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Citizen voices wind energy concerns to council

Patrick Schofield has a few concerns about the Martock Ridge Community Wind Project pitched for Three Mile Plains.

Schofield, a business owner in Windsor, attended the June 11 committee of the whole meeting in Windsor to ask town council if a deal has been struck with the developers eyeing the town-owned land for a three-turbine wind energy project.

Schofield is among a group of people who own camps or cottages in the area.

“We all use them on a regular basis,” he told council.

He’s worried that opening the land, a protected watershed area, up to a wind energy development for what he sees as “a very little bit of money” may negatively impact an area that has been relatively untouched. He said he had to agree to refrain from building too close to the watershed, clear cutting, moving top soils and conducting any activity that may pollute the water upon purchasing the land.

“Now, all of a sudden, you can blast and build roads up in there,” he said.

Schofield said he doesn’t see the pros of allowing the wind project to move forward in the watershed area considering the potential impacts it could have on the wildlife and environment.

“It’s such a huge risk for you people to take on because you have no backup really… for water if there is that chance of contamination or problems,” he said.

Both CAO Louis Coutinho and Coun. Dave Seeley, who invited Schofield to speak at the end of the meeting, assured the citizen a deal has not been reached.

An environmental review is ongoing, and the public’s concerns will be considered before a final decision is made, Seeley said.

“I think we’re a long way from anybody signing any contracts,” the councillor added.

Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau was expected to decide if the environmental assessment for the project, headed by Scotian WindFields Inc., Scotian Wind Inc. and WEB Wind Energy North America, received a conditional approval by July 24, 2013.