Issues of Pontypool Community Concern in Bullet Points

This section outlines only some of the issues raised by the community and may be of assistance in helping you express your individual concerns.

Although the number and sizes of project reports submitted in the Settlers Landing proposal may seem daunting, we encourage you to review the documents related to your concerns for the specific details. We have found that the reports use language that downplays or minimizes both impacts and the voiced concerns of the community. You may find that many statements are misleading or misrepresent the complete picture, since they remove the personal perspectives that have been shared. All the reports are found at the Capstone website under Documents: bit.ly/1usw3cx

Objections of a technical nature carry more weight with the Ministry of the Environment in its decision-making. Some of you may hold additional knowledge or expertise that can identify technical errors or omissions to challenge. Remember to let us know!

To help get you started, we offer below descriptions of some of the many, shared concerns voiced at community meetings by you and your neighbours, and the names of Settlers Landing Reports that contain related detail. If any of the content speaks to your concerns, you are most welcome to copy, edit, paste, and paraphrase anything to communicate your concerns in your submissions to the EBR.

When writing your comments, keep in mind that personalized statements reflecting your own perspective and situation related to the IWT location are most effective.

1. LOCATION

1.1 THE OAK RIDGES MORAINE (ORM)
See Settlers Landing Project Reports:

Project Description Report

Design and Operations Report

The Settlers Landing proponents plan to locate 5 industrial wind turbines and a substation on the Oak Ridges Moraine. The Oak Ridges Moraine is an environmentally sensitive, geological landform with a unique concentration of environmental, geological and hydrological features that makes its ecosystem vital to the residents of south and central Ontario. The Moraine’s ecological functions are critical to the continuing health of the entire region. Its beauty and quiet tranquility also forms part of our rural consciousness.
➢ Unlike the Green Energy Act, 2009, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act and Plan of 2001 were carefully developed and legislated to preserve this “water barrel” in perpetuity. The ORM legislation was the result of years of combined effort and collaborative work of an inter-Ministry team of senior government officials, a 13 member Advisory panel from environmental stakeholder groups and input from public consultations and Standing Committee Hearings.
➢ While the Act allows for ‘power transmission lines”, it does not allow for industry or for private, for-profit industrial energy power plants. The ORM vision cannot be reconciled with a proposal to excavate the Moraine, alter its ecological and hydrological features, and install five 146.25 metre (480 feet) tall for-profit, industrial turbines.
➢ Conservation authorities and environmental activists are actively opposed to
the incursion of IWTs into the Moraine. The permanent destruction of ORM landscape for a meager amount of intermittent energy supply is unacceptable. The ORM must be safeguarded from this kind of rule-bending development in order to preserve it for future generations. In its own Technical Guide for Renewal Energy Project Approvals, the Government of Ontario has emphasized:
“In addition to the specific requirements related to provincial plans in O.Reg.359/09, applicants should broadly consider the policy intent of the relevant plan when designing their project in a protected area.” (Page 98)
➢ In several of the Settlers Landing Reports, the proponents state that the project is exempt from the restrictions of the ORMCP. This is at odds with Ministry of the Environment materials sent to the proponents. The REA Technical Guide clearly states that renewable enrgy projects at project locations that are located entirely or partly on land subject to the ORM Plan have special provisions that must be considered in an application for a Renewable Energy Approval (REA). Applicants must also consider the full intent of the ORMCP when evaluating the potential for negative environmental effects.
➢ The construction of industrial wind power plants, which also require multiple access roads, staging areas, transformer stations and excavations for huge permanent concrete bases, will not support the objectives or vision set out by the government for the Oak Ridges Moraine. If approved the Settlers Landing project will open the door to other large-scale IWT installations and industrial land use on this unique and crucial landform.

1.2 HYDROLOGIC CONCERNS

  • See Settlers Landing Reports:
  • Project Description Report
  • Natural Heritage Records Review Report
  • Construction Plan Report
  • Water Assessment Report
  • Design and Operations Report
    The proposed IWT installation at Settlers Landing is located in elevated areas with several watercourses, which are tributaries of the Pigeon River system flowing north. It is located at the mouth of the Kawartha watershed as it flows north from the Oak Ridges Moraine and is situated upland from the Pontypool community. These facts suggest that installing IWTs in this area creates a permanent risk, that sensitive ecological systems could be irrevocably impacted. Yet, a full environmental assessment has not been conducted, and the proponent has not demonstrated that the hydrologic functions of this area of the Moraine will not be adversely affected, or possibly irreparably harmed.
    ➢ An accurate understanding of the area’s groundwater conditions and inherent vulnerability to contamination is critical to ensuring the aquifer in the Pontypool area is protected. The Settlers Landing Project Location sits in an area of high aquifer vulnerability, meaning it is an area where aquifer contamination is more likely to occur as a result of surface contamination. The two key attributes to be considered are the depth to the water table and the hydraulic conductivity of geologic material above a confined aquifer. Fractured or coarse, porous media, such as is to be found in the area under consideration for Settlers Landing, provide faster travel times with less retardation and consequently more vulnerability to contamination during construction phases and following post construction spills.
    ➢ IWT impacts on ground water at Settlers Landing would affect the drinking water source for homes in Pontypool. In their report, the proponents admit that it is possible for the local ground water and drainage facilities to be impacted by project activities.
    • Spills and leaks of petroleum, oil and lubricants
    • Surface water impacts due to erosion and sedimentation
    • Frac out from directional drilling
    • Salt and sand contamination
    • Dewatering
    ➢ The complex surface and groundwater system in the Settlers Landing Project Area is still not fully understood. The vast range of local well depths combined with a fluctuating water table, demonstrates the variability and unpredictability of water resources in this area. The area aquifer is designated as highly vulnerable and the Pontypool sands geology makes the area one of high water infiltration. Chemicals and hazardous material used on site during and after construction will include petroleum oil, lubricants, coolants and concrete admixtures and the proponents admit the potential for their uncontrolled release by way of spillage and leakage.
    ➢ The community remains very concerned about the possible impacts of the proposed Settlers Landing IWT installations on local ground water. The City of Kawartha Lakes formally requested a hydro-geological report and the proponents refused the request. Before the project should even be considered, there needs to be an independent, field-based assessment by a hydro-geologist and a qualified engineering firm, on the hydrologic effects of excavation for turbine bases, roads, staging areas, buried or surface cables and required removal of vegetation.

1.3 PROXIMITY TO PONTYPOOL AND TWO OTHER IWT PROJECTS

Settlers Landing is not proposed for a sparsely populated area. In the north end of Pontypool alone, close to 200 homes are approximately 1500 metres from the project location. Although still being ignored by the Ontario Government, harm to human health in a significant percentage of the population has been well documented in peer-reviewed journals, and is actually acknowledged in significant new findings from the provincial government’s own study (as reported in November 2013). Locating turbines literally on top of this community would be both reckless and irresponsible.
➢ Based on the number of noise receptors and a housing study of Pontypool, there is an average of 2.47 people per household. A conservative estimate of as many as 2060 people would be living well within a 2 km zone of wind turbines.
➢ The number of children under the age of 6 in this area is higher than the provincial average, at 30%. Similarly, the number of people in their reproductive years is 60%, which is also higher than provincial average.
➢ There is a large commuter population living in Pontypool – sleep deprivation presents a serious risk to employment.
➢ In response to public concerns, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Board of Health met on June 20, 2013 and adopted a resolution that the Ministry of the Environment require proponents to comply with larger setbacks based on the cumulative number of turbines. This resolution received the support of the full board.

