Mothers appeal turbine approval

NRWC given green light to erect 77 turbines

WEST LINCOLN — Despite government approval, a group of West Lincoln resident continues to fight impending industrial wind turbines.

Mothers appeal turbine approval Toronto Star photo Mothers Against Wind Turbines has filed an appeal against by Niagara Region Wind Corp.plans to erect 77 wind turbines, the majority of which will be located in West Lincoln.
Mothers appeal turbine approval
Toronto Star photo
Mothers Against Wind Turbines has filed an appeal against by Niagara Region Wind Corp.plans to erect 77 wind turbines, the majority of which will be located in West Lincoln.

Earlier this month the provincial government gave the green light to a wind farm planned by Niagara Region Wind Corp. The company plans to erect 77 wind turbines with the majority located in the township. Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. is doing anything but accepting the approval and has filed an appeal the project.

The appellants allege they have several grounds to prove the proposed project will cause “serious and irreversible harm to plants, animals and the natural environment” — which is what the tribunal can make decisions based on. MAWT alleges the project could harm butterflies and an endangered tree species within the project study area. They say that studies on both by the proponent are incomplete and that site surveys for several natural features were not conducted.

The group also alleges the project will harm human health, alleging that more than 600 people will be experience negative health effects from the turbines and that the project is a violation of rights granted to all Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Continue reading Mothers appeal turbine approval

Update: constitutional wind turbine court case

imagesThe Canadian Charter of Rights Constitutional court case re industrial wind turbines was heard in London Divisional Court last week from MondayThursday. (was extended into Thursday)  A panel of 3 judges heard the case and indicated they need to take enough time on the decision to ensure due diligence.  There were no references to decision timelines on the appeal.  The decision on the “stay” request of stopping the projects until a decision is made might possibly be sooner as the judge asked when the turbine blades would start turning and the answer was that turbine testing would begin in January.
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The Coalition Against Industrial Wind Turbines (CAIWT) lawyer, Richard Macklin, was allowed 15 minutes for his oral presentation in support of the appeal on Monday but no decision was made on whether the coalition would be allowed as intervenors so that decision will come out with the final decision. The coalition argued that various procedures in the Renewable Energy Approvals and the Environmental Review Tribunal appeal process are unconstitutional because they do not protect the health of the community. Some issues presented were: the Director issues wind project approvals without considering health; appeals must be heard and the decision out in 6 months which is a very short a time to hear all the evidence on a serious issue; adjournments are sparingly granted (none granted here); the bar is set too high when we have to prove that the project will cause serious harm to human health; the onus is on those appealing that the project will cause serious harm; and community groups do not have the resources for these appeals whereas the opponents are well resourced. Despite the importance of the issues in these appeals, no group in the coalition can afford to hire counsel on its own, hence the coalition. The coalition also shows that not just people living in the project areas of this appeal are affected but communities all over rural Ontario are being affected.
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So in the meantime, we wait for the decision. Whoever wins, there will likely be an appeal to the Supreme Court.

. Continue reading Update: constitutional wind turbine court case

Dates Set for Appeal of NRWC Wind Project by MAWT.

bring-itAs you may be aware, Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. filed an appeal in response to the approval of the Niagara Region Wind Corporation.  Please see attached notice and take note of dates.
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We will be counting on your support.
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As well, please consider donating to our legal fund if you have not already done so.  We can only continue the fight if resources permit.  Donations can be mailed to:
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Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc.
BOX 132
Wellandport, ON
L0R 2J0
 Thanks very much.

Notice of Prelim.Hearing,14096

Preliminary Hearing:

A Preliminary Hearing will be conducted by the Hearing Panel on:

Date: Friday, December 19, 2014
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Wellandport Community Centre,
5042 Canborough Road (RR#63),

Main Hearing:

The hearing of evidence in this appeal will commence on:

Date: Monday, January 19, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Wellandport Community Centre,
5042 Canborough Road (RR#63)
Wellandport, Ontario

and will continue, if necessary, on dates to be confirmed at a later date

 

 

 

Financial Post – Lawrence Solomon: Ill winds blow from wind turbines

November 25, 2014

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

The wind industry is dangerous to human health, posing risks to everything from dizziness and nausea to chronic stress and heart conditions

