Resident fears Windsor area water supply facing unnecessary risk

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The Town of Windsor has made a decision to permit construction of wind generators within 100 metres of Falls Brook, which is the most environmentally sensitive area within the town watershed area. This brook carries the water from Mill Lakes, the only source of water for the town and adjacent area, to the reservoir where it is fed into the one main water line that feeds the system. The town owns the narrow strip of land along the brook.

This action has been taken despite the availability of land nearby that is available to host this project that is outside the watershed area and in the hands of private landowners. This land is on the Martock Ridge and well within the identified wind corridor.

The initial project calls for three generators to be constructed along the brook. This will require the land to be clear cut and a road to be built to standards that will permit the use of the heaviest of industrial equipment 12 months of the year. It will contain grades in excess of 15 per cent and has to cross two "special category wetlands.” This class of wetlands was designated in 2012 specifically to protect wetlands within watershed areas. Soils within the designated area are exceptionally shallow and subject to significant erosion even with minor disturbance.

For 30 years, the town worked in co-operation with more than 40 private landowners to develop and implement best practices within the watershed out of concern for the quality of water available to residents. Local woodlot owners have voluntarily accepted the implementation of stringent regulations and the accompanying costs of managing their lands because they felt it to be in the public interest and the responsible thing to do.

Thousands of taxpayer dollars have been spent in the area along Falls Brook to silviculture the forest to make sure it was healthy and to minimize runoff. Now the same lands will be clear cut and laid to waste to construct roads, dig burro pits and construct bases for the towers.

This decision has been taken without any consultation with landowners and is contrary to the recommendations of the land use watershed committee set up to oversee activities within the given area. This committee has representatives of all interested parties including the town, planning department, provincial environment department, landowners and others.

This move has subjected the water supply to unnecessary risk, one that can easily be corrected by moving the turbines a short distance to privately-owned lands outside the environmentally-sensitive area.

The only rational argument in favour of this decision is that it provides an annual income for land rental to the Town of Windsor at a time when the council finds itself desperate for cash.

This decision is wrong. It puts the water supply at risk and is one that can, and should, be reversed.

 

Elliott Daniels,

Concerned Mills Lake property owner

Geographic location: Windsor, Falls Brook, Mills Lake West Hants Town of Windsor Nova Scotia

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