Wind turbines are proposed to be installed on Lake Erie as LEEDCO project developers re-submit documents previously deemed incomplete. Environmentalists continue to raise alarms of serious harmful impacts to marine and avian species. If construction goes ahead well over 2 000 industrial wind turbines could crowd the waters of Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are an important ecosystem and host location for globally significant flyways used by large numbers of migrating birds, bats and insects (such as monarch butterflies) from the far reaches of the world.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The developers seeking to build North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project in Lake Erie moved a step closer to obtaining an essential state certification this week.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. submitted two key environmental applications detailing its plans for monitoring and analyzing the impact of the six-turbine wind farm on birds, bats and fish.
Approval of the plans by the Ohio Power Siting Board is required before LEEDCo can proceed with construction of the $126 million Icebreaker Wind project planned for a site about eight to 10 miles northwest of Cleveland.
“We’ve been working with ODNR for the past few months,” said LEEDCo’s Beth Nagusky. “These are the documents the siting board required. Once they are approved, the board will issue a public notice and continue the permitting process.”
Each of the so-called memorandums of understanding lays out plans to evaluate the environmental conditions at the lake site prior to the start of construction, during construction, and after the wind farm is built and operational….
The wind farm’s impact of greatest concern to birders and environmentalists involves the potential for high mortality rates due to collisions by birds and bats into the spinning fan blades.
LEEDCo acknowledges this fear in its document, but warns that monitoring and documenting casualties from collisions are difficult and pose unique hurdles not found at land-based wind farms.
Paris – The noise of new wind turbines may justify the cancellation of the purchase of a house if the buyer claims it.
The purchaser, faced with this nuisance, may in fact invoke his own misjudgment which has vitiated his consent, especially if he has been preoccupied with the environment before buying, judges the Court of Cassation.
Although no one is at fault, the error of one of the parties leads to a defect in his consent which justifies the handing over of things to their former state, that is to say the reciprocal restitution of the house and its price, Admit the judges.
Since the construction of wind turbines is not a question of town planning, it may not be reported as such to the future purchaser, To inform the city council on urbanism projects, observes the judges.
This future purchaser can not therefore complain that it has not been reported to him. It would have been necessary to ask precisely the question of a project of installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences.
In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisance. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought.
After being awakened for the ump-teenth time by these grinding, screeching, humming, squealing, house vibrating, jet sounding, phone interrupting, television disturbing, internet interfering, shadow flickering, environmental impacting, property value lowering, aesthetic degrading, red-light blaring obtrusive monsters known as Industrial wind turbines, (IWT), thrust upon us without our permission – It is finally time to thank the uninformed, seemingly uncaring, self-serving, publicly elected officials, for having the audacity to vote in favor of a project that they knew so little about that would forever change the lives of so many people that they are supposed to work to protect, all because a smooth tongued, representative from a less than ethical company was able to pull the wool over their eyes by making promises of untold booty with undoubtedly, falsified studies of sound, resident acceptance and environmental impact.
I would hope that these publicly elected officials are realizing how their actions have affected the residents of northeastern Tipton County. Thanks to them, our lives have changed forever, not for the better, but for a lifetime of interruptions and inconveniences, not only in the daytime, but 24-hours a day. This is not an issue that you can spend an hour or two or a day in the area and comprehend the negative impact it is having upon our lives.
You have to be here for extended periods of time because there will be instances that the wind doesn’t blow, yet the humming and screeching will continue as the IWTs search for wind. It was stated that residents would adjust, getting used to these monsters, but alas, this is not happening when you are awakened at two or three a.m. by something that sounds as if it is in your house and upon investigating you find that it is an IWT. It has been suggested that we move, however, finding anyone to purchase our property for the true value it had before the IWTs were present is impossible.
As I realize this letter will serve no purpose to alleviate the situation in Tipton County, I would hope it could inform others of the irritating intrusions of IWTs. These monsters have absolutely no place in a community as populated as Tipton County. Also, I am hoping this will lead elected officials to better investigative procedures before signing on the dotted line.
