2018 – A community group has filed a formal appeal of the Renewable Energy Approval given by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for the “Nation Rise” wind power project.
“People in our quiet rural communities are unhappy with the prospect of an industrial-scale wind power project, particularly due to concerns about noise emissions from the wind turbines,” says Margaret Benke, spokesperson for Concerned Citizens of North Stormont. “This 100-megawatt power project is very large in scope, spanning 12,000 acres. The plans are for 33 industrial wind turbines, equivalent to 60-storey office buildings. It will have a huge impact on our communities.”
Of prime concern is the potential to damage well water supply, as a result of the drilling and pile-driving necessary to anchor the top-heavy turbines. “Of the 33 proposed turbines, 31 are slated to be directly on top of what the MOECC has designated as ‘highly vulnerable aquifers’,” says Benke. “Up to 10,000 wells for villages, homes, farms and businesses between North Stormont and almost to the Ottawa River to the northeast, depend on this fragile source of water.”
Water wells in the Chatham-Kent area have been contaminated with black sediment following turbine construction last year, and there are calls for a public health investigation as a result.
“We are very worried about what could happen to our water,” says Benke.
Noise is a serious concern too, especially because the MOECC has received thousands of noise complaints in Ontario, but few have been resolved, says Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson.
“The reports we obtained from the MOECC under Freedom of Information show that the Ministry has not responded effectively to reports of excessive turbine noise, and instead relies on hypothetical, computer-generated noise models from the turbine manufacturers. Meanwhile, families can’t sleep at night—some have even abandoned their homes,” says Wilson. “That is not the protection of the environment and health Ontarians expect from their government.
“With so many reports of problems, the people in the North Stormont area are right to be concerned,” Wilson adds.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 5th, tentatively in Finch, Ontario.
The Nation Rise power project will be located about 40 km southeast of Ottawa, and includes the communities surrounding Finch, Berwick and Crysler. It is being developed by Portuguese power developer EDP Renewables.
SOURCE: Wind Concerns Ontario, Concerned Citizens of North Stormont
CONTACT: Margaret Benke firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Wilson email@example.com
Concerned Citizens of North Stormont is a community group member of the Wind Concerns Ontario coalition.