Minister, wind companies charged under environmental protection act

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The Ontario government announced that effective immediately, the White Pines Wind Project in Prince Edward County is cancelled. photo by lynne brown/superior media

TORONTO — Ontario’s environment minister, government staff and three wind companies have been charged with offences under the province’s environmental protection act.

The charges stem from a private prosecution launched by Chatham-Kent resident Christine Burke, who alleges work on several wind projects contaminated her home’s well water, making it unsafe to drink or bathe in.

She alleges that the minister, government officials, and the companies violated the law by for failing to take “reasonable care” to prevent the contamination as several wind farms were installed.

Burke’s lawyer Eric Gilliespie says the prosecution was approved last week by a justice of the peace in a Chatham-Kent court, who found “reasonable and probable grounds” the offences may have been committed.

The allegations have not been tested and the first court date in the case will be Aug. 14. in Blenheim, Ont.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Jeff Yurek says it would be inappropriate to comment because the case is before the courts.