North Kent Wind and Water Wells First are set to meet in Superior Court later this month.
A blockade and protest by Water Wells First has wrapped up, after the wind company obtained an interim order to restrain and prevent the demonstrations from taking place.
North Kent Wind seeks injunction
Matt Dallas, spokesperson for North Kent Wind, said the company appeared before the Superior Court of Justice on September 6, seeking an injunction “prohibiting blockades and other interference” with the construction of its wind project.
“We respect the right of citizens who disagree with wind energy or the project to have their voices heard,” Dallas said in a statement.
“The motion for injunctive relief became necessary because some protestors were engaging in what we believe was unlawful conduct, raising serious concerns about the safety of workers and protestors alike.”
Dallas said North Kent Wind sought the assistance of the court to “enforce the rule of law and keep the peace.
“At the request of the Court and out of respect for those who oppose the project and wish to be heard, we agreed to cease construction at one turbine site… until the motion is heard by the Court on September 28 and 29,” Dallas said, referring to the Bush Line site, which has been blockaded and occupied by protestors.
“The Court has otherwise granted an interim order restraining and preventing anyone from blockading, obstructing, or impeding access to any of the construction sites for the project, Dallas added.
Water Wells First looking forward to court date
Reports say Water Wells First is calling the upcoming court appearance a blessing, as evidence of water well damage from wind farms will finally be heard in court.
The group is also set to challenge North Kent Wind that the recent blockade and protest had just cause, reports say.
Witnesses are expected to be called in court to describe their issues with water wells.
“We may not be blockading Bush Line after tomorrow but we are in this battle for the long haul,” the group tweeted on September 7.
North Kent Wind dealing with seven complaints
The wind company says they have recieved seven complaints to date.
“The first three investigations by environmental consultant AECOM have concluded that based on vibration monitoring data and the distance between the piling activity to the well site, the groundwater quality and supply issues experienced are not a result of turbine foundation construction or pile-driving activities,” North Kent Wond officials stated.
“Further, Golder Associates determined that the vibration magnitudes from pile driving were no greater than may be induced by other common day-to-day sources and inconsequential for the wells.”
Four complaints are currently under analysis with the results of two being expected this week,” company officials stated.
The full investigation reports can be viewed, here: northkentwind.com
C-K wants residents to report their well issues
Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire says Chatham-Kent residents who have concerns about their well water quality need to take steps to ensure the proper authorities are informed as soon as possible.
“There have been conflicting accounts of the number of water wells experiencing issues in recent days and we want to ensure that residents in any part of the municipality take immediate action if they have any concerns,” Shropshire said in a press release.
Shropshire said residents living within one kilometer of the North Kent One wind turbine project have been offered base line and post construction water testing.
In addition, the five families who have contacted the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change are also eligible to have additional testing by an independent laboratory, Municipal officials stated.
Residents who are concerned about potential well impacts can contact North Kent 1 directly at 1-855-780-3859 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of their Renewable Energy Approval, North Kent 1 is required to notify the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change of any complaints they receive regarding wells or well water, retain a consultant to attend the site, collect samples, and submit a report to the ministry on whether the results demonstrate that vibration from construction of the wind turbines resulted in impacts on the well water, Municipal officials stated.
Complaints can also be made to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change by contacting the Windsor Area Office Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. toll free at 1-800-387-8826.
Outside of those office hours, they can call the ministry’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.
Residents who have wells elsewhere are reminded that the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit recommends they have their wells tested three times per year for bacteria.
Free bacteria testing is provided by the health unit.
For additional information on free bacteria testing, contact the health unit or click here.