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Wind farm vibrations causing ‘Third World water conditions’: OGWA


August 23, 2016
By Ground Water Canada
Residents in Chatham-Kent rely on their wells to produce clean, safe water, but many wells are already negatively impacted by existing wind turbine installations, the OGWA said. Photo courtesy Boralex

Strathroy, Ont. – The Ontario Ground Water Association and Chatham-Kent activist group Water Wells First are seeking political and financial support to help cover the heavy costs of making a case to prevent contamination caused by wind-turbine vibrations in a major Ontario aquifer.

“It’s all stacked against Chatham-Kent residents,” said Craig Stainton, executive director of the association, in a news release.

“In order to question the effects wind turbine developments are having on their well water, they are up against: The Province of Ontario’s Green Energy Act; Renewable Energy Approvals (REAs) required by Ontario Reg. 359/09; Chatham-Kent Municipal Council as a willing host to wind developments; and, of course, the Wind Industry,” Stainton said.

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“Residents in Chatham-Kent rely on their wells to produce clean, safe water, but many wells are already negatively impacted by existing wind turbine installations. More residents could be affected by planned future wind developments.

“Third World conditions now exist for Mr. and Mrs. Ron Tetrault. The water from their well is not useable and is perhaps even dangerous. They cannot use it for bathing or for laundry and, because they don’t know what’s in the water, fear their grandchildren may get into it. Ron and his wife live in water poverty; they have been forced to become refugees living in their trailer in a camp at Mitchell’s Bay. Incredible this could happen in Ontario, Canada, in the 21st century!

“One would think people are protected in their human right to water by their elected officials. Not so. To date, one lone councillor in Chatham-Kent has had the fortitude to see their plight, and bring a deputation before council. The remaining councillors have apparently blocked previous attempts by residents. It remains to be seen whether Chatham-Kent council will do anything meaningful with this issue at their meeting Monday, August 22.

“Surely there is protection through the Province? Yes, there is a process but it is so prescriptive and costly that it is virtually impossible. Kevin Jakubec and the grass roots group of residents behind him – Water Wells First – have navigated the legislative nightmare as far as representation at an Environmental Review Tribunal is concerned. This will be for a review of the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) to provide meaningful protection of the aquifer and autonomy for the affected residents in the North Kent Wind 1 development area.

“It is a monumental task navigating Provincial legislation stacked against those questioning wind development. Add to that the costs: a lawyer, the experts, water and soil sampling costs are all involved in making a case to the ERT and are adding up quickly.

“You can help protect the 12,000-year-old Ontario aquifer the Chatham-Kent residents depend upon for their water. Please visit www.waterwellsfirst.org and donate.”

For more information, contact Craig Stainton at 519-282-0063 (cell), 519-245-7196 (fax), executivedirector@ogwa.ca or through www.ogwa.ca; or Kevin Jakubec of Water Wells First at 519-683-2771 or jakubechome@gmail.com.

There’s been an update on this story: Preliminary hearing held for water well concerns, by the Chatham Daily News. | READ MORE