Hundreds Gathered near Port Elgin for Wind Turbine Protest

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Ontario Wind Resistance

Blackburn News
About 200 protesters braved chilly conditions on Gobles Grove beach near Port Elgin Monday to send a message against industrial wind turbines. The protest attracted people from across the province, including Marianne Kidd of West Lincoln in Haldimand County, who represents Mothers Against Wind Turbines.

Kidd says she made the trip to Port Elgin because she believes anti-wind forces need to be unified. Shawn Drennan of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh is fighting the wind industry in court and says protesting is the only tool the average person has left. Meanwhile, Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy – or STOP – spokesperson Greg Schmalz says the time for talking is over. Read article
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Help Message Loud and Clear on Gobles Grove Beach

On a cold and windy Labour Day Monday, wind warriors from all parts of Ontario united at Gobles Grove Beach in the midst of an un-welcome CAW Turbine. Our Mothers Against Turbines bus, filled with supporters from Haldimand, West Lincoln and Wainfleet, walked beside our fellow Ontarians, sending a message to Kathleen Wynne and wind companies everywhere that Turbines are not welcome on our doorsteps!

Hundreds of people were positioned on the beach where the word HELP was spelled out in advance of our arrival. United and in position, we gathered into the letter H, trying to beat a Guinness Book of World Record!

The event was well organized and even included a sound equipment demonstration. The SWEAR and STOP groups are actually able to monitor infrasound, utilizing hundreds in testing equipment and software, that can then be analyzed by a sound/noise expert.

The Charter Challenge, brought forth by Julian Falconer, if successful, will set a precedent and will assist ALL those following. This action has the potential to shift the burden of proof from the need to prove serious harm to human health to the need to prove the possibility of harm, a much lower threshold.

Thank you STOP and SWEAR for organizing this event! It has managed to bring Ontarians closer together in this battle against the Liberal Government and Big Corporate Wind Companies.

State agencies ponder changes to wind-energy rules – Local

Saturday, August 31, 2013 Brett Boese,

Despite spending $15 million seeking state permits since 2008, the 78-megawatt New Era wind project appears to finally be dead. That leaves one looming question: What has been learned or changed by this exhaustive permitting process?

The answers vary, depending on who you ask, but local critics — Goodhue Wind Truth and the Coalition for Sensible Siting — are happy to proclaim how they’ve shaped the state’s dialogue.

“(These) groups fundamentally changed how the state has looked at permitting wind projects,” said Mary Hartman, a critic focused on wildlife impacts.

“We had to prove the negative and the bald eagles were a spectacular vehicle for us to do that. We took pictures and that elevated our credibility to the point that they can believe everything we’re saying. I’ve seen changes at the DNR, Minnesota Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.”

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources published its “DNR Guidance for Commercial Wind Energy Projects” as it relates to wildlife impacts on Oct. 1, 2011, about three years after the New Era project was proposed. It’s currently drafting a second document titled “Avian and Bat Survey Protocols for Large Wind Energy Conversation Systems in Minnesota,” which is expected to be released in months.

Jamie Schrenzel, DNR’s Energy Project Planner, said last week that the only “significant study of wildlife impacts from wind (turbines) in Minnesota” was conducted in 1996-99, on old turbine technology at the Buffalo Ridge wind project.

“(Information) is honestly pretty limited,” Schrenzel said. “This is a pretty new science. I think there are some challenges around some of the uncertainties and the risk estimates. We’re just now receiving the first fatality data.”

New Era officials initially filed paperwork with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission stating zero bald eagle nests were found and no flight paths were observed through the 32,000-acre footprint. However, the DNR classified it as a moderate risk site for wildlife and the USFWS projected the 48-turbine project could harm or kill 8 to 15 bald eagles per year.

Continue Reading here: State agencies ponder changes to wind-energy rules – Local.

Swedish Doctors Call Infrasound From Wind Turbines An “Overlooked Health Hazard”

August 9, 2013 -Waubra Foundation

Infrasound from wind turbines: An overlooked health hazard

Läkartidningen, vol. 110 (2013), pp. 1388–89.

Håkan Enbom, MD, PhD, Ear/Nose/Throat specialist, otoneurology and specialist in dizziness disorders, and

Inga Malcus Enbom, Ear/Nose/Throat specialist and specialist in allergy and hypersensitivity reactions.

Both authors are employed at the City Health ENT, Angelholm.


The following translation of the Swedish original was performed by google translate, with thanks to



Infrasound from wind turbines affects the inner ear and is a potential health risk for people with migraine or other type of central nervous system. The authors maintain that the legal framework for the creation of new wind turbines should be revised, taking into account this fact.

