Background: The introduction of industrial wind turbines into quiet rural en-vironments in Ontario, Canada has resulted in complaints about environmental noise and adverse health effects. Ontario has a process whereby residents can report noise to government. Official government records of Incident Reports/Complaints submitted by residents living near operating wind turbine installations were obtained through a Freedom of Information request. This article presents an evaluation of this process while commenting on the significance of Incident Reports/Complaints. Methods: Government records of Incident Reports/Complaints were analysed. Peer reviewed publications, conference presentations, judicial proceedings, government resources, and other sources were evaluated and considered in context with the topic under discussion. Objectives: The purpose of this article is to present the role and significance of Incident Reports/Complaints and discuss the value of these when assessing outcomes related to the introduction of wind turbines into a quiet rural environment. Results: Government records document 4574 Incident Reports/Complaints received by Ontario’s hotline (2006- 2016). There was no ministry response to over 50% of more than 3000 submitted formal complaints (2006-2014). Another 30% were noted as “deferred” response. Only 1% of the reports received a priority response. Provincial Officers noted in summary reports that people were reporting health effects such as: headache, sleep deprivation, annoyance, and ringing or pressure sensation in the head and ears. Health effects were reported many times including those occurring among children. Discussion: In the case of wind power installations, Incident Reports/Complaints are an important source of information for evaluating outcomes of introducing a new noise source into a quiet rural environment and are a form of public health surveillance. These reports can highlight risks to a healthy community living environment, act as an early warning system, and aid in evaluation of government policy initiatives. They may also be used before legal tribunals in public or private actions.
Cite this paper
Krogh, C. M. , Wilson, E. J. and Harrington, M. E. (2019). Wind Turbine Incident/Complaint Reports in Ontario, Canada: A Review—Why Are They Important?. Open Access Library Journal, 6, e5200. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1105200.
Wanna work in the clean green, environmentally sustainable renewable energy field? Gotta a lead on a job for you!
Wildlife Field Technician–19400000926
Tetra Tech Inc. is a leading provider of consulting, engineering, and technical services worldwide. Our reputation rests on the technical expertise and dedication of our employees—17,000 people working together across disciplines and time zones to provide smart, sustainable solutions for challenging projects. We are proud to be home to leading technical experts in water, environment, infrastructure, resource management, energy, and international development. Tetra Tech combines the resources of a global, multibillion-dollar company with local, client-focused delivery in 412 locations around the world. We offer competitive compensation and benefits and are searching for innovative people to join our teams.
Tetra Tech, Inc. is currently seeking a Wildlife Field Technician working as an avian and bat fatality monitor near Minot, ND. Field work for this part-time position includes working 35-40 hours every other week in spring, summer, fall, and once each month in winter.
The field work begins mid-March 2019 and continues through March 2020, with the possibility of a second year of surveys. Fatality monitoring applicants must be willing to commit to 3 full field days every other week, including daily travel to and from the field location. The technicians will be responsible for their own housing throughout the study period.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The primary responsibility of this position is to implement a post-construction fatality monitoring program at an operational wind facility
The program is inclusive of fatality searches, adhering to standardized protocols as trained, and keeping detailed datasheets
Candidates who have previous field experience with birds and/or bats are preferred
Candidates must be able to walk for extended periods of time, be able to effectively handle exposure to weather extremes, and interaction with bird and bat carcasses
Field technicians may work independently and must be able to communicate and coordinate effectively with other field crew members, Tetra Tech supervisors, and site management
Field Technicians will be required to follow all wind facility-specific and Tetra Tech safety protocols and will be expected to provide their own suitable footwear (reinforced-toed hiking boots) and weather appropriate field gear
Salary will be commensurate with experience
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATION:
Bachelor’s degree in natural resources, wildlife management, wildlife biology or equivalent degree preferred
Individuals currently seeking degree and/or other enthusiastic workers are encouraged to apply
Good bird and/or bat identification skills for species in the region
Prior field experience with wildlife
Must be able to work independently and with others, and interact positively with project managers, clients, and landowners
Experience with 4×4 vehicles, valid driver’s license and clean driving record
Valid driver’s license is required
Skilled use of topographic maps, GPS units, and other field equipment
Must be able to follow instructions from manager and collect precise and thorough data
Must be able to work with electronic data collection protocols and data submission timing requirements
Must be skilled with communication, have the ability to maintain positive attitude and to accept guidance and constructive criticism
Investigation into driving record will be conducted upon hire
Driving record must meet standards set to operate motor vehicle on behalf of Tetra Tech
Background check will be conducted on final candidates
Candidates must be able to pass drug screen prior to employment
“This is a slow-moving disaster happening and something has to be done. It’s been seven months and it is imperative a health hazard investigation is done before anything else can be done. Get boots on the ground, collect and test the sediments and get it done.”
