Ontario to investigate link between wind turbines and well water quality

In 2018, MPP Monte McNaughton presented a bottle of brown well water to Chris Ballard, environment minister in the Wynne government, asking that something be done. Nothing was.

On July 19, MPP Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) announced that the Ontario government had struck a five-member panel of scientists to investigate whether there is a link between the vibrations from wind turbine construction and operation and the disturbance in more than 80 wells in Chatham-Kent. Mr. McNaughton made the announcement with fellow MPPs Rick Nicholls and Bob Bailey at a news conference.

The news release is as follows:

July 19, 2019

Ontario Conducting Health Hazard Investigation

Province Creates Independent Panel of Scientists to Investigate Water Wells, Fulfilling Commitment

Chatham Kent — Ontario’s government for the people has formed an expert independent panel to investigate well water in Chatham Kent, MPP McNaughton announced today.

The five-member independent panel will determine if the water from private wells in Chatham-Kent is safe for consumption.

“Our government made a promise to strike this panel,” said McNaughton. “Today we are fulfilling that promise.”

The five-member independent panel will consist of four experienced toxicologists and one local geologist. All members are independent from government and are experienced toxicology professionals that have served on advisory committees.

The panel is empowered to take a fresh look at new samples collected from certain water wells in Chatham-Kent where residents have raised questions about water quality. Samples from up to 189 private wells will be taken by a third-party business and tested by a commercial laboratory.

The announcement fulfills a government commitment.

“Barely one year after this promise was made, we are fulfilling it,” said McNaughton. “And we’re doing it in a way that will inspire confidence from the people of this community. People can trust the results this independent panel delivers.”

BACKGROUND

The five independent experts comprising the panel are:

Dr. Keith Benn, PhD – A local geologist and past professor of geology at University of Ottawa.

Dr. Glenn Ferguson, PhD, QPRA – An environmental health scientist with 25 years experience in toxicology, epidemiology, and human health risk assessment.

Dr. Shelley A. Harris, PhD – An epidemiologist and associate professor at University of Toronto who specializes in exposure measurement.

Dr. Ron Brecher, PhD – A specialist in toxicology, risk assessment and risk communication.

Mark Chappel, MSc, DABT – A toxicologist with significant experience in supervising and managing comprehensive toxicity studies.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

John Fraser

John.Fraser@pc.ola.org

 

“This is welcome news for the people of Chatham-Kent, who raised the effect of wind turbine construction on the water at appeal as a concern,” said Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson. “That appeal was withdrawn because the proponent sprung a consulting report on the appeal and the Tribunal refused to allow the citizens time to examine it — they were left with no choice, and no chance for real presentation of the issues.”

Wilson, a registered nurse, said she hoped the independent panel of scientists will be free to examine water samples and review the experience of the families’ whose water wells have been affected.

“The response of some authorities, including the local Medical Officer of Health, is that the wells were not of good quality to begin with. That’s absurd and defies belief, when you have dozens of wells fail in a short time,” said Wilson.

Wilson added that the same consultants who claimed there would be no problems in North Kent, were also called upon to refute citizen concerns in North Stormont, where the 100-megawatt Nation Rise wind power project is currently under construction. At appeal, citizens produced experts who said there were problematic turbine locations within the project; the province has designated the entire project area as a “highly vulnerable aquifer.”

 

Comments

Bonnie Rowe
Reply

While this is a welcome decision, I did not read anywhere in the media announcement that how the water wells became contaminated, would be considered. Just that they would be examined for safe consumption. We shall have to watch this closely to see if they take the difficult step to lay blame if/when the wells are found to be unfit for consumption.

Richard Mann
Reply

Re: infra sound.

Invited Talk
(host: Richard Mann)

Speaker: Mariana Alves-Pereira
Title: Infrasound & Low Frequency Noise: Physics, Cells, Health and History
Date: Thursday September 12, 2019
Time: 1 pm
Location: University of Waterloo
Room: DC 1302 (Davis Center)

Speaker Bio:

Mariana Alves-Pereira holds a B.Sc. in Physics (State University of New York at Stony Brook), a M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering (Drexel University) and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences (New University of Lisbon). She joined the multidisciplinary research team investigating the biological response to infrasound and low frequency noise in 1988, and has been the team’s Assistant Coordinator since 1999. Recipient of three scientific awards, and author and co-author of over 50 scientific publications (including peer-reviewed and conference presentations), Dr. Alves-Pereira is currently Associate Professor at Lusófona University teaching Biophysics and Biomaterials in health science programs (nursing and radiology), as well as Physics and Hygiene in workplace safety & health programs.

Stan Thayer
Reply

It is amazing how stupid the voting public are considered to be!
A team of 5 government certified scientists have been contracted in 2019 to determine what we already know.
Industrial Wind Turbine installation and operation causes contamination in fresh water Aquifers by agitation and liquifaction!
Wonderful, just wonderful.
Now, August 6th 2019, for instance.
There is a water pipeline being installed between Alexandria Ontario and Maxville Ontario following alongside secondary rural roads. Mostly farm country and some residences.
One of the, affected, potable water wells for human consumption is 4.3 km from the wellhead to the blast hole. Within hours of the first minor blast, turbidity increased to non-conforming status. Of course later blasts, and the movement of heavy equipment, produced additional releases.
Anyone with experience in the construction industry would be surprised if the releases were not expected. No scientist required, just ask some old tradesman.
In time, after construction has ceased, most wells will settle-out, some will not.
Demsdefacts!
Stan the power man

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

Was this reported to the environment ministry? Best to report to the Spills Line 1-866-MOE-TIPS or go to the Ottawa Regional Office. The District Office in Cornwall — let’s just say isn’t the most effective.

David Libby
Reply

They haven’t even started yet. They promised to get this done quickly… last year.

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