Although I have not read nor have I seen it, I understand that one of those responsible officials has written some form of apology or regret about their actions. This would show the great character and respect of that person to the citizenry, however, it does nothing to alleviate the intrusions.
Wind company to cover costs of road damages in West Lincoln
Council in conflict over which roads to fix, pass decision over until October
NEWS Jun 27, 2017 by Alexandra Heck Grimsby Lincoln NewsWEST LINCOLN — The deal has yet to close, but town council is already in a quandary over how to spend funds they expect to receive from the Niagara Region Wind Farm for damage it caused to municipal roads during construction.
While it remains unclear what the final sum is that they expect to receive, on Monday night West Lincoln councillors considered roadwork that could total nearly $6.1M.
The recommendation from staff was to spend $5,274,702 on a number of roads in the southeast corner of West Lincoln, nearest to the site of the wind farm.
The recommendation also asked for $150,000 from the wind energy road restoration fund for staffing assistance as well as $585,000 to repair the bridge on South Chippawa Road.
The plans would span nearly 70 kilometres of roadway, over 20 different roads in the municipality.
On June 19, council met for a special meeting in camera to pass a resolution authorizing the agreement with the wind company. The result was that a bylaw be approved to execute a release and settlement with NR Capital General Partnership, the company related to the Niagara Region Wind Farm.
“We will not be releasing the final number based on our solicitor’s recommendation,” said Mayor Doug Joyner. “The Township of West Lincoln is not done negotiations with the wind company.”
Coun. Jason Trombetta says the negotiations are between the town’s solicitor and the wind company. He says that prior to his departure, chief administrative officer Chris Carter was in negotiations with the company alongside the solicitor; no council members were involved in the dealings, he says.
Trombetta put forward an amendment to the motion during the regular council session on Monday, asking for the work on the South Chippawa Road bridge to be removed and in its place, work on roads in his own ward.
“There’s a lot of exterior roads that were damaged by this project,” said Trombetta. “Why are other wards forgotten in all of this?”……
“This is a lot to dump on our plate here at one council meeting,” said Bylsma. “The hair on the back of my neck is getting raised.”
Couns. Joann Chechalk and Dave Bylsma said the decision was far too big to make that evening.
“We’re talking millions of dollars and we’re just doing it willy-nilly, on the fly,” said Bylsma. He stated that council should respect the science and engineering of the staff report and stick to their recommendations.
Sound emitted by wind turbines has been dogged by ongoing world wide reports of associated adverse health resulting from exposure due to industrial wind turbine acoustic emissions. Health effects that can be severe enough people are forced to abandoned their homes. Seeking relief, respite and to protect their health from further negative impacts due to exposure to noise pollution. The 12th International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem was held in Zurich on 18–22 of June 2017. The proceeding received multiple papers on the subject of wind turbine noise and health.
The following shares some of the papers presented.
“Health Effects of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound from Wind Farms: Results from an Independent Collective Expertise in France” by Philippe Lepoutre, Paul Avan, Anthony Cadene, David Ecotière, Anne-Sophie Evrard, Frédérique Moati, and Esko Topilla – France
… Recent results on the physiology of cochleo-vestibular system have revealed several pathways of physiological effects mechanisms that could be activated in response to exposure to ILFN. This sensory system has a particular sensitivity to these frequencies, superior to that of other parts of the human body. Available data suggest the hypothesis that sounds of frequencies too low or levels too low to be clearly audible could have effects mediated by receptors of the cochleo-vestibular system. …
“Noise Annoyance Caused by Large Wind Turbines – A Dose-Response Relationship” by Valtteri Hongisto and David Oliva – Finland
The purpose was to determine a dose-response-relationship of large wind turbines with nominal power of 3-5 MW. A cross-sectional survey was conducted around three wind power areas in Finland. The sample involved all households within 2km from the nearest turbine. Altogether 400 households out of 753 reported the annoyance indoors. The dose-response relationship was determined between the predicted noise exposure, LAeq, outdoors and the percentage of highly annoyed by wind turbine noise indoors. The percentage of highly annoyed, %HA, was less than 3%, and relatively even below 40dB LAeq. %HA started to increase when the level exceeded 40dB. …
“Hearing Beyond the Limit: Measurement, Perception and Impact of Infrasound and Ultrasonic Noise” by Christian Koch – Germany
In our daily lives, many sources emit infrasound due to their functions or as a side effect. At the other end of the hearing frequency range, airborne ultrasound is applied in many technical and medical processes and has also increasingly moved into everyday life. There are numerous indicators that sound at these frequencies can be perceived and can influence human beings. However, the precise mechanisms of this perception are unknown at present and this lack of understanding is reflected by the unsatisfactory status of the existing regulations and standards. …
“A Review of the Human Exposure-Response to Amplitude-Modulated Wind Turbine Noise: Health Effects, Influences on Community Annoyance, Methods of Control and Mitigation” by Michael J. B. Lotinga, Richard A. Perkins, Bernard Berry, Colin J. Grimwood, and Stephen A. Stansfeld – U.K.
