OAKVILLE, ON, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA) today called on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to implement an immediate moratorium on the proposed Oakville Generating Station in the wake of an explosion in a 620-megawatt gas-fired plant in Middletown, Connecticut this past weekend.
"Our hearts go out to the victims of the tragic events in Middletown," says C4CA President Doug MacKenzie. "Those events should serve as a wake-up call to the Ontario Government's plans to build a similar but larger facility in the middle of the southwest GTA. Before we rush to build what will be one of the largest gas-fired power plants in Canada this close to a densely populated area we must evaluate what a reasonable safety distance is for the community and establish buffer zones that anticipate worst-case scenarios as a precaution."
The Oakville Generating Station is a 945-megawatt gas-fired plant proposed to be built within 320 metres from the nearest school and only 400 metres from the nearest homes. The nearest office complex is less than 65 metres away. Eleven thousand homes, sixteen schools, five seniors' residences and eight day care centres are within two-to-three kilometres of the site. And six of those schools and 1,000 homes are less than one kilometre away. The Middletown explosion, which killed five people and injured a dozen more, reportedly damaged homes more than 1.5 kilometres away. The blast was felt up to 50 kilometres away. The Oakville plant would be situated on a small parcel of land (13.5 acres) at 1500 Royal Windsor Drive wedged between the heavily trafficked CN and GO Transit rail lines to the south and the 403/QEW highways to the north.
A public meeting regarding the project will take place at the Oakville Conference and Banquet Centre at 2515 Wyecroft Road this evening. Representatives of C4CA and associated members of the community will attend the meeting beginning at 7 p.m.
TransCanada last week published its environmental self-review, a simple screening under which the company itself decides what the impacts may be, whether an impact is important, and whether the project should proceed. The report was prepared without Government oversight.
C4CA has called on the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to recognize the need for a thorough Individual Environmental Assessment of the proposed plant, overseen by the Province and undertaken with the participation of local Mississauga and Oakville governments and Peel and Halton regional governments, all of which are unanimous in their opposition to the location of this plant.
Citizens for Clean Air ("C4CA"), a non-profit organization, is a coalition of volunteer citizens from Oakville and Mississauga. The group is committed to ensuring that there is a full and proper assessment of the proposed Oakville gas power plant's impact on health and safety of the community, residents and others who would be exposed to its emissions.
SOURCE CITIZENS FOR CLEAN AIR (C4CA)
For further information: For further information: Jill Fairbrother, (416) 788-0539, firstname.lastname@example.org