(C) ONTARIO FARMER
July 31, 2018
Report by Tom van Dusen
Finch, Ontario — Sitting demurely and speaking quietly, on July 24 the volunteer president of Wind Concerns Ontario blasted the provincial government approach to monitoring industrial wind turbines, accusing it of ignoring complaints about noise, health and other issues, or deferring them with no subsequent action.
Jane Wilson made her comments while presenting as a witness during an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into the Nation Rise wind power project planned for Stormont County. The hearing is scheduled to continue through August 2.
Currently engaged in the approval process, the project is sponsored by EDP Renewables Canada and calls for installation of some 33 turbines in North Stormont farm country delivering a total of 100 megawatts of power that, opponents observe, the province doesn’t need.
Headed by local resident Margaret Benke, opponents were hopeful the new Doug Ford government would cancel Nation Rise just as it did the White Pines wind project in Prince Edward County. But that didn’t happen and opponents’ legal fees and other expenses are up to $20,000. Benke noted that, with Ford in place, Nation Rise isn’t likely to proceed and yet opposing residents are still on the hook for costs.
Government not enforcing the law
A registered nurse, Wilson said Wind Concerns represents a coalition of more than 30 community groups across Ontario.
She emphasized that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change–renamed Environment, Conservation and Parks — has pledged to protect the environment and human health from any turbine side effects.
She cited former Environment Minister Glen Murray congratulating his officials for responding quickly to complaints and enforcing the law. However, Wilson’s review of incident reports obtained through Access to Information indicated the ministry doesn’t respond to all complaints and “does not, therefore, enforce the law.”
No answer to that
Total number of incident reports filed with the ministry between 2006 and 2016 was 4,574, Wilson told Maureen Cartier-Whitney, chair of the one-person panel. Records showed that in more than 50 per cent of formal complaints, there was no ministry response. Another 30 per cent were deferred. “In fact, only one percent received priority response.”
While he asked for some clarification, Paul McCulloch of the ministry’s Legal Services Branch, didn’t dispute Wilson’s basic facts. Representing EDP, lawyer . Grant Worden also offered no challenges to Wilson.
The repetitive nature of various complaints suggests, Wilson continue, that wind power developers are failing to live up to the terms of their approvals by allowing conditions triggering adverse effects including on health, to continue.
“Documented health effects include headache, sleep deprivation, annoyance, and ringing or pressure sensation in the head and ears. Most disturbing was the fact that these health effects were reported many times, and also among children.”
Wilson indicated that 39 per cent of 2006-2016 incident reports referred explicitly to sleep disturbance which is generally blamed for a myriad of diseases and disorders.
“Given the thousands of unresolved noise complaints in Ontario, and given Health Canada results of adverse health effects at distances of 550 metres to 1 km, it is reasonable to question whether the Nation Rise power project will not also engender community reports of excessive noise and adverse effects.”
To help support the appeal, which is bringing forward issues never presented to the ERT before, please send a cheque to Concerned Citizens of North Stormont, c/o Wind Concerns Ontario, PO Box 509, 250 Wellington main Street, Wellington ON K0K 3L0
Article Credit: Wind Concerns Ontario
About: Nation Rise Wind
Mother’s Against Wind Turbines Inc. (MAWTI), is calling for an immediate moratorium on the operations of current wind energy facilities in the province and the cessation of approvals of future projects. We have prepared the following brief which has been delivered to the Premier Doug Ford, as well as mailed to all MPP’s with a portfolio and a mailed copy was also sent to each MPP that is an assistant to a minister with a portfolio.
Please consider our document and distribute as you determine.
Dear Mr. Ford,
I am writing to you and your esteemed colleagues requesting that the new PC majority government repeal the Green Energy Act with the swiftest possible speed. I know you have railed against this misguided piece of legislation. Indeed, your estimate of its low caliber is echoed by Pierre-Olivier Pineau, Associate Professor and Electricity Market Expert, University of Montreal HEC Business School, who opined that “Ontario is probably the worst electricity market in the world.” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2016/03/30/ontarios-high-electricity-prices-crush-business/#2a8c5ab44587)
As you know, this Act has been a disaster on many fronts – its inability to effect the desired reduced CO2 emissions, its harmful effect on the environment, its negative impact on the economy and our electricity rates, its stripping of municipal planning and zoning rights, and importantly, its deleterious impacts on rural residents who only want a safe and quiet place to enjoy their homes and properties.
