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Water Wells First group not satisfied with MOECC response to wind turbines’ impact on Chatham-Kent ground water


July 12, 2016
By Ground Water Canada

Chatham-Kent, Ont. – Water Wells First, an environmental group in Chatham-Kent raising awareness of the damage wind turbine construction can do to ground water, has called for the resignation of Ontario’s environment minister Glen Murray over the MOECC’s response to the issues.

The group believes it has been successful to the point that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has acknowledged in the REA permit that ground borne vibrations and ground water aquifers have the potential to be negatively impacted by the wind farm and can pose a risk to nearby water wells, Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakoubec said in a news release.

The group continues to review the Renewable Energy Approval 5272-A9FHRL for the North Kent Wind 1 project. The REA was released by the ministry the day after the launch of the Water Wells First movement,

In the permit, the MOECC has put conditions that appear to require the wind developer North Kent Wind 1 GP Inc., to put in place ground water monitoring and ground-borne vibration monitoring, the release said.

“Water Wells First applauds this proactive step but fears the requirements as written have little binding effect and no accountability to the well owners potentially affected. True protection of the ground water and the residents must give them autonomy and much more influence over the project then the REA’s proposed Community Liaison Committee.”

North Kent Wind 1 and the MOECC seem out of touch with ground water conditions and the realities of life on the farm in Chatham Kent. Water Wells First was formed out of the concerns over wind farm damage to water wells and grave concerns with the use of pile type foundations in these wind turbines’ construction. Evidence to this damage exists in Dover, the wind industry claims not to have heard of it and the MOECC for whatever reason refuses to demand it be repaired, the group said.

The MOECC’s approval proposes a “Flint, Michigan type of response,” Jakoubec said, citing clause G6(1), which states “immediately provide an adequate quantity of bottled water to the impacted party until such time that the issue has been resolved.”

On July 8, at a group member’s farm in Chatham-Kent, the group demonstrated the practical problems that providing bottled water to potentially impacted families represents.

“The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s response to the Water Wells First movement has been inappropriate. The MOECC has displayed no serious intent to protect the ground water aquifers from the potential threats of the wind development in this REA nor in their position on the problems created in Dover by the wind development. The result is that the MOECC is no longer trusted as a steward of the environment by WATER WELLS FIRST,” Jakoubec said in the release.

“You cannot replace well water with bottled water for rural residents and it is completely insane to expect livestock farm operations to switch over to bottled water,” Jakoubec said in an email to Ground Water Canada.

“In one fell swoop of the pen the Liberals have utterly discredited their Green Energy Act. Its reliance on wind farms is now inextricably linked to the resupply of damaged water wells with plastic bottled water.”