Environmental precautions put in place at Bow Lake turbine collapse site

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Aerial view of collapsed wind turbine at Bow Lake Wind Facility in August 2021. SaultOnline/ONNtv

SaultOnline has received a response to an inquiry we made regarding any potential environmental impact which may have resulted from last Saturday’s collapse of a GE turbine at the Bow Lake Wind Facility north of Sault Ste. Marie in the Montreal River area. The Ontario Ministry of Environment advised that they had visited the site of the collapsed Tuesday.

Press Secretary and Media Advisor for the Ministry, Andrew Kennedy, provided us with the following statement:

The Ministry takes all spills and threats to the environment seriously. Our role is to respond to spills, inspect the natural environment for potential adverse effects, and work with those responsible for the spill to ensure adverse effects are mitigated and appropriate actions are taken to protect human health and the natural environment.
 
On Saturday August 28, 2021, BluEarth Renewables reported the collapse of a wind turbine at the Bow Lake Wind Facility north of Sault Ste. Marie to the ministry.
 
On Tuesday, August 31, a ministry environmental officer attended the site to assess for any potential spills or other environmental impacts.
 
The turbine had broken about 20 metres up from the base. All of the turbine components have been located and accounted for at the site. The turbine gearbox, which is part of the top of the turbine, is on the ground, about 100 metres away from Negick Lake.
 
The ministry was advised that the gearbox holds about 320 litres of gear oil. Due to safety concerns at the time of the site visit, the environmental officer was unable to confirm whether any oil from the gearbox had spilled to the ground. There was no oil odour, which would indicate a spill.
 
Containment measures, consisting of silt fencing and absorbent socks, are in place at two locations between the gearbox and the lake. BluEarth has retained a clean up contractor to assess environmental impacts and remove debris from the site.
 
The ministry is following with BluEarth Renewables to ensure that the company takes all appropriate action to contain and clean up any spills.

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to bring you more information on this situation as it becomes available.

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