Previous scientific studies on wind turbines and infrasound have been contradictory. They have therefore not been sufficiently credible when planning a framework for the establishment of wind turbines. In recent years, however, a new insight has emerged on the central nervous system, providing a better understanding of migraine, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes [1, 2] and some cases of tinnitus and dizziness. This understanding is also important for understanding how infrasound from wind turbines can affect health. Several studies have found that living near wind turbines often create severe sleep disturbance and depression. They have also found an increased incidence of dizziness, tinnitus, hyperacusis, headache, increased activation of the autonomic nervous system, etc. [3, 4].


In addition to the audible sound, which can provide noise damage and be generally disruptive, mentally, spinning wind turbines also produce a vibrant infrasound that affects the inner ear and the central nervous system without damaging the hearing.


Infrasound is sound with frequencies below 20 Hz, corresponding to wavelengths of 17 meters and above, that is not seen with normal hearing. This sound, if it is not mitigated substantially, propagates over very long distances. It arises from several sources, such as pulsating flows from rörmynningar [?], large eddies (such as wind turbines and large jet engines) and large vibrating surfaces. In scientific studies, infrasound from wind turbines has been measured at levels so low that the sound is not perceived by humans. It has also been determined that infrasound from wind turbines does not give rise to noise damage in the traditional sense [5].


In general, what has not been taken into account in many studies, is that infrasound from wind turbines has a rhythmic pulsing sound, and the pulsating sound pressure affects the inner ear, although no sound is perceived by the individual. The pressure waves propagate into the inner ear fluid-filled cavities, and this “massage effect” affects the sensory cells in the inner ear hearing and organs of balance [6]. Many studies fail to take into account the fact that some people are more sensitive than others to the sensory impact. Some are significantly affected by the pulsating sound pressure while others are not affected by it in a significant way.


The rhythmic, pumping infrasound from wind turbines stimulates inner ear sensory functions [7, 8]. Such sensory stimulation can occur in people with sensory hypersensitivity … causing symptoms such as unsteadiness, dizziness, headache, difficulty concentrating, visual disturbances, and more [9]. The problems arise even if the noise level is relatively low, since infrasound constantly affects … the pressure in the inner ear via the vestibular organs. The pulsing sound pressure from wind turbines indirectly activates the autonomic nervous system, causing increased secretion of adrenaline with consequent stress effects, risk of panic disorder, high blood pressure and heart attacks for people with increased sensory sensitivity.


Migraine is caused by a genetic central sensory hypersensitivity in people at risk for central nervous system disorder. Migraine prevalence is about 30 percent in the general population [10, 11]. In addition there are other causes of central processing disorder, which means that more than 30 percent of residents in the vicinity of wind turbines could be, to greater or lesser extent, affected by wind-related “annoyance.” Risk groups include people with migraine disorder or a family history of migraines, people over 50 years of age, people with fibromyalgia and those with a tendency to anxiety and depression [12]. Children and adults with ADHD and autism are at risk and could have their symptoms worsened.


The issue is not noise damage in the traditional sense, but the effect of a constant pulsating sound pressure that constantly changes the pressure in the inner ear and excites sensory organs there. One can liken it to pulsating or flickering lights—many people are not bothered noticeably, while people with sensory hypersensitivity may experience discomfort. Flickering light can even trigger epilepsy. Likewise,constantly pulsating, non-audible infrasound from wind turbines triggers major problems in people with central sensory hypersensitivity. These problems can become chronic, debilitating and lead to anxiety and depression and increase the risk of heart attack.


The current regulatory framework for wind turbines has not taken into account the potential risk to people with central sensory hypersensitivity. Wind turbines erected are being erected too close to homes. The current regulatory framework should be revised with an increased safety distance from homes to prevent or reduce the risk of wind-related morbidity.


(Potential ties or conflicts of interest: None declared.)


1. Woolf CJ. Central sensitization: Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Pain. 2011: 152 (3 Suppl): S2-15.

2. Aguggia M, Saracco MG, Cavallini M, et al. Sensitization and pain. Neurol Sci. 2013, 34 Suppl 1: S37-40.

3. Farboud A, Crunk Horn R, Trinidade A. ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’: fact or fiction? J Laryngol Otol. In 2013, 127 (3) :222–6.

4. Shepherd D, McBride D, D Welch, et al. Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life. Noise Health. 2011: 13 (54) :333–9.

5. Work Environment Authority. Noise and bullerbekämp1ning. Stockholm: Swedish Work Environment Authority; 2002.

6. Salt AN, Hullar TE. Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines. Hear Res. 2010: 268 (1–2) :12–21.

7. Todd NP, Rosengren SM, Colebatch JG. Tuning and sensitivity of the human vestibular system to low-frequency vibration. Neurosci Lett. 2008: 444 (1) :36–41.