At a Water Wells First community meeting recently, the members continued to express their frustration with the government’s lack of action to make good on a Doug Ford promise to hold a full health hazard investigation into well contamination in the area of the North Kent Wind Farm in Chatham and Dover townships and dropping property values.
WWF spokesperson Jessica Brooks said frustration with the situation continues to rise.
“After our community meeting, Water Wells First members continue to be disappointed and frustrated with the lack of action by the provincial government in regards to a Health Hazard Investigation,” Brooks said in a release. “We are demanding that the government act in the best interest of the health and safety for the people of Chatham-Kent by identifying black shale as a pollutant in drinking water. Any testing done by the municipality will be inadequate and pointless until this health hazard investigation is launched.”
Brooks noted the closest WWF has come to hearing any news is the announcement about a review by the Ontario Medical Officer of Health of the work of the Ministry of the Environment did during the summer of 2017.
“This is a pointless investigation as the ministry was only using lab results collected by the polluter; the wind company,” Brooks added. “Concerned citizens are encouraged to write Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Infrastructure Monty McNaughton, Minister of the Environment Rod Phillips and Minister of Health Christine Elliott asking that they take our concerns for groundwater seriously and launch a Health Hazard Investigation.”
The sediment in the wells, now known to contain black shale, has never been collected by the MOE or the turbine company for testing. Black shale is known to contain toxic heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead and uranium. What worries the residents is how much of the shale, if any, is safe to drink, as the particles found in the water range in size and the smallest cannot be filtered out.
Also of concern to WWF members is news that Dr. David Colby, the medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent, has submitted an abstract on Wind Turbines and Groundwater Contamination for presentation at a Wind Turbine Noise 2019 conference in June in Lisbon, Portugal.
Colby has publicly said the wind turbines aren’t responsible for the well contamination, and the sediment, while “aesthetically unpleasing,” is safe to drink. He, however, has not collected or tested the sediment in the contaminated wells.
Questions that WWF members have for Colby is what does his article report on, is he representing the municipality in his capacity as Medical Officer of Health and who is paying for his trip?
Brooks said she asked Colby for the article but was told it wasn’t completed as of yet.
Reduced property values are also a concern for residents near the wind farm projects. Brooks said those people who had their wells tested before construction of the turbines have applied to MPAC, the provincial corporation that assesses property values, for reassessment. The results have been reduced taxes due to well issues, and Brooks said even people in proximity to the wind farms have a lower assessment.
“We were told that is something that would never happen, but it has. Just being in proximity to a wind turbine devalues your property,” Brooks said. “And the number keeps going up. Just from the people who have talked to me about contamination, the unofficial count is 40 families, and that’s not counting the people out there who aren’t going to complain because they rent or they don’t want their property devalued….
In their zeal to replace “dirty,” coal-black energy sources with “green” “renewables,” climate-change doomsayers neglect the health hazards of wind and solar, states Physicians for Civil Defense president Jane Orient, M.D.
The mining of the rare minerals needed for photovoltaic cells and the generators in wind turbines, and the production of the steel and concrete for the towers, are neither clean nor green, she stated. Much of the environmental impact and human cost is exported, as to China and Africa. The U.S. no longer mines rare-earth elements.
By 2050, the amount of solar panel waste in the world, already at 250,000 metric tons at the end of 2016, could reach 78 million metric tons, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). When panels are broken, as by hail, tornadoes, or hurricanes, pollutants such as lead or carcinogenic cadmium can be almost completely washed out of the fragments by rainwater over several months.
Wind turbines have been called the “rotors of sickness,” and the German Ministry of Environment has been accused of covering up evidence of harmful levels of infrasound, sound at too low a frequency to be heard. Effects include reducing cardiac muscle strength. Infrasound affects the inner ear and the brain and can cause sleeplessness, emotional reactions, and many other distressing symptoms. It has been investigated for use as a weapon.
Rooftop solar panels have caught fire, and nearly destroyed an apartment complex in Holland, while releasing toxic fumes. Wind turbines have been described as a “perfect incendiary device.”
“Regulators and politicians ignore the devastating environmental impact on the huge land areas needed by wind and solar farms,” Dr. Orient said, “while imposing costly requirements on other energy sources for relatively trivial effects.”
