Halt approval process on Otter Creek wind farm, citizens say
“Black Water” in wells in nearby North Kent has residents concerned about water safety and wind turbine construction. The lesson from Walkerton is that the MOECC is responsible for water quality, they say
February 5, 2018
Citizens’ group Water Wells First is calling the Ontario government decision to allow temporary water tanks to be removed from North Kent homes without water supply is “cold-blooded.”
Last week, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) informed residents that the results of the Ministry’s own testing of the water that is so sediment-laden some samples appear black, showed that water quality has “deteriorated” but that there is no association with wind turbine construction and pile driving.
“It’s a strong arm tactic,” said Water Wells First Kevin Jakubec at a news conference held this afternoon at one local farm that has been without water for months.
Residents in nearby Wallaceburg are extremely concerned as the proposed Otter Creek wind power project will be on the same Kettle Point Black Shale geology as the North Kent project.
“The Ministry response to the damaged well in North Kent is not good enough,” says Violet Towell, spokesperson for community group Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns. “The deterioration of water quality in these wells didn’t just happen. As Mr Justice O’Connor confirmed in his 2002 report on the Walkerton water tragedy, the MOECC has responsibility for ensuring a safe water supply in Ontario — they should not stop investigating until they find out what is going on here.”
The Wallaceburg group says that the Otter Creek project should not receive a Renewable Energy Approval until the well water situation in North Kent is “thoroughly investigated and resolved,” says Towell.
It is a condition of Renewable Energy Approvals that “adverse effects” must be prevented; these are described in the Environmental Prevention Act, Section 1 (1) and include “adverse effect on the health of any person,” “impairment of the safety of any person,” “rendering any property or plant or animal unfit for human use,” and “loss of enjoyment of the normal use of property.”
To contact the Wallaceburg group: WAWC@kent.net