A Canadian court will soon decide if wind turbines violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms by posing a risk to human health. Charter case decisions can be convoluted but the fundamental question of health at issue here is straightforward. Wind turbines, from all that is today known and by any rational measure, represent a risk to those living in their vicinity. Continue reading Financial Post – Lawrence Solomon: Ill winds blow from wind turbines

WCO -Response to Health Canada’s WIND TURBINE NOISE AND HEALTH STUDY

November 25, 2014

Introduction

The people of Ontario have been waiting for more than two years for Health Canada’s report on itsWind Turbine Noise and Health Study. On November 6, 2014, a summary of the results were released but still, no report is available or published. Similarly, no article has yet been published and the data and analysis are also not available. Higher research standards are expected for the $2.1-million, publiclyfunded study that is completed for Health Canada by Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety, the regulatory body. 

It is our view that the issues of process are important as, on the surface, the Health Canada summary eport appears to provide contradictory results. In some parts of the study results, it is claimed that no association between wind turbine noise and health effects were found. However, in other parts, high evels of annoyance were significantly linked statistically to wind turbine noises, with this annoyance then being linked to health effects.

In response to the release of the summary, Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) immediately convened an expert panel1 of reviewers to analyze the summary report, as well as other available material including a PowerPoint presentation provided to us in a briefing session with Health Canada in Ottawa, on

November 7, 2014. 

The following report summarizes the conclusions that this panel has reached, based on the available information.

http://www.windconcernsontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/WCO-HCanResponseNov25.pdf

When too big is an issue

This week, the town of Caitlin, south of Watkins Glen, got cold feet over a proposal to build a wind farm.

The town board was poised to pass a local law that would open the door for a Florida company to build a wind-driven electrical generation facility in this sparsely populated, mostly agricultural Chemung County area. The company has 30 leases already signed by landowners allowing for placement of an undetermined number of wind turbines.

But the town reversed course and now has asked its attorney to draft a law to ban such wind farms.

This sudden political wind shift has its roots in local citizen opposition based on concerns about noise, visual blight and environmental issues. It also springs from fears the state could usurp town authority to set conditions on the wind farm — conditions that might be far less stringent than what town officials would require.

But at the bottom of it all is a sense of unease — shared by many Finger Lakes residents — over any project that seems, well, just way too big, too complicated or too difficult to control.

Wind power facilities, landfills, casinos, hog farms, or liquid propane gas storage — take your pick. It seems like very little proposed development is set to a scale that would seem reasonable, appropriate or often even controllable.

read more: http://www.fltimes.com/opinion/article_3650e9ca-7186-11e4-8da4-33a1a6ea433a.html

Brown County Wisconsin Letter of Support – Human Health Hazard

Hello everyone,

You are probably aware that at the October 14, 2014 Brown County Board of Health meeting a motion was made to declare the Shirley Wind turbines a Human Health Hazard. The motion was unanimously approved by the Board:

“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”

Brown County is located in Wisconsin, USA.

I have been asked to share the Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (BCCRWE) press release regarding this Human Health Hazard declaration, which can be seen at: http://bccrwe.com/index.php/8-news/16-duke-energy-s-shirley-wind-declared-human-health-hazard

BCCRWE is requesting your words of support for this action which can be sent to BOHsupport@bccrwe.com

This is public and can be shared and redistributed.

All the best,

Carmen

Shirley Wind Human Health Hazard Declaration

* BCCRWE Requests Your Words of Support *

 

 

At the October 14, 2014 Brown County Board of Health meeting a motion was made to declare the Shirley Windturbines a Human Health Hazard. The motion was unanimously approved by the Board:

“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”

Brown County is located in Wisconsin, USA.

Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy (BCCRWE) has issued a press release regarding this Human Health Hazard declaration, which can be seen at: http://bccrwe.com/index.php/8-news/16-duke-energy-s-shirley-wind-declared-human-health-hazard BCCRWE is requesting your words of support for this action.

