Category Archives: Adverse Health Effects

Amherst Island ERT Wraps Up

“The project is putting children’s safety at risk and that is something that I don’t think we, as Ontarians, want to tolerate”

Kingston Heritage Published June 8, 2016   

By Mandy Marciniak

amherst Island haywagon

On June 7, members of the Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI), along with many Island residents, gathered at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church to hear the final submissions in their appeal against Windlectric Inc.

The submissions were the final part of the more than six month long Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) that took place regarding the project, and members of APAI were feeling optimistic.

“It has been a long process and we are very proud of what we have accomplished and we are very confident,” said Michele Le Lay, a member of APAI before the final hearing. “We feel we had a fair hearing.”

The final instalment of the tribunal started with a statement from island resident and concerned parent Amy Caughey, who originally spoke to the tribunal in December. Caughey’s main concern is the proposed placement of a concrete batching plant and high-voltage substation directly next to the school on the island.

“It seems like all the industrial activity will be occurring next to the school and I think it is too close,” she said. “Also, the cumulative impacts of this project, especially on the school, have not been assessed. It seems that each component is looked at individually, but it is not looked at as a whole and I think that is a major problem.”

Caughey explained that after six months of hearings she still has numerous unanswered questions about the safety of the project, especially in relation to the school, and she worries that her children and others will be at risk.

“The project is putting children’s safety at risk and that is something that I don’t think we, as Ontarians, want to tolerate,” she said. “We don’t have enough information and if we just go ahead and do this, it is actually our children who become the test to see if the directive is right or wrong and I think that is entirely inappropriate in Canada in 2016.”

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Damning report of the Polish national auditor on wind developments

Wind Power Complex installations demonstrate a common, reoccurring  and global pattern of adverse effects and harm.  The following  mirrors the range of issues being reported and documented by impacted residents in Ontario, Canada.

Massive conflict of interests, no adequate measurement of noise and deliberate misinformation of residents.


13 May 2016

The president of the Polish National Audit Authority (NIK) told a parliamentary committee on 12 May 2016 that in up to one third of all the rural municipalities covered by the NIK investigation, decision makers responsible for granting permits for wind farm developments, or close family members of such local officials, were beneficiaries of land leases for these projects.

These are the findings of a multi-year study by the Polish Audit Authority, which sought to investigate if the public interest was adequately safeguarded in the planning and permitting process for publicly-subsidized wind power developments. Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, NIK president, told the parliamentary committee on infrastructure that the study included a total of 70 inspections in 51 municipalities and 19 county-level local government administrations.

In 90 per cent of inspected municipalities, local authority’s approval of wind farm developments was made contingent on the developer’s funding the preparation of planning documentation or making donations to the municipality. Yet, under Polish law such expenditures must be covered from the municipality’s own budget. According to the Polish Audit Authority, such actions may give rise to conflict of interests between the developer’s preferences and the interests of municipalities and local communities.

Mr Kwiatkowski also noted that the existing regulations on noise measurement did not guarantee “reliable [assessment] of nuisance resulting from the operation of a wind farm”. Specifically, under the existing regulations noise was measured at low speed levels, with wind speed below 5 m/s. However, the noise is most intensive at wind speeds of 10-12 m per second, which are optimal for wind turbine’s performance. Furthermore, the regulations did not require measurements of other impacts such as infrasound and shadow flicker, according to President Kwiatkowski.

The Polish National Auditor also noted that in the absence of clear laws and consistent caselaw of courts, wind farms were occasionally built in areas of outstanding landscape value.

The inspections also disclosed that in one third of the municipalities there were conflicts of interests involving “individuals who were primary beneficiaries of wind farm projects”, that is people who concluded land lease contracts for wind turbines. Such people tended to be “mayors, members of their immediate families, municipality officials, council members” who had approved changes to local zoning plans enabling the construction of wind farms in the first place.

The Polish National Auditor also questioned the manner in which local communities were being informed about the planned developments. At times, meetings were announced in a manner intended to make it difficult for interested residents to attend and then the failure to attend such meeting was considered to imply consent on the part of local population.

