News

Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Re: 'Haldimand wants gas plant; Mayors urge province to change controversial Oakville plan' (May 22)

 

Siting of large-scale power generation plants should not be an issue of "want" or "don't want." Siting decisions should put safety first and should require safe separation distances from homes, schools and day cares.

 

The gas-fired power plant approved for Oakville is one of the largest in Canada and yet it is only 320 metres from the nearest school and 400 metres from the nearest family's home. How can this be considered safe for Ontario's children? How can large-scale power plants be approved in Ontario without independent environmental assessments to determine safe separation distances?

 

Energy Minister Brad Duguid's spokesperson said: "The process was long and the decision has been made, pretty much." This flawed process and this flawed decision need fixing and I say to our naked energy minister, environment minister and premier that they are not clothed and that they need better advisers.

 

The approved site is zoned low-risk industrial with a minimum setback of 300 metres.

 

Large-scale power generation is not low-risk, and minimum separation distances will not keep children safe and alive should an accident, explosion, leak or train derailment occur at the Oakville site.

 

Power generation, controlled by the Ontario government, needs separation distances sufficient to keep children safe and alive should accidents happen. Using minimums is not good enough for Ontario's children.

 

This is not an Oakville NIMBY issue. This is Ontario's issue as children play in all back yards and school yards in the province.

 

Written by Moira French.

 

Click here to read the article on thespec.com.

 Re: 'Haldimand wants gas plant; Mayors urge province to change controversial Oakville plan' (May 22)

 

One community supports a plan to build a natural gas power plant beside an existing generating station slated to close in 2014, replacing job and tax revenue losses.

 

Two other communities are opposed to a plan to build the plant, which would be the biggest of its kind in Canada, within a three-kilometre radius of 11,000 homes and 16 schools. Only a politician would have to think twice about this. Energy Minister Brad Duguid was given bad advice from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). There is no shame in listening to the people you serve and going back to the drawing board.

 

Written by Frank Clegg

 

Click here to read the article on thespec.com

Re: 'Haldimand wants gas plant; Mayors urge province to change controversial Oakville plan' (May 22)

 

If Energy Minister Brad Duguid was really listening to the roar of opposition to this poorly sited natural gas power plant, surely his decision would be easy.

 

The Oakville site is too small. It is too close to people. There is no room for a buffer zone of any kind, while every other natural gas power plant in the province has a distance of more than a kilometre between it and the people nearby. The health and safety of those living only metres from this proposed massive gas-fired plant was clearly not considered.

 

Duguid has an alternative in Nanticoke, which the mayors involved all support. If he truly welcomes the views of his "municipal partners," he will re-evaluate this nonsensical decision and move the plant to a better site.

 

Written by Sue Hyatt

 

Click here to read the article at thespec.com.

 The Hamilton Spectator: "Haldimand wants gas plant" 

Excerpt: "The mayors of Mississauga, Oakville and Haldimand County have joined forces to lobby the Liberal government to support a plan to build a natural gas power plant in rural Haldimand instead of a controversial scheme to establish one in Oakville." Click here to read the entire article.

May 19, 2010

 

Mr, David Mondragon, President
Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited
The Canadian Road
Oakville, ON L6J 5E4

 

Dear Mr. Mondragon

 

There is no question, that Ford of Canada has been a vital and important community partner and employer in Oakville for over 53 years. The Community of Oakville has always been proud of the achievements that Ford has made in establishing themselves as both a top car maker and an environmentally responsible company with an emphasis on safety (top safety ratings/Ford Drive Smart) and the environment (Ford Drive Green/Drive Smart/Ford Hybrids). Publicly, Ford emphasizes this environmental consciousness as “leading the charge toward an earth-conscious way of life.” Last month, Bill Ford Executive Bill Ford Jr. was singled out as one of sixteen 2010 Michigan Green Leaders, who has successfully made the business and ethical case for environmentally responsible practices.

 

However, today, we are visiting your offices, as concerned citizens and residents of Oakville/Mississauga and as representatives of Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA) to ask Ford to “do the right thing” and stay the course with their corporate commitment to safety, health and the environment. Specifically, we are calling upon Ford to actively support and fund an Individual Environmental Assessment (IEA) of the proposed Oakville Generating Station.

 

Ford has entered into a sale transaction with TransCanada to sell a small 15 acre parcel of land to enable the construction of a 975MW gas fired power plant next to the Ford plant. If this power plant is allowed to proceed, it would be the largest natural gas plant in Canada on the smallest parcel of land and closer in proximity to people who live nearby, than any other facility of its kind in Canada. There are 11,000 homes, 16 schools and approximately 8 day cares within a 3KM radius of this property. Indeed, in terms of proximity, the plant would be within 60 metres of independently owned commercial offices, within 325 metres of the nearest school, within 400 metres of the nearest home, within 700 meters of Highway 403 and a mere 7 metres of the CN rail tracks which is a major railway artery used extensively by Amtrak, CN, Via and Go Transit. Ford’s own highly successful assembly plant, day care facility and their thousands of workers would be within 900 metres of this proposed power plant.

