Category Archives: Government Misrepresentation

Green Energy Black Water

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THE BROOKS FAMILY CAN NO LONGER DRINK OR WASH WITH WATER FROM THEIR WELL. | PHOTO: THE CHATHAM VOICE

Green Energy, Black Water
Living in the footprint of industrial wind turbines.

Posted Apr 9, 2018 Christian Courier / by Jessica Brooks / in Media & Culture

In the article “Renewable Energy’s Dilemma” (CC Jan. 22), Candice Goodchild introduced the perspective of a grassroots group in Chatham-Kent, Ontario called Water Wells First. This group was formed to protect the sensitive aquifer in the area from vibration damage caused by the construction and operation of industrial wind turbines (IWT). I am a member of that group, and I would like to share my story with you.

My family and I live inside the footprint of the North Kent Wind 1 (NKW1) project, built in the northeast part of Chatham-Kent, Ontario. The wind farm is built and managed by Pattern Energy (out of Texas) and Samsung (out of Korea). We live on an acre of land, surrounded by farmland. We have enjoyed quiet country living that included an unlimited supply of good, clean water from our well. However, last summer, during the construction of the NKW1 project, our property was surrounded by three pile drivers. The particular style of construction for industrial wind turbines requires the use of piles to support the foundations. In this case, 18 to 24 piles are used for each of the 34 wind turbines in this project. Three turbines were erected within one kilometre of our house.

Pile driving began on July 27, 2017. The next day, while my husband was in the shower, the water stopped running. Upon investigation we found that the sediment traps we had installed on our water line were choked with thick, black sediment – something we had never seen before.

Chatham-Kent sits on a unique geological bedrock formation called Kettle Point Black Shale. The aquifer that feeds hundreds of wells in Chatham-Kent is shallow and quite fragile. It rests on that black shale, trapped in layers of glacial sediment. Black shale is known to naturally contain lead, mercury, arsenic and uranium.

In 2012, the East St. Clair wind project was constructed in northwest Chatham-Kent, which has the same black shale formation as other areas of the county. Many well owners in the area experienced the same black water we found in our well.

Health hazards
Investigation by private citizens and scientists hypothesized that the vibration from pile driving and the operation of wind turbines had disturbed the aquifer under the East St. Clair project, causing the release of sediments into the aquifer. As a result, the water turned black from the shale particles. When the NKW1 project was to begin, farmers and residents from the area mobilized to inform government officials about the potential danger to the aquifer from pile driving. This became the group Water Wells First. Our warnings and pleas were ignored, and construction began.

Today more than 20 wells within the footprint of the NKW1 project are experiencing black water. Many of these families had received water tanks from the wind company, which was required by the Renewable Energy Act permit – an alternative water supply in the case of any well issues during construction. Our family has had a tank on our property since the first weekend of August. It froze during the coldest winter days, and ran dry when there were delays in delivery, or when the hose leaked. At the time of writing, we have been informed that the tank will removed from our property by the end of March…

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We aren’t stupid.

 

egg

Today I attended the @WaterWellsFirst press conference. The egg shown in the picture was prepared with the contaminated well water that the Province says is safe to drink. Would you eat this egg @Kathleen_Wynne ? #healthhazzardstudynow pic.twitter.com/4TJXeSKcoq
— Mayor Todd Case (@ToddCaseLKM) April 11, 2018


Never assume|The Chatham Voice|April 11, 2018

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.

The Chatham Voice

Council needs to protect Residents

a - WindFarm_6Letter to Editor published April 6, 2018| Opinion: North Country Now

To the Editor:

My wife and I live south of 72, in Hopkinton. We are totally against the North Ridge Wind Project and the expansion south of 72.

Do I feel the wind law is strict enough? No, but there has already been enough compromises on our part.
Time after time the majority of residents have voiced they are against this project.

And, yes, we all know what we signed and do know what a PILOT is, so please stop insulting our intelligence and insinuating that these signatures are not legal residents.

I commend the three women on Hopkinton town board for wisely listening to the majority of your constituents and the Wind Advisory Boards recommendations.

Unfortunately, I question if the two men on the board have drank the Kool-Aid.

One’s dad is a lease holder so ethically must recuse himself and the other being Hopkinton’s fire chief and Avangrid publically stating thousands of dollars ear marked for the fire district, appears he may have some ethically questionable motives and perhaps he should also recuse himself.

A no brainer: Guaranteed 100 percent assessment. If you own a shack or a mansion — we each pay the same assessment. This company has a lot more money than any of us and if this is such a good financial deal for our town, lets guarantee that by making them be fair to each of us.

Pay your full 100% assessment like we all do!

When all is said and done and Avangrid has packed their bags and “gone with the wind,” we will still be here. We have thrived for over 200 years and will continue to thrive.

As our elected town representatives: Will you be able to hold your head high knowing you took your position to represent and protect the majority of the towns people in the highest regards?

