PUGWASH, NS, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Gulf Shore Preservation Association sent a letter to the Minister of Environment calling on him to suspend the public comment period for the 'Pugwash Wind Farm Environmental Assessment' until the proponent has completed the studies necessary for an Environmental Assessment to be deemed complete.
Richard Gray wrote for the association, "It is surprising that this document has been deemed complete and acceptable by your Ministry, but we expect upon further review of these items you will see fit to suspend the comment period on the Pugwash Wind Farm Environmental Assessment until the proponent has completed the work necessary..."
The proponent wants to install five wind turbines in areas the proponent describes as 'wet forest or wetlands', which is a clear contravention of Nova Scotia's Provincial Wetland Conservation Policy.
The document has been reviewed by a number of members of the community and experts who have found the following deficiencies:
1) Proponent has not determined the number of turbines they plan to install (pg 3).
2) The manufacturer or model of turbines has not been determined (pg 12). It is impossible for the proponent to provide accurate noise assessments, shadow flicker assessments or to describe the physical construction requirements for the turbine bases without this information (pg 12).
3) Access road to 'WTG 2' is not finalized (pg 99).
4) Electrical cabling route is not finalized (pg 4).
5) Archeological studies are not complete (pg 99).
6) Geotechnical studies have not been completed (pg13).
7) Turbines 4 and 12 are proposed to be installed IN wetlands (pg 42).
8) Turbines 2, 3, Alt-4, and 7 are located in 'wet forest or wetland' (pg 40).
9) The 'winter bird monitoring' is not complete. Results expected after March 2012 (pg 27).
10) The bat study was completed outside the project zone and the methodology used made it impossible to record bats at heights over 40 metres (pg 52). The proposed wind turbines are up to 157 metres tall (pg 12).
11) Plans to transport wind turbine components to the project site are not complete (pg 14).
12) No first nations consultations have been completed and the Mi'kmaq Ecological Knowledge study is expected to be completed in spring 2012 (pg 30).
13) Based on local knowledge a number of breeding birds and mammals known to exist within the project area were omitted by the proponent (pg 45 and 50).
14) 'Consideration is being given' to building a permanent structure within the project zone. No detail on scale or location provided(pg 15).
15) No Decommissioning plan has been completed (pg 16).
16) Erosion and sediment control plans do not yet exist (pg 18).
17) No EPP (Environmental Protection Plan) has been developed (pg 20).
An electronic copy of the Environmental Assessment is available on the Department of Environment's website at http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/ea/pugwash.wind.farm.asp
A copy of the GSPA letter to Minister Belliveau is available on request.
For further information:
Gulf Shore Preservation Association
902 243 3105