 

Ironically, current laws in Ontario would restrict a wind power plant from being built at the same unique location and yet they currently do not restrict a massive gas fired power plant to be built in this location. However, Bill 8 in Ontario received almost unanimous support last month, after its second reading and has now been referred to a Standing Committee. Bill 8 is a direct result of this proposed development and seeks to establish safe separation distances for Natural Gas Power Plants.

 

Indeed, this development has been opposed by all local, regional, provincial and federal elected representatives in the area who recognize that if this plant is allowed to proceed, it will set a very dangerous precedent for all of Ontario. We believe that to date, no other plant has actually been built as close to a neighbourhood as this proposal allows for…. for good reason.

 

Our request of Ford with respect to the IEA is completely aligned with Ford of Canada’s past commitment to this community as well as Ford Motor Company’s published values of ensuring the highest health, environmental and safety standards in the auto industry. Doing otherwise, and allowing the development of the Oakville Generating Station to proceed and go unchallenged will leave in our opinion, our Community as well as Ford’s own employees and manufacturing facility at grave potential risk. The plant would be sited in what the Government of Ontario has determined is an already toxic, over-polluted airshed with one of the worst local environments for air quality in Ontario. This plant will discharge hundreds of tonnes of additional known toxic substances including fine particulate matters which are of particular significance to children. The fallout of the PM2.5 will be particularly significant within a 3 km radius of the plant with highest concentrations closest to the plant.

 

There are also many major inherent safety risks that would come with the development of this plant that put the community and your own community of workers at risk. Accidents happen for a myriad of reason and they can happen anywhere. Concerned residents and citizens are making their views known via an online petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Ford-do-the-right-thing-4-Oakville. We invite you to take a look at the comments and the request of concerned citizens for Ford to “do the right thing”.

Our appeal to you is simple. We are asking Ford Motor Company to Step up and Support the call for an IEA and to pledge $500,000 in support of this effort. C4CA has been trying to get an audience with you and your team here in Canada for months, only to be told that this is not your issue and you have no control over this matter. However, we would suggest that this IS your issue and you are putting your employees, children at your day care and the community at risk unnecessarily.

 

We are prepared to discuss our request to Ford and other courses of action that you might take, at your earliest convenience.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

___________________ _______________ __________________________________
Doug MacKenzie          Frank Clegg           T. Finch, B. Phelan, N Robertson
President and CEO       Chairman               Ford Committee

 

Citizens for Clean Air
Citizens for Clean Air (“C4CA”)is a coalition thousands-strong of volunteer citizens concerned with the Ontario Government’s plan to construct a 975-megawatt gas-fired power plant on the border of Oakville and Mississauga. This facility would be the largest gas plant in Canada and is set to be built right next to a mature neighbourhood that includes many homes, schools and daycare centres – including the one at Ford.

 

Click here to view the PDF.


”Dear Ford – Safety is Job 1!”
C4CA Takes Message to Ford Assembly Plant


Oakville, May 20, 2010 —Yesterday Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA) and more than 1,000 concerned citizens marched to Ford’s Oakville assembly plant to deliver a message: the proposed Oakville Generating Station (OGS) makes no sense for a company whose motto is “Quality is Job 1.”

Ford has agreed to sell TransCanada a small 13.5 acre parcel of land to enable the construction of a 975MW gas fired power plant right next to the Oakville Ford plant. The power plant would be the largest natural gas fired plant in Canada on the smallest parcel of land and closer to the people who live nearby than any other facility of its kind.

“Ford of Canada has been a vital and important community partner and employer in Oakville for over 53 years,” says Frank Clegg, Chairman of C4CA. “C4CA is calling on Ford to honour its commitment to health, safety and the environment by working with the community to ensure the safety of residents and workers at the Local Assembly plant. The only way to do that is to support our call for an individual environmental assessment (IEA).”

There are currently no plans for a full IEA for this plant. Instead, TransCanada has conducted its own environmental review. “That may be satisfactory for smaller plants with proper buffers,” Clegg adds, “but a self-review is entirely inadequate for a plant set in the heart of a residential community.” The proposed site for the OGS is a narrow strip of land only 60 metres from an office building, 15 metres from high speed rail lines, 320 metres from a school and 400 metres from many houses.