… The conclusions of most reviews of the research on the effects of WTN on health, including those carried out on behalf of Government agencies, confirm that annoyance is caused by WTN, and that AM appears to increase annoyance. The association of WTN with sleep disturbance appears to be considerably more complex. … All of the field studies outlined so far have focussed on the responses to time-averaged WTN exposure levels. In a study of noise emissions from 1.8 MW turbines, it was argued that noise annoyance expressed by residents at 500-1900m distances might be exacerbated by AM, increased levels and low-frequency content occurring in the late evening and night-time. These phenomena were attributed to the stable night-time atmosphere causing high wind shear, and the coincidence of AM patterns from the turbines. … On the basis of the review and studies considered above, a control for AM has been proposed for use in planning windfarm developments. This control takes as its basis the principle that AM increases annoyance caused by WTN, and that this increase can be characterised by adding a penalty value to the overall WTN level, to equalise it with subjective judgement of a negligible-AM WTN sound. The results of ref 58 suggest that fluctuation in broadband WTN-like sounds will almost certainly be sensed by most people with normal hearing at approximately 3dB ΔLAeq,100ms(BP) which forms the proposed onset for the penalty. … The possible influence of increased low-frequency content in the AM is addressed by the design of the metric used to rate the magnitude, which employs frequency filtering to ensure the signal is evaluated for the range that produces the maximum AM rating. …
“Review of Research on the Effects of Noise on Sleep Over the Last 3 Years” by Sarah McGuire and Gunn Marit Aasvang – U.S. and Norway
the new actigraphy and polysomnographic field studies are the first studies on wind turbine noise which have used objective measures of sleep, as well as a study examining the potential benefit of nighttime air-traffic curfews. Also there have been new epidemiological studies which have added to the knowledge on the effects of noise on self-reported sleep disturbance. …
“Case Report: Cross-Sensitisation to Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise” by Bruce Rapley, Huub Bakker, Mariana Alves-Pereira, and Rachel Summers – New Zealand
This Case Report describes an episode experienced by two noise-sensitised individuals during a field trip. Exposed to residential infrasound and low frequency noise due coal mining activities, the subjects reacted suddenly, strongly and unexpectedly to pressure pulses generated by a wind farm located at a different town, approximately 160km by road from their residence. Simultaneous physiological data obtained in one subject and subjective sensations occurring during the episode are reported. Acoustical evaluations of the location of the episode are also reported. The possibility of a nocebo effect as an etiological factor for their bodily reactions is cogently eliminated. …
“Evaluation of Wind Turbine Noise in Japan” by Akira Shimada and Mimi Nameki – Japan
In order to tackle with wind turbine noise (WTN) related complaints, Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) set up an expert committee in 2013. In November 2016, the committee published a report on investigation, prediction and evaluation methods of WTN. The report compiles recent scientific findings on WTN, including the results of nationwide field measurements in Japan and the results of review of the scientific literature related to health effects of WTN. The report sets out methodology for investigation, prediction and evaluation as well as case examples of countermeasures. A noise guideline for wind turbine, which suggests WTN should not be more than 5dB above the residual noise where residual noise levels are above 35-40dB, is also presented in the report. MOEJ is developing a WTN noise guideline and a technical manual for WTN investigation based on the report. Both documents will be finalized in the fast half of 2017.
