Kafkaesque world of windmill neighbors

despair-400.jpgThe definition of “Kafkaesque”: “Describing something that is horribly complicated for no reason, usually in reference to bureaucracy.” Neighbors of operating and proposed wind projects are watching in disbelief as they witness the Public Service Board (PSB) issue Orders affirming the rights of the wind industry while putting neighbors through expensive, time-consuming legal processes that tramples neighbors’ rights and provide no relief.

Paul Brouha of Sutton lives 6,385 feet from the nearest turbine in the Sheffield Wind plant. He filed his first noise complaint on Dec. 24, 2011, after the wind turbines began operating in October. The PSB dismissed his complaint.

Brouha hired a noise expert who conducted testing and found that instead of the 15 decibels (dBA) noise attenuation between outside and inside projected by wind company experts, the home attenuated 1 dBA.  The expert’s measurements showed “multiple and frequent violations of the CPG noise criteria.”  The PSB ordered the Department of Public Service (DPS) to investigate the complaint early in 2014. DPS hired a consultant who conducted the same test on July 1, 2014.

In January 2015, Brouha filed a nuisance lawsuit in Superior Court in Vermont.

In Sept. 2015, DPS reported to the PSB that Sheffield Wind exceeded interior noise standards 10-14% of the time.

At the end of 2015, the PSB opened an investigation. Sheffield Wind moved to stay Brouha’s nuisance lawsuit which they had moved from Superior to Federal Court.  The Federal judge approved the stay request until the PSB ruled on the complaint.

Brouha’s nuisance complaint has been held hostage by the PSB’s laborious investigation and enforcement process for a year, during which Sheffield Wind, DPS, and Brouha filed written arguments about whether or not a violation occurred.  Brouha argued that the project is in violation.  Sheffield Wind vigorously argued that new monitoring must take place.  The PSB Hearing Officer agreed.  Brouha filed a Motion to Reconsider six months ago.  The Hearing Officer has not ruled.

The parties agreed to have their noise experts meet to try to agree on a new monitoring plan.  They did not come to agreement.

On Jan. 25, 2017, the Hearing Officer held a daylong technical hearing in Brouha’s noise complaint case.  Each expert’s noise monitoring plan was presented.  Sheffield Wind wants an entirely new protocol.  DPS argues for a protocol that would change the noise standard.  Brouha asks to use the protocol originally approved by the PSB.  The hearing did not finish, so three PSB staff, five attorneys and their experts will return to the PSB for another hearing.

Brouha has spent nearly $350,000 so far attempting to get his noise complaint addressed.  No end is in sight.

Melodie and Scott McLane live 3800 feet from the Georgia Mountain Wind turbines. After they filed more than 30 noise complaints, the PSB opened an investigation in Nov. 2015.  In March 2016 the McLanes filed a complaint about the turbines operating under icing conditions.  The PSB opened another investigation.

Attorneys for GMW (same attorneys representing Sheffield Wind), DPS and the McLanes argued on paper about whether an attenuation test at the McLane home should be conducted, and whether the winter operating protocol required the turbines be curtailed under icing conditions.  GMW vigorously argued against testing at the McLane home.

The McLanes also filed a noise complaint along with the icing complaint, because they experienced the loudest noise for the longest period of time since the turbines began operating in 2013.  In every filing in the icing docket, the McLanes reminded the PSB that they also were filing a noise complaint.

Recently, the PSB issued an Order[1] finding GMW violated its CPG by operating its wind turbines under icing conditions in March 2016, and issued a negligible $2000 fine.  The same day, the PSB fined a solar company[2] $17,000 for failing to comply with a condition involving a fire lane.  No one was harmed by the failure of the solar company.  The McLanes sleep is regularly disrupted by the wind turbine noise.  The PSB declined to address the accompanying noise complaint.

In response to the McLane’s 2015 noise complaint, both the PSB Hearing Officer and DPS recommended testing to determine the attenuation of the noise from inside to outside. The Board denied[3] the testing but gave the McLanes and DPS ten days to file paperwork asking to engage in further discovery and cross-examination of GMW’s expert to decide if outside to inside testing should be done.

