Category Archives: Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Misleading the Public

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January 17, 2018

A group of municipal officials sent a formal letter to the supervisor of the Owen Sound office of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) following a presentation by the MOECC on the subject of wind turbine noise, noise reports, and adverse health effects.

While thanking manager Rick Chappell for his presentation, Stewart Halliday and Mark Davis, deputy mayors speaking on behalf of the group, said it was disappointing, and designed to mislead the public into thinking there are not problems with wind turbine noise in Ontario.

It’s time to stop denying the health effects, the Multi-Municipal group said, and get on to the business of alleviating the real suffering.

The letter follows.

M U L T I – M U N I C I P A L W I N D  T U R B I N E W O R K I N G  G R O U P

11 January, 2018

Andrew Barton, District Supervisor Andrew.Barton2@ontario.ca

Rick Chappell, District Manager Rick.Chappell@ontario.ca

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

101 –17th Street East

Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 0A5 Dear Mr. Barton and Mr. Chappell,

RE: Your presentation to our meeting of 14 December, 2017

Thank you for taking the time to make your presentation to the Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group.

As councillors, we have had ongoing complaints from a significant number of residents living near wind turbines in our area who are suffering harm to their health. The video we presented to you documents the experience of some of those affected. It will also help you to understand the widespread anger and disillusionment with the MOECC’s failure to act on their behalf.

Much of the suffering could have been avoided had the local MOECC offices identified to their standards division that the public were adversely impacted (as confirmed by complaints and field monitoring) even when the turbines might have been compliant with the A weighted limits, since those limits were not appropriately corrected for the cyclical nature of the sound that is unmatched in nature, the tonality, the frequency spectrum, and the dominance of the sound above the local environment, and the other special characteristics of the wind turbine sound.

As recently revealed in FOI disclosure, there have been hundreds of complaints. Failure to resolve them, declining to shut down problematic arrays, and relying on proponent estimates of noise emissions only creates growing distrust of the MOECC.

Your presentation was disappointing. It appeared to be designed to mislead the public into thinking there are no health problems. You presented a rosy picture of a government that is busy working  on our behalf. But our experience shows that it is not.

You admitted at the meeting that you are aware that some people living near wind turbines are getting sick. You agree that IWTs cause annoyance and that leads to health issues. It is time to accept this and move forward— to protect the public so that they are not adversely impacted.

The urgent need for action is confirmed by the recent decision of Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) that declared: “We accept that the evidence points to an association and a plausible pathway between WTN and adverse health effects (of a physical nature) mediated by annoyance, sleep disturbance and/or psychological distress”.

The Ministry’s commitment to the Statement of Environmental Values (SEV) under the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) (1994) stipulates that it will use “a precautionary, science-based approach in its decision-making to protect human health and the environment” and that “it will place priority on preventing pollution [in this case harmful noise emissions] . . . minimizing the creation of pollutants that can adversely affect the environment. . . . The Ministry will ensure that staff involved in decisions that might significantly affect the environment is aware of the Ministry’s Environmental Bill of Rights obligations”.

You can no longer justify continued inaction by falsely assuming that “components of wind turbine sound including infrasound and low-frequency sound have not been shown to present unique health risks to people living near wind turbines”.

Scientific, peer reviewed work carried out on infrasound and wind turbines by NASA under the direction of the highly respected Dr. Neil Kelley between 1981 and 1988 demonstrated the infrasound component of wind turbine emissions and its adverse effect on nearby residents. The World Health Organization has issued warnings that “the evidence on low frequency noise is sufficiently strong to warrant immediate concern”; “low-frequency noise . . . can disturb rest and sleep even at low sound pressure levels”; “other primary physiological effects can also be induced by noise during sleep, including increased blood pressure; increased heart rate; … vasoconstriction; …cardiac arrhythmia”.

Ambrose and Rand (2011, 2012), Basner et al. (2014), Cooper (2014), James (2013), and Nissenbaum (2012) all related measurements of wind turbine emissions (including infrasound) directly to diarized symptoms reported by those living nearby. Thorne’s study (2013), which took place over seven years, collected acoustic data at a number of homes so that cumulative exposures could be estimated. It concluded that health is “seriously and adversely affected”. Swinbanks paper presented in Glasgow in 2015 did not support your position. The MOECC failed to refer to  published peer reviewed documentation by Tachibana and Kuwano in the Noise Control Engineering Journal 62(6) 503-520 (2015): “Wind Turbine Noise (WTN) generally has dominant low frequencies and is easily transmitted into buildings, causing residents psycho-acoustical annoyance and sleep disturbance”.

