TUESDAY, Jan. 12/10

AYLMER TODAY:

-EESS Boys Basketball; host Central Elgin

-(Thursday – Blood Donors Clinic at EECC)

“LATE FOR DINNER? DIDN’T MAKE BED? SMOKING UP IN BEDROOM? – Your Mum Just May Call The Police!”

Aylmer – An Aylmer mother called Police on Saturday afternoon because her 17-year old son refused to stop smoking marijuana in his bedroom.  Police detected a smell of marijuana when they entered the home and after searching the boy’s room charged him with possession of a controlled substance as well as ‘breach of probation’.

“GREYHOUND CANCELLING AYLMER BUS SERVICE! ( It was only one stop weekly anyway!)”

-Greyhound Canada announced last week that effective April 11th,  the weekly Friday bus route from London to Niagara Falls through St.Thomas, Aylmer, Simcoe etc., will end.

“SILVERCREEK SOLAR PARK IN MALAHIDE TO BE DEVELOPED ON ‘CLASS 3 FARMLAND’  “

(Dave Moerman is planning Silvercreek Solar Park on his 88-acre family farm in Malahide Township on Vienna Line – construction to begin this summer.  Last week he made an information presentation to Malahide Council. He provided the following info to AylmerNews.)

1-Who will use the Hydro from this solar facility? –    “Ontario Power Authority administers the contract, power is supplied to the electricity grid and is consumed.  IESO manages load demand, electricity imports / exports., etc. (There is a distribution station just north at the John Wise/ Imperial Rd. intersection)”

2-Are there similar projects elsewhere? –    “The Sarnia Solar Site is partially constructed but not operating (to my understanding). Stone Mills Ontario (near Kingston) was the first operating plant in Canada (Sept 30, 2009 operating date).  Of course there are several in the US and Europe.”

3-What was the reaction at your fall Open House? –    “We had approximately 30 people at our open house. The project is being well received by the community.”

4-The proposal west of Belmont is facing criticism from neighbours, mostly about the use of good farm land. Your reaction? –    ” I have verified that the Belmont project is on Class 1 lands and their project description indicates they are applying (applied) under the old RESOP program (Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program. Our Project is sited on Class 3 lands, poorer farm land used for non food crops (Tobacco),and is applying under the new Feed In Tariff Program (FIT) We are using 270 W panels vs. 70 W panels and are  taking up 88 acres for 10 MW vs 400 acres for 20 MW.  New rules are out by the Ontario Power Authority to address similar issues in Belmont (ie: no ground mounted solar on Class 1 or 2 lands)  Ground mounted solar is permitted on Class 3 lands by the OPA. ”

5 – Are there many safety/health/ environmental  issues with this development? –    “No safety concerns, project will conform to building, electrical codes. As the property owner, maintenance contractor, and family man is living at the project site  safety will be a top priority.  Fencing / controlled access will deter trespassers.   Biologists have been on site to inspect the project area including a considerable amount of time examining the creek and adjacent areas – no issues identified to date.  MNR and Conservation Authority have been consulted and will continue to be consulted throughout the project.  No air emissions will result from operations.    We are not aware of any health impacts associated with operation of the solar farm.  A setback distance will be established from neighbouring properties and a visual barrier (such as tree plantings) will be incorporated into the design to reduce impacts on neighbours.”

6 -How will the $55 million budget be spent? –    “50% of the total project will be made up of Ontario Domestic Content injecting approximately $26 million dollars into the economy. Up to as many 6 full time positions will be formed as a result.”

“ETHANOL PLANT ‘EMISSIONS’ DOMINATE AYLMER SKYLINE DAILY (AND ALL NIGHT, TOO!)”

(Aylmer News sent emails asking the IGPC that owns the ethanol plant for an explanation of their emissions but they did not respond. The Ministry of the Environment in London provided the following info.)

“In response to your inquiry, the visible emissions from a stack at the IGPC ethanol facility in Aylmer that you inquired about are water vapour. These emissions are not an environmental concern. As per their Certificate of Approval, IGPC was required to perform source testing on the emissions from all their stacks for a number of contaminants after commencement of their operations. This testing was completed in October and November of 2008 and the results were provided to the ministry in early 2009. The results indicated one exceedance of the ministry’s air standards.   The ministry required the company to come up with a plan to control the exceedance that was emitted from one of their stacks – not the stack that emits the visible water vapour. The company has submitted a plan to install a new stack to reduce emissions at the facility. The ministry is currently reviewing this plan and will continue to work with the company to ensure that it operates in an environmentally responsible way.”

"This is a round-the-clock scene now in Aylmer as these two 'clouds' dominate the sky at the Ethanol Plant."

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