Research indicates that industrial wind turbines can negatively affect the physical, mental and social well-being of individuals if placed too close to homes. BCCRWE has been working intensively for the past 5 years with professional researchers, physicians, acousticians, and legislators to protect citizens of Brown County, the state of Wisconsin, the United States, and those in other countries from the negative health impacts resulting from industrial wind turbines being built too close to people.

BCCRWE welcomes and encourages individuals, organizations, and governmental agencies from around the world to send their words of support regarding the Board of Health’s action. BCCRWE will pass your emails on to the Brown County Board of Health as support for their courage, integrity, responsibility, intellectual honesty, and care in declaring the industrial wind turbines at Shirley Wind to be human health hazards.

If you or others you know have experienced negative health impacts from living in close proximity to industrial wind turbines and would like to share that experience along with your words of support with the Brown County Board of Health, please do so.

Send your words of support, and if applicable your experiences, to: BOHsupport@bccrwe.com

Thank you,

Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy

 

Negative health impact of noise from industrial wind turbines: How the ear and brain process infrasound

Author:  Punch, Jerry; and “James, Richard”>James, Richard

This article, the final of three installments, discusses the relationship between various health effects and our current understanding of the processing of infrasound by the ear and brain. [Part 1: Some Background; Part 2: The Evidence.]

As noted in the second installment of this series, Dr. Geoff Leventhall, a co-author of the 2009 AWEA/CanWEA report, attributes the health complaints of people who live near industrial wind turbines (IWTs) to psychological stress, but does not acknowledge that IWTs can be detrimental to health because infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN) emitted by wind turbines are largely inaudible to humans. He stands on the argument, therefore, that what we can’t hear can’t hurt us.

We know that things we cannot see, touch, taste, or smell can hurtus, so why is it unreasonable also to believe that what we can’t hear might also hurt us?

Dr. Nina Pierpont, in describing Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), has expressed her belief that many of the symptoms comprising WTS are mediated by overstimulation of the vestibular system of the inner ear by ILFN. Recent evidence supports the general view that the functioning of both the vestibular and cochlear components of the inner ear, and their interconnections with the brain, mediate the type of symptoms that Pierpont and others have described.

INFRASOUND: MORE OF A PROBLEM THAN WE THOUGHT?

Industrial-scale wind turbines generate peak sound pressure levels at infrasonic frequencies, especially between 0.25 and 3 Hz, as the blades pass in front of the tower. Most of us do not experience the energy in this lowest of low-frequency regions as sound; instead, we perceive a variety of other sensations. When present, infrasound can be more of a problem than audible sound.

Recent basic research on the inner ear conducted by Dr. Alec Salt and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has provided a feasible and coherent explanation of how sound that is normally not audible can result in the kinds of negative reactions reported by people who are exposed to wind turbine noise. That research has shown that extremely low-frequency sound is largely inaudible to humans because the outer hair cells (OHCs) in the inner ear detect and effectively cancel it before it reaches the inner hair cells (IHCs). The IHC stereocilia, which do not contact the tectorial membrane, are fluid-coupled and sensitive to stimulus velocity, while the OHC stereocilia are sensitive to displacement. IHCs rapidly become less sensitive as stimulus frequency is lowered.

Cross-section of the cochlea (left), with illustration of IHCs and OHCs (right). Used by permission of Alec Salt, Washington University School of Medicine.
Cross-section of the cochlea (left), with illustration of IHCs and OHCs (right). Used by permission of Alec Salt, Washington University School of Medicine.

Readers familiar with the anatomy of the ear know that approximately 95% of the fibers innervating the IHCs lead to the brain as afferent fibers, while only about 5% of the fibers innervating the OHCs are afferent fibers. Thus, we hear through our IHCs, and our hearing sensitivity is comparable to the calculated IHC sensitivity. The OHCs, which respond physiologically to infrasound, serve as a pathway for infrasound to reach the brain. Infrasonic signals that reach the brain are normally not perceived as sound, but are believed to stimulate centers other than auditory centers, resulting in perceptions that may be unfamiliar and disturbing.

Similar pathways to various centers of the brain also exist through the vestibular, or balance, mechanisms of the inner ear, meaning that it is biologically plausible for infrasound to produce the variety of sensations described by Pierpont, sensations such as pulsation, annoyance, stress, panic, ear pressure or fullness, unsteadiness, vertigo, nausea, tinnitus, general discomfort, memory loss, and disturbed sleep.