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Health controversy continues

el pasoSheriff and NextEra to conduct infrasound study at El Paso County wind project located in United States.

By Lindsey Harrison
   Calhan residents attended the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners meeting again Nov. 3 to voice their concerns about potential health hazards related to the Golden West Wind Farm project. Joe Cobb, a resident who lives within the wind farm’s footprint, said he left the meeting as frustrated as when he went in.“I take two days off of work to come to talk, and I get three lousy minutes,” Cobb said. “I am spending a lot of money just to be heard.”

In all, Cobb said he has spent $3,700 on his animals, which includes veterinary and farrier bills and extra hay because the animals won’t go out to pasture, since the wind turbines became active in September. His animals and his family are feeling the negative effects from the turbines.

“We’ve got a blind duck, four out of seven horses that can hardly walk because their feet hurt so badly, donkeys that will not go out to graze, two guinea fowls have died; our little dog has congestive heart failure and mastitis, and four of my son’s five neon tetra (fish) have died,” he said. “The fifth is blind in one eye. These animals all acted normally for the many, many years that we have lived here, and you put these turbines up and there are dramatic changes in my animals’ health and my family’s health.”

According to an article published online in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society Sept. 20, 2011, “The electromagnetic waves are generated by the conversion of wind energy to electricity. This conversion produces high-frequency transients and harmonics that result in poor power quality … . High-frequency transient spikes that contribute to poor power quality, also known as dirty electricity, can flow along wires, damage sensitive electronic equipment, and adversely affect human and animal health.”

Cobb said his other concern is the infrasound emitted by the turbines. Infrasound is acoustic energy or sound pressure felt as separate pressure pulsations, according to an article written by acoustic engineer Richard James, published on Feb. 20.

Dr. Nina Pierpont published a book in 2009 called “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment.” In it, she lists adverse effects of living near a wind farm, which include “sleep disturbance and deprivation, headache, tinnitus (ringing in ears), ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo (spinning dizziness), nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia (fast heart rate), irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of movement or quivering inside the body that arise while awake or asleep.”

People can find information to support claims for either side of the issue, said Dan Martindale, director of El Paso County Public Health. “In terms of infrasound, that is something that is very difficult to measure,” Martindale said. “It depends on who is studying it, the length of the study and so on. There is just no conclusive evidence of what the residents are claiming of the noise and infrasound projected by the turbines.”

Laura Wilson, another resident living within the wind farm’s footprint, said she pleaded with the BOCC to hold off approving the project in 2013 (when it first went to the board), until the county had a chance to further review all the available information about turbines.

“These very issues were brought to the commissioners’ attention before they approved the project on Dec. 19, 2013,” Wilson said. “There is no excuse for anyone to try to plead ignorance about any of this.”

Amy Lathen, BOCC member, said she has read literature that states wind turbine syndrome is a legitimate concern, and she has read other literature that states it is a placebo effect. Because of the conflicted literature, the BOCC has directed the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to work with NextEra Energy Resources, the company that owns the wind farm, to study the existence of infrasound on the wind farm, she said.

“Because it can be considered a noise ordinance issue, the sheriff’s office is responsible for investigating that,” Lathen said. “The sheriff’s office has already been out there testing prior to the Nov. 3 meeting because we had complaints about audible noise.”

Lathen said the county does not have the equipment to study inaudible noise or infrasound, so they are in discussions with NextEra to supply the equipment to conduct the study. The county will ensure that someone qualified to study inaudible or infrasound will help with the process and calibrate the equipment readings, she said. “We want to make sure we are doing this right.”

Lathen said she voted against the project in 2013 because she thinks the turbines have an impact on people, and some turbines have been built too close to some of the residences. “I do not like the federal mandates or the subsidies,” she said. “I have a problem with the whole wind power program and the mandates that exist there. I am just not a fan; I never have been. I am just trying to do my best dealing with these issues, but I lost the vote about whether or not to approve the wind farm.”

