Picture Gallery Below:
Collector lines underground directional boring activity. Unopened road allowance east of Guida’s Sideroad. OFSC Trail C107D has blocked access on the unopened road allowance.The mound of ice is what appears to be pumped discharge area from the pit into the swamp. Picture 8 and 10 of empty liquid totes, pails and bromite are from another site. That location is just east of Perch Lake road where directional boring was done along the unopened road allowance between turbine 23 towards turbines 29 and 16. I expect the same spill activity may have occurred here also. Pics Dec 21,2013
Picture Gallery Below:
Unopened road allowance east of Guida’s Sideroad. OFSC Trail C107D. Ground beneath the boring rig. No containment. Pics Saturday Dec 21,2013
Picture Gallery Below:
A witness stated that the previous containers used here had green antifreeze fluid and those now present have blue fluid. Collector lines underground directional boring activity. Unopened road allowance east of Guida’s Sideroad. OFSC Trail C107D. Pics from Dec 21,2013
Letter to MOE and MNR:
Northland Power Antifreeze, Methanol Spills Followup Summary and Comments
I would like to keep the MOE informed of the events and concerns in relation to this spills report filed. The initial call to the MOE was made Friday Dec 20,2013 by an eye witness who reported the activities from Monday Dec 16,2013. The concern was of antifreeze spills into sensitive environment within the Northland Power Windfarm Project collector lines directional boring beneath a known wetland key habitat area.
It was relayed to the MOE that pictures will be sent. The MOE was not informed that pictures we were going to send were not available at that time of the report filed. Other members of the public may have some pictures we are not aware of.
The MOE called back requesting confirmation of a spill after he was in discussion with whoever he had called in relation to this complaint. The witness was still available and confirmed what was reported. It was our impression the company denied the activities.
Follow up info was sent to the MOE by email on Dec 23,2013 regarding the green liquid in totes as observed by the witness.
A phone discussion with an Northland Power Inc representative on Dec,
24,2013 entailed who called my home as below after receiving an email from the NEMI CAO. He informed me about the two transport truck and fuel truck tip overs from last week. I left a phone message about possible spills with the MOE afterwards. More on the phone discussion further below.
On Dec 24,2013 by email, the MOE replied they were aware that a spill and cleanup had occurred. The MOE asked by email when the pictures were taken that were sent in. The reply was “Just got off the phone with NEMI CAO who was not aware of the spill and he requested the pictures that were taken Saturday Dec,21,2013.”
As this “spill” or intentional dumping information came forward, the eye witness stated (as above) that at least one of the totes that hauled the antifreeze was green as the other totes contained blue fluid. Other totes also had different higher alcohol content labels.
When the witness brought his concerns of spills forward to the on site crew the witness claims their response was along the lines of the remoteness of this area and his impression of their responses was out of sight, out of mind. They were using the antifreeze to thaw out the frozen lines. One time it had taken three hours to get the boring machine running again from being frozen.
Pictures that were taken on Saturday Dec 21,2013, we noted that the totes had labels of maximum weight capacities of 1640 kg which would carry approximately over 300 gallons in each full tote. There were several full totes and several were empty.
As within the pictures sent the entire area was covered with blue liquid beneath the snow and the fractured rock 6 meter circumference and depth excavated hole contained the blue liquid antifreeze. This brings concerns of seepage that possibly can not be recovered or the damage has been done and likely still occurring.
The picture with the piles of ice mounds which appears to be spray discharge from either boring activity or pumping of the antifreeze from the boring pit. The blue antifreeze is shown throughout this mound of ice. It appears that this dumping into the swamp was sent into the environment that they were given instruction from the MOE, MNR to actually protect.
As noted in the sent pictures, empty totes were from another site between turbines 23 and 29. Pictures 8 and 10 of methanol spill pictures sent.
Location is northeast of Perch Lake in an identified wetland and 30 meter setback zone where we strongly suspect that these toxins were released possibly directly or indirectly into Perch Lake and environment also.
This brings to question just how many hundreds of gallons of antifreeze were used at each site.
There is a third site west of turbine 21 that should be investigated where directional boring was done also in the Perch Lake tributary towards Perch Lake where the other two sites are below Perch Lake where all flows end up into the North Channel of Lake Huron.
A previous spill/dumping report was filed in this first directional boring location with intentional dumping of construction water onto non participants land through the fence. Running water could be heard from neighboring lots afterwards and hopefully all the waste water was collected.
The witness call of Dec 16,2013 directional boring activities was reported to the MOE on December 20,2013 and the pictures were taken on Dec 21,2013 afternoon where there was no activity observed to clean up or contain the contaminant.
On Monday afternoon Dec 23,2013 a stop was made at the NEMI office and a request made for the CAO who was not present at the time to call regarding a spill in the project area. I was advised by staff the CAO would call the following morn.
On Tuesday Dec 24,2013 the NEMI CAO who stated he was not aware of the spill was informed and he requested the pictures that were taken Saturday Dec,21,2013. The CAO was to get in touch with Northland Power Inc representatives to request info.
Discussion also included the blocking of the road allowance by the construction equipment for the OFSC C107D snowmobile trail where snow machines could and have run right through the construction zone. This is a safety concern. There is also no room for the trail groomer to pass.
Shortly later I received a call from Stan Stret (NPI) requesting info regarding the spills, when pictures were taken and who, what, where and when. He was asked , did he not get the pics and info sent to the CAO or even the MOE? to which he confirmed. It was a long call that went from the NPI rep downplaying the severity from our perspective of this activity, who was responsible, the blocking of the main OFSC Snowdusters trail route and the other drill boring sites. It is quite possible the phone call was recorded as a beep was heard on my part during the discussion though I did not question the NPI rep what the beep was.
Due diligence was discussed where I was informed by the rep that Northland had agreements with the contractors for compliance. My response was that being owners of this project I believe that a court would not absolve them of their responsibility of ensuring due diligence. I did not inform the NPI representative of who made the initial complaint when he asked.
The NPI rep stated that the bore site northeast of Perch lake had a drill bit stuck and seismic testing was required to determine the geologic structure beneath. Information was given by the NPI rep that boring was done at that site in November which was during freeze up and we suspect that antifreeze was used at that time as shown in the pictures of empty totes sent. It was relayed that they may be laying pipe at this location rather than the continued boring. This in my opinion is a deviation from the Renewable Energy Approval, approved plan.
The NPI stated that timelines must be met but could not inform me of milestone or project commercial operation date. I found this unusual that he claimed not to know this.
The NPI rep was asked when clean up was to occur and the reply was he could not get anyone from H.B. White to answer their phones.The discussion also included just how much was used for all boring activity as WHIMIS regulations should have bill of lading records. The NPI rep had no response.
I question how many other unknown spills there are? Are they all reported?
With the amount of contaminant involved in this case this project should be issued a stop work order for this entire project until fully investigated.
This project activity is an environmental disaster in our view where Northland Power Inc and it‘s partners in this project have the legislation and political support for full protection for themselves rather than the interests of ecosystems, wildlife, environment or greater good.
A lot of questions need answered as well as those responsible held accountable includeing project owners who should be ensuring compliance.