The McLanes also filed a Motion for Relief in Nov. 2015.  In denying that motion[4], the PSB said, “Nothing in our Order today prevents the McLanes from seeking any individual relief that may be available to them in a forum that has the requisite authority to review their personal circumstances and to take action as may be warranted.”  In other words, they can file a nuisance lawsuit in court and follow Paul Brouha down the path that leads back to – the PSB.

The legislature says it’s the PSB fault.  The PSB says it’s the legislatures fault.   Vermonters are victimized while the wind industry profits.

Annette Smith is Executive Director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Inc.  She is the Burlington Free Press’s 2016 Vermonter of the Year.

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Published: January 30, 2017  http://vermontbiz.com/news/january/annette-smith-kafkaesque-world-windmill-neighbors?utm_source=VBM+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=4405d9e165-Enews_2017_01_30&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_85838110bc-4405d9e165-285543701 

Niagara Wind CLC Meeting #4


Tuesday February 7th, 2017 | 6pm
Wellandport Community Centre
5042 Canborough Road
Wellandport, ON L0R 2J0

The purpose of the CLC is to facilitate two-way communication between NRWF and CLC members with respect to issues relating to the construction, installation, use, operation, maintenance and retirement of the facility. All CLC meetings are open to the general public for observation.

Questions can be submitted in advance up until January 31st to Karla Kolli, CLC Chair and Facilitator at kkolli@dillon.ca or 416-229-4647 ext. 2354.

Wind Turbines: Huge Profits at expense of residents and Nature

Too Much and Absurd.

Wind turbine battles are being fought globally.  In North America Germany’s use of renewable energy projects are often looked to as an ideal to strive for in power generation systems.  Wind turbines are facing increasingly stiff opposition from residents who had once strongly been in favour of wind power.  The following documentary explores how opinions change once the wind turbines go up and begin operations.  Ideals for a better future face a harsh and ugly reality.  The film was shown on the German television channel ARD – Das Erste  on August 1, 2016.   Original is in German but video has English subtitles.

Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Reports, with Summary- Ontario, Canada

Posted on 01/24/2017 by

Below is a summary Maureen kindly assembled from all of the reports retrieved through the FOI. Have a good hard look at the numbers per project. Individually, these projects have got off scot free – they have never been challenged, never been questioned, never been charged, or even slapped on the wrist for these astounding kills. Dan tallied the actual raptor deaths on the right hand side, as many raptor deaths were ignored as “incidental” – not killed at the right time/place…more on that later. There is much more to glean from these reports – please share what you gather. This is a draft that will be added to and amended as we go.

Click here to download and view in full screen

Follow link to see all of bird and bat kill reports: http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2017/01/24/wind-turbine-bird-bat-mortality-reports-with-summary-ontario-canada/


People vs Wind Turbines

vive-a-la-resistance-2Ontario Superior Court- Goderich  January 19, 2017

Congratulations to Trish and Shawn Drennan!

You put a compelling and sensible case together and spoke with passion and the strength of truth behind your words today.  One comment was that some felt they were witnessing an important step in this fight.  I heard, from a lawyer, that a lawyer couldn’t have done a better job in arguing the case.  Most felt the judge really got it and it was in no small part because of the time, work, expense and personal sacrifice you’ve both given to this to put the facts on the table. 

You told the court the govt has put up an impossible barrier when we have to prove at an ERT that a turbine installation that isn’t built yet, will seriously harm us and that the judicial review confirmed the ERT’s decision.

You declared that the many witnesses who have come forward to testify that they have been harmed by turbines all over this province have not been given the gravity and respect they deserve for putting their testimony forward.  You told them the govt and the wind company KNOWS it will harm people even as the proposals and permits go ahead.  And I note that if the judge had asked, at least half or more of the people in that room today could have stood up and said, I am the evidence of harm from turbines.”

You told them that the difference between then and now, is now the switch has been turned on, the turbines are running and you too are being harmed.