Robert Blum

Hopkinton, New York

More about: North Ridge Wind Farm

Next Era selling Ontario Wind & Solar

Beyond words…..

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Wind Turbines Summerhaven project- Haldimand County

NextEra selling Ontario wind & solar assets

NextEra Energy Partners, LP announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for the sale of its portfolio of wind and solar generation assets in Ontario, Canada, for a total consideration of about $582.3 million. This includes the net present value of the O&M origination fee, subject to customary working capital and other adjustments, plus the assumption by the purchaser of approximately $689 million USD in existing debt.

Wind turbines
The transaction includes the sale of six fully contracted wind and solar assets with an average contract life of about 16 years.

“We are pleased to reach this agreement with CPPIB for the sale of our Canadian portfolio, which we expect will be accretive to NextEra Energy Partners’ long-term growth,” said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer. “The sale of these assets, at a very attractive 10-year average CAFD yield of 6.6%, including the present value of the O&M origination fee, highlights the underlying strength of the partnership’s renewable portfolio.”

An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources will continue to operate all of the facilities included in the transaction under a 10-year services agreement with CPPIB.

As discussed during our earnings call in January, we expect the sale of the Canadian portfolio to enable us to recycle capital back into U.S. assets, which benefit from a longer federal income tax shield and a lower effective corporate tax rate, allowing NextEra Energy Partners to retain more CAFD in the future for every $1 invested. We expect to accretively redeploy the proceeds from this transaction to acquire higher-yielding U.S. assets from either third parties or NextEra Energy Resources,” added Robo.

The transaction includes the sale of six fully contracted wind and solar assets, with an average contract life of approximately 16 years and 10-year average CAFD of $38.4 million. Located in Ontario, the portfolio has a combined total generating capacity of approximately 396 MW and consists of:
◾Bluewater, a 59.9-MW wind generating facility;
◾Conestogo, a 22.9-MW wind generating facility;
◾Jericho, a 149-MW wind generating facility;
◾Summerhaven, a 124.4-MW wind generating facility;
◾Moore, a 20-MW solar energy generating facility; and
◾Sombra, a 20-MW solar energy generating facility.

NextEra Energy Partners expects the sale to close during the second quarter of 2018. The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

NextEra Energy Partners continues to expect a Dec. 31, 2018, run rate for adjusted EBITDA of $1.00 billion to $1.15 billionand CAFD of $360 million to $400 million, reflecting calendar year 2019 expectations for the forecasted portfolio at year-end 2018.

Citi and CIBC Capital Markets are serving as financial advisors to NextEra Energy, and McCarthy Tétrault LLP and Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP are legal counsel.

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Life without clean water after the wind turbines came

cropped-coffee-and-waterWhere We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

It’s been longer than I would have liked, to post another update.  That’s the funny thing…as the information changes quickly, its hard to stay ahead of it.

I want to give a bit of a back story.  We have been at this water protection thing for almost two years.  But our lack of water started in July, 2017.  In our case, pile driving for wind turbines near our house started on July 27, 2017.  By the end of the next day the water quit coming into the house in the middle of someone’s shower.

We found that the sediment traps we had installed to monitor our water quality ahead of the construction were clogged with sediment.  We had never seen this before…..

A new blog  coming from Ontario detailing the serious changes to daily life as a family struggles  every day with the loss of clean water  that occured after the wind turbines were built.  It highlights the lack of meaningful resolution not only by the wind industry and project operators but also the failures of the government to be protective and serve the people.

The View with Coffee
Our fight for clean water and quiet country living.

Taxpayers pay proving government compromised safety

“As the community proved at the ERT hearing, this project should not have been approved in the first place,” he said. “It’s outrageous the government could be so negligent, making it necessary for the citizens to protect the public, then hide behind flawed legislation that robs the tribunal appointed by them in overlooking their bad decisions to award costs to the citizens who successfully proved the government compromised people’s safety.”

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Clearview Township councillor Kevin Elwood. – Metroland file photo

ERT rules no cost relief to challenge Clearview wind turbine decision

By Ian Adams|Wasaga Sun | Feb 27, 2018

Local taxpayers will be on the hook for the successful challenge to a plan to erect eight turbines in Clearview Township.

The same goes for Kevin and Gail Elwood, John Wiggins, and the residents’ group Preserve Clearview, after the Environmental Review Tribunal dismissed an application for costs related to their appeal of a decision to grant WPD a renewable energy application for the Fairview Wind Project.

The tribunal ultimately ruled last August to revoke that approval on the basis the planned 500-foot-tall turbines presented a serious risk to human health because of the proximity of the project to the Collingwood Regional Airport and the Clearview Aerodrome owned by the Elwoods.

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Wind Turbines & Human Distress

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In 1987 the US Government published a document outlining a propose metric for assessing wind turbine noise and impacts at a community level.

