Friday, October 03, 2008

Wind Project Ship Spills Fuel Near Wolfe Island

About 10 households on an island near Kingston, Ont., have been told to drink only bottled water after a tugboat spilled about 1,500 litres of fuel near shore. The diesel fuel spilled into Lake Ontario near Wolfe Island around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday from a boat carrying equipment for a controversial wind turbine project. Some residents have fought hard against the project, saying they are concerned about the environmental effects of installing 86 turbines on such a small island. Canadian Hydro Developers, the company in charge of the project, is buying water for the families affected by the spill and will continue to do so until their wells have been tested and the water is deemed safe to drink.On Thursday, the coast guard said much of the fuel from Wednesday's spill had either evaporated or been removed after being confined in a containment boom. Officials from Environment Canada were still in the area assessing damage to fish and vegetation near the shoreline, but said that seems to be minimal. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, an environmental group, was also on the shore Thursday doing its own monitoring. The wind turbine project is expected to produce enough power for 75,000 homes. The turbines are being installed on private property, and property owners are being paid royalties. However, some other residents have said they are worried the turbines could kill birds and the installation of underwater transmission lines could destroy fish habitat.

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