The BOCC only has authority when it comes to land use issues, Lathen said. Any health issues would need to be addressed through the board of health, she said.

Wilson said she has no faith that the board of health will take the issue seriously. “I feel that they have intentionally ignored all of the information we have given them,” she said.

EPC Public Health could easily do what the health department in Brown County did, but they have chosen not to do anything, Wilson said. “I truly believe that each and every one of them has the attitude that they are too big to be accountable to anybody, and that is a problem.”

According to the September issue of The New Falcon Herald, the Brown County Wisconsin Board of Health declared the Shirley Wind Farm Project a human health hazard.

Cobb said that with all the evidence the BOCC and EPC Public Health have received on the health hazards of the turbines, a similar declaration by the EPC Public Health board should be made.

Commissioner Dennis Hisey, who also sits on the EPC Public Health board, said he was not aware that the declaration handed down in Brown County was made by their board of health. “I did not read all of the information (presented to me),” he said.

Martindale said the situation in Brown County is different from the one in El Paso County. “The board of health here does not have the authority to determine what happens with the wind farm here,” he said. “The board of health and myself are very sympathetic to these individuals that have come to us with their requests and information regarding the wind farm. I truly believe that they are having these symptoms.”

The only recourse citizens have is the study, Lathen said. NextEra has to supply the equipment and coordinate with the sheriff’s office to conduct a study of the infrasound within the wind farm’s footprint.

“It is a very difficult balance, but it is the reality now, and we want to work within that reality,” she said. No date for the study has been set.


Living With Wind Turbines

Community Information Open Househouse surrounded by wind turbines

May 17th,  2016    3-7pm 

Abingdon Community Hall, 9184 Regional Road (Silver Street):

This will be a small drop- in style open house which will provide a private opportunity to compare experiences, share resources and learn from others living within Industrial Wind Turbine areas. It will give us the opportunity as a community to better understand how IWTs are affecting us and learn what to do about it.  We hope to empower you as we discuss the issues.  Please invite your neighbours.

Legislators, please put people over profits

vermontRecently the Vermont Senate voted against protecting Vermonters who live near industrial wind turbines.

The Senate voted against requiring sound monitoring to ensure compliance with noise pollution standards. Green Mountain Power’s lobbyist Todd Bailey, of KSE Partners, told senators that GMP could not afford to pay an unsubstantiated cost of $264,000 for sound monitoring for its industrial wind project in Lowell. As reported in Seven Days, “they (the army of energy lobbyists) got their message to Senator Bray and other senators in a hurry. The Senate voted 18-8 to strike sound monitoring from the bill.”

It is enlightening to understand GMP’s opposition to the cost of sound monitoring at industrial wind projects in comparison to other costs at Green Mountain Power. For instance, annual sound monitoring costs, estimated by ethical experts to be $50,000 to $75,000, pale in comparison to the annual compensation for company CEO Mary Powell.

According to the Valener Energy Company Management Proxy Circular, included with the March 22, 2016, stockholders’ meeting notice, total annual compensation to Powell for the fiscal year ending September 2015 was $1.9 million. Her total compensation for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was over $5 million. Her total compensation consists of base salary, annual and long-term incentive plan (bonus pay), current pension value and other compensation. Her current retirement benefit is $3.3 million.

Gaz Metro owns GMP and has determined that Powell’s long-term incentive compensation will be based on a program that “takes into account cash flow, asset base growth, and achievement of Merger savings.”

“Asset base growth” occurs whenever GMP completes a new energy project. Utilities make money by earning a return on the equity portion of their assets, called asset base in the proxy report or, more commonly, “rate base.” Rate base increases whenever a utility builds anything. Intermittent (renewable) generation assets such as wind and solar projects are extremely capital-intensive. It makes sense that GMP’s parent corporation would want to increase asset base, because it increases corporate income. The more projects GMP builds, the more money Powell makes.