The judge challenged the wind company and the MOE to tell him what remedy the Drennins have besides more time in court and we all watched them try to answer to no avail, because as was pointed out the only remedy right now is to move away. 

When the judge looked at the wind company lawyer and tried to paraphrase what the lawyer had just said to him with, “ So, the Drennins went to the ERT and judicial review, have complained to MOE, and still have no remedy, so it’s tough luck for them?  The wind company lawyer replied, “Yes.” which drew gasps of disbelief from the full gallery of people who attended.  

When it came time to argue about who should be named as defendants; wind company and /or govt., it was interesting to watch the judge watch both try to throw each other under the bus.

I await to hear the decision and keep fingers crossed that you can move forward. 

Thank you on behalf of a whole lot of us.

Lorrie Gillis


Residents already tapped Out

Transmission poles for Niagara Wind in West Lincoln, Ontario

Grimsby Lincoln News   Re. An investment in the future, Letter, Jan. 10:

I disagree with the mayor about the future of West Lincoln.

Our council has taken on a project estimated to cost $23.6 million with no firm plan except that they have set their sights on achieving a new arena and recreation complex before the next election.

In 2015, council turned down a proposal for a $14-million complex because funding was not complete, and now they have plans for a $23.6-million complex and still have no funding in place, no business plan, and no estimate of operating expenses. They have, however, decided to place all funds they anticipate receiving from the wind projects: the Community Impact Fund, the Road Use Agreement, and the funds equal to the replacement of the 7,000 trees removed by the wind company, into the project.

Council also brags about the 3.5 per cent tax increase to the 2017 budget as the final increase when they are actually planning a 13.6 per cent increase phased in over three years.

Now they are asking this community to start fundraising. Many of us have spent thousands of our own dollars (and thousands of hours of our time) on just attempting to keep the wind company compliant with no help from this township. Residents of West Lincoln have had to put their own funds into purchasing noise monitoring equipment, with no support from our council. Our council never done anything to help the residents of West Lincoln, except to sign the documents allowing them to collect the bribe money from the project.

West Lincoln in 2017 has 49 industrial wind turbines, miles of transmission lines, guard rails and utility poles, and families facing problems with water quality, noise, shadow flicker, sleeplessness, health issues and stress.

I expect to see more and more issues with the wind projects in the future and huge tax increases for years to come just to maintain this recreational complex.

Nellie DeHaan, Smithville

Published January 17, 2017

Canada’s Worst Bat Killing Wind Farm

Wind developers do not have to make the reports filed of bird and bat kills public.  That is now being changed.  It took over one year for the Freedom of Information request made by Esther Wrightman to be delivered. The documents received make sickening reading.

The following copied post highlights just one  of many horrors of the kill rate of wind turbines known by the Ontario government that  until now has been kept hidden from  public scrutiny.

Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed /turbine/yr

Yesterday the CD arrived with loads of Bird and Bat Mortality Reports that I had filed an FOI from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for last year, and you good people had funded. I’m slowly organizing and will get them all posted shortly.

But for starters I came across five reports for Mohawk Point Wind Project, a 6 turbine project in Haldimand County. I didn’t know much about this one – it was never in the news… sort of flew under the radar. It came on around the time of the Clear Creek turbines in Norfolk County.

This was an AIM PowerGen/International Power Corporation project – whose president is none other than the past Federal and Ontario Federal Liberal Party President Mike Crawley. It was approved  in 2009, and pretty much nothing more was said about it since.

Which is so wrong. Let me explain. The “five” reports stuck out because usually (if the project is not killing over the ‘limits’ set by the government) there are only three reports. That means some ‘mitigation reporting’ was happening, for some reason.

Well that reason became pretty obvious within seconds of looking at the 2011 report.

How does 85.42 bats killed per wind turbine strike you?

Or how about 53.1% of them being the Endangered Little Brown Bat?

Perhaps I’m too soft, but my thinking is 25 bats per turbine is atrocious (I mean, 10 is the MNRF’s limit). And as for Little Browns, they usually only make up a percent or two – not HALF of the kill! It’s an endangered species for crying out loud!