“Energy poverty due to unreliable and unaffordable energy is also a major health threat,” she added. “Carbon-based fuels supply 80 percent of the world’s energy. Why are they not considered ‘green’? The carbon dioxide they release is essential for life and is measurably greening the earth.”
“The dBA metric is, therefore, unsuited for evaluating airborne pressure waves occurring at frequencies below 800 Hz. Health effects that may be developing due to exposures at these lower frequencies cannot be properly studied if the dBA metric is being used to characterize acoustical environments.”
Acoustics and Biological Structures; By Mariana Alves-Pereira, Bruce Rapley, Huub Bakker & Rachel Summers.Submitted: August 7th 2018Reviewed: November 28th 2018Published: January 9th 2019 DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.82761
Within the context of noise-induced health effects, the impact of airborne acoustical phenomena on biological tissues, particularly within the lower frequency ranges, is very poorly understood. Although the human body is a viscoelastic-composite material, it is generally modeled as Hooke elastic. This implies that acoustical coupling is considered to be nonexistent at acoustical frequencies outside of the human auditory threshold. Researching the acoustical properties of mammalian tissue raises many problems. When tissue samples are investigated as to their pure mechanical properties, stimuli are not usually in the form of airborne pressure waves. Moreover, since the response of biological tissue is dependent on frequency, amplitude, and time profile, precision laboratory equipment and relevant physiological endpoints are mandatory requirements that are oftentimes difficult to achieve. Drawing upon the viscoelastic nature of biological tissue and the tensegrity model of cellular architecture, this chapter will visit what is known to date on the biological response to a variety of different acoustic stimuli at very low frequencies.
low frequency noise
Open access. Each download brings research to wider audience.
Infrasound occurs where large masses are in motion. This happens in nature – with avalanches and earthquakes, for instance. But infrasound also arises through technology and industry. It’s caused by large machines and blasting. Even wind turbines …
Mothers Against Wind Turbines was founded by mothers whose children have a range of disabilities most which fall into the Autistic Spectrum. Our children struggle with everyday exposures to light, sound, and movement naming a few, among many challenges. Many of our families have purposely chosen to live in quiet rural areas to provide our children the best environment to grow and thrive so they can achieve their best potential in life.
With the installation of wind powered generation facilities adjacent to our homes and in our communities we are faced with the unrelenting intrusion and trespass by industrial wind turbines and its associated infrastructures discharging light, noise, movement, electrical emissions into the most intimate of places that should be one of security, peace and our children’s sanctuary.
The following article talks about research of noise impacting living spaces and what that means for vulnerable populations such as those with autism, the elderly or those who are noise sensitive.
“Perceptual comfort means that the acoustics falls in ranges that people consider comfortable, clear, pleasant,”
In 2019, consider experiencing deep quiet outdoors. … this article overstates interior sound levels (“probably about 30 dBA”) … interior levels (absent hvac) are typically below 20 dBA …30 dBA is used as a regulatory indoors noise limit in Vermont. https://t.co/AcntfGGiuV
Take a moment and think about the quietest room you’ve ever laid down in; the quietest, stillest place you’ve ever been. No matter how peaceful, how serene, there was still some sound: the rush of water in pipes, the hum of electricity in the walls, the breeze gently blowing, insects chirping; the ambient noise of nature, of life.
If you take a 15-minute car ride from downtown Minneapolis, you’ll find a nondescript concrete building with ivy climbing its exterior walls. Orfield Laboratories sits a block away from a bowling alley called Memory Lanes and directly across the street from Skol Liquors. Inside Orfield Laboratories is an anechoic chamber that has been certified by Guinness as the quietest place in the world.
That still bedroom you were in? The ambient noise was probably about 30 dBA, or A-weighted decibels — the relative loudness of sound perceived by the human ear. This is a logarithmic scale, so every 10 dBA, you’re either doubling or halving the loudness or quietness. At zero dBA, the human ear can no longer perceive sound. The anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories was certified by Guinness at -9.4 dBA in 2004 and -13 dBA in 2013, both for one hour measurements. But over shorter periods, they’ve conducted tests on the chamber that have given readings of up to between negative 22 and negative 23 dBA.
That’s just in terms of what instruments can read in the room. The human ear has no way of telling that difference in sound (or lack thereof). If a room or chamber is 0 dBA or lower, you won’t hear anything. Nothing at all. The difference between -9.4 dBA and -23 dBA sounds the same to our pitiful flesh-ears. But it made a difference to me. I wanted to be in the quietest room on Earth…..
