Windlectric fails to submit Marine Safety and Logistics Plan
January 25, 2017 Category: Uncategorized
Amherst Island is served by the talented and professional crews of the Frontenac 11 ferry 365 days per year. The ferry is the lifeline for the Island. People work, children go to school, and the absence of services on the Island means that everyone shops and gets gas and attends appointments using the ferry. Most importantly, the ferry provides transport for ambulances and back-up fire equipment from the mainland. In this context, APAI has expressed its strong concern about the lack of a Marine Safety and Logistics Plan for the proposed Amherst Island wind project.
Technical expertise is required to simulate the barge and ferry schedules and conflicts and to present a Plan that addresses the high risk to the community and the environment. Windlectric has had 17 months to submit the required Marine Safety and Logistics Plan and has failed to do so. Accordingly Minister Murray is requested to cancel this ill-conceived and unneeded project.
APAI’s open letter to Minister Murray and Premier Wynne
Dear Minister Murray
What were MOECC staff thinking when they allowed dock construction to proceed without the required Marine Safety and Logistics Plan especially in winter? Who is accountable if there is a marine accident, explosion, fire, collision, spill or other incident?
A brief is attached describing the high risk to public and environmental safety and the absolute folly of allowing work in the absence of a Marine Safety and Logistics Plan. To my knowledge this is the only project under the Green Energy Act on an Island and its unique circumstances demand absolute compliance with your own Ministry’s requirements, specifically submission of a Marine Safety and Logistics Plan.
In Divisional Court MOECC counsel assured the Court that the Minister has the ability to question the adequacy of an Emergency Response and Communications Plan for the Amherst Island Wind Project. As you can see from the attached letter Loyalist Township deem the Emergency Plan deficient in many respects. Please address the Township concerns.
Presumably you have the same ability to ensure the very existence as well as adequacy of a Marine Safety and Logistics Plan. NO plan exists and yet tugs, barges and small craft are working daily, transporting hazardous materials and and fueling in Lake Ontario.
The Association to Protect Amherst Island’s preferred action on your part is to accept our appeal on matters other than law. However, we are aware that that decision is held in abeyance pending the outcome of our appeal to Divisional Court.
In the meantime, please address the immediate high risk to public and environmental safety and stop ALL construction until such time as a Marine Safety and Logistics Plan acceptable to Loyalist Township and the County of Lennox and Addington is submitted. Please ensure that the Plan has strong enforcement provisions and penalties as the proponent has failed to comply with its own commitments in the first few weeks of the project.
The safety of our channel, our environment, and our community is at risk and we rely on your immediate action.
Michèle Le Lay
Association to Protect Amherst Island