1.4 SETBACKS FROM HOMES

Three IWT Projects are planned in close proximity within Manvers.
➢ In 2009, the Pontypool community was originally approached by Ingo Stuckman of Energy Farming Ontario (EFO) and Zero Emissions People (ZEP), about a single 30 IWT installation in a study area encompassing Pontypool and Bethany. Subsequently in April 2010, without the community being aware of a change in plans, Feed in Tariff (FIT) contracts were offered by the Ontario Power Authority to numerous projects – three of which are situated in the same study area originally proposed by EFO/ZEP:
• Wpd Canada –Ballyduff Wind Farm, Pontypool – 11.5 MW
• EFO/ZEP – Settlers Landing Wind Park, Pontypool – 10.0 MW
• EFO/ZEP – Snowy Ridge Wind Park, Bethany – 10.0 MW
➢ During the course of their development, all of the above projects have changed either ownership or name. Of the three projects in Manvers, the most unsettling have been the EFO/ZEP projects, variously named Ballyduff/Settlers Landing/Snowy Ridge, morphing as they have from a single large project into three smaller ones.
➢ The Settlers Landing Project Description Report is almost word-for-word identical to that of the Snowy Ridge Project, as are many of the details in all the reports for the two projects. We do not see that these two projects have been given separate consideration by any of the proponents, so should be treated as a single project, subject to greater setbacks.
➢ The interconnectedness of the projects is reflected in official reports prepared by M K Ince and Associates. In some cases, identical wording is used in reports for two different projects. For example, a single study for one project is used to support three projects – the “Avian Study” was prepared by M K Ince for EFO in 2008-2009 for the original 30 IWT project. This same 6-year old study is currently being used to support statements made for three separate project submissions: Sumac Ridge, Settlers Landing and Snowy Ridge. The proponents will not release that study for community perusal.
➢ Even the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had to remind the proponents that the projects needed to be addressed separately in the reports.
➢ Under the Green Energy Act, a 15-turbine power plant must respect a further setback than 550 m – from 650 m to 800 m per turbine. Given their proximity and ownership history, these projects should be treated by the EBR as ONE project, subject to greater setbacks.

1.5 IMPACT ON RURAL QUALITY OF LIFE

Aesthetics is a quality of life issue for many residents in rural communities like Pontypool. While some Manvers residents have lived here for generations, many others have moved here to escape the towering structures and constant movement of urban existence. The peaceful, quiet rolling hills of the countryside in this part of the Oak Ridges Moraine, and rural quality of life is possibly the Pontypool area’s strongest attraction for residents.
➢ The turbines at Settlers Landing are industrial machines that will have a significant impact on the surrounding landscape no matter where they are sited, an impact that will last for decades. There is no way to mitigate for their extreme visibility in a rural landscape. Even a single turbine will detract from the natural aesthetics of the countryside, providing an alien, industrial feeling of a structure out of place and dominating the landscape. There are no locations in the ORM, where landscape would not be negatively impacted by the installation of looming industrial towers, additional power lines and substations.
➢ Wind developers place their IWTs where they can find a willing lessor. They have no stake in the health and welfare of the communities they disrupt.
➢ Turbines are painted and have pulsating lights to make them stand out, to address air safety and bird migration concerns. In the draft reports the proponents confirm that three of the five turbines will be lit, generating light pollution of the night skies.
➢ Wind developers argue that the aesthetic concerns of non-participant residents are unsubstantiated and that people will grow used to the presence of IWTs or even find them attractive. Yet, City of Toronto property owners made it clear to the government that they don’t want to see IWTs installed in a 5 km sightline of lake front properties and successfully staved off a proposed installation. Why should rural property owners want to live right next door to IWT installations?

map project loc

The nearly 200 homes in the north end of Pontypool village (illustrated by the pink triangular demarcated zone east of the Project Location) are approximately 1500 m from the project site. Harm to human health in a significant percentage of the population has been well documented in peer-reviewed journals, and is acknowledged in significant new findings reported in November 2013 from the provincial government’s own study. Locating turbines literally on top of this community would be both reckless and irresponsible.

Board of Health Resolution

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Board of Health met on June 20, 2013 to vote on a resolution which had been taken forward in December 2012 in response to public concerns expressed to Counsellor Heather Stauble. Many residents had taken the trouble to show up at public meetings and sent in a total of 2500 pages of letters and emails voicing their concerns. The Medical Officer of Health, Dr Lynn Noseworthy, was provided with a copy of the communications. There were also many emails and letters submitted directly to the Board of Health by residents. The adopted resolution asked that the Ministry of the Environment require proponents to comply with larger setbacks based on the cumulative number of turbines. This resolution received the support of the full board.

http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/3853926-health-unit-wants-stronger-municipal-voice-for-wind-turbine-projects/
http://www.northumberlandtoday.com/2013/06/20/health-unit-says-wind-turbines-okay
http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=23014#.UcWaaj7F1SY

2. HUMAN HEALTH
In as much as there continues to be an increasing body of evidence that physical harm is being inflicted on many humans living in close proximity to wind turbines, and Health Canada is in the process of conducting a human health study, no further wind turbine projects should be approved until health impact issues have been resolved.

2.1 NOISE
See Settlers Landing Report: Noise Assessment Report
The Settlers Landing proponents give short shrift to legitimate health concerns related to noise produced by industrial wind turbines. Basing conclusions on an outdated (now 5 year old) review of literature entitled “Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects” conducted by the American and Canadian Wind Energy Associations (with vested interests in promoting wind projects), the proponents argue that there is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by WTGs have any adverse physiological effects. Yet even conclusions from that review acknowledge that IWT noise, including low frequency noise, cause annoyance, stress and sleep disturbance and as a result people may experience adverse physiological and psychological symptoms.
➢ In an interim report of the Government of Ontario-funded research being carried out at the University of Waterloo through the Ontario Research Chair for Renewable Energy Technologies and Health, the researchers confirm that there ARE studies showing that high sound pressure levels of audible noise and infrasound have been associated with learning, sleep and cognitive disruptions, stress and anxiety. They confirm also that research supports the possibility that exposure to the infrasound component of IWT noise could affect the physiology of the ear and recommend that future research should focus on the effects of IWT noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems.
➢ As part of their own research, eight Ontario wind farm communities were analyzed with data collected in 2013. The following statistically significant findings were drawn:
• as distance increases (moving farther away from an IWT), sleep improved
• both vertigo and tinnitus were worse among participants living closer to wind turbines
➢ In 2009, the World Health Organization released a 184 page peer-reviewed summary of research regarding the risks to human health from noise induced sleep disturbance. Some of the adverse health effects documented in the report include poor performance at work, fatigue, memory difficulties, concentration problems, motor vehicle accidents, mood disorders (depression, anxiety), alcohol and other substance abuse, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal disorders, obesity, impaired immune system function and a reported increased risk of mortality.
➢ Based on the best available science the following conclusions can safely and unreservedly be made:
• Wind turbine noise, including low frequency noise, can cause annoyance, stress and sleep disturbance.
• Wind turbine induced sleep disturbance occurs at common residential setbacks and when sound levels are higher than 30 dBA.
• The consequences of sleep disturbance can be serious. Acknowledged symptoms include annoyance, stress, fatigue, headache, sleep disturbance, insomnia, nausea, nose bleeds, palpitations, pressure in the ears or head, stress, hypertension, abnormal heart beats, tinnitus, visual blurring, panic attacks and general irritability.
• Annoyance associated with sound from wind turbines can be expected to contribute to stress related health impacts in some persons
➢ A 2011 Environmental Review Tribunal Decision confirmed that industrial wind turbines CAN cause harm to humans. Legal opinion has closely followed this finding, concluding that IWT project proponents have the responsibility to fully and accurately describe health issues related to any of their projects in Ontario and that failure to include such information could be viewed as negligent misrepresentation and be actionable. As part of the Renewable Energy Approvals process, proponents are required to fully and accurately describe any potential health effects of a Project.