A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions; N.D. Kelley ,November 1987

What is wrong with our system?

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Mayor Randy Hope poster boy for CANWEA

Letter to Editor|The Chatham Voice| Published February 12, 2018

Sir: Our illustrious mayor spoke on a local radio station recently responding to the opinion poll, in which the number one local concern was wind turbines and water wells concerns. His conclusion, in essence, was that they were not involved except for taking $1,575,000 in taxes from the 450 turbines with an average tax rate of about $3500 each per year.

I wonder how much taxes would be for an industrial plant that would have been built and cost approximately $2 million to build. Did the mayor, council and administration ever think that there might be a cost to this extra income? Did they ever consider using this money to do a thorough investigation of the effect on the aquifer? Did they ever go to see the difficulties experienced by those families living off water tanks, especially in the recent freezing weather?

Apparently, mayor, council and administration for Chatham-Kent are willing to trade rural water wells for that price. The people losing their wells must prove that there is a problem and then the municipality may look at a solution.

The mayor says that they take concerns seriously. That is the exact same B.S. statement made by Premier Wynne when she was in Chatham a couple of months ago and the mayor was looking over her shoulder. No one in government, provincially or municipally, has done anything constructive for years; when the first complaints were lodged in Dover Township in about 2009 and again in 2012.

What is wrong with this story?
If a bank is robbed, does the bank have to find the criminal and prove his guilt? Isn’t that what police do? If you are in a car accident caused by another person, do you have to pursue and prove the guilt of the offender? Isn’t that what police do? For every injustice, there is a third party whose duty it is to find the perpetrator and proof for the case against them. Since these third parties are no longer doing their jobs, are we reverting to the law of the old west?

In the case of the harm done to water wells and the standard of living for those with now contaminated wells, these agencies are not acting in the offended parties’ interests. There are many directions that fingers can point.

The provincial government, with its Green Energy Act, which is being used as an excuse by everyone as a document that overrules every other law in the land. This is not true as the health and safety of the citizens of this province still rule supreme, if our Ministry of Health, and local public health unit would get off their backsides and study health effects of the Kettle Point Black Shale that infiltrated our water wells.

I believe that somewhere in their health education process they were made aware that lead, mercury, arsenic and uranium are not to be used as vitamins. Why have they never run any comprehensive tests to find out what is in the water now and what are the health effects of those contaminants?

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is certainly the ministry that is supposed to protect the citizens of this province from anything that environmentally has a negative effect on the enjoyment and use of property, be that by health effects or any other source of irritation. The trouble with the MOECC is that it is the same ministry that issued the permits to build wind farms and are certainly not going to admit that they did not do “due diligence” before issuing these permits. Were there any studies done on possible problems with the style of foundations used in an aquifer sensitive area?

Then we get to our local mayor, council and administration. What have they done other than become shareholders in wind farms? Do they value the rural wells of Chatham-Kent at $1.5 million per year? Are they going to use this money to replace the water supply that has been lost by several known residents in the former Dover and Chatham Townships?

Are there other townships that lost their wells as well, even before the wind companies went to the pile driving method from spread foot of securing foundations? Was our local government blinded by the visions of a cash windfall without any expense?

I still have three questions that I would like to have answered:

~How much money was paid by the wind industry to individuals, political parties and the Ontario government for the privilege of building turbines in Ontario without interference?
~How much money was paid by the wind industry to individuals, and the municipality to become friendly hosts for turbine construction?
~How much money would it take to stop construction and operation of turbines until their negative impact on environment issues, especially water, are properly assessed by an independent party, since our politicians, local and provincial, obviously have not done “due diligence” prior to signing agreements?
Where can these questions be answered? Are elected representatives not supposed to answer to their constituents?

Peter Hensel

Dover Centre

Ministry using old science for a new problem

letters to editor

Letter to Editor| Published in Chatham Daily News| Feb. 8, 2018

I read in Monday’s Chatham Daily News online that the provincial environment ministry states that the turbine construction has not had a negative affect on water wells. This is despite the fact that residents were encouraged to have baseline water tests to compare with post-construction water quality. There are many wells that have had a long history of good water quality that were negatively affected at the time of or shortly after construction of the turbines as shown by water analysis post construction. This has become too common to be a coincidence.

It seems that the ministry is relying on the “science” that existed prior to this project to make their conclusion that there could be no effect on water wells. Perhaps they should look at the reality that exists today and do the work to figure out why there is a clear effect on many wells. They have that responsibility ­– it is clearly stated in the terms of reference of this project that any negative affect on water wells must be dealt with.

It is time for the ministry to fulfill their responsibility and hold the wind company to those terms.

Until that time they investigate fully why there is damage to residents’ water source and work towards a solution that serves local residents, the information they are spreading reminds me of the droppings of male cattle.

Bill Weaver

RR5, Dresden, Ontario