Concerns about wind turbines causing murky well water has been an issue for at least four years.
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton says he became aware of the turbidity issue in Dover Township four years ago when wind turbines were first erected.
He expressed his concerns in a letter to Chris Bentley, Ontario’s Minister of Energy at the time, in August 2012. In that letter, provided to Postmedia Network on Tuesday, McNaughton said constituents near Mitchell’s Bay were suggesting that construction of area wind turbines were contaminating their well water.
The letter said construction of the foundations of the wind turbines disrupted the aquifer and caused the well water to turn murky and non-potable.
McNaughton also noted in the letter that no amount of filtering was able to clear the water supply.
“I put this on the radar back then and never got a response, and yesterday we sent another letter to the environment ministry raising the same concerns essentially,” McNaughton said Tuesday.
The letter said there was a similar problem with subsurface water connected to the Zephr Wind Project near Watford.
McNaughton said in the past few weeks more and more people are coming forward with concerns about radon and the safety of the groundwater. He said the government’s response, that it can provide bottled water to residents who are affected, is “out of touch.”
“The problem is if the wind turbines are built and there is a huge concern or there is damage to people’s drinking water, it’s too late at that point,” McNaughton said, adding the province should put a moratorium on any further wind turbine projects.
The Progressive Conservative MPP, who has been open about his opposition to the government’s wind turbine program, said concerns in Chatham-Kent about groundwater safety are legitimate.
McNaughton also blames wind turbines for Ontario’s higher electricity rates.
Coun. Leon Leclair, a farmer in Dover Township, said he was unaware of the issue with local water wells until last week. Leclair said he has coffee every morning with people, some of whom have come forward to say they have well water problems.
“Maybe people were afraid to come forward, maybe they were pushed back not to say anything,” Leclair said.
He said where he was raised in Dover, it was common to get murky water if a major storm went throughout he region. That murkiness would continue for about two or three days.
“I am hoping that nobody is using this issue to try and make a claim and get free water,” Leclair said, adding he hopes water well issues are legitimate.
Leclair said he wants people to work with him to find a solution to the problem.
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