2.2 NOISE IMPACTS ON CHILDREN
There are NO precautionary measures proposed or in place for children in public or private child care centres, schools or other institutions that care for children part or full-time. Parents and caregivers are unable to protect the health of their children and their capacity to learn, from the possible effects of exposure to Low Frequency Noise (LFN). Due to the proposed Settlers Landing and two other IWT project locations in close proximity to Pontypool residences, daycares and schools, some children will not be able to escape the noise, and will experience 24/7 exposure.
➢ Impairment of early childhood development and education caused by noise may have lifelong effects on academic achievement and health. There are studies and statistics available on the negative impact of chronic exposure from noise on children, which have found the following:
• Consistent evidence that noise exposure harms cognitive performance
• Consistent association with impaired well-being
• Moderate evidence of effects on blood pressure and catecholamine hormone secretion
➢ Excerpts from The World Health Organization’s “Training Package for the Health Sector” on “Children and Noise” identify vulnerable groups of children as:
• The fetus and babies
• Preterm, low birth weight and small for gestational age babies
• Children with dyslexia, hyperactivity, and attention difficulties
• Children on ototoxic medication
• Those with developmental and learning disabilities
➢ The growing body of research, and peer reviewed studies on LFN and the related effects of sleep deprivation, as well as related impacts like learning disabilities and behavioural problems in children, demonstrate the need for caution. The planned incursion of three wind developments into our community, with turbines located near a densely populated area and near two schools and a daycare, will mean that many students will be exposed to IWT emitted LFN both when in school and at home.
IWT noise is an issue for our community! We have very serious concerns about noise impacts on residents, and statements made by the proponents in their reports do not offer substantive reasons not to be concerned. We know that noise will affect unwilling receptors within the area of the Settler’s Landing Wind Project and do not find any reassurance in the project reports where it states boldly that “…no significant impacts are expected”.

2.3 SHADOW FLICKER
See Settlers Landing Report: Design and Operations Appendix III Shadow Flicker
Shadow flicker occurs under sunny and moonlight conditions, when light hits the rotating blades of a turbine and casts moving shadows on the ground, resulting in alternating changes in light intensity. This produces strobe-like flickers of light, bright enough to pass through closed eyelids, and moving shadows cast by the blades on windows can affect illumination inside buildings. The timing, intensity, and location of shadows are influenced by: the size and shape of the turbine, landscape features, latitude, time of day, weather and layout of the wind project. Moving shadows have their longest reach when the sun is low in the sky, so there are also seasonal influences on how far and where shadows are cast.
➢ The potential shadow flicker assessments, completed in the pre-construction stage of the Settlers Landing project, have determined that shadow flicker will be a potential nuisance impact. The unspoken message is that nuisance or annoyance does not impact on health. Many studies suggest otherwise. Shadow flicker is recognized as one of the least tolerated “annoyance” effects of IWTs.
➢ The National Research Council and a variety of peer-reviewed studies have determined that wind turbine shadow flicker induced adverse human health effects include annoyance and/or stress.
➢ There are well-recognized, serious health impacts from shadow flicker at differing cycles per second. For example, photosensitive epilepsy is known to occur at 3 Hz. “Flicker vertigo”, has been studied in psychology and is relatively well known by helicopter pilots, whereby a steady light flicker, at a frequency between approximately 4 to 20Hz can produce unpleasant and dangerous reactions in normal subjects, including nausea, vertigo, convulsions and unconsciousness.
➢ The Settlers Landing proponents argue that potential shadow flicker resulting from the project occurs at a frequency below 2.5 Hz and in their words, “…is thus considered a potential nuisance impact, as opposed to a health impact.” Even if this estimate is accurate, it approaches the realm of photosensitive epilepsy – too closely for comfort.
➢ Photosensitive epilepsy aside, the intrusion of any amount of sustained shadow flicker at any frequency into homes will be a stressful annoyance, and we are convinced that for many, it will lead to health impacts.
➢ In their draft projections, the proponents concluded that the Settlers Landing Wind Project location will result in a maximum of 66 hours and 42 minutes of (daytime) shadow flicker occurring over the course of a year, impacting non-participating residences under “worst case meteorological conditions”. This doesn’t sound like much in total. However, one is looking at hours spread over many days, for some receptors, spread over as much as 100 days and for the worst case – almost half the year during which a resident would have be exposed.
➢ This “nuisance” will impact a substantial number of families. When one examines maps provided in the Shadow Flicker Report, it is absolutely clear that shadow flicker will occur for many homes within a much wider area than the required setback distance of 550 m. Given the report findings, the furthest area being impacted is actually over 1.5 km away. A minimum of 74 of the possible 196 homes (‘receptors’ who are families) will be affected.
➢ Since numerous residents in the north end of Pontypool will be exposed to shadow flicker in their homes, the community should have been appropriately involved and informed of this issue. They were not.
➢ There has been no mitigation whatsoever of the impact of shadow flicker on what is a sizeable portion of the Pontypool community. In fact, in the draft report the proponents argued: “Given the relatively large distance from proposed turbine locations to potential receptors, and the corresponding low impacts expected from shadow flicker, no mitigation measures are deemed necessary.” But, the greatest impacts are on receptors that are farther away than the 600 m setback about which the proponents boast so the “relatively large distance” does not have anything to do with need for shadow flicker mitigation.
➢ It has been too easy for the proponents to be dismissive of the concerns of the community – the ‘receptors’ whose lives would be negatively affected. For example, the proponents follow their impact statement with a suggestion that if mitigation is ‘desired’, several options are available. The strategies, designed to block the ‘incoming shadow flicker’ place the burden on residents:
• Residents can cover their windows with shutters or curtains (a strategy which has been found to be inadequate)
• Residents can install vegetation in front of their windows
• Residents can install a barrier (like an awning, shed, fence or wall) in front of their windows
This is not mitigation – more accurately these will be acts of desperation by residents to eliminate the problem they would be forced to live with.