“Wind Turbine Noise Effects on Sleep: The WiTNES Study” by Michael Smith, Mikael Ögren, Pontus Thorsson, Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb, Eja Pedersen, Jens Forssén, Julia Ageborg Morsing, and Kerstin Persson Waye – Sweden
Onshore wind turbines are becoming increasingly widespread globally, with the associated net effect that a greater number of people will be exposed to wind turbine noise (WTN). Sleep disturbance by WTN has been suggested to be of particular importance with regards to a potential impact on human health. … Almost all measures of self-reported sleep were negatively impacted following nights with wind turbine noise. The WTN nights lead to increased sleep disturbance, reduced sleep quality, increased tiredness, increased irritation, awakenings, increased difficulty to sleep, sleeping worse than usual, and decreased mood. Subjects dwelling close to wind turbines, and consequently potentially exposed to WTN at home, repeatedly scored their sleep and restoration lower than the reference group following the WTN nights.
“Frequency Weighting for the Evaluation of Human Response to Low-Frequency Noise Based on the Physiological Evidence of the Vestibular System” by Junta Tagusari, Shou Satou, and Toshihito Matsui – Japan
Several studies were found regarding adverse health effects due to low-frequency noise emitted by industrial machines including wind turbines. However, the causal chain between low-frequency noise and health effects still remains unclear. Meanwhile, from the physiological viewpoint, low-frequency noise stimulate hair cells in the vestibular system, which could cause dizziness, vertigo, headache and nausea. The stimulating process is different from the hearing process in the cochlea, which implies that the A-weighting is not appropriate for evaluating the risk of low-frequency noise and that an alternative method is required. …
Seven families which included children in a north Cork village in Ireland launched legal actions back in 2013 against the wind turbine operators for a project adjacent to their homes. The wind plant began operations in 2011 which they claimed caused them adverse health effects mainly due to noise pollution coming from the turbines. The impacts to health were severe enough that several families were forced to abandon their homes seeking relief. In January 2017 Enercon Wind Farm Services Ireland Ltd. admitted to liability leading to the court order to settle the actions for damages.
THE HIGH COURT 2011 No. 9955P Tuesday the 6th day of December 2016
And the Court records that liability has been admitted by the Defendants in the action herein and each action listed in the schedule here-after……
(Bolded for emphasis)
An announcement has been published that settlements have now been reached in the actions before the High Court.
Cork village families settle action against wind turbine operators
By Ann O’Loughlin
14/06/2017 – 12:28:35
A group of families in a north Cork village who sued a wind farm operator claiming the huge turbines adversely affected their health have settled their High Court actions.
The High Court was this morning told the cases involving seven families from the Banteer area had been settled and the cases could be struck out.
The actions were regarded as landmark cases and the High Court had been due to assess damages after liability was admitted in the case several months ago.
The cases against Enercon Windfarm Services Ireland Ltd and Carrigcannon Wind Farm Ltd were taken by the Shivnen family and others including couples, families, and one single occupant.
The seven families from Banteer area claimed they have been severely impacted, particularly through noise pollution, since the turbines began operating in Nov 2011.
In court today, Roland Budd Bl told Mr Justice Tony O’Connor the implementation of the settlement agreements had taken place and the seven actions could be struck out.
No details of the settlement were given in court. The case will be briefly mentioned next month in relation to certain costs. The Banteer action was the first of its kind in the country.
Victoria Day weekend in Canada is a time for picnics and fun with family and friends, for many people.
One set of grandparents living on a farm in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township in Huron County thought that would be fun too, and were looking forward to having their two young granddaughters come and stay for a lovely weekend in the country.
But it was not to be.
Early on the morning of the holiday Monday, the grandmother said, “there was a horrible tonal* noise — whine and whooing that made staying on the second level of our home intolerable.”
Later on that same morning, she said, she had “severe pressure and pain” in her ear.
