Category Archives: Direct Effects

Turkey Vultures vs Niagara Wind

turkey vultureSpring has returned and with it turkey vultures
( Scientific name: Cathartes aurahave).  These raptors soar long distances riding high on thermals of air with long outstretched wings.   They hunt not by sight, but by an acute sense of smell searching for carrion to feast upon.  Social, gregarious and highly intelligent they are often seen flying, feeding and roosting in communal groups.

One of their unique forms of protection against threats is the ability to projectile vomit acidic stomach contents at will.  Difficult birds to launch from the ground they take running leaps to lift off and can jettison stomach contents to lighten their weight to aide becoming airborne.  They are meticulous about their personal hygiene and serve an essential function as clean- up crews for the environment.

A kettle of turkey vultures seen thermalling  in the blade sweep of an Enercon wind turbine part of Niagara wind project. (Video filmed April 2018)

 

Notice the wind turbine blade sweep movement results in driving a bird downwards out of a soaring climb.

Turbine blade sweep is part of increasing environmental habitat fragmentation and disruption created by wind facilities construction and operations. Mortality strikes (kills) occur in airspace directly disrupted by turbine blade sweeps.  As increasing numbers of wind turbines are erected increased adverse environmental impacts are occurring for avian species.  Habitat disrupted or avoidance= habitat loss. 

global flyways

Impacts are not only local but include those on a global scale. Flying the global flyways has become an even more dangerous journey with annual migrations spiked with increasing 1000s of wind turbines. Wind power is disrupting avian movements and prefered habitat use on a local and world-wide basis which begs the question: How sustaining and green is that?

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Green Energy Black Water

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THE BROOKS FAMILY CAN NO LONGER DRINK OR WASH WITH WATER FROM THEIR WELL. | PHOTO: THE CHATHAM VOICE

Green Energy, Black Water
Living in the footprint of industrial wind turbines.

Posted Apr 9, 2018 Christian Courier / by Jessica Brooks / in Media & Culture

In the article “Renewable Energy’s Dilemma” (CC Jan. 22), Candice Goodchild introduced the perspective of a grassroots group in Chatham-Kent, Ontario called Water Wells First. This group was formed to protect the sensitive aquifer in the area from vibration damage caused by the construction and operation of industrial wind turbines (IWT). I am a member of that group, and I would like to share my story with you.

My family and I live inside the footprint of the North Kent Wind 1 (NKW1) project, built in the northeast part of Chatham-Kent, Ontario. The wind farm is built and managed by Pattern Energy (out of Texas) and Samsung (out of Korea). We live on an acre of land, surrounded by farmland. We have enjoyed quiet country living that included an unlimited supply of good, clean water from our well. However, last summer, during the construction of the NKW1 project, our property was surrounded by three pile drivers. The particular style of construction for industrial wind turbines requires the use of piles to support the foundations. In this case, 18 to 24 piles are used for each of the 34 wind turbines in this project. Three turbines were erected within one kilometre of our house.

Pile driving began on July 27, 2017. The next day, while my husband was in the shower, the water stopped running. Upon investigation we found that the sediment traps we had installed on our water line were choked with thick, black sediment – something we had never seen before.

Chatham-Kent sits on a unique geological bedrock formation called Kettle Point Black Shale. The aquifer that feeds hundreds of wells in Chatham-Kent is shallow and quite fragile. It rests on that black shale, trapped in layers of glacial sediment. Black shale is known to naturally contain lead, mercury, arsenic and uranium.

In 2012, the East St. Clair wind project was constructed in northwest Chatham-Kent, which has the same black shale formation as other areas of the county. Many well owners in the area experienced the same black water we found in our well.

Health hazards
Investigation by private citizens and scientists hypothesized that the vibration from pile driving and the operation of wind turbines had disturbed the aquifer under the East St. Clair project, causing the release of sediments into the aquifer. As a result, the water turned black from the shale particles. When the NKW1 project was to begin, farmers and residents from the area mobilized to inform government officials about the potential danger to the aquifer from pile driving. This became the group Water Wells First. Our warnings and pleas were ignored, and construction began.

Today more than 20 wells within the footprint of the NKW1 project are experiencing black water. Many of these families had received water tanks from the wind company, which was required by the Renewable Energy Act permit – an alternative water supply in the case of any well issues during construction. Our family has had a tank on our property since the first weekend of August. It froze during the coldest winter days, and ran dry when there were delays in delivery, or when the hose leaked. At the time of writing, we have been informed that the tank will removed from our property by the end of March…

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We aren’t stupid.

 

egg

Today I attended the @WaterWellsFirst press conference. The egg shown in the picture was prepared with the contaminated well water that the Province says is safe to drink. Would you eat this egg @Kathleen_Wynne ? #healthhazzardstudynow pic.twitter.com/4TJXeSKcoq
— Mayor Todd Case (@ToddCaseLKM) April 11, 2018


Never assume|The Chatham Voice|April 11, 2018

The people of Chatham-Kent aren’t stupid and it makes us a little angry when the powers that be assume we are.