We would be happy to provide you with these documents.

How did it get to this state of affairs that local residents have a greater understanding of the problems than the people whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers to protect us? We await some timely, responsible, diligent enforcement action from your office to alleviate the suffering of our residents.

Yours truly,

Stewart Halliday, Deputy Mayor Municipality of Grey Highlands, Chair

Mark Davis, Deputy Mayor Municipality of Arran-Elderslie, Vice-chair

Reposted from Wind Concerns Ontario

In your own words

wind turbine shadowGatehouse Media found more than 450 families who have publicly complained about the impacts of living near wind farms. Have a similar experience? Tell your story.

Tell Gatehouse Media about your experience living near an industrial wind farm. 
All submissions will be considered for publication.

Questions? Contact them.
Published stories can be viewed at:
http://gatehousenews.com/windfarms/in-your-own-words/

Bottom Line- We Don’t Believe You

MOECC failing as regulator: WCO

Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson says these remarks are either a sign of “stunning ignorance, or a calculated policy by the MOECC to ignore and even demean what is happening to people in Ontario.”

MOECC reps stun audience with views on wind turbine noise

Municipal officials told wind turbine noise no worse than barking dogs, no action planned

MOECC officials actually compared noise emissions from large-scale wind power generators, including harmful low-frequency noise, to barking dogs. A failure to regulate

December 16, 2017

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) position on wind turbine noise is that they don’t pose a health problem.

That’s the conclusion from remarks made by Owen Sound District Manager Rick Chappell and District Supervisor Andrew Barton, speaking to the Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group in Chesley this past week.

The two MOECC managers said repeatedly indicated that they are just messengers: the MOECC’s Technical Assessment and Standards Branch is responsible for establishing the Ministry’s position on wind turbine noise and providing “advice” to local District staff when they respond to queries.

Bottom line: we don’t believe you

In their presentation and responding to questions from municipal officials in the Multi-Municipal working group, the MOECC officials outlined key elements of the MOECC position on wind turbine noise.

  1. They agree that wind turbines can cause annoyance. Contrary to medical literature, however, they do not use “annoyance” as a medical term denoting stress or distress. They actually compared annoyance caused by barking dogs to residents’ reactions to wind turbine noise. *
  2. The MOECC managers insisted the literature did not demonstrate any direct health effects from wind turbine noise, when asked about health studies and reviews on turbine noise. Despite evidence of indirect health effects raised, the staff comments repeatedly indicate the MOECC is narrowly focused on direct health effects.
  3. The MOECC takes a one-sided view of the Health Canada study which according to these officials only found that there was no link between wind turbine noise and health impacts. This statement ignores the second half of the findings which confirmed a link between reported health effects experienced over 12 months and wind turbine noise. They also do not seem to be aware of the findings released to WCO which indicated that annoyance starts at 35 dBA, not the 40 dBA used in Ontario.
  4. Their view of the Council of Canadian Academies report was similarly selective. They downplayed the key finding of this review which was that there is sufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and annoyance in the medical sense. Also not mentioned were the issues highlighted about measurements of wind turbine noise using A-weighted tools which fail to capture low frequency components of wind turbine noise. The Council noted that averaging measurements over time does not convey changes in sound pressure levels occurring in short periods.
  5. In terms of low frequency noise and infrasound, the MOECC representatives relied on a statement from Health Canada that levels of these emissions were found to be below levels that would expect to result in harm to human health. When questioned, however, they were not able to quantify what the MOECC considered “safe” levels of infrasound, or when the MOECC would be acquiring equipment that is capable of measuring emissions at frequencies below 20 Hz.
  6. Members of the Working Group countered by referring to research that conflicted with the MOECC statements. The response from Chappell and Barton was that the Technical Assessment and Standards Development branch reviews emerging research, but limits its assessments to peer-reviewed articles in “respected” journals.
  7. In the MOECC presentation, staff said the 2016 Glasgow International Wind Turbine Noise Conference supported their position on infrasound and health effects. This prompted the Technical Advisor to the group — who actually attended the conference — to inform them that he sent 14 papers presented at this conference to the Ministry, because the conclusions do not support the Ministry’s position.
  8. Chappell and Barton did not seem to be aware of the work of Dr. Neil Kelly at NASA in the mid-1970s on low frequency noise and infrasound from wind turbines, even though it was published in respected peer-reviewed journals and presented at U.S. wind industry conferences.
  9. Residents affected by wind turbine noise were present in the audience. One from Grey Highlands asked when the Ministry was going to respond to the noise assessments at his home that had been provided to the Ministry. No response timeline was provided. Another asked for the position of the MOECC on people who had to move from their homes because of the impact of the noise from nearby wind turbines. The response was that the MOECC has no position except to repeat that there is no direct link between wind turbine noise and health issues.