8. Enbom, H. Vestibular and somatosensory contribution to postural control [dissertation] Lund: Lund University; 1990.

9. Lovati C, Mariotti C Giani L, et al. Central sensitization in photophobic and non-photophobic migraineurs: possible role of retinoblastoma nuclear way in the central sensitization process. Neurol Sci. 2013, 34 (Suppl) :133-fifth

10. Ashina S, Bendtsen L, Ashina M. Pathophysiology of migraine and tension-type headache. Tech Reg Anesth Pain Manag. 2012 (16) :14–8.

11. Aurora SK, Wilkinson F. The brain is hyperexcitable in migraine. Cephalalgia. 2007: 27:1442–53.

12. Desmeules YES, Cedraschi C, Rapiti E, et al. Neurophysiologic evidence for a central sensitization in patient with fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheum. 2003, 48:1420–9.

Original Article can be found here:

What’s Polluting Waterways in Ocotillo?

August 30, 2013 – Miriam Raftery – East County Magazine

(Ocotillo) — Thursday’s storm brought an unwanted surprise to residents of Ocotillo, where floodwaters swept through the desert town carrying a white,  foamy sludge. You can see a video of the sludge flood on our website at

East County Magazine photographer Jim Pelley lives in Ocotillo.  He and other residents say that they have never seen the white foamy sludge before the Ocotillo Wind Energy facility was built.

“What is it?” he asked.  “What effect will it have on our sole source aquifer?” The underground aquifer provides the town’s only source of drinking water.  Pelley also wants to know if the contaminated water will be harmful to animals.  “It has been so dry out here, I’m sure all of the wildlife is very thirsty and will be drinking this water.”

Ocotillo is located in Imperial County, just over the San Diego County line.  But the impacts of a wind project there are of concern here in East County, with a similar wind project proposed in McCain Valley on federal public lands.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. In July of 2012, just over a year ago during the project’s construction, a flash flood washed a similar-looking white foam through the town. It coated streets and yards where children play.  See our prior story on this here:

Officials initially balked at disclosing what the substance was. But after East County Magazine advised that we would pay for testing if officials didn’t turn over this information, an Imperial County official finally informed us that the substance was a chemical used for dust suppression by the wind project developer.

That substance is flammable when it dries out. That fact struck fear in the hearts of residents during a wildfire that engulfed mountains behind Ocotillo in July of last year, days after the July 2012 flood, with white, flammable chemical residue still on the ground dangerously close to homes.

No cleanup was ever ordered.

Could Thursday’s flood of white foam be a dust suppression chemical reappearing in waterways, one year later?  Or is it something else?

One troubling possibility is that the substance found this week could be run-off of herbicides sprayed shortly before the storm.  The  herbicide was approved by the Bureau of Land Management to suppress non-native mustard weeds brought in by vehicles at Pattern Energy’s wind project. Spraying of the neurotoxic herbicide was done over the objections of Ocotillo residents.  Is that herbicide now polluting public waterways?

Still another possibility is that two massive dust storms that struck Ocotillo last week may have blown in other contaminants from Arizona, where the storms originated, or from contaminated areas east of Ocotillo, such as the highly polluted Salton Sea.

An East County Magazine investigation has found an apparent link between the resurgence of Dust Bowl-era scale dust storms and construction of industrial-scale wind projects and desert solar projects across the Southwest. Scraping bare the desert soil on thousands, even millions of acres collectively for these projects destroys topsoil, just as industrial-scale agriculture destroyed topsoil in the 1930s, causing the dust storms that turned the Midwest into a Dust Bowl that forced millions of people to move away from their homes. Today’s Dust Storms also pose a new hazard, releasing deadly Valley Fever spores trapped beneath desert soils. Valley Fever has risen to epidemic proportions in Arizona and California, the Centers for Disease Control reports.

Residents near wind farms face a no-win situation, confronted with dust as well dust storms harmful to human health as well as pollution from chemicals used by wind energy developers to control the dust.

Pelley gathered up a gallon of the mysterious white sludge, which resembles snow blanketing the desert  after  Thursday’s flood.  He turned it over to an environmental official in Imperial County, who said he will send it out for testing and analysis.

Wind energy has been touted as “green” and renewable. But the Ocotillo wind project has failed even to produce the wind energy levels that it promised the federal government to win approval.

Beleaguered residents in Ocotillo contend that the only thing “green” about this wind project is the taxpayers’ money pocketed by the developer in the form of wind energy subsidies.

For residents across the nation who live close to places where wind projects or desert solar projects are proposed, as well as for all who use public lands or care about wildlife in these formerly protected areas, this week’s dust storms and chemical flooding raise serious questions about the hidden costs of pollution related to these so-called “green” energy projects.

