When we first heard about the proposal to put industrial turbines on the steep slopes above our area, we organized against the plan to protect our environment, our health, our water supply, fishing in the area, local tourist businesses and, of course, the eagles.
It has been bad enough as we see the trees being destroyed. But now we learn that, out of public view, the turbine company has filed what they call a “minor change request” for water source location. They state that they have consent from the Methodist Conference landowners at the Sky Lake property to use an existing driveway as access to the water source that “we propose to use for Dust Control during the project….”
This is the very location that has been cited by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for pollution coming from the waste ponds on the Sky Lake property. This pollution has been leaking down to Deer Lake for the past ten years according to the DEC. The DEC also confirmed that no effort has been made to correct these violations.
Now a fleet of cement trucks are going to be coming and going from this site. What is the DEC or compliance people going to do to ensure that debris and sediment is not discharged into the creek that feeds Deer Lake, adding to the ongoing environmental pollution?
Anne Lawrence, co-chair BCCR, voiced the need for vigilance when she said ‘We need to keep careful watch at what is really going on at the various construction sites spread throughout the project area. Wind developers are notorious for using ’bait and switch’ techniques. They propose what they can get away with at the time and come in under the radar with an alternative plan late in the game, so it is much harder to object. Just like they got local landowners to sign leases based on 400 ft turbines and then they changed the turbine height to 640 ft. These ‘minor changes’ regarding water usage need careful evaluation just like the original filings, but who will make sure they did a proper impact analysis? I haven’t seen one regarding the usage of Sky Lake for water, and we will have to demand that more details be made available to evaluate how ‘minor’ this change really is.”
Genevieve Kelly and Joan McKiernan, Deer Lake Residents
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