K2 wind threatens farmer with lawsuit


By Barb McKay

A Lucknow farmer has received what he calls a threatening letter from legal counsel for K2 Wind, advising him that he must stop spreading manure on his fields or face a lawsuit.

George Alton owns a farming operation, which includes 300 acres of cash crop and 2,000 head of beef cattle, within the K2 Wind project in Ashfield-Colbourne-Wawanosh Township. He has been corresponding with the wind energy development company since the summer over concerns about potential impacts to his farming operation during construction and once the project is operational, including shadow flicker from turbines.

Alton shared a letter he received in September from Davies, Ward, Phillips and Vineberg, attorneys for K2 Wind, with The Independent accusing him of deliberately interfering with construction of the project by parking his tractor on a public road allowance entrance to the field where construction is taking place. The firm also informed him that spreading manure on his fields “presents a health risk to workers in the area and is a substantial impediment to construction.”

The letter ends with the statement: “Your continued activities present a serious hazard to the health and safety of K2 Wind’s personnel and cause serious harm to K2 Wind. Therefore, K2 Wind believes it is necessary to advise you of both the potential consequences of any efforts to interfere with construction and that K2 Wind will take necessary steps to enforce its legal rights and recover its damages and associated legal expenses.”

Alton said liquid manure is typically spread in late August, but poor weather delayed the application and it ended up coinciding with the K2 Wind construction. He said many other farmers, including landowners participating in the project also spread manure at this time of year. In a letter to K2 Wind’s lawyers on Oct. 24, he inquired if those farmers had also received legal letters. He noted that he had advised K2 Wind in August that he would be spreading manure and would need access to the fields.

He said he tried to co-operate with the company’s contractors from Black and MacDonald by cutting six rows of corn to provide them with a location to store dirt during construction.

 As of last week, Alton said he had not received a response back from the legal counsel, but said he has had enough.

“From this point, I have no use for K2 and I won’t co-operate with them,” he said.