Then, “Our eight year old granddaughter complained of a ‘sore forehead’.” The child has complained of sore ears at times in the past while visiting her grandparents’ home, but never at any other time.
Outside, the family discovered, the whining and whooing noise was everywhere.
“We had to leave here [our home] with those little girls,” the grandmother said.
“We have no freedom to do as we want in our private surroundings. It makes me weep.”
The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, like so many other families forced to endure the noise and vibration from wind turbines. They live with 11 wind turbines within two kilometres of their home, the closest of which is just over 700 metres from the house.
They filed a complaint with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change District Office, and added this statement:
“You are harming us.”
Ontario Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray recently promised in the Legislature that his staff were responding to such complaints and that they would ensure the rules on noise emissions would be enforced.
Ontario families who did not ask to be exposed to these noise emissions deserve to have the Ministry fulfill its mandate, and protect all citizens from harm.
The Spills Action Line for the MOECC can be reached at 1-800-268-6060 to report excessive wind turbine noise, vibration and shadow flicker. If you call during business hours, you will be referred to the local Business Office. From the website:
You must report a spill if it:
harms or causes material discomfort to any person
injures or damages property or animal life
impairs the quality of the natural environment air, water or land
causes adverse health effects
presents a safety risk
renders property, plant or animal life unfit for use
leads to the loss of enjoyment of the normal use of property
interferes with the normal conduct of business
Pure tones are wave forms that occur at a single frequency. Tonal noise is generated by rotating equipment at a predictable frequency relating to the rotational speed of the shaft and the number of compressor vanes, fan blades, engine pistons, gear teeth, etc.
The topic of the risk of harm to human health associated with wind energy facilities is controversial and debated worldwide. On March 29, 2017, Carmen Krogh presented at the University of Waterloo which considered some of the research dating back to the early 1980’s. A snapshot of some of the current research available in 2017 was provided. The research is challenged in part by the complexities and numerous variables and knowledge gaps associated with this subject. This presentation explored some of these research challenges and provided an update on the growing body of evidence regarding human health risk factors. Included was the emerging research indicating risks to those working in this field.
Carmen M Krogh is a full time volunteer and published researcher regarding health effects and industrial wind energy facilities and shares information with communities; individuals; federal, provincial and public health authorities, wind energy developers; the industry; and others. She is an author and a co-author of peer reviewed articles and conference papers presented at wind turbine scientific noise conferences. Ms Krogh is a retired pharmacist whose career includes: senior executive positions at a teaching hospital (Director of Pharmacy); a drug information researcher at another teaching hospital; a Director of a professional organization; and a Director (A) at Health Canada (PMRA). She is the former Director of Publications and Editor in Chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information in Canada.
Critique of “Health Nuisances of Land-based Wind Turbines”, Statement by the French National Academy of Medicine issued May 9, 2017
By Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.
The French National Academy of Medicine has used this document in an attempt to redefine “Wind Turbine Syndrome”:
In summary, the health nuisances seem to be primarily visual (disfigurement of the landscape and its psychosomatic consequences) and to a lesser degree noise (of an intermittent and random character as generated by wind turbines of older generations). Medically, wind turbine syndrome is a complex and subjective entity with several factors contributing to its clinical expression, some related to the wind turbine itself, others to the complainants and to the social, financial, political, and communication environment (p. 14).
To reach this conclusion, the authors first review turbine noise levels and hearing thresholds, concluding that noise levels are low. They then review the following potential mechanisms:
Outer hair cells (Salt): “The work is not clinical or experimental but theoretical, based on the analysis of electrophysiologic, biomechanical, and acoustic models and data, and its conclusions are conservative.” Mechanism not supported (p. 9).
Otolith organs (Schomer, Todd, Rand): Conflicts with other studies suggesting that the sensitivity of otolith hair cells to infrasound is too low for this mechanism to be relevant to the production of motion sickness symptoms (pp. 9-10).
Stimulation of visceral organs (Pierpont): Intensities of infrasound not high enough (p. 10).
Direct action of noise on sleep: This mechanism is supported with a 1.5 km radius, but not further mentioned in the conclusions (see below) (p. 10).
