An investigation into the effect wind turbines have had on local water wells has failed to meet the expectations of a founding member of the citizen group Water Wells First.
Kevin Jakubec called the Ministry of Health’s All-Hazards Investigation of Well Water in Chatham-Kent a “bait and switch” and accused the Ontario government of reneging on its commitment to conduct a proper Health Hazard Investigation.
He also expressed frustration that certain areas of the municipality were not included in the investigation, such as Dover Township.
“The scope of this investigation is limited and public consultation was not part of the process,” Jakubec said in an email to CKXS News. “If a real Health Hazard Investigation was done, as [Premier] Doug Ford committed in writing to me, then the public could have participated more.”
While he feels the report fell short in many areas, Jakubec said the findings of the investigation should prompt the premier and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to publicly and officially declare water well interference from the North Kent Wind farm.
The report, released on Monday, indicated that there was a significant deterioration in general well water quality within the study area between 2017 and 2021. A total of 61 wells were tested as part of the investigation.
“This result is certainly consistent with well water interference having occurred within the study area since 2017, potentially due to construction and/or operation of the North Kent wind turbines,” the report read.
According to the report, no widespread health risks were identified during the investigation, however, Jakubec said the report does not provide a definitive answer and instead cites the need for further assessment and investigation.
The North Kent 1 wind complex, which consists of 34 wind turbines, began construction in 2017 and was operational in February of 2018. During this time, residents complained of an impact on the quality of their well water, citing increased turbidity, discoloration, and the presence of sediment such as black shale.