The problem is these industrial wind projects are located close to Vermont families who feel their negative impacts. People who live near an industrial wind project, according to the Vermont Public Service Department, will experience “a significant impairment of quality of life,” and unlike the CEO of GMP will not be compensated by a higher bonus in their paycheck. Instead, Vermonters who live near industrial wind projects will see their quality of life deteriorate and their home values decrease. I have met with Vermonters who have abandoned their homes, are sleep deprived, get headaches, have been hospitalized, are awakened in the middle of the night with their heart racing due to a panic attack, get dizzy and nauseous or have sold homes at a loss, all because of the impact of unregulated industrial wind turbine noise pollution.

The GMP financial incentive to increase rate base resulted in a provision added to the proposed 30 megawatt Deerfield Wind power purchase agreement. GMP negotiated the power contract with Iberdrola, the entity that would develop and own the wind power project on U.S. Forest Service land that is poised to destroy critical bear habitat and the high elevation headwaters of Wilmington. It is no wonder that this agreement includes a provision that allows GMP to buy the project for $50 million in 10 years. After GMP’s long and ugly battle to build its Lowell industrial wind project, it may have found a new way to own wind projects without all the problems of building them. It contracts with a developer to build wind projects and buys the projects later, which adds assets and increases compensation for CEO Powell. Neighbors get the noise pollution and significantly impaired quality of life.

The opposition to continuous sound monitoring at Vermont industrial wind projects is also not consistent with established utility practice. The McNeil wood chip generating plant, part of which is owned by GMP, is required to maintain a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System. The CEMS equipment provides hourly data. The McNeil plant is smaller than the Lowell industrial wind project. Despite the wind industry’s well-funded denials to the contrary, it has been proven that industrial wind projects emit harmful sound emissions.

Sound generated by a wind turbine is directly related to its power output. More power output equals more sound. The real cost of continuous monitoring to the wind companies is that they would have to shut down when they are out of compliance, which would mean that the developer would make less money.

The Legislature must act to require third-party continuous sound monitoring to ensure compliance for all industrial wind projects. Legislators, please put people over profits.


Lives at risk

Turbines planned for spot less than four kilometres from runway.

TORONTO (The Canadian Press) — Opponents of a wind-power project in the Collingwood, Ont. area warned Thursday that it will put lives at risk because giant industrial turbines will be built less than four kilometres from an airport runway.Collingwood_Regional_Airport___Content

Three local municipalities, residents and a pilots’ association say they don’t want eight 50-storey-tall wind turbines so close to the Collingwood airport and the nearby Clearview Aerodrome.

“The province is knowingly approving turbines that are a hazard,” said Kevin Elwood of the Canadian Owner and Pilots Association.

“These eight turbine locations are killers, there’s no doubt in my mind.”

The wind turbines will be “jammed” between the two airports, which operate mainly on visual flight rules, and will “penetrate the arrival and departure airspace as defined by Transport Canada’s guidelines,” added Elwood.

“Does this province want to be the first government with blood on its hands after they cause the first aircraft-turbine crash in Canada?”

Eldwood warned that pilots could have trouble seeing the giant white turbine blades, especially in snowy, cloudy or rainy conditions, and said they produce strong wake turbulence that is invisible….aviation and turbines


Construction Dust from Niagara Wind Sends Family Fleeing to Hospital

ST. ANNS — A local resident says a plume of construction dust from the Niagara Region Wind Farm was so severe it sent two adults and three children to hospital.

Dust is seen spreading from the construction site of one of 77 wind turbines that make up the Niagara Region Wind Farm.
Dust is seen spreading from the construction site of one of 77 wind turbines that make up the Niagara Region Wind Farm.

Stefanos Karatopis was at home Thursday, July 23 when dump trucks began unloading concrete to construct an access road to one of the 77 turbines. The work began shortly after noon and Karatopis said that by 6 p.m. he could barely breathe without coughing. His sister and her three children, who live in between Karatopis and the host property, were even worse off, he said.  A fine film of construction dust settled over their country home and seeped in through open windows.