The news this week about the EBS Geostructural Consultant blog that had a key phrase removed regarding the company’s advice to Hydro One about using micro-piling methods instead of deep piling to avoid “potential for driven pile installation to cause issues with nearby active water wells” is disturbing on so many levels.

First, the advice to Hydro One is proof at least one government agency used alternative methods of pile-driving to avoid disturbing area water wells, with the blessing of the Ministry of the Environment, as the blog states.

Second, it refutes the claims by the North Kent One wind farm that there couldn’t possibly be any connection between deep pile driving methods used to construct the turbine foundations and the complaints of sediment contamination in several water wells in the project area.

And finally, removing the line referring to water wells doesn’t make us “unsee” the information. We now know at least one government agency – Hydro One – sought advice on how to construct towers with the least impact to area wells and went with that advice, keeping in line with the company commitment to “identify and evaluate environmental risks to ensure that hazards are eliminated or controlled” as it states on its website.

So asking us to disregard what we read because it wasn’t being “used properly” and expecting us to believe this advice is not in any report to Hydro One is utterly ridiculous and, frankly, insulting.

If Samsung and Pattern are going to stick to their assertion their construction methods couldn’t possibly be the problem for well owners, and if the environment ministry and municipal officials are going to buy into that when other sources say otherwise, it is time for us all to demand better from our deciison makers.

The well owners have been dealing with dirty water for long enough. We need to start questioning why the environment ministry and the municipality are letting the turbine companies dictate what we consider unsafe for our rural residents, and why these well owners have to fund their own investigation into the potential carcinogenic sediment in the water the government insists is safe to drink.

And because our chief medical officer of health says so isn’t a good enough reason. Until the governments – local and provincial – step up and demand answers from an unbiased third party, we will continue to be treated as naïve sheep who need to be neither seen nor heard.

Yeah, we don’t think so.

The Chatham Voice

An argument against wind farms

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.”

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Political manipulated law is a slippery slope

slippery slope

Published: March 29, 2018|The Creemore Echo|Letters & Opinion By 

Editor:

It pains me to find that my faith in Ontario’s judicial system has turned into cynicism.

In the matter of appealing the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change approval for WPD Corporation to erect eight 475-ft high wind turbines bordering County Rd. 91, west of the 4th line, (Fairview Wind Farm) a long, thorough and expensive Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) Hearing was held in the summer of 2016

Two issues were addressed:

• Endangerment to human health, citing their proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport and Kevin Elwood’s aerodrome.

• Irreparable harm to an endangered species, citing the impact on the habitat of little brown myotis bats.

The ERT found in favour of the appellants on both issues! That should have been the end of it, with the MOE approval revoked.

Notwithstanding WPD having every opportunity to present remedial arguments during the hearing, the MOE, being unhappy with the results of the hearing, provided WPD an additional month to provide a remedial argument. WPD failed to do so. The MOE then allowed WPD another week, with WPD failing again.

However, WPD did concede the ‘Danger to human health’ issue. Again, that should have been the end of it, with the MOE approval revoked.

In complete disregard of the Tribunal’s ruling and WPD’s conceding the health issue, the MOE invoked the necessity of a remedial hearing. In other words, give us the ruling we want. Since the MOE appoints the ERT and pays their salaries (a conflict of interest) they applied unusual pressure on the Tribunal.

In spite of MOE’s meddling, the ERT rose to the occasion and again found in favour of the appellants. The MOE’s approval was revoked. There will be no Fairview Wind Farm… YEA!

If this is a sample of what we can expect of government manipulating the wheels of justice to further their agendas, we can only become more cynical.

It’s a slippery slope!

John Wiggins,

Collingwood.

LIFE AMIDST THE TURBINES

A Victim’s Voice of the Niagara Region Wind Farm

cryingMarch 15, 2018
Today is day number 4 that the NRWF project which became operational on November 1, 2016 has been shut down at the request of Hydro One for work at their substation in Hamilton.

This has given me an excellent  opportunity to assess the gradual symptoms or lack thereof that I have been experiencing.

I had waded into the  pool of depression gradually without identifying it as such.  There were frequent days when I did not have to put my P J’s on because I was still in them in the evening. I vaguely recognized the person staring back at me in the mirror. I had no interest in my appearance nor my attire. I no longer wanted to play cards with the seniors and  enjoy their camaraderie and competitiveness.

My head ached from internal pressure. I couldn’t focus on simple math. It was too challenging.  Some days I  abandoned reading articles. I wasn’t able to focus nor concentrate on them where before I relished reading them especially wind turbine related ones since I live in the epicentre of the turbines in our community.

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.

Update on Wind Turbine Study

huron county Wind-Turbines

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Update on Huron County Wind Turbine Study about Noise, Vibration and Light
Recruitment continues for the Huron County Wind Turbine Study about Noise, Vibration, and Light.
Launched in October of 2017, recruitment for participants will continue until the end of October 2018.
Interested Huron County residents, who live within 10 km of a wind turbine, can find all the materials needed to participate in the study at any branch of the Huron County library. Library branches can also return participants’ completed materials to the Health Unit.

Materials are also available on the newly-updated website page, www.huronhealthunit.ca/wind.

