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Amherst Island residents worried wind turbine cement plant to be built near school

It’s a heated topic on Amherst Island, the wind turbines. But, this time the concern has shifted.

Residents are worried about a cement batch plant said to be a base for the project, that they allege will be built very close to the Amherst Island Public School.

Beth Forester has lived on Amherst Island most of her life, along with 6 generations of her family.

She went to this school, as a student and teacher… and now her grandchildren go there.

“As far as I know it’s as close as those fence posts over there.”

Forester’s referring to a cement plant that will provide the materials needed for wind turbine footings – that residents say is being built near the school.

Beth Forester, concerned Amherst Island resident & grandparent

“As a teacher I just can’t not envision a closed up, closed the windows in a country setting, close the windows to keep out the noise, the dust, the nastiness.”

Forester isn’t alone. Many other residents are concerned too, now not just over the turbine project but the possible location of the plant.

Bruce Sudds, Concerned Amherst Island resident & parent

“Just over 500 meters behind our school there will also be a base for industrial activities for the building of wind turbines on Amherst Island.”

The company in charge – Algonquin Windletric Inc. has not confirmed these details or responded to information requests from CKWS. But, its on the radar of many community members.

Bruce Sudds, Concerned Amherst Island resident & parent

“Very dangerous carcinogens are produced through the batching process. The prevailing winds as you can see today are from the southwest that’s exactly where the plant will be.”

Shannon Bradbury

“The residents I spoke to say that there was no alternative location, despite their push to relocate the site. They say their concerned about the governments process and that an environment compliance approval was not required.”

Marcus Bermann, Concerned Amherst Island resident

“The environmental review tribunal decided that they weren’t going to listen to any of those concerns and approved the project as it had been licensed by the province.”

Bruce Sudds, Concerned Amherst Island resident & parent

“It’s really disheartening. It’s saddening that the provincial government can turn its back on our children. And, I think that’s what’s the most troubling for all of us.”

The 26 turbine project is still being fought by many island residents, but now the focus for some has shifted from not just protecting their quaint community and wildlife but now, their children.

Shannon Bradbury CKWS Newswatch Amherst Island.