Never assume

Apr 11 • Feature Story, Viewpoint1 Comment on Never assume

The people of Chatham-Kent aren’t stupid and it makes us a little angry when the powers that be assume we are.

The news this week about the EBS Geostructural Consultant blog that had a key phrase removed regarding the company’s advice to Hydro One about using micro-piling methods instead of deep piling to avoid “potential for driven pile installation to cause issues with nearby active water wells” is disturbing on so many levels.

First, the advice to Hydro One is proof at least one government agency used alternative methods of pile-driving to avoid disturbing area water wells, with the blessing of the Ministry of the Environment, as the blog states.

Second, it refutes the claims by the North Kent One wind farm that there couldn’t possibly be any connection between deep pile driving methods used to construct the turbine foundations and the complaints of sediment contamination in several water wells in the project area.

And finally, removing the line referring to water wells doesn’t make us “unsee” the information. We now know at least one government agency – Hydro One – sought advice on how to construct towers with the least impact to area wells and went with that advice, keeping in line with the company commitment to “identify and evaluate environmental risks to ensure that hazards are eliminated or controlled” as it states on its website.

So asking us to disregard what we read because it wasn’t being “used properly” and expecting us to believe this advice is not in any report to Hydro One is utterly ridiculous and, frankly, insulting.

If Samsung and Pattern are going to stick to their assertion their construction methods couldn’t possibly be the problem for well owners, and if the environment ministry and municipal officials are going to buy into that when other sources say otherwise, it is time for us all to demand better from our deciison makers.

The well owners have been dealing with dirty water for long enough. We need to start questioning why the environment ministry and the municipality are letting the turbine companies dictate what we consider unsafe for our rural residents, and why these well owners have to fund their own investigation into the potential carcinogenic sediment in the water the government insists is safe to drink.

And because our chief medical officer of health says so isn’t a good enough reason. Until the governments – local and provincial – step up and demand answers from an unbiased third party, we will continue to be treated as naïve sheep who need to be neither seen nor heard.

Yeah, we don’t think so.

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One Response to Never assume

  1. […] can read Mary Beth Corcoran’s excellent editorial here.  She is expressing the frustration we all feel when those in authority who treat us like we are […]

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