3. ECONOMICS
See Settlers Landing Report: Consultation Report

3.1 PROPERTY VALUES
In spite of allegations by wind lobbyists to the contrary, there is clear evidence that the presence of industrial wind turbines negatively impacts property values. In fact, proximity to an IWT installation makes some homes impossible to sell. The growing concerns about quality of life and health impacts from IWTs is making it more difficult, if not impossible, for non-participants who wish to, or must for health reasons, relocate.
➢ American and Canadian wind associations have sponsored real estate studies, which conclude loss in property value near IWTs does not occur to any significant degree. However, an independent analysis carried out on those studies reveals the statistical manipulations relied on to minimize statistical significance of results and support the desired conclusion. These include the following:
• use of a large and undefined study area in which most homes sold were in the view shed but as far as 5 miles from the project
• not using house distance from IWT as a study variable
• including sold homes that have been bought out by wind companies
• not counting listed homes that had not yet sold
➢ There are several more recent studies that indicate property values fall between 20 to 40%.
➢ For most Pontypool residents, life savings are invested in their homes and properties. Rural properties are often used as old age security or retirement collateral. Depriving residents of their hard-earned savings in order to benefit corporations for unreliable and currently un-needed energy is not acceptable.
➢ Diminished property value poses a catastrophic loss for those who have life savings tied up in their properties. This is particularly so for local Pontypool residents where there are many older, long-time residents who may need to relocate to access the kinds of elder care and assisted living only available in urban centres. Any reduction in property value or inability to sell, will impact on their ability to relocate to have their needs met.
➢ Common sense alone dictates that the majority of people will avoid property ownership near an IWT, thus diminishing the pool of potential buyers and reducing property value. Realtors know this, and do not advertise the presence of IWTs to draw perspective buyers. For example, one of the Settlers Landing participants (leasing land for the IWT project recently listed his property and not one word about turbines was mentioned in the ad.

3.2 INTERFERENCE WITH AREA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Buddhist Association of Cham Shan Temple began purchasing properties in the Bethany and Pontypool area 20 years ago, in a plan to construct a cultural and religious destination for millions of Buddhists from around the world. The project covers about 7,800 acres of land, and involves an investment of more than $40 million. The vision for the complex is modeled after a Buddhist pilgrimage involving four great mountain temple sites in China – Wutai Shan, Putou Shan, Omei Shan and Jihua Shan. Visiting all four sites is a sacred pilgrimage for the world’s 350 million Buddhists, and takes pilgrims about six months to complete. Sham Chan here in Manvers has been designed to become the North American equivalent, offering an alternative, shorter pilgrimage to that in China, and requiring pilgrims less than a week to complete. The four planned temples will create a unique destination for spiritual, cultural and architectural purposes – a meditation and education destination for visitors, open not only to millions of Buddhist pilgrims but to the community at large. Construction on the massive main temple near Bethany has already begun and one of the smaller complexes is located in Pontypool.
➢ The approval of a single industrial wind turbine project in this area, let alone the three being proposed, threatens this investment in the economic health of the area. The locations of the four temple complexes were selected so that visitors would be able to visit each of the sites easily and would also be able to see the other three temples from viewing platforms. However, the three wind turbine project locations proposed for Manvers lie within the direct sightlines of the key temple lookout points, making the views and temple environments so negatively distractive that the plan is now in jeopardy. Industrial wind turbines, with their associated noise and flicker in the vicinity of the temples, would impact on the meditative/contemplative qualities and natural beauty of view sheds of the temple locations, handicapping their purpose and destroying their appeal.
The economic stakes are high. Any small percentage of 350 million people coming here would have a huge economic impact on the community. Diane Chen, Property Development and Special Projects Manager at Cham Shan Temple, and other temple officials have revealed that the IWT projects would have a direct impact on the planned temples and meditation gardens and would derail the project. If the IWT projects are approved, investment in the temple complexes is unlikely to continue, since the temple views of serene and natural environment will be so negatively impacted.
➢ All the anticipated tourism and culture gains from the Temples would be lost, should the turbine sites be approved. This is upsetting not only to the community, but to the municipality, since economic development is extremely important in this part of CoKL.
➢ The Cham Shan project would have a much greater financial impact, with more permanent jobs and economic development in the area, than would all of the proposed IWT projects put together.
➢ Local Pontypool businesses will also face risk. In Denmark, concerns
around recognized health impacts on people living and working near wind turbines, is having an impact on businesses located near industrial wind turbine developments. For example, as a direct result of an IWT project location within 400 to 700 m of 3 wind turbines, the local nursery, a 43 year old business with annual sales of 2.1 million dollars, had to close down after a local mink breeder was able to establish a causal link between the operation of nearby wind turbines and the loss of a third of the breeder’s mink pups, which were deformed or stillborn. When this fact became known, one third of the nursery staff resigned and the rest were only willing to work sporadically, in fear of serious illness or birth defects. Boye Jensen, the nursery business owner has been unable to sell the property and is seeking compensation through the courts.
➢ The City of Kawartha Lakes cannot afford the loss of the existing industrial/commercial tax base, let alone the resulting destruction of any new business interests in the area. Settlers Landing will result in the loss of land use in and around the project area, which will limit future economic development in the area. Settlers Landing will also be burdening the community with unnecessary power infrastructure and causing a financial strain on municipal and emergency services.

4. IMPACTS ON NATURAL HERITAGE – FLORA

6. CONSULTATION
See Settlers Landing Report: Consultation Report
We have serious concerns about the way in which planning and consultation for the Settlers Landing Wind Project has taken place over the last 5 years. An absence of transparency, and a confusing history of ownership change has made it extremely difficult for concerned residents to learn about the project, to understand project implications and to have community questions and/or concerns heard and answered by proponents.
➢ The identity of the proponent is a rapidly moving target, to the extent that we do not know with any certainty who will ultimately assume responsibility for the project and the problems that would arise from it, should it be approved. There has been a lack of clear and consistent ownership and throughout the planning timeline, confusing dissemination of information about project plans.
➢ Without constant research, we could not even be sure with whom we were dealing in terms of ownership. For example, the Settlers Landing project was proposed by Energy Farming Ontario and Zero Emissions People, which subsequently turned into Wind Works Power Corporation. We have since had the following named as Settlers Landing proponents: Premier Renewable Energy, Sprott Power Corporation, Renewable Energy Developers (ReD), Capstone Power Development and Capstone Infrastructure.
➢ The frequent ownership name changes have made accessing information difficult for residents. Ownership changes have not been announced to the community. Even when we do find out, ownership websites become defunct with each new owner and the public is not kept informed in a timely fashion about subsequent changes to the project. To our knowledge, none of the named companies have a long term interest in ensuring the community’s interests are safe-guarded. In fact, we do not believe any of them will even be around to decommission a project at the end of its contract.
➢ It has lately become difficult to trust that any analysis provided in the project reports is objective, since M K Ince, who prepared the Avian Study and the draft REA submissions for both Settlers Landing and Snowy Ridge, became owner of a recent unsuccessfully proposed 4th IWT project for Manvers, (called Stoneboat).
➢ Simply saying meetings have taken place does not verify that consultation has occurred. Coherent and substantive consultation for the Settlers Landing IWT Project has NOT taken place. In fact, over the past 5 years, the proponents seem to have done everything in their power to limit public consultation, following the letter of the law rather than its intent. The number of misinformed posting errors is reported in the Consultation Report. What is missing in the report is an accurate depiction of the whole scale anger of a community that does not welcome this project and total dissatisfaction with a consultation process that simply went through the motions to satisfy the requirements.
➢ Information meetings were characterized by lack of clarity and specificity in response to questions and outright withholding of information, such as the exact locations of the turbines. The consistent and loud message given to the proponents, delivered by those attending the meetings, was that the project was unwelcome to the community. In response, representatives of the proponents stated boldly and dismissively to some attendees that “The Wind Projects will go ahead regardless of community or municipal opposition.”
➢ In a gross misrepresentation of the true community position, the proponents are submitting a video to the EBR of a poorly advertised and consequently poorly attended ‘interim’ meeting (long past the two official ‘consultations’ carried out as required. This video (of a meeting with a bare 30 in attendance) does not reflect the strong, loud and angry opposition among the hundreds upon hundreds of people that attended the official consultations. It is easy to understand why videos from the official consultation meetings are not included in the EBR submission.
➢ Consultation with the CoKL has been reluctant and non-responsive, including refusals to provide additional information requested by CoKL Council. CoKL has made it clear that the project is not welcome in the jurisdiction.

