How safe is C-K’s $8M investment?

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Sir: The mayor and council of Chatham-Kent invested $8 million of our tax dollars from the reserve fund in the North Kent Wind Farm a couple of months ago. I wonder how secure they feel that investment is now?

Did senior administration recommend this investment?

On Aug. 4, Jody Law, the project’s senior manager of development reported that an investigation to a complaint of water quality had been done. A landowner near one site where pile driving had taken place was experiencing severe reduction in water quality and filters were quickly clogging. Pile driving is complete or under way on 20 of an expected 42 construction sites.

According to Mr. Law, the site was visited by an Aecom staff to sample and test the water. He said “that with no remedial work required, they were able to run a faucet continuously with no issues. The sample was visually clear and colourless with no visible sediment. We have requested expedited analysis from the lab but, at this point, there is no empirical evidence of an issue.”

On Aug. 2, a press conference was held on the Brook Line location of the problem well and individuals, as well as the press members, saw first hand the clogged filters and lack of water flow.

Did Mr. Law send his people to the correct location?

A Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) provincial officer collected a water sample on Aug. 1 and the resulting turbidity test showed a turbidity of 86.8 NTU. The Ontario Drinking Water Standard is 5.0 NTU. Tests prior to pile driving carried out by a hydrogeologist, following legal chain of custody requirements, revealed consistent turbidity values of 2.53 NTU, 3.02 NTU and 2.96 NTU with an average of 2.84 NTU. What made the turbidity go up so high, so quickly and how did Mr. Law’s representative from Aecom staff, which included licensed well contractors, come up with clear water?

On Aug. 5, a water tank containing approximately 2,000 gallons of water from the Ingersoll PUC was delivered to the Brooks Line site. This was overseen by a representative of Pattern Development, a joint owner of the North Kent Wind Farm. Are they finally recognizing that it is their pile driving activities that are causing problems with water wells?

Now a fourth water well is experiencing water problems since pile driving for turbine footings was begun. Common sense would indicate that when pile driving occurred in Dover Township, water wells experienced problems. As pile driving is now occurring in Chatham Township, water wells are experiencing problems. What will you expect when pile driving occurs in the Wallaceburg area?

Is this representative of the “scientific approach” that Aecom takes in all of its monitoring? Will the vibration tests also fall short of requirements?

A test result is only as good as the protocol followed, the physical placement and the equipment used!

If the mayor and council of Chatham-Kent invested $8 million of our tax dollars in a company that seems to be misrepresenting some crucial facts, how accurate were the facts that made them take part in an investment of this magnitude?

If the wind turbines, which are ruining the aquifer, are so profitable for Chatham-Kent, I would suggest that the mayor and council allocate some of these resources to investigate and analyze all water wells and start protecting the aquifer and the health and welfare of the Chatham-Kent constituents. How many rural residents will mayor and council allowed to be harmed to protect this investment?

Do we have to get ready for another tax increase to replenish our losses from our reserve fund?

Peter J Hensel

Dover Centre

Comments

comments

1 COMMENT

  1. The municipality has the dual responsibilities under the Clean Water Act to identify and protect vulnerable aquifers. Although the first portion, that being identification was completed under the LTVCA, the critical second part, being measurement, reporting and protection have been neglected; for whatever reason!
    Had these mandated measures been strictly followed there would not have been a project to invest 8m into.

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