Orfield Laboratories primarily works in architecture, product development and in office research. They’re attempting to make living and working conditions better for everyone, with a specific focus on the elderly, people with disabilities, and people who are on the autistic spectrum. Not to put too fine a point on it, but their research is crucial in our busy world.
As in a courtship, pretty pictures painted, verbal promises and solid verbal commitments between the landowner and developer mean nothing once an agreement is signed.
Windless in Woonsocket – How not to sign a wind turbine agreement
I marvel how many South Dakota landowners sign a wind turbine agreement or an oil and gas lease without the benefit of good counsel. I have seen the end product. It is not pretty. Though we are taught about the seven deadly sins of this world also called the seven cardinal sins or capital sins, yet a wind turbine agreement may contain an even greater smorgasbord of “contract sins” all of which should be discovered, remedied and purged by any negotiating landowner before entering into a long term land use agreement. I will in this opinion piece visit a few contract issues. Let us first however examine a difference one occasionally finds between a North Dakota landowner and a South Dakota landowner. I am reminded of an old Aberdeen lawyer friend who has now passed away. He once said, “In North Dakota they spend money to make money and they spend money to save money, but in South Dakota they just don’t spend money.” Consider that many wind turbine agreements are private contracts in which the parties have an unequal bargaining position. To be involved with one is not the time to practice parsimony.
A particular contract term used by wind farm developers is the confidentiality agreement. This stratagem requires landowners sign a confidentiality agreement often before even seeing a form lease. The clause attempts to give a developer an advantage over landowners by prohibiting the sharing of information among landowners. Such a “gag” provision is also found in a final executed wind lease in order to protect the contract terms from disclosure. A confidentiality clause makes it a bit more challenging to determine what the regional “market” payment terms really are for a given project. And in turn the clause hinders a landowner’s ability to knowingly negotiate terms which are fair for a particular project in that particular market. The absence of market knowledge gives a competitive advantage to project developers. When I consult ag land appraisers to discuss regional wind turbine payment terms I usually find these experts bereft of much information on the subject. While there are methods for learning what a fair payment term should be, the methods are a bit more expensive than what might be found in an open and transparent market.
I will list some important terms found in a wind turbine agreement. This is a sobering list, and should motivate the landowner to seek the exact parameters for each term. Common agreements contain: a construction and land use option all in favor of the developer; an access easement to cross and use one’s property; the right to construct roads; the right to construct large turbines on one’s land; the right to construct underground and above-ground transmission lines and substations; and terms that bind on one’s heirs or any subsequent purchasers of the land….
We are compiling a bundle of 1-page victim impact statements to assist the Premier of Ontario and top PC Ministers in understanding the direct impacts wind turbines are having on our lives with the hope of finding some acknowledgement and relief.
The amount of information that has been sent into the government in the last decade is enormous but we don’t know how much of it survived Liberal government handling.
We are asking, just one more time, for as many as possible to take part in this effort.
We’ve worked to put a one-page-per-person statement together with a place for a photograph of you/ family/pets/; whatever you think will give your statement the most personal touch. Each household can fill out one for all OR each household can fill out one for each person. There are no age boundaries for this one either.
You can fill in the page, attach to an email and send to Barb Ashbee at email@example.com Send the photo as well please and we will attach it to your page.
you can fill in the one-page statement, attach your photo
print off,hand write your responses, attach photo and mail to:
354177 Osprey Artemesia
R.R.4 Flesherton, Ont. N0C 1E0
Please respond by Nov. 24th, 2018 ~ (*late entries will still be accepted)
If you need any help with doing your statement, please don’t hesitate to call or email.
One more important thing to do if you are able is to actually list who you have met with by name ie: MPP-name, MP- name, Ministers or Ministry critics, Environmental Commissioner, bureaucrats,Field Officers, office managers, Public Health units/contacts, Medical Officers of Health, Ombudsman and etc. A separate page has been put together for you to fill out with the information.
The fight is not over. On October 2nd, 14 of some of the best of the best wind warriors met at Stevens Restaurant in Markdale. The resounding resolve and heart to continue to fight for the people who have become collateral damage and who continue to struggle with the unrelenting torment from turbine emissions, is strong and remains the top priority for the group that gathered. Steps to move forward are already in the works. Thank you to every single one of you who came and thank you all for your work, expertise, concrete ideas and determination to finish this battle. Finally, after over a decade of documentation and fruitless effort to put the truth of the harm to Queens Park, we have a govt in power that is willing to listen. More to come.