Article

Wind farm developer drops oil-spill appeal

The company building the wind plant on Wolfe Island has withdrawn an appeal it had launched to avoid being held responsible for a diesel spill that occurred last fall. Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. had appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal, an independent provincial agency, after failing to comply with a director's order the Ministry of the Environment issued as a result of the spill. The firm launched the appeal in an effort to have its name removed from the order.

The company building the wind plant on Wolfe Island has withdrawn an appeal it had launched to avoid being held responsible for a diesel spill that occurred last fall.

Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. had appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal, an independent provincial agency, after failing to comply with a director's order the Ministry of the Environment issued as a result of the spill. The firm launched the appeal in an effort to have its name removed from the order.

The company has since withdrawn its appeal and the hearing that had been scheduled for Feb. 20 has been cancelled.

Geoff Carnegie, Canadian Hydro's development manager, said Canadian Hydro decided not to pursue the appeal because the clean-up work has been done and the ministry has closed the order.

"Our appeal was to have our name removed from the order because we felt we were inappropriately named on the order," he said. "Now that the order is closed, we felt that the need to have ourselves removed is gone.

In an earlier interview with the Whig Standard, Carnegie said Canadian Hydro "absolutely feels it was not responsible [for the spill]."

Canadian Hydro instead feels that one of its contractors, Nadro Marine Services of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The company building the wind plant on Wolfe Island has withdrawn an appeal it had launched to avoid being held responsible for a diesel spill that occurred last fall.

Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. had appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal, an independent provincial agency, after failing to comply with a director's order the Ministry of the Environment issued as a result of the spill. The firm launched the appeal in an effort to have its name removed from the order.

The company has since withdrawn its appeal and the hearing that had been scheduled for Feb. 20 has been cancelled.

Geoff Carnegie, Canadian Hydro's development manager, said Canadian Hydro decided not to pursue the appeal because the clean-up work has been done and the ministry has closed the order.

"Our appeal was to have our name removed from the order because we felt we were inappropriately named on the order," he said. "Now that the order is closed, we felt that the need to have ourselves removed is gone.

In an earlier interview with the Whig Standard, Carnegie said Canadian Hydro "absolutely feels it was not responsible [for the spill]."

Canadian Hydro instead feels that one of its contractors, Nadro Marine Services of Port Dover, Ont., was responsible and the director's order should have been issued to that company.

Nadro Marine was contracted by Canadian Hydro to haul barges daily from Ogdensburg, N. Y., carrying the project's 86 wind turbines. It was operating a tugboat on Oct. 1, 2008, adjacent to the island winter ferry dock near Dawson Point when roughly 700 litres of diesel leaked into the surrounding waters.

After the spill, a colourful sheen of diesel fuel covered the water's surface along the shoreline near the winter dock. The Canadian Coast Guard, the ministry and Environment Canada were all dispatched to assist in the clean-up and to assess the environmental damage.

Island residents who live along a twokilometre stretch of the St. Lawrence River were advised not to drink the water from their shore wells. Within hours of the spill, Canadian Hydro had bottled water delivered to each of those seven homes.

The ministry subsequently ordered Canadian Hydro to take a handful of measures to protect the local environment and peoples' health. Those measures included testing the water supply, providing alternate water for local households and offering residents a domestic water supply.

Nadro Marine hired an environmental firm to test the water from the residential shore wells, which was deemed to be safe.

Mark Mattson of the environmental group Lake Ontario Waterkeeper said it was good news that Canadian Hydro has withdrawn its appeal.

"It was the right thing for the ministry to stand up for the small community of Wolfe Island," he said. "It will be key for them to continue to do so.

"By withdrawing their appeal, [Canadian Hydro has] agreed to accept the responsibility that the ministry burdened them with, that is they are responsible for these sorts of accidents and they just can't hide behind contractors."

Carnegie declined to comment on whether Canadian Hydro would launch similar appeals in the future.

"I can't speculate on that because we don't know what the incident could be, we don't know what the circumstances would be," he said.


Source: http://www.thewhig.com/Arti...

JAN 30 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18825-wind-farm-developer-drops-oil-spill-appeal
back to top