Freedom of Information request documents reveal disturbing consequences for the local environment from a giant pumped storage project.
Meaford, ON – Over 30 endangered species will be threatened by TC Energy’s Pumped Storage Project on Georgian Bay. The consequences for the environment will be drastic and damaging for generations to come.
TC Energy, the Calgary-based company best known for oil and gas projects, has targeted the military base near Meaford for its Pumped Storage Project. To use public land dedicated to national security for other purposes required the Department of National Defence (DND) to investigate the site.
“The material that we have reviewed so far is profoundly disturbing for anyone who cares about the environment,” said Tom Buck, a Director of Save Georgian Bay (SGB), a group of concerned residents that obtained the information through a Freedom of Information request. “In April, Canada hosted COP15, the UN Biodiversity Conference. Now, we seem willing to put 30 species at risk to build outdated technology. That is illogical and dangerous!”
The DND’s studies found serious concerns related to the environment. The Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Meaford is home to 30 species listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), including birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and plants. In addition, the project’s giant turbines that will use the waters of Georgian Bay would have adverse effects on fish and fish habitat. DND concluded that “large numbers of species at risk as well as their habitat will be impacted, including an old growth woodlot”.
Some of the project’s consequences will be irreversible and endanger Canada’s efforts to slow down climate change. The Agreement between TC Energy and the DND leaves the responsibility for environmental assessment with TC Energy, despite the fact that the dedicated land, according to the documents, “contains contaminated soils, including a ‘legacy asbestos dump’, that requires mitigation to prevent air and water contamination during construction.” There “Save Georgian Bay does not fundamentally oppose energy projects or infrastructure,” added Tom Buck. “We support energy infrastructure – but not at any cost. We favour smart, safe, and responsible infrastructure, and there are better alternatives for clean energy. We are prepared for a long fight and have recently hired the Daisy Group to support our efforts. This project is a bad idea and must be stopped.”
Save Georgian Bay (SGB) is a group of concerned, local citizens that opposes the TC Energy Pumped Storage Project near Meaford, ON. SGB is a volunteer organization that is funded entirely through donations from the public: SaveGeorgianBay.ca
For more information, please contact: Tom Buck firstname.lastname@example.org