Amherst Island Wind Project – High Risk to Public Safety
(Marine Logistics and Hazardous Materials)
Over 1400 barge trips across the Amherst Island ferry path will be needed to transport all turbine parts, heavy haul trucks, cranes, a cement batching plant, materials, fuel, fuel trucks, and supplies from the mainland to Amherst Island. The potential for collision is exacerbated by the plan to undertake all construction from September to March.
Two industrial docks, one on the mainland and one in Kerr Bay on the Island are proposed. A 4.6 km transmission cable laid by a specialized ship will follow the barge path and similarly intersect with the ferry route. This constant intersection of barges and ferry poses a multitude of risks for residents of the Island, all those using the ferry, and hundreds of recreational boaters.
Hazardous materials transported by barge include dynamite, fuel trucks, diesel, gasoline, transmission and hydraulic fluids, anti-freeze, motor oil, cementitious materials, nacelles containing oil, turbine parts composed of over thirty different minerals, 300 heavy haul trucks and several cranes. Every barge trip will intersect with the ferry path to Amherst Island. Two barges will be used for transport: a 300-foot-long component barge and a 150-foot civil barge. A marine accident involving hazardous materials in the channel is an unacceptable risk.
Loyalist Township documented their concerns with the proposed routes of the barge traffic and the submarine cable used to connect the transmission line to the mainland. Both routes cut across the ferry path. The Frontenac II ferry crosses the North Channel every 30 minutes from 6:00 am until 2:00 am between Millhaven and Stella and has right-of-way over all other marine traffic.
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this right of the ferry to pass freely on its scheduled route: it is literally a lifeline for Island residents. An island offers no alternative routes for residents, commuters, suppliers, and most significantly, emergency vehicles. Most regular users of the ferry have encountered the situation in which the ferry, in mid crossing, makes a sudden course reversal, returning to the mainland to pick up an ambulance. Maneuverability and speed are essential, factors which would obviously be impeded by the presence of constant barge traffic crossing the ferry path.
The barge traffic will also pose serious navigational hazards for the hundreds of recreational boaters in the waters north of the Island and impede access to several well-known safe anchorages on the Island’s north shore.
The daily traffic from tugs with barges crossing the ferry route and entering Kerr Bay will create an unacceptable hazard in violation of the Navigable Waters Act. The ferry and the hundreds of other mariners in the waters off Amherst Island would have their right to safety threatened and, particularly for the recreational boaters, their access to safe anchorage or moorings impeded by the heavy volume of barge traffic.
This hazardous situation is exacerbated by the fact that the barge traffic, unlike the scheduled ferry crossings, would be constant but irregular, increasing the risk of a marine collision.
Windlectric has not provided the Marine Safety and Logistics Plan required in the MOECC Decision on Instrument for this project nor has it produced an Emergency Response and Communications Plan acceptable to Loyalist Township.
Our entire community is at risk.
Please ask Minister of the Environment Glen Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org) to revoke approval of the Amherst Island Wind Project.
Protect Amherst Island: http://www.protectamherstisland.com/
Global News September 26, 2016: