Water Wells First members are expressing concern after the Ministry of the Environment absolved the North Kent Wind project of tainting local well water.
The activist group says it recently received a report from the ministry that states that recent laboratory testing at 9597 Brook Line in Dresden, which is near the North Kent Wind project, clearly shows that well water conditions have deteriorated. However, the MOE is citing "unknown factors" as the cause and is not blaming it on pile driving during the construction of its wind turbines. The wind project is a joint venture between North-Kent Wind, Samsung and Pattern Energy.
The results of the laboratory test were submitted to the ministry by Water Wells First after revealing a 14,000 times increase in black shale particles in at least one local water well since construction started on the wind farm north of Chatham.
Kevin Jakubec, the spokesperson for Water Wells First, has maintained that that pile driving during construction of the project's wind turbines caused the increased amount of particles. Jakubec has previously stated that, based on information from a toxicologist, ingesting black shale over time could cause chronic-health risks and increase the potential for cancer.
The wind farm developer has been responsible for supplying temporary water tanks in the area due to the well water concerns. However, Jakubec says the ministry has indicated the developer will no longer be required to do so.
"Clearly, the concern in the community will be what these families will do for water in the middle of the winter," says Jakubec.
As well, Jakubec says the ministry has not indicated to Water Wells First if it will continue to investigate well water concerns in the area.
Water Wells First is holding a news conference on Monday at the home of Paul and Jessica Brooks, who reside at the Dresden address on Brook Line, to discuss the ministry's report. The Brooks family says they have experienced well water issues ever since wind tower pile driving began on the North Kent Wind project near their home.
BlackburnNewsCK.com has contacted the Ministry of the Environment but has not received an official response.
-With files from Paul Pedro and Sarah Cowan