A young boy is seen covering his nose and mouth as he exits his home July 23. A plume of concrete dust travelled from a nearby construction site, sending five to hospital.
A young boy is seen covering his nose and mouth as he exits his home July 23. A plume of concrete dust travelled from a nearby construction site, sending five to hospital.

Later that night, when the coughing and burning failed to subside, Karatopis, his sister and her children went to the emergency room at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

“I’m still pulling crud out of my eyes even after they were irrigated at the hospital,” said Karatopis. “Our throats were burning. Our eyes were burning. I couldn’t breathe. It was a very horrible, horrible feeling.” Continue reading Construction Dust from Niagara Wind Sends Family Fleeing to Hospital

Annoyance is an adverse health effect

Malcolm S. Lock, MD., M.P.H.
(A) Medical Officer of Health
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health
c/o Chair, Mr. Charlie Luke
Ms Stephana Johnston
Ontario, Canada
February 25, 2015
Dear Dr. Lock,

Re: Response to your November 20, 2014 letter to Ms Johnston

Ms Johnston has asked that I respond to your letter of November 20, 2014. She requests that a copy of this letter be provided to the Chair and the Members of the Board of Health.

Personal disclosure: I declare no potential conflicts of interest and have received no financial support with respect to the research and authorship of this commentary.

This letter is public and may be shared.

I met Ms Johnston for the first time on April 22, 2009, during the Standing Committee on General Government, Green Energy and Economy Act, 2009 hearings. I have been in touch with Ms Johnston since that time and am aware of her circumstances. In my opinion since early 2009 Ms Johnston has explored every avenue available to her, including contacting your office, to find a remedy to her circumstances which are associated with the operation of
the wind projects in her vicinity.

There is sufficient evidence that some, including Ms Johnston are negatively affected by industrial wind energy facilities. Examples of reported adverse health effects include chronic and high annoyance, chronic sleep disturbance, stress-related health impacts and reduced quality of life.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12 In some cases families reporting adverse health effects  have abandoned their homes, been billeted away from their homes or hired legal counsel to successfully reach a financial agreement with the wind energy developer.13

Peer reviewed and published references, testimony under oath, and/or disclosure evidence and/or witness statements, authoritative documents and other references such as those briefly
summarized in this letter have acknowledged adverse health effects.

A brief bio and summary of the peer reviewed articles and conference papers for which I am an author / co-author is provided at the end of this letter.

Assurances of Health Protection

In a communication dated pre-Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA 2009), the former Minister of Environment of Ontario, John Gerretsen states the MOE is committed to siting and operation of facilities in a manner that is protective of human health and that it is an offence to violate a condition set out in a CofA (Certificate of Approval): [excerpt] Continue reading Annoyance is an adverse health effect

one is a lot more than none;

Paul D. Schomer, Ph.D., P.E.; Schomer and Associates, Inc.;

Standards Director, Acoustical Society of America George Hessler,

Hessler Associates, Inc. 20 February 2015

On 10 February 2 015 George Hessler and I warned that rather than making patently groundless arguments, something like an “expert statistical analysis” could be expected “proving” this was not a “valid sample” of the public at large, or proving the study did not do something else it was never intended to do. Now we see the assertion that this was a “medical study” and that Steven Cooper, George and I are not qualified to make medical judgements. And of course we are not medical researchers, but it is the predicate that is wrong. This is not a medical study, and these are not medical conclusions. As predicted, this study is being made to be something that is not.

To explain this we offer the following analogy. Part of the condition of being a human is we get gas. And certainly many if not most have observed the cause-and-effect relation between eating beans and a certain aromatic condition. We ask each reader to reflect on this. Does it take a medical researcher to tell you that eating beans causes gas in some people? Certainly not. The medical research may say why or how the gas is produced in the body. But anyone can make the simple observation of the relation between eating beans and the aromatic condition, cause-and-effect, literally the input to and the output from the system.

read the entire letter here:  Cooper review-2A