Turbine neighbour writes that he ‘deserves and requires answers and help’ on his well water issues

Letter writer Dean Laponsee, addressing a North Stormont Council meeting in December 2019. Zandbergen photo

The Editor:

This was my recent letter to the mayor of North Stormont.

Mayor Wert,

I’d very much like an update on what is going on with my contaminated well water. It’s been a very long time since you attended my home on November 19th, 2019, as per the direction of MPP Jim McDonell, assuring me my well water issues would be looked after in front of my partner and three important friends also in attendance at my home that Friday evening — to which nothing has been done since November 2019, other than EDPR offering payment for several loads of propane (10-plus tanks when I normally use 1.5 tanks a year) for my secondary heat source in my basement to somewhat heat my home.

As you recall, I heat and cool my home with a geothermal system, which is not working because of my contaminated wells, which is also what I use for my household water. Considering I’m a disabled vet, with two teenagers to look after, off school because of COVID-19, your lack of care and concern is disturbing.

I understand the issues with COVID-19, but a simple phone call, or even an email, would be appreciated, which has not happened. Your putting me in touch with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has been an utter disaster. First Lois, then Terry, then Michel, then Terry, then back to Lois, then Peter got involved, who arranged to have a meeting at my home, with you in attendance, with his team of experts before the COVID-19 issue broke, then cancelled that meeting because he was afraid maybe some news people would also attend … or attempt to reschedule that very important meeting.

I’d still like some clarification on Terry’s collection of water samples from my kitchen sink with dirty, used water bottles she took off the floor of her work vehicle on January 10th, 2020. Terry did this in front of myself and her co-worker Michel, collecting at least eight bottles from my sink, indicating she would transfer the water she collected into proper test bottles when she got back to her office in Cornwall, then properly test the samples and get back to me. Terry didn’t get back to me, rather she then drafted and sent letters to EDPR and Nation Rise … releasing them from any responsibility for any and all of my well water issues, and the propane EDPR offered and agreed to pay for to keep myself and my family from freezing to death, which I’ve been dealing with since the start of this wind power project. Drilling core samples, test holes like swiss cheese, [were taken] all around my property before the construction of windmill T9, which … is on top of the underground aquifer I get my water from at 55 feet deep since my well construction in 1990 when Richard Shane built this house. I deserve and require answers and help.

My well water issues have not resolved themselves, Mr. Mayor. Rather they have become increasingly worse. It’s very clear you’re using the COVID-19 as a way to push the wind farm agenda through, while looking the other way on the damage already caused by its construction in the area I live.  My stress level, frustration, the lack of support you promised, excessive Hydro bills attempting to heat my home all winter, running out of propane every 15 to 18 days, lack of water to shower, cook, clean, needing to buy all my water to drink and cook with, as per the Ottawa Health department’s multiple test results I’ve had done through the government is crazy.

Where is the help you assured and promised me you would provide right away while shaking my hand in front of my partner and three friends on that cold, Friday evening on November 19th, 2019, in my home, after getting a call from MPP Jim McDonell about my water issues….? It’s my understanding you assured MPP Jim as well that you were on top of this problem and going to fix it.

Dean Laponsee

Editor’s note: The writer has also clarified for NVN that his water is both unsafe to drink, based on “multiple” tests carried out by Ottawa Public Health, and has bad turbidity, plugging his geothermal system.


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