Loyalist Township Council Resists Bullying By Algonquin Power
Stella, May 30, 2017
The Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) applauds Loyalist Township Council’s decision to defer approval of Windlectric’s Operations Plan for the Amherst Island wind turbine project. Council resisted pressure from Algonquin Power to approve a Plan that in Windlectric’s own words, anticipates “Structural failure of lsland roads”.
On May 29, 2017, Mr. Jeff Norman, Chief Development Officer for Algonquin Power wrote:
“Due to the differences separating Windlectric and the Township, Windlectric can see no basis on which arbitration can be avoided on some of the issues identified in the Staff Report. Accordingly, Windlectric will have no choice but to commence arbitration proceedings under Part X of the RUA (Roads Use Agreement) if the OP (Operations Plan) is not approved by Council on May 29, 2017.”
APAI congratulates Council for choosing the public interest over Windlectric’s business interests by deferring at its May 29th meeting the Operations Plan pending receipt of:
a. legally supported definition of the extent of the Township’s road allowance, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township;
b. the confirmation that the width and capacity of the Township’s road allowances will support the construction and related detours as outlined in the Operations Plan, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township; and
c. that the issues noted by G.D. Jewell [Loyalist Township’s engineering consultant] be addressed to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township.
In its submissions to Council, APAI emphasized that:
• the fifth version of Operations Plan finally acknowledged that the lsland roads do not have the load bearing capacity to support the heavy equipment required for the wind turbine project and that structural failure of lsland roads is anticipated in section 2.6 titled “Potential Road Failure”. APAI asserted that it was inconceivable that Windlectric expected Council to approve a Plan that anticipates the total failure of roads on Amherst lsland, putting lives and the environment at risk.
• Windlectric’s Plan also fails to comply with commitments made to the Environmental Review Tribunal as Windlectric now plans to widen all haul routes to 6 m. This is totally contrary to the three minor and temporary widenings on which the ERT based its decision.
• the Operations Plan should be amended to place the onus on
Windlectric to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval Conditions of Approval, all federal, provincial, municipal laws, and commitments made before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
• Windlectric’s Marine Logistics Plan fails to demonstrate how 24 barge trips per day crossing the ferry path can possibly be safe. According to the Operations Plan, two barges carrying fuel, hazardous materials, heavy equipment, turbine parts and personnel will cross the ferry path twenty four times per day from September to April.
APAI’s submission also addressed a long list of significant and very troubling matters including resolution of the important and complex issue of forced roads, the lack of baseline testing of residents’ wells for water quality and rate of flow, and Windlectric’s request for a blanket exemption to the Township Noise Bylaw.
The Amherst Island Wind Project has already caused a major power outage on the lsland, a fuel spill, and a water emergency in Prince Edward County. Consequently, it is reasonable that Council insist on absolute compliance without exception to protect the public and the environment.
APAI commends the expertise, tenacity and due diligence of Township staff and congratulates Council for standing firm in the face of bullying by Algonquin Power until the Operations Plan addresses all outstanding issues.
Contact: Michèle Le Lay
President, Association to Protect Amherst Island
SOURCE (emphasis and links added): Association to Protect Amherst Island
“Windlectric’s proposed haul route on South Shore for heavy equipment, turbine parts and concrete trucks – 10,322 trucks! The scene by Peggie’s house this morning Monday May 29. Windlectric says roads will fail and has finally discovered what Islanders have known all along: Island roads do not have the load bearing capacity for an industrial turbine project.
Be careful out there: South Shore is closed by Bruce and Andrea’s. South Shore to the east is being pounded by waves and the eroded bank may collapse” FaceBook, May 29, 2017 Caption on photos corrected: Road damage shown due to high water levels