Members of the Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group did not appear to be satisfied with the answers provided by the Ministry officials; several follow-up activities are planned.

MOECC failing as regulator: WCO

Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson says these remarks are either a sign of “stunning ignorance, or a calculated policy by the MOECC to ignore and even demean what is happening to people in Ontario.”

Wilson, a Registered Nurse, says there is a great deal of evidence in the health literature about the range of noise emissions produced by large-scale wind turbines, and growing international concern about adverse health effects.

“Of course there are health effects,” Wilson said. “That’s why we have setbacks between turbines and homes in the first place. This Ministry refuses to acknowledge it has a problem and take appropriate action — it is failing the people of Ontario as a regulator.”

MOECC managers Rick Chappell (4th from left), Andrew Barton at December 14th meeting: their answers didn’t satisfy the committee [Photo: Wind Concerns Ontario]

*CanWEA in a 2011 news release acknowledged that a percentage of people can be annoyed by wind turbines, and the trade association said that when annoyance has a significant impact on quality of life, “it is important that they consult their doctor. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also describes noise-induced annoyance in legislation as a situation that “can have major consequences, primarily to one’s health.”

Source: Wind Concerns Ontario

9 Years of ongoing Noise Complaints for Enbridge Wind

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CHATHAM KENT ONTARIO ENBRIDGE WIND FROM HWY3 TALBOT TRAIL15

Kincardine Council asked the MOECC(Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change)  on December 6, 2017 what is being done about continued noise reports at the  Enbridge wind power project for the past NINE YEARS!  MOECC District Manager documents the history of incomplete reports, and reported health effects.

 

Wind turbine woes won’t be forgotten

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Queen’s Park Protest 2014 -Toronto, Ontario

Editorial: Wind turbine woes won’t be forgotten

By Peter Epp, Postmedia Network

When Premier Kathleen ­Wynne announced 14 months ago that her government was suspending Ontario’s renewable energy procurement process, she and her Liberal colleagues were caught in the middle of a public backlash against skyrocketing electricity bills. Halting a costly plan that promoted wind turbine farms was a quick, convenient response. Indeed, Wynne’s own energy minister admitted Ontario didn’t need the electricity that would be produced by new turbines.

But there was a problem. Six months earlier, several wind turbine projects had been approved, and the September announcement didn’t mean they would be cancelled. The contracts would be honoured. Ontario would be allowing the development of wind turbines to produce electricity that wasn’t needed.

Among those projects are two in Chatham-Kent and another in Elgin County. One has become an enormous public relations problem for the Wynne government, while the other two have the potential to become the same.

The first project is almost complete; but the others should be halted before they begin.

The North Kent 1 wind project was mired in controversy even before Wynne announced suspension of the renewable program. Construction activity is believed to have fouled or clogged at least 16 water wells because of interference to the area’s unique geology. Residents with damaged wells have made arrangements to have clean water trucked to their property.

The problems at the North Kent 1 project have stirred up fears a few kilometres away, at the Otter Creek project. Work has yet to begin, but residents are worried the same problems will affect their water. They’re also worried proposed turbine towers, the tallest in Canada, will be erected in an important migratory bird flight path.

Local MPP Monte McNaughton (PC — Lambton-Kent-Middleses) wants Otter Creek halted.

“These turbines are being built to generate electricity we don’t need, and they’re only going to contribute to driving hydro prices even higher,” he said.

In Elgin County, meanwhile, residents in Dutton Dunwich continue to campaign against a wind farm that has yet to be built.