Okay, based on these insane numbers, why didn’t they SHUT DOWN the project? Oh they mitigated instead, and they believe they brought it down to a more reasonably atrocious number of 24.27 bats killed per wind turbine/year by 2013. That puts you all at ease, doesn’t it? I mean shouldn’t we be happy for the success of this ‘mitigation’ even though it is still double the legal limit?

Not so fast. Think about this – female Little Browns have just one offspring a year. After 5 years of 6 turbines decimating 85 bats each (give or take), how many do you really think are left in those local colonies? Pretty damn sure that number is dropping rapidly by the oh-so-natural process of “wind turbine selection”.

And as for you, dear Crawely, at least you have the current claim of creating the biggest bat killing “farm” in the country. Now that should make the green Liberals proud.

Esther Wrightman

[With only an initial look at some reports I hope this is as bad as it gets for bat kills in this country. As the bird and bat mortality reports are slowly uncovered, the numbers just seem to get worse and worse. I never imagined it could get this low, but then again nobody was releasing this info to the public, so how were we to know? Maybe some company will outdo Crawley on this one yet…heck, maybe even some of Crawley’s other projects could claim this title too…]

Pack The Halls! SAVE the County!

pec-blockThe final oral submissions of the APPEC/Hirsch Environmental Review Tribunal ERT will be heard in the County. We encourage all to attend. Filling the hearing room to capacity for these final submissions will show the Tribunal that PEC cares.

The next major event of the White Pines ERT is Friday, January 27, 2017 when the ERT will convene in Prince Edward County to hear closing arguments. This will be our LAST opportunity to present our case to the Tribunal before it adjourns to make a final decision on the White Pines wind project.

This is also the last and ONLY day in over a year that the Tribunal has deemed to hold a public hearing, with the past ten months of this ERT taking place entirely behind closed doors. This is your opportunity to let the Tribunal know that County residents did not appreciate being left out of the appeal process. In order to make that point – and to make clear where you stand on the White Pines wind project – you will need to be there!

The hearing will be held as follows:

Date: January 27, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Wellington and District Community Centre, Highline Hall, 111 Belleville Street, Wellington.

More information please contact CCSAGE: https://ccsage.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/white-pines-ert-friday-january-27-10am-wellington-community-centre-lets-pack-the-hall-and-save-the-county/

Constitutional Challenge Court: January 19, 2017


On January 19, 2017  Shaun and Trish Drennan  will continue to pursue the Constitutional Challenge against the Green Energy Act.  Self represented this time- they will be bringing before the Ontario Superior Court a revised statement of claim seeking remedy found in the protections guaranteed in Canada’s constitution.  Most importantly the action’s goal is to actively use the law to grant relief and prevention of harm from wind powered complexes.

WHAT: Constitutional Challenge  WHEN: January 19, 2017  10 am

WHERE: Goderich Court House (Ontario Superior Court-Divisional)

Unite The Fight

In 2014  four families (Dixon, Ryan, Drennan, Koplein) acted as the appellants leading the novel case. Falconers LLP acted on behalf of the families.  The Court’s decision failed to move the contested issues towards the desired resolution. Documents from the hearing can be reviewed at: http://www.falconers.ca/casestudy/wind-turbines-drennan/

Ontario Superior Court

The renewable energy approvals for  K2 Wind, Amrow Wind and St.Columban Wind remain in the  sights and cross hairs of law and legal argument. If the action succeeds it will impact statutory authorities enabling wind power.

Mothers Against Wind Turbines joined forces with other community- based interest groups  that formed the Community Coalition (14 groups in total) which was accepted as interveners in the  original hearing in 2014.   (Lambton County was accepted as an independent intervener)

Please show your support to Shaun and Trish.  Your seats in the seats would be appreciated. dscn4290

Turbines Go Up Hydro Bills Soar


“I give wind turbines and solar panels a great deal of the blame for hydro costs,” said Lorrie Gillis, who drove from her country home near Flesherton, northwest of Toronto, to hold a picket sign reading “hydro bills $oar.”

Wynne gets cold shoulder from PM on hydro costs