Read original  Article here:

BC Hydro to cancel up to 10 independant power deals and defer delivery on some others.

August 30, 2013  – Derek Penner, The Vancouver Sun

BC Hydro to cancel up to 10 independent power deals and defer delivery on some others

B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said BC Hydro has jettisoned four independent power contracts already.

Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO , PNG

Hydro will cancel as many as 10 electricity purchase contracts with independent power producers and defer delivery dates on nine more as part of the province’s mandate to reduce the utility’s cost, Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett said Friday.

Bennett said Hydro has jettisoned four contracts already, adding that the deals the utility is severing are ones where project proponents had failed to meet terms of their purchase deals and agreed to their termination or delay.

“When I said to Hydro ‘find ways to spend less,’ I wasn’t specifically thinking about buying less electricity,” Bennett said “They came back and said these IPP proponents have not performed, we could get out of those contracts, or perhaps defer delivery to a date in time when we need the electricity.”

BC Hydro embarked on an ambitious plan to secure so-called clean energy from IPPs under the energy self-sufficiency policy of former premier Gordon Campbell. The policy obliged the utility to meet B.C.’s electricity needs internally by 2016 and buy a substantial amount of new power from privately developed sources.

The Clean Energy Act of 2010 enshrined the requirement that BC Hydro supply 93 per cent of the province’s electricity needs from clean, renewable sources.

The contracts BC Hydro signed with producers became lightning rods for criticism over the cost of their delivered power.

BC Hydro, in its Integrated Resource Plan released Aug. 23, determined that, between existing power sources and estimated conservation of electricity, it can meet B.C.’s short term needs, but a gap between supply and demand would emerge within 10 years.

Bennett, on Friday, said that this dynamic allowed the utility to contemplate cancelling or putting off non-performing projects to help mitigate potential consumer rate increases. Upon taking office, one of the first things he did as minister was put the public on notice that they should expect some increases, but hasn’t said how much.

In the resource plan, BC Hydro noted that it has deals with independent power producers for 129 different projects with 81 of those already complete and generating about 20 per cent of the province’s electricity needs.

BC Hydro, in the IRP, recommended that it select “the most cost-effective plan to meet customers’ needs within the context of the Clean Energy Act.”

Bennett wouldn’t identify which of the 48 projects under development are due for cancellation or delay, but BC Hydro estimates cancellations will cut back its contractual commitments to buy 1,600 gigawatts of electricity per year by 2021. In 2012, it bought 10,827 gigawatt hours of power from IPPs.

As part of the cancellation, Bennett says the utility has agreed to pay some of the companies’ “sunk costs,’’ such as environmental studies, work with First Nations, engineering drawings and site preparation.

Bennett says paying those costs will be less expensive for BC Hydro in the long run than paying courts costs.

NDP energy critic John Horgan greeted Bennet’s announcement as good news that “sends a message to the IPP community, the so-called clean energy community, that the party is over and that feasting at BC Hydro is coming to an end. I think that’s good news for ratepayers.”

Horgan, long a critic of the government’s drive to Read more:

Mayor Hewitt wants credit for Vibrancy Fund.

This Mayor  for Haldimand was  also  in a Samsung Commercial to represent wind coming to our area…don’t forget next year at election time! Rob Shirton was the only councillor who didn’t vote for the Bribrancy Fund. Maybe it’s time to start canvessing for Mayors who would actually work for the people, instead of against them!

Tuesday, August, 27, 2013 – 1:01:08 PM – Ken Brownell, The Sachem

Mayor Ken Hewitt stated that this term of council had to deal with the negative comments that stemmed from the agreement, and he did not want to see another term reap the rewards from it. I guess he feels he will not be re-elected, so let’s screw the people of rural Haldimand one final time. I and many others were told by Hewitt that the money from the Vibrancy Fund would be spent in the rural areas only, as it is us who have to put up with the turbines. This means to me that if some facility were to be built, it would be built in rural Haldimand, not downtown Caledonia, Dunnville or any other urban town. If the people from these towns want to use the facility, let them drive through beautiful “turbine Haldimand” to use it. Also, how much sense does it make to borrow the money ahead, pay interest on it, and then get less to use? Is there really something we need right now? Maybe there is, so let’s hear about it; then, let Council make a decision based on what the people want, not what Mayor Hewitt wants. Shouldn’t we get a say on what to use the money for and when to use it? Or does Mayor Hewitt and his Council nail us once again? As to the credit Mayor Hewitt is seeking, if you worked for me, it would only be long enough for me to say the words of Donald Trump: “You’re fired!”

Link to  original article here: