By Maryanne Firth Welland Tribune
WAINFLEET — The answers to Wainfleet’s questions aren’t blowing in the wind. During Tuesday’s township council meeting, municipal staff brought forward a report that reviewed plans for the Wainfleet Wind Energy Project.
The nine-page report, created by Jones Consulting Group Ltd., and the numerous comments contained within raised several questions from city council. The consultant’s report revealed there “was a lot of missing information” from the plan for the wind energy farm submitted by IPC Energy Inc. on behalf of the Loeffen family, said deputy mayor Richard Dykstra.
There were 45 deficiencies found within the plan, which raised some concerns in council chambers, he added.
Township planner Grant Munday believes the thorough report and comments found within, all which will be submitted to the province, will help ensure the project is “adequately reviewed.”
The report concluded that additional technical information is required in several areas including location, access, right-of-way use, traffic management, emergency management, construction and natural heritage impacts.
The full consultant’s report can be viewed on the township’s website, www.wainfleet.ca, in the council agenda package from Tuesday, March 22.
“Ultimately approval is in the hands of the province. We’re just a consulting agency,” Munday said of the municipality.
The province does, however, concern itself with the impact such projects have on municipalities, Munday said, certain “those impacts will be addressed.”
Tom Lewis, IPC Energy’s manager of planning and environment, said the company plans to formally respond to the consultant’s report, providing answers to the questions found within to the municipality. The response is expected to be forwarded in the next one to two weeks, he added.
“They’re good questions and they deserve good answers.”
IPC will be hosting a second public open house for the project, though a date has not yet been set.
The company is awaiting a consent letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Once the letter has been received, notice of the meeting will be published at least two months in advance, Lewis said.
The open house will feature site specifications on where the wind turbines and other elements of the project will be located, he said. That information can also be found online, at www.wainfleetwindenergy.ca.
Lewis said people will be on hand at the meeting to answer questions and to solicit public comment.
Comments and questions can also be submitted on the above website.