Kathleen Wynne may have hoped rural Ontario’s long-held discontent with the Green Energy Plan would be forgotten by the June 2018 provincial election. But that’s not about to happen as the remnants of that multibillion-dollar campaign, and its varied controversies, continue to be revealed.

Read article

Rural Ontario- How did We become Enemies of the State?

 

Bad actors

RICK@WELLINGTONTIMES.CA

The image remains seared into the consciousness of everyone who witnessed the grotesque spectacle. The full power and fury of the state and its legal might, side by side with one of most powerful law firms in Canada, arrayed against the grey-haired volunteers of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists. Five Goliaths against one David.

One side funded by taxpayers and corporate interests, the other by donations and the kindness of individuals in this community. One side working to forestall the demise of species at risk, the other side hungrily pursuing profits. Alongside them were government lawyers dispatched from Toronto to defeat the County’s Field Naturalists.

How did we get here? How did the people of Ontario become the enemy of the state?

Read article

protest picton

Samsung Files Legal Action Against Protesters

Has Samsung SLAPP’ ed  back at protesters of its North Kent Wind project?

“Strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPP) has been defined as a lawsuit started against one or more people or groups who speak out or take a position on an issue of public interest. The purpose of a SLAPP is to silence critics by redirecting their energy and finances into defending a lawsuit and away from their original public criticism. Concerns have been raised that SLAPPs also act as a warning to other potential critics. The effect of SLAPP suits is to discourage public debate.”

Read more about SLAPP lawsuits

Council of Canadians slams heavy-handed Samsung Energy legal tactics

Media Release
October 11, 2017

Chatham, ON – The Council of Canadians is condemning Samsung Energy for filing a million dollar plus statement of claim against Chatham area residents who blocked construction at one of 34 wind turbines the company is erecting as part of its North Kent One* wind power project.

Many of the people who took part in the 11 day blockade have filed well interference complaints against the developer, citing the vibrations from the company’s pile driving activity as the cause of the sudden influx of black silt in their wells. At least thirteen well interference complaints have been made since the company started pile driving for the turbine foundations last June.

According to the developer’s Statement of Claim, the impact of the construction delay caused by the blockade “amounts to costs ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 per day, covering only the current amount of labour and equipment idle.”

The Statement of Claim names Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec and Cindy Soney as defendants. It also includes “other individuals who have been involved in the unlawful conduct….who have not yet been identified and have been named as John Doe and Jane Doe.”

The well water on the Jakubec family’s farm became polluted with black silt shortly after pile driving began nearby.

“Our well water was crystal clear for decades before the pile driving started,” said Jakubec. “Now, Samsung is claiming that we damaged them to the tune of millions of dollars. I wonder how they sleep at night because I sure can’t.”

In 2016, Kevin Jakubec challenged the government’s approval of the North Kent One project at the Environmental Review Tribunal where expert witnesses warned specifically that vibrations from pile driving could cause the pollution problems seen in the last few months.

“Million dollar lawsuits are usually meant to intimidate,” said Mark Calzavara, Ontario Organizer for The Council of Canadians. “But people don’t back down when it comes to protecting their water. The evidence clearly shows that the construction is causing the pollution. Samsung must stop this project now.”

* North Kent One Wind is owned and developed by Samsung Energy and Pattern Energy.

For more information or to arrange interviews:

Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, 613-795-8685, dpenner@canadians.org. Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs

Ontario Gothic

“So, a developer ruins drinking water without penalty, another bullies a young mother into silence, and yet another crushes rules meant to save an endangered species. This is our Ontario. There are dozens more distressing stories just like these. Too many sad accounts of families forced to leave their homes because the noise and vibration from the massive machines proved intolerable.”

Wellington Times, Rick Conroy
Mary Shelley is said to have conceived the story of Frankenstein, a manmade monster let loose upon the countryside, while under the influence of opium in the cold summer of 1816. The gothic horror story, it turns out, was the work of a dark imagination fuelled by opioids.

It begs the question: what was Kathleen Wynne and her government smoking when they let loose their own man-made monsters across rural Ontario—in the form of industrial wind developers and speculators?

Even if you buy the sentiment that their motivations were well-intentioned, the undeniable outcome of the Green Energy Act is that Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty have spawned armies of amoral monstrous corporate creatures and have let them loose to roam unfettered across the province. To wreak havoc in rural communities. To despoil the environment. To slaughter endangered species. To make folks sick.

