Windsor

Turbine company wins injunction against Chatham-Kent water well advocates

A court has granted North Kent Wind an injunction against water well advocates who blockaded a Chatham-Kent construction site.

Protesters chained themselves to equipment, blockaded construction site in August

Protesters with Water Wells First chained themselves to tractor wheel weights outside the North Kent Wind project on Aug. 29, 2017. (Derek Spalding/CBC News)

A court has granted North Kent Wind an injunction against water well advocates who blockaded a Chatham-Kent construction site in August, where the company had begun work to install wind turbines. 

The protesters believe the deep pile-driving for the new wind turbines is allowing for black shale and hazardous materials to leach into their water wells.

"I'm aware of the seriousness of the ground water claims," said Ontario Superior Court Justice Kirk Munroe Monday, calling the protests at the site "classic trespassing." 

Members of Water Wells First advocacy group demonstrated outside of a turbine construction site in August, and three members chained themselves to tractor weights.

North Kent Wind applied for the injunction a few days later, and said the protesters posed a "serious safety risk" both to themselves and workers at the site.

Thirty-four wind turbines are planned for the area and work on the piles to anchor those turbines has begun.

"We need to see the Ministry of the Environment step up and deal with this issue," said Kevin Jakubec, spokesperson for Water Wells First, following the ruling.

North Kent Wind, in a statement following the ruling, said it had sought injunctive relief because "some protestors were engaging in what North Kent Wind believed was unlawful conduct, including setting up blockades and trespassing on private property."

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