New Year & No Relief for families impacted by North Kent Wind

The Chatham Voice|January 10, 2018

Water tanks freeze up

The new year isn’t bringing any hope for a better situation for 12 families issued water tanks in the North Kent 1 Wind Farm project (NKW1) area north of Chatham.

The recent unseasonably cold weather resulted in water in the tanks and lines being frozen solid, according to Water Wells First (WWF) spokesperson Kevin Jakubec.

At a press conference last week at the home of Jessica and Paul Brooks on Brook Line, the family shared their continued frustration with the lack of action by the wind farm company and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to fix their well, which was contaminated with black sediment back in the summer.

“This morning (Jan. 5) the Brooks family at 9597 Brook Line woke once again without water,” Jakubec said. “It was July 29 when they filed their complaint with the MOECC and the report showed their well had 30 times the turbidity of their baseline testing results before NKW1 started pile driving. They met the burden of proof of contamination.”

“Earlier in the week, the water was frozen solid inside the water tank supplied by Samsung & Pattern. The water tank was part of a requirement on the developers in the North Kent Wind REA Permit issued by the MOECC requiring that water tanks be installed when any impacts occurred to a water well.”

Jakubec said his group, Water Wells First, advocated for months and incurred substantial legal costs to see that measure was put in place to protect families in case their wells experienced the same sediment and flow reduction that happened in the former Dover township.

While the bitter cold hasn’t helped, Jakubec asked why Samsung and Pattern Energy aren’t providing a practical water source for the affected families in this extreme cold, and why are 12 families still on water tanks six months later?

Also, a big question Jakubec said is what has the MOECC been doing to find practical solutions to the loss of so many wells in such a short amount of time in Chatham township and where are the reports they have been promising for months that look at conflicting results from well testing AECOM has done on the affected wells and MOECC testing on the same well?

Spokespersons for the MOECC have said previously they are still working on the report but give no firm timeline and when it will be released.

The lack of action by the province to find out how and why the groundwater is contaminated is also a source of frustration for WWF members.

“This is highly unusual. Brownfields and industrial sites that have contaminated the groundwater beneath them have to go through extensive clean up measures or face severe court fines by the MOECC,” Jakubec noted. “Why does the MOECC not impose those requirements on Samsung and Pattern, the developers of the North Kent Wind farm?”….

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