Psychological factors: These are supported, including the impact of new technologies, the nocebo effect, individual factors of hearing sensitivity and emotional/psychological fragility, and social and economic factors such as lack of profit sharing and excessive communication of unsupported fears on social media (pp. 10-12).
The authors continue:
These nuisance factors being identified, the analysis of the medical and scientific literature (more than sixty articles have been published to date on the health effects of wind turbines) does not make it possible to demonstrate that, when wind turbines are properly located, they have a significant impact on health. In other words, no disease or infirmity can be imputed to their functioning.
The problem, however, is that the definition of health has evolved. According to WHO, this today is defined as “a state of complete physical well-being, mental and social,” not only the absence of illness or infirmity.
In this sense, we must admit that wind turbine syndrome, though the symptoms are subjective, reflects an existential suffering, a psychological distress, in short a violation of the quality of life, which, however, concerns only a part of the neighboring population (p. 14).
The authors proceed to discuss how to ameliorate the effects of wind power development, assuming (as they do) that wind energy is a political given. They propose extending the setback distance from 500 to 1000 m, while recognizing that this is neither politically feasible nor likely to be effective with larger turbines (p. 17).
They discuss caps on dBA noise levels relative to pre-construction and suggest that post-construction enforcement should be improved (p. 15). They suggest design features that affect airflow over and around the blades or stop the turbines when noise thresholds are exceeded (p. 16).
They recommend better public discussion and profit-sharing:
In the dual aim of improving the acceptance of wind energy and mitigating its impact health, directly or indirectly, on a part of the population of residents, the workgroup recommends:
To facilitate dialogue between local residents and farmers [who host turbines] as well as the referral of complaints to the authorities, to ensure that public inquiry is conducted with legal rigor and effectively implemented, and to ensure that residents have more interest in the economic repercussions or spin-off of the projects (p. 18).
My critique of the Academy’s report:
Out-of-date on noise descriptions. Does not use the “wind turbine signature” of pulsatile infrasound/low frequency noise with duration of 4 to 100 msec, which is perceptible at sound pressure levels as low as 60 dB (Punch & James 2016, Cooper 2014).
Never mentions migraine as a clinical entity affecting 18% of women and 6% of men; individual differences are instead treated as a reason to discredit physiologic causation and discredit as psychological frailty the population affected. They cite 4 to 20% affected, saying this is so close to the 10% considered affected by traffic noise in Europe that it is acceptable. This is tantamount to defining a sacrifice population and includes blaming of victims.
All the recommended interventions are either in place, have been tried and are useless, or have been called for for years but require changes in human nature, reducing the recommendations herein to “tuttut, let’s all behave better.”
This document attempts to redefine “wind turbine syndrome” to represent factors which are actually not wind turbine syndrome. Wind turbine syndrome is the reaction of migrainous or motion-sensitive people to wind turbine acoustic emissions, the latter now well defined as sharply pulsatile lowfrequency noise. Wind turbine syndrome is different from hysteria or nocebo, as it occurs in people by surprise, who had no thoughts about the turbines before the turbines were installed and turned on and the symptoms began.
I challenge every member of the French working group and their consultants, listed in the report, who self-identifies as having migraine, motion sensitivity, or balance problems, or their family members, including children with developmental disorders such as autism in which auditory and position/balance processing are distorted, to spend a week in a wind park. This would be simple to accomplish and could lead to a tidy “exposure” experiment without ethical obstacles, as the authors believe that they could not be affected as they do not have the psychological limitations and shortcomings they blithely attribute to affected people and use as an excuse to dismiss them.
Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
19 Clay St
Malone, NY 12953
518-207-4488 fax email@example.com
Jerry L. Punch and Richard R. James, “Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence That Wind Turbines Pose Risks,” The Journal at Hearing Health & Technology Matters (October 2016), 72 pp.
Steven Cooper, “The Results of an Acoustic Testing Program: Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm,” The Acoustic Group Report for Energy Pacific, 44.5100.R7:Msc (November 26, 2014), 224 pp.