More on the Petawawa dam project 0
Outdoor issues columnist
As reported in the July 4 edition of The Daily Observer, a spokesperson for the developer, Xeneca Power Developments, Inc., stated that he will give a presentation to Petawawa town council on Tuesday, Aug. 7, apparently about Xeneca’s final design of the “Big Eddy” site, just upstream from the bridge in Petawawa.
You, especially if you are a resident and ratepayer in Petawawa, are entitled to attend that town council meeting ... but you will not be allowed to ask questions.
Nevertheless, if you have any concerns about this power development proposal you are urged to attend and be seen, demonstrating to town council and Xeneca that your concerns are still alive and have not faded.
The Xeneca spokesperson also announced that there will be a public information centre arranged ... at an undisclosed date yet ... at which everybody will have the opportunity to view design plans and discuss your concerns with Xeneca staff.
Make sure to keep eyes and ears open for media announcements of this event.
The focus of electrical power installations in the Petawawa River is on the “Big Eddy” site only. Word has it that Xeneca has been instructed by CFB Petawawa to immediately stop any further studies at the originally proposed Half Mile Rapids site.
Apparently CFB Petawawa does not want any construction sites in the vicinity of its firing impact zones.
The Xeneca plans for the “Big Eddy” site are still subject to a Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) at which numerous federal and provincial regulators demand that the developer demonstrate that its proposed project will not damage the environment and will not interfere with spawning migration of Ottawa River walleye and river sturgeon, besides not obstructing river navigation and not creating hazardous conditions to swimmers downstream.
Wherever and whenever these conditions cannot be met, the developer must demonstrate to the Class EA hearing how it will mitigate any interferences, failing which the proposed project may not be allowed to materialize.
While more details will be learned of at the town council meeting and the planned public information centre, the Xeneca spokesperson made reference to a “weir” to be installed.
By their nature, weirs function like dams, i.e. they are holding back the natural flow of water creating some form of headpond.
It would seem then, that the proposal is based on what is referred to as “modified” run-of-the-river concept where the natural waterflow is slowed and stored in a headpond from where it is released to drive the turbine(s).
Whether sporadic sudden releases of water from the headpond will create hazardous conditions for swimmers downstream needs utmost attention.
This writer is convinced that most, if not all, readers of this column have concerns about this proposed development at the “Big Eddy” site.
Therefore, everyone is urged to attend that August 7 Petawawa town council meeting and don’t miss the public information centre, also promised for August.
Open House at POSC
The popular Open House event, normally held in July each year, is being tentatively scheduled for September 15 this year.
It is thought that the weekend after Labour Day may bring a larger attendance because all the usual summer activities have ended.
Please watch for media announcements at the beginning of September. Then also watch this column which will be dedicated to that event.
This writer wishes every reader an enjoyable summer.
And if you complain about the current super-warm weather ... likely when digging out your car from under two feet of snow at minus 20 C on February 18 ... you may have fond memories of July 18.
Alf Beck is a life-long conservationist, member of the Pembroke Outdoor Sportsman’s Club and a contributor to this newspaper for many years.