Salt and colleagues have also found that when higher-pitched sounds (150-1500 Hz) are present, they can suppress infrasound. This means that the ear is most sensitive to infrasound when higher-frequency sounds are absent. This occurs at night when wind turbine noise is present, ambient sound levels are low, and higher-pitched sounds are attenuated by walls and other physical structures.

As utility-scale wind turbines increase in size and power, the blade-pass frequency goes increasingly deeper into the nauseogenic zone.
As utility-scale wind turbines increase in size and power, the blade-pass frequency goes increasingly deeper into the nauseogenic zone.

Another relatively recent discovery is that there is likely a cause-effect relationship between AHEs and ILFN that mirrors that occurring in motion sickness. An experiment in the late 1980s, conducted using training-mission scenarios with Navy pilots, showed that motion sickness was associated with significant amounts of acoustic energy inside the flight cabin over the frequency range from just under 1 Hz to as low as 0.05 Hz (the nauseogenic range). Maximum sensitivity occurred at approximately 0.2 Hz. That experiment resulted in the conclusion that flight simulator sickness may be, to a significant extent, a function of exposure to infrasonic frequencies. This phenomenon is akin to seasickness, except that the acoustic energy causes nausea without body movement or visual stimulation.
wind noise

Dr. Paul Schomer, nationally and internationally known for his work in acoustics and acoustic-standards development, has suggested that because the Navy test subjects responded to acoustical/vibratory energy with symptoms similar to motion sickness, many of the similar symptoms reported by people living near IWTs can be explained by exposure to infrasound from wind turbines at frequencies similar to those observed in the Navy’s test environment. Persons affected by wind turbine noise appear to be responding directly to acoustic stimulation of the same nerves and organs affected in that experimental environment.

DATA SUPPORT REPORTED SYMPTOMS AS BIOLOGICALLY PLAUSIBLE

These research efforts of Salt and colleagues, Schomer, and others are leading the way in establishing the biological plausibility of the harmful effects of ILFN generated by wind turbines.

Dr. Salt dismisses the common perception that what we can’t hear can’t hurt us and has stated unequivocally that “Wind turbines can be hazardous to human health.”

Decisions regarding the siting of industrial wind turbines deserve careful attention to limiting noise exposure levels in community residents through specified restrictions on either distance or noise levels, or both. The right of the public to enjoy health and well-being should be paramount to the economic and political interests of the wind industry and governmental bodies. These rights need to be protected on a proactive, and not just on a retroactive, basis. Industrial-scale wind turbines should be sited only at distances from residents that are sufficient to minimize sleep disturbance and that do not put them at risk for a variety of other serious health problems.

Jerry Punch is an audiologist and professor emeritus at Michigan State University in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Since his retirement in 2011, he has become actively involved as a private audiological consultant in areas related to his long-standing interest in community noise.

Richard James is an acoustical consultant with over 40 years of experience in industrial noise measurement and control. He served as an adjunct instructor in Michigan State University’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders from 1985-2013 and currently serves as an adjunct professor in Central Michigan University’s Department of Communication Disorders.

[Originally published at Hearing Health & Technology Matters, Nov. 18, 2014]

Continue reading Negative health impact of noise from industrial wind turbines: How the ear and brain process infrasound

Flying turbine debris has local MPP concerned

The provincial Ministry of Energy will launch an investigation into reports that an 18-inch chunk of a wind turbine blade came loose and flew some 400 feet before landing in a field in the former Howard Twp.

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Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls raised the matter during question period Wednesday at Queen’s Park, calling it a significant safety issue that must be addressed immediately.

“Will your government do the do the right thing and put a moratorium on turbine developments until there is a thorough review of safety standards pertaining to industrial wind turbines,” he asked Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarellli said he was unaware of the problem but will raise the issue with his staff as well as those at the ministries of environment and climate change.

Nicholls said called the detached section “flying shrapnel” since the 400-foot tall turbines with blade lengths of 135 feet rotate at nearly 200 miles per hour at the blade tip. Continue reading Flying turbine debris has local MPP concerned