‘Water Wells First!’ wind farm protest underway in Chatham-Kent, Ontario
June 29, 2016 By Ground Water Canada
Strathroy, Ont. – Residents of Chatham-Kent in southwestern Ontario today launched a campaign called Water Wells First! to protest the pile driving of foundations during construction of local wind turbine projects and to advocate for protection of nearby water wells, the Ontario Ground Water Association said in a news release supporting the effort.
“These residents understand that renewable energy is important to the future of Ontario and in the battle that is climate change, but the safety and security of their water is their priority,” the association said in the release.
The Ontario Ground Water Association (OGWA) said it became aware of increased water quality issues in the region when inquiries intensified from Chatham-Kent and Lambton County residents for well water testing through the OGWA’s Well Wise water testing program and is fully supportive of the Chatham-Kent residents in efforts.
Existing wind farm developments in this area are disregarding known science on vibration and seismic coupling, causing adverse effects on local ground water and drinking water wells, the OGWA said: “The pile driving of foundations began the onset of water quality deterioration during the construction phase. After the windmills are in service, the vibrations transfer into the concrete foundations and continue to vibrate the rock and soil formations of the surrounding areas. This activity directly affects the sources of the residents’ water wells. The result is dirty, turbid water. These residents are also rightly concerned about what effects this vibration has in an area known to have elevated levels of radon gas.”
“Water Wells First! is a call to action from the affected residents of Chatham Kent to have the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), the provincial government and the wind industry recognize these adverse effects,” the OGWA said. “The goal of the appeal is to prohibit pile-driven foundations in this area, to demand vibration suppression and to require assessment of seismic coupling on any wind developments. The OGWA shares the concerns and goals of these citizens in their efforts to ensure the sustainability of their water wells and ground water in Chatham-Kent.”
Two new wind energy projects were approved in March: the 60-megawatt Romney Wind Energy Centre by EDF EN Canada Development and the 50-megawatt Otter Creek Wind Farm Project by Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc.
The Ontario Ground Water Association is a not-for-profit organization representing ground water professionals in Ontario. Established in 1952, the OGWA is “Dedicated to protecting and promoting Ontario’s most precious resource – ground water.”
For more information, contact the following:
Water Wells First!
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