6.1 MUNICIPAL CONSULTATION
The City of Kawartha Lakes requested that Capstone – aka EFO/Sprott/ReD  provide a Hydrogeological Study – a routine request for any development on the Oak Ridges Moraine, along with detailed mapping and a Noise Assessment at the suggestion of  the Ministry of the Environment. Capstone, previously Sprott and ReD, refused to provide any of the Final Reports to City staff.
The Application was deemed complete by the proponents, without the opportunity for the municipality to review and comment on the requested reports and maps.   Municipal consultation was not complete.

The Technical Guide for Renewable Energy Projects advises proponents that projects on the Oak Ridges Moraine face additional requirements:

“Renewable energy projects at project locations that are located entirely or partly on land subject to the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan have special provisions that must be considered in an application for a REA. These provisions are located in sections 42–47 of O. Reg. 359/09. ,.. applicants are expected to consider the full intent of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan when evaluating the potential for negative environmental effects as a result of the proposed project.

They are also directed to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website “http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page4807.aspx”http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page4807.aspx where they are advised to consult with the Municipality, Conservation Authorities and directed to the ORM Technical Papers.

ORMCP TECHNICAL PAPER SERIES
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4886″Identification of Key Natural Heritage Features
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4887”Significant Wildlife Habitat
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4888”Supporting Connectivity
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4889”Landform Conservation
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4890”Identification and Protection of Vegetation Protection Zones for Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI, Life Science)
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4891”Identification of Significant Portions of Habitat for Endangered, Rare and Threatened Species
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4892”Identification and Protection of Significant Woodlands
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4893”Preparation of Natural Heritage Evaluations for all Key Natural Heritage Features
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4896”Watershed Plans
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4895”Water Budgets
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4897”Water Conservation Plans
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4898”Hydrological Evaluations for Hydrologically Sensitive Features
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4899”Subwatersheds – Impervious Surfaces
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4900”Wellhead Protection – Site Management and Contingency Plans
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4901”Recreation Plans and Vegetation Management Plans
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4902”Sewage and Water System Plans
“http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4903”Stormwater Management Plans

CONSERVATION ONTARIO – TECHNICAL STUDY REQUIREMENTS
Once the constraints on a property have been identified, detailed study may be required. Any technical study requirements would be identified in consultation with the CA reviewing the proposal. The following supporting technical study requirements may be required to assess the impact of the project. As outlined in Section 28 (1)(b) and (c) of the Conservation Authorities Act, the purpose of these studies is to demonstrate the impact of the proposed development with respect to control of flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches and pollution, and to assess interference to wetlands and watercourses. The studies required and scope will be determined through the pre-consultation based on the location of the site, site characteristics and complexity of the proposed works. They include the following:
Channel Crossing Assessment/Design Review
Edge Management Plan
Erosion and Sediment Control Plans
Erosion Protection Work (valleyland and shoreline)
Floodline Delineation Study/Hydraulic Impact Assessment (with detailed topographic mapping and modelling)
Functional Servicing Plan
Geotechnical/Slope Stability Study
Grading Plans
Hydrologic Impact Study
Hydrogeological Assessment (Water Balance)
Landscaping/Site Rehabilitation Plans
Letter of Opinion that structure can withstand flood depth and velocity, certified by a professional engineer
Natural Channel Modification/Design
Scoped or Full Environmental Impact Study
Structural elevation and construction details
Stormwater Management Facility Design
Stormwater Management Study
Supporting architectural drawings
Topsoil Stripping Review
Watercourse Erosion Impact Analysis
Off site impact assessment
Meander Belt and Fluvial Geomorphology assessment
Natural Feature and top of bank field verification and survey of verified features, hazards and development limits
Other

For more information visit:
“http://www.conservation-ontario.on.ca/what-we-do/planning-regulations/green-energy-proponents”
“http://www.conservation-ontario.on.ca/uncategorised/73-technical-study-requirements”

6.2 The City of Kawartha Lakes Is An Unwilling Host

Pontypool and Bethany residents are grateful that CoKL Council has not only listened to the concerns of its citizens, but has acted on their behalves. They have already taken all possible steps to try to ensure the Province not only hears local concerns, but more fairly addresses them in the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process. They have:

  • shared our environmental concerns and asked the Province to place a moratorium on installations of IWTs in the Oak Ridges Moraine;
  • sought greater setbacks for IWTs from vacant lot and neighbouring receptors;
  • asked the Province to investigate more thoroughly the question of health concerns related to proximity of IWTs before approving more installations;
  • sought greater clarity from the Province in terms of the Low Frequency Noise (LFN) originating from IWTs, requesting the establishment of regulations around LFN, including criteria for IWT installations for measuring and monitoring LFN;
  • tried to address inequities in the CoKL Building Code with regard to fee structures for such immense industrial developments;
  • when wind developers did their best to limit community consultation, assisted with well-advertised “Town Hall” meetings in larger venues to ensure the public is informed; and
  • tried to safeguard taxpayers by seeking from the Province a cost recovery process related to the municipal expenses incurred by the imposition of IWT projects in municipalities.The City of Kawartha Lakes Is An Unwilling HostPontypool and Bethany residents are grateful that CoKL Council has not only listened to the concerns of its citizens, but has acted on their behalves. They have already taken all possible steps to try to ensure the Province not only hears local concerns, but more fairly addresses them in the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process. They have:
    • shared our environmental concerns and asked the Province to place a moratorium on installations of IWTs in the Oak Ridges Moraine;
    • sought greater setbacks for IWTs from vacant lot and neighbouring receptors;
    • asked the Province to investigate more thoroughly the question of health concerns related to proximity of IWTs before approving more installations;
    • sought greater clarity from the Province in terms of the Low Frequency Noise (LFN) originating from IWTs, requesting the establishment of regulations around LFN, including criteria for IWT installations for measuring and monitoring LFN;
    • tried to address inequities in the CoKL Building Code with regard to fee structures for such immense industrial developments;
    • when wind developers did their best to limit community consultation, assisted with well-advertised “Town Hall” meetings in larger venues to ensure the public is informed; and
    • tried to safeguard taxpayers by seeking from the Province a cost recovery process related to the municipal expenses incurred by the imposition of IWT projects in municipalities.

