Water concerns raised at Granite Hills Wind Farm site by neighbour

A wind farm is being proposed for the Steeple Flat region on Brown Mountain. Picture: Fairfax file photo
A wind farm is being proposed for the Steeple Flat region on Brown Mountain. Picture: Fairfax file photo

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The project team behind a wind farm to be built on Brown Mountain has responded to claims suggesting its construction would pollute nearby water sources.

The Granite Hills Wind Farm, a joint venture between Australian company Willy Willy and French company Akuo Energy, would have 32 wind turbines and cover 2000ha when built on Steeple Flat.  

David Williams, owner of neighbouring property Stonehenge who’s family has lived in the area for the last three to four generations, said there were five freehold properties that bordered the site for the wind farm, including three farms that ran cattle.

“One thing really concerning us as neighbours is the intrusion into the aquifer. Those of us who run stock rely on spring water,” he said.

The Oxford dictionary defines aquifer was a layer of rock or soil able to hold or transmit much water. 

Mr Williams was concerned the water sources could become polluted during the wind farm’s construction phase, saying it was going to be built near the catchments for the Bemboka, Bombala and Mclaughlin Rivers. 

A spokesperson for the Granite Hills project team said it was standard practice for a detailed Construction Environmental Management Plan to be prepared for a project of this nature, detailing how environmental impacts such as erosion and sediment control would be minimised during construction. 

“Appropriate measures would be put in place in areas of soil disturbance for turbine pads and roads to ensure local waterways are not polluted during construction,” the spokesperson said.  

“Efficient drainage along access roads would also be installed for disperse water to minimise erosion.” 

They said the team had begun water quality testing within the site to provide baseline monitoring data. 

“Monitoring of on-site and downstream waterways would continue during construction and operation to ensure Granite Hills Wind Farm does not contribute to degrading water quality in the local area,” the spokesperson said. 

Last week the Bega District News reported 13 vulernable fauna species and hundreds of historic Ngarigo artifacts had been found at the wind farm site. 

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