1. Tweaking the GEA is folly, as the very Act is based upon faulty foundations – that the wind is free, clean, and always blowing somewhere. This myth fails to take into account that wind is unpredictable, non-dispatchable, unreliable and inherently intermittent. When added to a power grid designed entirely around dispatchable sources, it leads to grave system instability. As renewable energy sources are added into the mix, their impact is exacerbated by an inability to match loads (demand) with supply, as supply would be increasingly and inconveniently dictated by phenomena like the weather (and sunset). The green mantra also fails to acknowledge the requisite concomitant use of fossilk fuels (particularly, gas) run in an open cycle, stop and go, inefficient mode like the Don Valley at rush hour. And it fails to deal with the vast stretches of weather system patterns and the transmission requirements necessary to connect with Dorothy in wind-blown Kansas.
2. Furthermore, mere enforcement of GEA regulations is an insipid approach. The regulations fail to include infrasound, low frequencies, high frequencies, amplitude modulation, stray voltage, vibration, the trespass of shadow flicker, the destruction of prime agriculture lands, disturbances to water wells, impact on livestock and wildlife harm/harassment/ kill/displacement, among other winning features of IWTs. Nor does it address the legality of gagging lease holders from discussing health impacts, thereby precluding public safeguards. Moreover, the existing regulations regarding acoustic testing and monitoring, when implemented at all, are cumbersome by design, rarely feasible, and statistically dishonest.
3. The only honourable approach to addressing the Green Energy Act is to cancel it. In a Financial Post article entitled “Yes, Ontario’s Liberals can cancel their terrible renewable power contracts—and they should do it now”, (Lawrence Solomon, September 2016) argues for “cancelling Ontario’s odious renewables contracts”. He writes:
Mr. Solomon’s argument is further substantiated by the case of Trillium Power Wind Corporation v. Ontario (2012):
Furthermore, in the Supreme Court case, Wells vs Newfoundland, 1999, the Judges’ decision states (Paragraph 48):
Mr. Ford, many rural residents have been holding on for a June 7th PC win as their last hope in dealing with the adverse living circumstances imposed upon us by the McGuinty-Wynne dynasties. I encourage you to repeal this disastrous Green Energy Act and return our homes and our pastoral farmlands to their idyllic pre-GEA state.
A Concerned Citizen.
The mothers and their children took a walk on May 27, 2013 protesting the Summerhaven Wind project that was under construction at the time. We marched together providing a record and demonstration of our non consent to the wind project. It also spiked a lot of interest from the Ontario Provincial Police and wind project security. The police decided they needed to be present with a marked police escort and their undercover members.
Mothers Against Wind Turbines remains firm in giving a thumbs down to industrial wind. We have not remained silent. We will not remain silent. No still means no.
Ontario Wind Resistance posting May 2013: Mothers March to Say NO!
Citizens’ group charges Environment Minister with violation of Environmental Protection Act
May 1, 2018, Toronto, 10:00 EDT – The president of Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO), a volunteer-led coalition of 30 community groups and many Ontario families, has filed a private prosecution against the Honourable Chris Ballard, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), for violating Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act (EPA).
Private prosecutions are important tools in empowering private citizens to hold those persons in power to account.
The EPA prohibits anyone from permitting the “discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment, if the discharge causes or may cause an adverse effect.” Adverse effects listed in the EPA include “an adverse effect on the health of any person,” “harm or material discomfort to any person” and “loss of enjoyment of normal use of property.” (Section 14 subsections 1 and 2)
“We don’t take this step lightly,” says Jane Wilson, WCO President and a Registered Nurse, “but with the MOECC not responding to thousands of reports of excessive noise from wind turbines, which is affecting sleep and health for Ontario families, we had no choice. These are examples of adverse effects that Minister Ballard should not be permitting to continue.”
