PUGWASH, NS, March 28, 2012 /CNW/ - After receiving more than two hundred comments from concerned Pugwash residents, Minister Sterling Belliveau has placed over thirty conditions on the approval of the Pugwash Wind Farm environmental assessment (EA) that must be met before construction could be contemplated. In addition to meeting these conditions, the Pugwash wind farm project would also need to be successful in the upcoming request for proposal (RFP) process providing 300MW renewable energy to Nova Scotia Power.
Frankly, we are not surprised at all that the environmental assessment was approved, they always are, but we are heartened by the fact that the Minister has set these conditions. This makes the project extraordinarily difficult for the proponent to successfully develop," said Lisa Betts, Chair of the Gulf Shore Preservation Association. "The clock begins ticking today on a two year deadline to complete more than thirty tasks set out by the Minister that the proponent has not met in five years of trying."
One condition, for example, requires the proponent to keep wind turbine locations more than 30 metres from wetlands and water courses, which could eliminate more than 40% of the proponent's existing locations. Other conditions requires the proponent to conduct additional fieldwork relating to birds and bats, while avoiding specific species of flora and fauna during site selection. The proponent will also be required to create a community advisory committee, soliciting involvement of members of the general public in that process.
"Hundreds of residents expressed serious concerns during the EA comment period. These are educated, well read individuals who did their research before making their comments. None of these people is prepared to just let this happen without continued and sustained opposition. There are still a number of regulatory hurdles for the proponent to complete if, and only if, they are even able to develop a viable project with all of Minister Belliveau's conditions," added Betts.
For further information:
Lisa Betts, Chair Gulf Shore Preservation Association
902 243 3409