7.0 TELECOMMUNICATIONS IMPACTS

7.1 Wireless Communications will be impacted
In pursuit of greater economic development, the CoKL has been extremely proactive (to the tune of millions of dollars in investment), supporting the development of wireless communications and high speed Internet in our area, to bring the entire municipality online.
• Signal interference by IWTs is a recognized problem, which have a negative impact on local residents and businesses in our area. With growing reliance on telecommunications in every aspect of daily living, we are deeply concerned about the nature of impact there will be on telecommunications.in Pontypool and the surrounding neighbourhood.
• In one area of Quebec, the CBC conducted pre and post wind turbine signal in quality measurements, including satellite pickup. They measured signal levels, waveform, tape recordings and subjective signal quality evaluation for two television stations. The IWTs involved were 90 metre towers with non-metallic blades 40 metres long, smaller than the ones proposed for Settlers Landing. The CBC found the following problems in reception near IWT installations:
Static interference or “ghosting”, which occurs when signals are reflected off turbine towers. Following turbine construction, an increase in the numbers and severity of ghosting was found in 11 of 14 channels for one station and in 3 of 14 in the other, the difference resulting from the station’s antennae patterns.
Dynamic interference, a periodic variation in picture brightness or colour, caused by the production of secondary interference signal reflected from the rotating blades. This was found at all 14 channels for one station and in 4 of 10 channels in the other. American studies suggest that dynamic signal interference will most likely occur with HDTV, taking the form of frozen screens and pixilation. Research has also found that other wireless and/or broadcast consumer services suffer similarly, including cellular and wireless networking services. (M. Havas)
• An additional source of interference causing electrical pollution is the strobe lighting installed on towers, which releases a high frequency and high voltage impulse each time the light flashes.
• These impacts can only be addressed during project planning stages. Developers need to factor in the location of all local radio communication towers, over the air RF links and areas of served populations. Mitigation measures include replacing all local air reception with cable, relocating television transmitters and relocating or eliminating turbine construction where the impact is detrimental.
• In the Design and Operations Report Table 5-1, the measures supposedly in place to safeguard local Telecommunications are outlined. The performance objective is listed as “Ensure siting of wind turbines minimizes impacts to telecommunications systems.” The listed mitigation measure is a pre-construction survey, and they speak only of minimizing impact not prevention, affirming there will be impacts. They admit: “Potential impacts to analog and digital broadcast television reception are possible; proponent will explore potential troubleshooting in the event of complaints.”
• In the Communications Impact Assessment they state: “There could, however, be satellite TV receivers at some residences within 10 km of the project site. If reception issues arise after construction of the proposed turbine, mitigation measures will have to be discussed with affected residents on a case-by-case basis.” There is no commitment to ensure residents will not be permanently impacted.
• Mitigation is inadequate. The majority of residents in this area depend on satellite for TV reception. The proponents will only ‘explore troubleshooting’ and ‘discuss’ the matter with affected residents! It is “recommended” on page 10 that they mitigate by “…movement of the receiver dish or other means agreed upon by the proponent and impacted party”. How reassuring, when the proponents have no up-front solutions to offer and will not commit to solve the problem.
• The proposed mitigation steps in the Settlers Landing plan are totally insufficient to address this issue. The proponents have not provided for an independent engineering firm to conduct pre and post construction signal engineering evaluations of interference for television, cell phone and wireless networks, including satellite.
• They have not indicated in any reports that they will restore any and all signal interference impacts to preconstruction levels. What little they offer is minus specific details, without specific timelines and lacking a commitment that restitution would be at their expense rather than that of impacted residents.
7.2 Telecommunications Service Providers Have Concerns
The CoKL has invested a great deal of money in upgrading telecommunications throughout the area, but particularly in the Pontypool area which has been a hard to serve region. In consideration of the economic importance of wireless services to the municipality as a whole and to this part of CoKL in particular, and given the investment already made by CoKL in order to improve access, particular attention must be paid to ensure telecommunications is not disrupted at all.
Local service providers have shared concerns about the turbine locations with the proponents. Both Xplornet Broadband Inc. and Rogers Communications have expressed concerns about the placement of turbines and their potential for signal interference on microwave links and cellular networks, so their locations have been constantly moving.
• Change in locations of turbines were requested after project receptor measures were completed. There is no evidence that these measures were updated. Any change in location of any turbines will impact on all reported measures of potential impacts, such as for receptors, for noise and flicker.
• Rogers has had a long-standing problem with the location of T4, which impacts on cell tower service to Pontypool. Rogers wanted T4 moved southwest in the direction of T5/T2/T3 and/or northwest towards T1. In a February 28, 2012 email to M K Ince, after analysing a modified layout provided by M K Ince, Milan Vujosevic of Rogers reconfirmed his September 2011 message that T4’s location continued to have a negative impact on their cell site OAK and cell service to the Pontypool community. An Email from Mr Vujosevic dated Feb 28 2012 to M K Ince indicates continued concerns: “We analyzed your modified turbine layout and found that there is only a minor change compared to the previous locations. We still expect that the turbine WT4 will have a negative impact on our cell site OAK and service provided to the community of Pontypool. Please refer below to our previous email recommending the changes to avoid the potential negative impact.” A November 1, 2012 email from M K Ince informed Mr.Vujosevic that T4 had been moved 36m but no other turbines had been moved. An email from Mr. Vujosevice dated May 1, 2013 to MK Ince “This is to confirm that the proposed modifications will not cause any objectionable impact on Rogers Communications’ installations and services in the area.”
• In light of the May 2013 email from Rogers, it is puzzling that the proponents currently state in their submission: “ Consultation with the tower operator of Site 879931 (Rogers Communication Partnership) has still identified potential impacts. Consultation with the tower operator of Site 889968 (Bell Mobility) began in 2013 and is ongoing. Consultation with the City of Kawartha Lakes and licensees of antennas on the Cantel tower are ongoing. Discussions surrounding appropriate mitigation measures are ongoing.” There could be a need to move a turbine once again.
• In June 2012 Xplornet expressed concern about blockage of their microwave link by the planned placement of turbines, stating that (in combination with a move of T1 which is no longer in consideration for the project), T3 had to be moved 100m eastwards in order to clear the link. They followed up on June 13th2012 stating if the move did not take place, new POP would have to be built. In September 2012, the proponents asked Xplornet to re-examine their position and on October 2, 2012, the response from Esam Ghanem of Xplornet was:
“We have looked carefully and rechecked data, location, and calculation. It seems T1 still needs to move 100 m to the east while T3 needs to move 100 m to the west.” The M K Ince November 1, 2012 response was that a new layout was being proposed with T4 (not T3) having been moved and a response from Xplornet was outstanding when the Draft report was submitted.
• During all this time, different Draft project reports simultaneously listed different locations for 3 of the turbines, so all other data requiring measures from Turbine locations would have contained errors, and we are not convinced any measures were updated in relation to the new turbine locations. Supposedly the reports we are now seeing contain final turbine locations, but this is not assured.
• If there are no concerns, why doe the proponents state in their 5.1 Recommendations: “Consultation should continue with the companies listed below regarding potential impacts and mitigation measures related to their networks:
• Rogers Communications Partnership,
• Xplornet Broadband Inc.,
• Bell Mobility,
• Stellar Communications, and
• Quinte Co. Ltd.”
• Turbine re-location has a huge impact on all assessment measures regarding receptors. The proponents had to move the turbines as requested by Xplornet and/or Rogers, and their reported setback measurements are now in question. Moves could potentially have reduced some listed setbacks to less than 550 m.
It is unacceptable that the Settlers Landing proposal would be given any consideration before the turbine locations are finalized and all reports updated with related measures.

