An environmental assessment of a proposed wind farm near Pugwash will continue despite area residents’ concerns about the review process, an Environment Department spokeswoman said Wednesday.
A group called the Gulf Shore Preservation Association wrote Environment Minister Stirling Belliveau on Wednesday to say a public consultation now underway should be suspended. The association says the developer, Pugwash Wind Farm Inc., should have to provide more information on the $85-million project before the process continues.
Environment Department spokeswoman Lori Errington said the developer’s application meets the requirements for an environmental assessment.
“There’s no reason to stop the process from moving forward,” she said in an interview.
The company plans to install 11 or 12 turbines, which would generate up to 33 megawatts of electricity, on a site about two kilometres east of Pugwash. Construction could begin in 2013.
In its letter, the association cites 17 shortcomings with a report the developer filed with the department Feb. 6. Most involve various environmental studies that the company has yet to complete.
“We’ve reviewed the document and we find it lacking in so many areas that we can’t give useful comment on it,” Dick Gray, the group’s treasurer, said in an interview.
“It is so lacking that we don’t think anyone else can (comment) either.”
Gray said the 279-member group will explore various options, including legal action, if the minister won’t intervene.
Errington wouldn’t comment on the association’s specific concerns.
“We welcome these comments and all comments received as part of the public consultation process,” she said. “They will definitely be taken into consideration as part of the review.”
Developer Charles Demond said he stands by his company’s plan, saying several independent professionals helped develop it.
“I am very pleased with the 279-page environmental assessment document which we filed,” Demond said in a written statement.
“I respectfully believe it is complete and provides enough information and details for the honourable minister to make his decision.”
The developer has cut the project in half since a 2007 proposal and now says a ruling is expected next month.
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