The Bureau of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE) will hold a first information session on October 7 on the Apuiat wind farm project, located in Port-Cartier on the North Shore.
Thus, the Apuiat wind project, which is worth 600 million dollars and provides for the construction of 50 wind turbines, will take a new step. Until October 29, citizens, municipalities or interest groups can request a public hearing with the Minister for the Environment and Combating Climate Change.
This wind power project, the first to see daylight on the North Shore, will have environmental impacts. Among them, vacation spots will be visually affected. Noise from wind turbines can be heard, especially in the forest.
Since the shortest distance between the wind turbine and the permanent dwelling is four kilometers, the noise effects will be very limited. Heavy vehicle rotation during project construction can have an impact. Bird fauna can also be affected by habitat modification and collisions with blades.
The holding of the BAPE hearings will have a slight impact on the project schedule. Without a hearing, the developer plans to obtain the government decree authorizing the project on February 28, 2022, while with hearings, the decree can be issued three months later.
However, this deadline will be gradually filled so that the wind turbines will be assembled between May and December 2024, regardless of whether or not there are public hearings.
The investor, who has already held several media sessions, did not notice any significant opposition or concerns about this project.
“The BAPE hearings are really for audience appreciation,” explained Alexandra Agagner, Project Manager at Boralex, the company that joined forces with Innu Communities to build the wind farm.
“Whether there is or not, we will follow the process,” she added. It is an independent and recognized process. We are pleased to develop this project.”
Alain Thibault, mayor of Port-Cartier, hopes there will be no hearings at Cartier’s door. He believes that the residents of his city support the project: “It is a very beautiful project that respects environmental standards. It has very good social acceptance here in Port-Cartier, Pentecôte and Pointe-aux-Anglais.”
Prior to Apuiat, BAPE held 45 public briefings on wind energy projects. 21 of them led to public hearings.
BAPE will hold two information sessions with the Promoter. On October 7, at the Port-Cartier Leisure and Cultural Complex, the first non-virtual meeting of BAPE will take place since the beginning of the pandemic.
Citizens who wish to attend must present their vaccination passport. “Public health does not require a passport. However, the center does require it. In order to participate, people will have to show it,” said Shirley Bishop, BAPE’s communications advisor.
For those who do not have a vaccine guide or who cannot travel to Port-Cartier, another information session will be held in digital mode on October 13.