WCO recently received MOECC documents under a Freedom of Information request that showed thousands of unresolved reports of noise, many with staff notes about sleep disturbance and health impacts. Between 2006 and 2016, there were more than 4,500 recorded reports, 35% of which contained staff notes about adverse health effects; between 2015-2016, the MOECC response rate to the reports of excessive noise was less than 7%.
“Citizens report going without sleep for days, weeks, even months,” said Wilson. “Sleep disturbance is linked to other health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Mr. Ballard, as steward of environmental protection in Ontario, is responsible for allowing this environmental noise pollution to continue.”
On April 30, 2018, Mr. Ballard was served with a summons to appear before the court on May 17, 2018.
CONTACT: Jane Wilson email@example.com
READ MORE @ Wind Concerns Ontario: Ontario Environment Minister served with summons on violation of the Environmental Protection Act
An eleven-year-old boy spoke to the Chautauqua County Legislature:
“I’ve spent my 11 years on Earth in this town. My parents have worked so hard for the place we have. They’ve made the land that I live on home. And these wind turbines, they’re destroying it. My grandmother was born and lived briefly not even a half mile from where I live right now. I just can’t stand the thought of being forced from my home. And my town – by these windmills. I went out not two mornings ago, and I can’t even find peace and quiet outside without the sound of back-up alarms, bulldozers and cranes. Up on Straight Road there’s a giant crane already and they’re setting one up on Center Road. I don’t want to be forced from my home and I’m sure none of you would want to be forced from yours. Thank you for your time.”
With the NRWF project down for days, our community is reminded of the pure, nature’s darkness of our night skies.
The stars are bright and the neighbourhood is silent.
(Transformer 2 of Niagara Region wind was being worked on while the shut down had been at the request of Hydro One for work on another transformer station in Hamilton.)
“I took pictures on my way home tonight and fought tears as I recall how much I loved my home and quiet remote community.
I quickly turned those tears into motivation; we will get our health, skies and communities restored.
Normally red flashing lights! But no power to the turbines so the aviation lights are dying and dead!”
“I wonder whether anyone is noticing changes in their health status now that the turbines have not been operational since early Monday and making the connection? What an opportunity to self assess the symptoms that are not present.
I now recognize that depression has been one of my symptoms. Today for the first time in months I have felt motivated. My frequent companion dizziness has decreased so much. I have not felt the achy head pressure and my concentration is back once more.
Two more days of reprieve.”
“The heavy blanket has been lifted. You know those blankets we wear at x-ray time to protect our thyroid etc? That’s how I feel I am each day – everything is a chore.
The haze – the dense cloud I have been living in is gone. The clarity present yesterday and today is remarkable.
I had a herbal tea on the deck at 10pm, wrapped in a blanket and just soaked in my natural environment. It was quiet, the sky was dark and a great reminder of what we fight so hard for. Glorious!”
“Delayed Perception. Now that is an interesting term. Have you ever driven in the evening at night and seen what appeared to be huge red taillights ahead of you? I wondered why the red taillights I was seeing were so large only to discover moments later that they were the red traffic lights at the next intersection. This should have been an automatic observation. I am having moments of delayed perception in other instances as well. I found myself making silly mistakes and then wondering why I had done that. I am struggling through the brain fog.
I have a frequent companion named Dizziness. Some days are worse than others. I now always hit the pause button before I take the first step from a rising position and I am especially careful in rising from a prone position. This dizziness I first began to experience last summer.
On day number 3 of the shut down of the project I noticed that my depression had lifted. I felt energetic and did some household chores which had been neglected for quite some time. I did not have the energy nor the motivation to do them before. I had a feeling of enthusiasm and normalcy that had become a stranger to me in the past months.
The brain fog has lifted and I am able to concentrate at the moment. The dizziness has abated and I do not have to hit the pause button before rising.
Some verbs I’ve used in the past tense knowing full well that all the symptoms will revisit me once again when the project becomes operational again.
It is my wish that relating my experiences will perhaps help someone else identify their symptoms if they are living amidst turbines but not making the connection. Symptoms will vary from person to person and the listing of health impacts is more comprehensive so please do the research if you suspect that your symptoms could be turbine related.”
“Darn it!!! It’s so quiet and the night sky is completely dark. I will enjoy it for one more night I guess.”