8. AQUIFER CONTAMINATION RISKS

8.1 IWT Concrete Foundations
During IWT construction, numerous tons of concrete required to form the massive bases for each IWT are poured into enormous excavations. Excavation will displace tons of earth and the foundations will require tons of concrete. In the Design and Operations Report the turbine foundations are described:
“At the base of each turbine will be a poured concrete foundation with reinforcing steel bars. The foundation will contain a mounting ring to which the base of the tower will be attached. Exact specifications of the foundation design will depend on the results of the geotechnical investigation of the proposed turbine locations. However, it is expected that the foundation diameter will be approximately 15 m extending roughly 3 to 4 m deep. Once backfilled, only 5 to 6 m of the foundation would be visible at the base of the turbine.”
The statement confirms the sheer volume of concrete to be poured, with foundations between 8 and 10 m deep in overall dimension. Each turbine base will be a minimum of 18 m in diameter and will be accompanied by concrete laydown pads, each measuring 50 m by 100 m.
We are concerned that the proponent does not address an associated risk for the leaching of harmful chemicals from the concrete, which will take place over time. In the Construction Plan Report the proponent clearly states: “Chemicals or hazardous material used on site during the construction of the project will include fuel, lubricants, coolants and concrete admixtures.”
• Admixtures (such as calcium chloride and other chemical derivatives) used as hardening agents have the potential to leach into the groundwater. The exact admixtures to be used are not named, so risks are not clearly identified by the proponent. This is problematic when one tries to assess potential risks to groundwater from the poured concrete bases of multiple IWTs, in an area of high aquifer vulnerability.
• Studies have resulted in growing concern about the leaching of concrete admixtures containing thiocyanate and resin acids. Thiocyanate exhibits both acute and chronic toxicity, making it of immediate environmental concern. Resin acids emitted from concrete are of environmental concern because resin acids are persistent, are subject to continuous diffusion and have the ability to bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms. The concrete being used is most likely to incorporate air-entraining admixtures, to resist the freezing and thawing cycles during the winter. Information about this risk is not provided by the proponent, nor is mitigation against such leaching addressed.

8.2 Spills and Leaks of Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants
There is potential during all project phases – construction, operation and decommissioning, for water quality to be negatively impacted through contamination from accidental spills and/or sedimentation from improper surface water protection methods. Fluids (oils, fuels) used for construction equipment and during on-going maintenance, such as lubrication of turbines, etc. will present a lifetime management risk. As stated in the Settlers Landing Construction Plan Report:
“The potential exists for the uncontrolled release of petroleum, oil and lubricants (POLs) due to accidental spillage or leakages. This would lead to adverse effects on terrestrial habitat and species, soil, groundwater quality and human health and safety.”
Each Repower MM92 turbine requires 520 litres of synthetic oil and 12 litres of hydraulic oil. The Repower Maintenance Guide states: “Typically each wind turbine requires maintenance four times each year. Each maintenance visit takes one to four days per turbine to complete. Maintenance visits involve changing hydraulic and lubricating fluids.” (M K Ince)
• The proponent lists mitigation measures, which are described by the proponent as “…intended to minimize the potential for any petroleum, oil and lubricants (POLs) spills on soil, vegetation, surface water and ground water.” Greater protection is needed for the aquifer, given the fact that the report admits: “There is some potential for improper storage or disposal of oils, gasoline, grease or other materials used in construction vehicles, turbines or maintenance vehicles which may result in spills or leaks, contaminating soils or groundwater.”
• A leak from a fuel tank in this area resulted in a nearby well being contaminated. The speed with which contaminates can travel in this area of high aquifer vulnerability is a serious risk. Scheduled inspections are semi-annual, so a substantial period of time could pass before a problem is even discovered, increasing the risk of a major environmental disaster ensuing
• Attention is paid to steps that will be taken to address small leaks or spills of a manageable nature. But, other than placing the problem in the hands of the MOE, the proponent does not reveal sufficient plans for what to do to address a more serious environmental catastrophe affecting the aquifer.

8.3 Contamination from Erosion and Sedimentation
In the Construction Plan Report, the proponent admits that clearing, grading, excavating and soil and root compaction during stages of construction, maintenance and decommissioning, will cause changes to storm water patterns throughout the life of the project. The changes are likely to increase erosion and could impact nearby wetlands and water bodies, resulting in reduced water quality, sedimentation, and impacts to aquatic organisms and habitat. Two water bodies exist within 120 m of the proposed project infrastructure. When water crossing by underground drilled cabling is required, there is the potential to contribute further to potential negative impacts, including frac out.

8.4 Salt, Sand and Chemical Contamination
The Construction Report, Design and Operations Report, as well as the Water Assessment Report all indicate that de-icing materials and salt will applied to access roads during the winter months.
• Road salt is usually NOT applied to secondary roads in the Manvers area of the City of Kawartha Lakes, since residents rely on wells for their drinking water. To illustrate the inherent risks, one need only look at the community of nearby Welcome, where application of salt contaminated an aquifer in the early 1980s…. it is still contaminated.
• Considering the many springs, seeps, tributaries as well as high water table in the area, there is a risk that post maintenance activities might compromise the drinking water used to sustain many residents, as well as livestock.
• There is a PCGMN monitoring well at the junction of Highways 35 and 7A (map2-8 Groundwater Monitoring Station –Trent Source Protection) and the area is a significant Groundwater Recharge region.
http://www.trentsourceprotection.on.ca/theplanningprocess/assessmentreport/pdf/trent_ar_final_maps_pdf/ch_2_watershedcharacterization_maps/kawartha_haliburton_spa/trentar_map2-18(kh)_pgmn.pdf
http://www.trentsourceprotection.on.ca/theplanningprocess/assessmentreport/pdf/trent_ar_final_maps_pdf/ch_6_landscape_scale_gw_analyses/trentar_map6-7_signifgwrechargeareas.pdf
• In the Water Assessment report, it states that – “…groundwater is not anticipated to be reached”. But, without a hydro-geological study, this cannot be ascertained. Aside from the tributaries and headwaters of Pigeon River, there are numerous seeps and springs and wetland within the project area. This is confirmed in the LVM Report where “perched groundwater seepage” and saturated soils are identified and the need to check with a hydro-geologist about the possible need for a Permit to Take Water is identified.
• The nearby Oak Ridge Moraine wetland is dismissed by the proponents as not having a large section of open water and thus does not qualify as a water feature. The wetland is formed by a source of water. Exactly what that source of water supply to the wetland is, and how it is connected to the numerous springs located in the project area, is not ascertained in either the Natural Heritage Assessment report or the Water Assessment report.
• The proponents admit that dewatering may occur. Any dewatering could affect the Pigeon River tributary as well as the small headwater pond in the vicinity, due to topography of the region. This may affect the coldwater creek systems in the project area as indicated by the Kawartha Conservation Authority in their letter of comment. Dewatering may completely alter or reconfigure a complex water system that has its origins within the Oak Ridges Moraine. The residential area at the north end of Pontypool is served by the Municipal well in that area. The residences closest to the location of the turbines are supplied by very shallow wells:
Turbine # 1 – 8.5 feet
http://www.downloads.ene.gov.on.ca/files/wells/EN/E9/D5/wellrecord10072895.html
Turbine # 2 – 16.8 feet
http://www.downloads.ene.gov.on.ca/files/wells/EN/E7/D1/wellrecord10071371.html
Turbines # 3, 4 and 5 – 19.8 feet
http://www.downloads.ene.gov.on.ca/files/wells/EN/E7/D0/wellrecord10071370.html
These shallow wells are indicative of a high water table.
• The construction of access roads, below ground electrical transmission lines, as well as excavation for the five turbine bases, will impact many water features and may cause irreparable damage.  Post construction maintenance poses a serious risk of water contamination. A full hydro-geological study needs to be conducted first before this project can move forward, otherwise the following could occur.
• The glacial geomorphology of this area is similar to an area in Ayrshire Scotland where local private water supplies became contaminated over a three year period from an industrial wind turbine installation called Whitelee, owned by Scottish Power. According to a September 21, 2013 article in The Times, serious contamination was shown over a three-year period before, during and after the second phase of IWT construction. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article3875305.ece
The Times article referenced Dr Kate Heal, of the School of Geo-Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, who confirmed that the creation of a wind farm, involving the excavation and movement of soil, the laying of tracks and roads for machinery and sometimes, as at Whitelee, forest felling to create space for turbines, can have seriously harmful effects on the water supply. Dr Heal was quoted:
“All these activities can affect the pathways by which rain falling on the site drains away and makes its way into rivers and lochs and can affect the ecology of those bodies of water and drinking water.”
http://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/handle/10023/2676
Finlayson, A. G. & Bradwell, T., 2008. Morphological characteristics, formation and glaciological significance of Rogen moraine in northern Scotland. Geomorphology, 101:607-617

