SOUTH MARYSBURGH – Prince Edward County’s mayor is not impressed with wind turbine preparation taking place in the southern reaches of the County.
Robert Quaiff said construction appears to be moving ahead at a rapid pace as wpd Canada continues to prepare sites for nine industrial turbines in South Marysburgh and Athol.
“It appears to me that they are trying to get as much done as fast as they possibly can so that there will be no turning back and it’s almost like, ‘Look how much we’ve done – you can’t stop us now’,” Quaiff said. “They have trucks running around and don’t seem to have any regard for anyone. Construction is starting to heat up and people are seeing all the activity and are starting to get worked up about it.”
Last month, legal representatives for wpd asked the municipality to issue the company an urgent exemption for half-load restrictions (in effect until April 30), allowing the company to operate trucks up to 7,000 kg per axle.
In a letter, Andrew Faith, of Polley Faith LLP wrote, “Assuming wpd could meet its schedule while operating with reduced 5,000 kg per axle loads – an assumption that, in wpd’s view, does not reflect the real world limits such as the availability of trucks – it would not be reasonable to do so in light of the exceptional increase in the number of truck movements and the resultant impact the concrete trucks have on the roads and environment.”
Quaiff said he was quite certain the request wouldn’t be granted.
“Locally we have C.B. Fennell and Power Concrete and they both abide by the load restrictions every spring,” he said. “I can’t imagine how they would look at it if we were to give another company an exemption, but still made them abide by it.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, electrical contractor Avertex Utility Solutions of Orangeville was conducting repairs on Maypul Layn Road, a seasonal road, where transmission lines for the White Pines project will run. Crews were making repairs after a rock drilling machine became embedded in the roadway.
The Intelligencer was informed by the contractor that Maypul Layn is considered a job site and a reporter would have to move several hundred metres to Royal Road before photographing the scene.
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about,” said Quaiff after hearing of the incident. “They don’t even have Ontario Energy Board approval, yet they seem to think they own the roads here and residents should all move over to comply with them.”
Quaiff said Shire hall has been inundated with complaints since construction activity picked up.
“I just finished reading an e-mail from a resident who complained the trucks were still running the roads just before midnight,” he said. “Someone else called the OPP, but they were referred back to the municipality so our bylaw official could look into it. It’s the noise bylaw, so it’s a municipal issue and not for the police.”
Council is expected to have the half-load exemption request issue on its March 27 agenda.