Ontario’s environment ministry: head in the (black) sand

As reports of contaminated well water in Chatham-Kent rise, the Ministry of the Environment is strangely silent. They can’t dodge this any longer

November 3, 2017

It must be getting harder and harder to work in Communications at the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) in Toronto: passing on all those media clips to management which then doesn’t respond, is not how they tell you things work in college or university.

Usually, when a company, or a government has a problem — especially with a public health issue — they meet it head on, and respond.

Not the MOECC.

A few months ago, we published a report that thousands of complaints of excessive noise and vibration from wind turbines were being ignored by the Ministry, with the staggering figure of actually NO RESPONSE for more than 50% of the citizen complaints, and a resolution rate of 1 %.

And over the summer and into the fall, the reports of problems with well water in Chatham-Kent continue to mount, as residents link the failed wells to wind turbine operation and construction.

“Black water” and heavy sediment is being found in 14 water wells near the North Kent wind power project, now under construction, which residents say is linked to vibration from pile-driving for the turbine foundations.

They’re not the only ones saying that: geoscientists and hydrologists are worried too, with one retired professional actually saying, he couldn’t believe they hadn’t stopped construction to get to the bottom of this issue.

The wind power developer claims no responsibility, relying on a consultants’ report which says well water interference is impossible.

Really, said another geoscientist. Speaking at a public meeting last week in Wallaceburg (where the province is thinking of approving another wind power project on the very same geology), Keith Benn said, If you have a model with predictions that are being countered by facts and evidence, it’s the model that might be wrong, not the facts.

This is serious business and, believe it or not, it is even worse than the situation described here.

Residents say there have been problems with well water since the first North Kent power project began but because most of the people having problems were leaseholders who had signed contracts with non-disclosure clauses about negative wind turbine effects, the well water problems were not public. So, a potential public health problem has gone unreported, essentially because the government gives a pass on most things to the “clients,” the wind power developers.

“People don’t back down when they’re protecting their water” [Photo: Council of Canadians]
The media is all over this story, with reports every week; residents are writing to the Ministry, complaining to the so-called “Spills” line, and even writing MInister Chris Ballard. Nothing but platitudes; promises to act, promises of testing, even, but no action.

Chatham-Kent’s Council is concerned, and worried about what a crisis in the water supply might mean for residents and taxpayers if the municipality is forced to supply municipal water to farms and homes formerly supplied by their own wells.

We think the Ontario government, and specifically this Ministry whose mandate it is to protect the environment and people’s health, should act.

Now.

But the Ministry has been notably Missing in Action.

WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO

Comments

Jackie Girard
Reply

Let’s get one thing clear about this issue. Chatham-Kent’s Mayor and Municipal council have been very instrumental in allowing this problem to continue and exacerbate due to their inaction. They have invested 8 million dollars of our money into this project so they can continue to declare a conflict of interest and say “We can’t help you because there would be a conflict of interest.” Now they say they want to test our bad well water after 2 years of saying they won’t. They go on local radio and post on every news site they can find that we refuse to show them our evidence but for the last 2 weeks we have tried to get them to meet with our experts to see the data that we have collected but 2 days ago, in emails, have outright refused to meet with us. So PLEASE stop saying that our Municipal leaders are worried. They are the problem!!!!!

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

Thank you for this. With all this in front of them, they can’t go on defending the situation any longer

Barbara
Reply

An example of the risks of public – private partnerships?

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

https://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/emcommunity/response_resources/declaring/declaring.html

DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

An emergency is defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as “a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.”

Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, only the head of council of a municipality (or his or her designate) and the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Premier have the authority to declare an emergency.

An emergency declaration may extend to all or any part of the geographical area under the jurisdiction of the municipality.

If the decision is made to declare an emergency, the municipality must notify Emergency Management Ontario as soon as possible. Although a verbal declaration of emergency is permitted, all declarations should ultimately be made in writing to ensure proper documentation is maintained.

Stan Thayer
Reply

OK folks sit down!
Now, understand that I must be careful how I word this!
The taxpayers of Ontario contribute to the provincial and municipal employee’s pension plans. Some up to 100%. Nothing is added by the employee for that type. Fund managers also invest with money from these taxpayer contributions, to offset inflation only, let’s say.
School people, legal societies, ministirial officials, assessment types, conservation planners, drinking water testers, watershed sign putter-uppers, policy makers, drainage ditch measurers, transport of illegal stuff checkers, allowable permit issuers, by-law contractors, climatic changers, energy controllers, haz-mat likers, the star over Toronto lovers, etc., etc..
All expecting fluffy pensions when they decide to retire.
When I invest in a portfolio my best interest for a profitable outcome is to promote that project any way possible.
I know of noone who wants to lose their pension money.
How many windmills can we finance today?,
“says the little fund manager on Seame Street near Queens Park”.
If you cannot read between my lines simply Google investment capital for IWT’S and follow the prompts to Bay Street, Toronto.
Stan

Sommer
Reply

So what is the next step on the path toward educating people regarding the sources of their pension funds, in light of industrial scale wind?
Who will do the work of informing the citizenry with the truth about how their pensions are being funded?
Do people care if their pensions come from ethical investments..or not?
How do we inspire people to exercise their birthright to exercise their free will and make ethical decisions and take ethically sound actions based on these decisions?

Winds got to go
Reply

Thanks Stan
I suggest that you send this information to the the landowner magazine. They have no problems informing people of government blundering. It’s funny that no economic studies of turbines include any of the taxpayer dollars to pay for IESO , MNRFF, MOECC , ERO and the list goes on and on . Sick of this shit !!

Sommer
Reply

There are parallels in how the MOECC has failed to protect residents in Chatham Kent with the well water issues and throughout other communities with the harm from noise, low frequency noise modulations and infrasound radiation. In fact the MOECC only measures audible noise, which has been reported by residents and even recorded by the MOECC. To this day unacceptable audible noise continues. A letter was sent to the MOECC asking for the names and contact addresses of the people within the MOECC who have read the research papers, that we are receiving, which clearly support the harm people whose homes are surrounded by clusters of turbines are reporting. A request was also made for copies of the analysis of each of the papers which were submitted. That request was made in July 2017. It is now Nov 6th and the MOECC has not responded with this information. Do we not the have the right to know who dismissed this information and why they dismissed it? Is anyone within the MOECC willing to take responsibility for not acting with precaution to protect residents immediately, based on the body of evidence that has been submitted?

Barbara
Reply

Why not include a complementary lunch with food cooked in C-K well water?

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Its just a little sand… mercury… uranium… itll go through you so dont worry about that folks…. clean potable water is highly over rated just ask any northern native reserves…. the liberals only concerns these days are avoiding taxes in their off shore bank accounts….
Remember the infamous words of our great leader Justin Treadeau
“the water wells will balance themselves”
Wait a second…. 🤔

Sommer
Reply

How has this government responded to the Council of Canadians statement?
Has there been any response?

Jackie Girard
Reply

The turbines keep going up so I’m thinking no response. ☹

Sommer
Reply

The disillusionment felt in Ontario when paid and elected government agents and the judicial system fails to protect citizens is profound.
Surely this shameful situation can’t go on much longer.

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html

You can use these stats on gridwatch to prove that MOECC does not do its job… and prove that the exports of our power to the US. ….. some of these projects are running at or over their nameplate capacity right at this moment….

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