Water Wells Appeal Officially Withdrawn

Signs put up to raise awareness on water conditions. June. 29. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

A September 2016 report might have been the key to the cancellation of a Environmental Tribunal hearing in Chatham-Kent.

Municipal officials have confirmed appellant Kevin Jakubec has withdrawn his appeal against the North Kent Wind project. Jakubec originally appealed the project’s approval back in July, citing concerns that the construction and installation of wind turbines was depositing sediment into area drinking water.

The Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing was slated to start Wednesday, but was called off because a settlement was allegedly reached between Jakubec and North Kent Wind 1.

An email from municipal officials explains both sides went into mediation starting on September 30. During discussions, both sides shared and compared expert reports and testimony.

The municipality cites a report from the Golder Associates as a key factor in Jakubec eventually withdrawing his formal complaint. The report explains that ground-vibrations through the construction and operation of wind turbines has “insignicant” effects on well water conditions, and doesn’t affect radon levels in groundwater.

The report adds there’s “no plausible mechanism” in wind turbine operation that would transport fine rock particles hundreds of metres from the turbines into local water wells.

“We reviewed the expert reports by both the appellant and the company,” says Chatham-Kent Chief Legal Officer John Norton. “[The] Golder Associates report is a compelling multi-disciplinary report that cannot be ignored.”

With the appeal being withdrawn and evidence presented, Mayor Randy hope says Chatham-Kent will continue to be willing hosts for the North Kent Wind project.