Under current Ontario law, Environment Minister John Gerretsen can order an IEA for the proposed Oakville Generating Station project. The terms of reference for the IEA could include consideration of alternatives, such as the conversion of the existing coal-fuelled units at Nanticoke into a natural gas-fuelled facility. Nanticoke has an existing link to the transmission grid and the community is on record as wanting a natural gas plant at this location.

Oakville and Mississauga families took their message to Ford employees, asking them to call or write Premier Dalton McGuinty to tell him that an IEA is needed on the proposed site.

About C4CA
Citizens for Clean Air (“C4CA”), a non-profit organization, is a coalition of volunteer citizens from Oakville and Mississauga. The group is committed to stopping the Oakville Generating Station at this location and to ensuring that there is a full and proper assessment of the impact on health and safety of the community, residents and others who would be exposed to its emissions of any proposed gas power plant.

 

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C4CA has a powerful new message that we’d like you to share with your neighbours and, equally important, your friends and relatives all over Ontario.

Read more ...

Oakville, May 17, 2010 —Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA) invites media and residents of Oakville and surrounding areas to attend the March on Ford on Wednesday, May 19 from 3:45 to 5:00 p.m. at the Kingsford Garden Plots (East of Ford Drive at Kingsway/Sherwood Heights Drive) in Oakville.

 

Ford has entered into a transaction with TransCanada to sell a small 15 acre parcel of land to enable the construction of a 975MW gas fired power plant next to the Oakville Ford plant. This power plant would be the largest natural gas fired plant in Canada on the smallest parcel of land and closer to the people who live nearby than any other facility of its kind in Canada.

 

People are invited to join the walk on May 19 as we make a formal request of Ford to ... “do the right thing”. “Doing the right thing” means actively supporting the call for a proper individual environmental assessment of the proposed Oakville Generating Plant, which could include the evaluation of alternative sites, such as Nanticoke.

 

When: Wednesday, May 19, 3:45 to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Kingsford Garden Plots
            East of Ford Drive at Kingsway/Sherwood Heights Drive
            Oakville, ON

 Please click here to view the May 2010 Citizens for Clean Air (C4CA) newsletter. In it you will find the latest news and information about upcoming events.

 

We must all take immediate action to urge Premier Dalton McGuinty to order an Individual Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Oakville Generating Station.

 

 

Help stop the proposed Power Plant. Call, write or eMail Premier McGuinty.

  

Here’s what to say:

 

Premier McGuinty, please tell your Environment Minister, John Gerretsen, to order an Individual Environmental Assessment, including an evaluation of alternatives such as Nanticoke, for the proposed Oakville Generating Station project. Oakville and Mississauga families deserve this measure of protection. Please do it now.

 

CALL Dalton McGuinty at 416.325.1941


WRITE Dalton McGuinty at Legislative Building, Queen's Park, Toronto ON M7A 1A1.


eMAIL Dalton McGuinty through his Web site form
https://www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp?Lang+ENLang=EN 


FAX Dalton McGuinty at 416.325.3745

 

 

All the facts

 

The Minister of Environment can order an individual environmental assessment (IEA) for the proposed Oakville Generating Station project.

 

The terms of reference for the IEA should include consideration of alternatives, such as the conversion of the existing coal-fuelled units at Nanticoke into a natural gas-fuelled facility.

 

TCEL's environmental review under the Electricity EA regulation is satisfactory for many electricity projects, including smaller plants or plants in industrial areas with proper buffers, but it is inadequate for a massive 975MW plant located in the heart of a residential community.

 

The proposed strip of Ford land is incredibly small for such a massive 975MW plant - only 13.5 acres; the site is so tight and so close to rail lines that TCEL had to ask for a variance to allow it to be only 7.5m from the lines.

 

The Ford strip of land is only 60 metres from an office building, 15 metres from high speed rail, 320 metres from a school and 400 metres from houses.

 

The lack of any real buffer results in serious safety issues, which must be assessed as part of the IEA. If a problem arose, there would be no margin for error given the lack of setbacks.

 

TCEL has chosen water cooling that would use existing water intake pipes from Lake Ontario. The daily water use would be massive compared to what Ford uses. The extreme challenges with water cooling relate to the formation of ice and fogging in and around the plant, which is a significant safety issue that must be assessed in an IEA.

 

Given that Nanticoke has an existing link to the transmission grid, this would be the natural and logical location for a new natural gas/biomass fuelled plant.

 

There is very recent precedent for a company undertaking a large scale project to request an IEA. This was done by Shell for the expansion of its refinery in Sarnia, even though no EA was required.

 


Oakville and Mississauga families deserve this measure of protection. Please call or write the Premier. 

 

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