Worse, our government has paved the way, clearing hurdles and slashing regulations to enable these creatures to prey upon vulnerable communities, natural habitats and endangered species. Now they have lost control of their grotesque creations. Even Kathleen Wynne must know how this story ends.

Near Chatham, folks believe the wind developer working nearby has poisoned their wells—allowing toxins into their drinking supply. They have done the testing. They have spoken out. They have protested. Marched on Queen’s Park. Kathleen Wynne has ignored them.

Wynne, her government and her supporters comfort themselves believing the scourge they have unleashed—though ugly and abusive— is a necessary evil. That the greater good is being served. They ignore the folks holding up jars of black liquid, pleading with the province to test their water, drawn from wells that have become undrinkable since the wind developer began driving piles into the bedrock to secure its massive wind turbines. Even Chatham- Kent’s mayor has demanded Kathleen Wynne intervene to protect these residents. It has made no difference.

Left without the protection of the province—without the safeguards that would protect them from any other development— these folks took matters into their own hands. In August, they began blockading the construction site— neighbours joining together to form a line against the threat to their drinking water.

On Monday, in a cruel blow, the developers— a Korean conglomerate and its American partner—won a court injunction barring any further blockades of the project. The judge said he wasn’t trying to muzzle opponents, but to “prohibit unlawful acts”.

In Ontario’s perverse hunger for industrial wind turbines, it turns out Chatham-Kent residents must first prove they have been poisoned by the developer, before they may seek justice. By then, of course, the damage will have been done. Recourse will expensive and, for most, unattainable.

Four years ago, the giant American wind developer Next Era sued Esther Wrightman for defamation. On her website she had altered the company’s logo to NextError and Next Terror. They wanted the logos removed or they would litigate the mother of two young children into oblivion. All these years later, the legal action is still pending. Wrightman wakes up every morning with the weight of this action still weighing on her head. Read article

Water is Life

Developers of North Kent Wind were granted an injunction to stop unlawful protests. Impacted residents meanwhile wait for Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) responsible for issuing the approval of the project to take meaningful action over rising number of reports of disturbed and dirty water wells (current count: 13 wells impacted since construction for the wind turbines began).

Water Wells First Told To Play Nice

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North Kent Wind located in Chatham Kent- Ontario was granted an injunction against unlawful protests at its construction sites

BY PAUL PEDROOCTOBER 2, 2017 5:23PM@PaulPedroNews
Water Wells First cannot continue unlawful protests at North Kent Wind sites.

Justice Kirk Monroe made the decision at an injunction hearing on Monday afternoon, saying trespassers and law breakers will be arrested.

He agreed with North Kent Wind that an injunction to stop blockades and the occupation of the turbine sites is the only remedy to continue the work.

Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec says lawful protests will continue around North Kent Wind sites and Ministry of Environment offices, adding that the injunction ruling doesn’t weaken their resolve.

“To say that Samsung has been done irreparable harm, I understand where they come from, but then turn around and say these families have had no harm done to them. I think that’s scandalous and an injustice,” says Jakubec.

North Kent Wind isn’t seeking any damages for, what they call, “irreparable harm.”

Water Wells First claims that wind turbine pile driving is causing well water to go murky with sediments, clogging filters and stopping the flow of water into homes….

READ REST OF ARTICLE

Huron County Wind Turbine Study Awaiting Ethics Clearance

huron county Wind-Turbines

September 28, 2017  By: Fadi Didi 

A study into the health effects of industrial wind turbines in Huron County is awaiting research ethics clearance.

Epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Clark, says the clearance is a normal part of conducting research effecting public health.

The study from the Huron County Health Unit will examine areas not touched on by a 2015 Health Canada study, which examined the health effects on those living within earshot of wind turbines.

As for the ethics clearance, Clark says a research ethics committee board at the University of Waterloo will ensure the study meets a strict set of guidelines.

Those include ensuring participants are giving free and informed consent, are not exposed to undue harm when taking part, and understand what they are agreeing to when participating.

Clark hopes to recruit several hundred participants in the upcoming survey.

The results are expected to be shared nationally.

In late 2014, Health Canada released the results of a study, which found no link between wind turbines and adverse health in those living nearby.

The study did, however, link turbine noise with increased levels of annoyance of nearby residents.

MORE INFORMATION  about WIND TURBINE STUDY : Huron County Public Health Unit