8.5 Contamination from Detergents and Solvents
High-pressure water is used to clean the blades, along with detergents. There is nothing in the post construction report stating how frequently cleaning will take place and if detergents will be used. Detergents entering an area of high aquifer vulnerability, pose a contamination risk to the aquifer.
• The Construction Report, and the Design and Operations Report indicate that de-icing materials will be used on the blades and salt will be applied to access roads during winter months. Road salt is not usually applied to secondary roads in the Manvers area of the City of Kawartha Lakes – since residents in the area rely on private wells for their drinking water. In nearby Welcome, the road application of salt contaminated an aquifer in the early 1980s and it remains contaminated.
• In this area of high aquifer vulnerability, there is a risk that even post-maintenance activities could compromise the drinking water of local residents and livestock. Two tributaries of the Pigeon River are within 120 m of the proposed access roads, transmission lines and/or turbines.
The proposed mitigation strategy is to “complete work as quickly as possible”. What happens if there is a delay – weather conditions, contract problems, illness, etc.?

8.6 Risk of Dewatering
The proponents assert in the Draft Project Description Report and again in the Construction Plan Report (under 2.2.10 Water Taking) that, “De-watering is not anticipated to impact ground water as excavation is not anticipated to reach the water table.”
• However, the LVM Inc. Report identifies two IWT locations where dewatering may take place and one turbine location wasn’t even assessed. The report also recommended that a hydro-geologist be consulted.
• The proponents have not provided sufficient evidence in their planning to address the possibility of dewatering impacting ground water, other than to say they don’t expect it to happen.

8.7 Introducing A Permanent Contamination Risk
Possible contamination of the aquifer is a risk for the entire life of the project. As previously mentioned, post construction the turbines will require oil changes four times a year. Each gearbox contains 500 litres of oil. Other oils and grease components must also be changed on a periodic basis. The Design and Operations Report confirms that:
“Even with the implementation of the above mitigation measures, there is a possibility of accidents resulting in the release of hazardous materials into the environment. In the event that a spill occurs, action will be taken as per the contingency measures outlined in the Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan.”
• The site is not monitored 24/7 during the operational phase, so a prolonged period of time could take place before contamination is noticed. A review of the proponent’s Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan (as set out in the Design and Operations Report outlines only the minimal requirements needed to comply with Ontario Regulation 359/09 – Renewable Energy Approvals under the Green Energy Act, without providing specifics about what exact steps will be taken in the event of aquifer contamination, other than to notify the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).
• The Design and Operations Report states: “In circumstances where insufficient environmental protection results in an immediate threat to the environment, the MOE will be notified and consulted immediately. While awaiting response, interim measures may be implemented under the supervision of the Site Supervisor. Where danger to the environment is not an immediate threat, the necessary remedies will be implemented within 48 hours from receipt of notification of the circumstances.” For what is already recognized as an area of high aquifer vulnerability, the following questions need to be answered:
• What criteria are used to determine that there is “an immediate threat to the environment”?
• Who assesses and determines the degree of threat?
• What actual steps will be taken immediately in the event of aquifer contamination?

We are very concerned about the possible impacts of the proposed Settlers Landing IWT installations on local ground water. Before the project should even be considered, there needs to be an independent, field-based assessment by a hydro-geologist and a qualified engineering firm, on the hydrologic effects of excavation for turbine bases, roads, staging areas, buried or surface cables and/or subsequent removal of vegetation.

• Before being considered, the project plans should also include steps for construction site monitoring and inspection by an independent professional for effective storm water and erosion management control.

• The plans should also outline compensation and/or infrastructure improvements to offset any actual hydrologic impacts for the municipality or for private landowners, which could include the construction of water systems to replace destroyed aquifers and impacted wells.

9. DIRTY ELECTRICITY AND STRAY VOLTAGE

Dirty Electricity

Across the province, the existing electrical system has been invaded and tapped into by huge wind projects, yet it has not been upgraded adequately to take and manage this power. The system essentially dumps return current electricity into the ground via ground wires on poles and the electrical currents are creating hot spots of dirty electricity and stray voltage. This ground current can impact livestock operations and some homes can become uninhabitable, as they become receptacles for electrical pollution. It has been described as being similar to living in a microwave oven.

One large substation with multiple and ongoing problems has created illness for surrounding families and has forced some from their homes. Exposure has resulted in headaches, high pitched chiming, sleeplessness, nausea and vomiting and debilitating health effects. Long exposure has rendered some homes toxic and uninhabitable. View a YouTube video by David Colling that explains: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4NE8sWBoaQ

Stray Voltage

Many community members are concerned about stray voltage, extraneous ground current appearing on grounded surfaces of buildings, barns and other structures. Stray voltage is a low-frequency form of conductive electromagnetic interference. Cattle are 10 times more sensitive to electricity and electronic interference than humans, as they are constantly standing in water or moist areas of ground.

The impact of stray voltage on people must also be of concern, considering the addition of more power lines and substations for IWTs.

We don’t know what specific steps proponents have planned to address this issue as it relates to both animals and people – such as:

  • grounding requirements that control for and prevent stray voltage;
  • a complaints protocol and ensure redress to victims for damages incurred by stray voltage.

 

In Conclusion
We know there are other areas of concern shared by members of the community, and we will be adding them to our post throughout the permitted submission time. Let us know your additional concerns too so we can share them with the community. We will shortly be posting some sample letters to help those of you who need a little assistance phrasing your issues.
In the meantime – the submissions you make are crucial to the success of the Pontypool campaign to keep IWTs out of our community.

Please take the time to make your voice heard.

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