Huron County residents who live within 10 km of a wind turbine are eligible to participate.  The Health Unit wants to hear from those who do and do not have difficulties with wind turbines so we can look at differences between the two groups.

Participation involves returning a completed consent form, doing the Registration Survey, and completing the Observation Diary.  We are asking participants to complete the Observation Diary at least one week every month during the 12-month data collection period.  A map showing what households are eligible can be found at any branch of the Huron County Library and on the Huron County Health Unit website.

For more information, please visit huronhealthunit.ca or contact the Huron County Health Unit at 519-482-3416 or 1-877-837-6143.

Ministry using old science for a new problem

letters to editor

Letter to Editor| Published in Chatham Daily News| Feb. 8, 2018

I read in Monday’s Chatham Daily News online that the provincial environment ministry states that the turbine construction has not had a negative affect on water wells. This is despite the fact that residents were encouraged to have baseline water tests to compare with post-construction water quality. There are many wells that have had a long history of good water quality that were negatively affected at the time of or shortly after construction of the turbines as shown by water analysis post construction. This has become too common to be a coincidence.

It seems that the ministry is relying on the “science” that existed prior to this project to make their conclusion that there could be no effect on water wells. Perhaps they should look at the reality that exists today and do the work to figure out why there is a clear effect on many wells. They have that responsibility ­– it is clearly stated in the terms of reference of this project that any negative affect on water wells must be dealt with.

It is time for the ministry to fulfill their responsibility and hold the wind company to those terms.

Until that time they investigate fully why there is damage to residents’ water source and work towards a solution that serves local residents, the information they are spreading reminds me of the droppings of male cattle.

Bill Weaver

RR5, Dresden, Ontario

Niagara Wind Being Sued

Construction dust from a wind turbine project in Niagara is behind a $10 million lawsuit

Newstalk 610 CKTB|Bonnie Heslop| January 31, 2018

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Photo Credit: Stephanos K.

Construction dust from a wind turbine project in Niagara is behind a $10 million lawsuit that is making its way through the court system.

St.Ann’s resident Stefanos Karatopis says he was visiting his sister back in 2015 when cement dust from a nearby Wind Farm project blew into the home sending 5 people to hospital.

Karatopis, who is also a member of the Niagara Land Owners Association says the dust was so bad it was hard to return home.

Lawyer Akradi Bouchelev represents Karatopis and says the dust contains very harmful chemicals that can impact a person’s health.

The $10 million dollar personal injury and damage claim has been filed against the Wind Farm, construction companies involved, the Niagara Region, and West Lincoln.

Bouchele says some have filed a statement of defence and some have asked for a delay.

He says the next stage is the examination of discovery.

Construction dust sends family fleeing to ER (Niagara This Week, July 31, 2015)

Scandal! EirGrid in the Crosshairs

~What happens when decisions concerning build out of electricity generation infrastructure has already been decided and public consultation done just for show?

~What happens when new extensions of the grid appear linked to facilitate the rapid and contested build of industrial wind turbines while ignoring cumulative environmental impacts

Members of the RTS Substation Action Group in Ireland  are taking action to protect their communities and have exposed the involvement of  EirGrid.  A huge substation is planned capable of accepting multiple wind facilities to the Irish electrical grid.   A substation that if built could impact clean drinking water for well over 8 000.   

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Ratheniska residents are claiming that they have exposed Eirgrid’s litany of failures and systematic corporate sharp practice. 

The Ratheniska, Timahoe, Spink (RTS) Action Group, when briefing Minister Denis Naughten, made a number of extremely serious allegations, which they backed up with a dossier of painstakingly accumulated evidence: 20170118 – Presentation to Ministers-For Issue

Aside from the long standing issues of site unsuitability, water source destruction and planning process corruption, the RTS Action Group claimed to have unearthed very serious transgressions by Eirgrid’s board of the code of practice for semi state bodies.

The evidence indicated that EirGrid had created “a short cut on the board“.  RTS Action Group explained that four members on the EirGrid Board had formed a “sub-board” and were “filtering information going to the board where they are now rubber stamping projects and funding on the basis of recommendation by this four member sub – board.”

If these allegations prove to be true, and the RTS Action Group are adamant that they are, then this constitutes an extremely serious breach of the code of practice, which should lead to a mass resignation of the EirGrid Board of Directors.

In a statement released after the meeting with the Minister, the RTS Group said:

“The RTS Group believe that Minister Naughten, who was accompanied to meet the delegation by his Cabinet colleague and local TD, Charlie Flanagan, had his eyes opened and was astonished by the import, nature, scope, scale and seriousness of the information being placed before him, for the first time.

This meeting arose from a promise made last June in the Dáil by Minister Naughten to visit the site of Eirgrid’s “unauthorised development” and the community who alerted the authorities to Eirgrid’s illegal building activities.

Our greatest concern is that the construction of Eirgrid’s unnecessary energy hub project will destroy and pollute the very necessary and only source of clean water for not just this community but for 8,000 Laois people. All of the evidence of how Eirgrid have conducted themselves up to now points to this eventuality, and we just can’t allow that to happen.
The political fallout from this semi-state operating with such a cavalier attitude to planning law, sustainable development, professional best practice, and corporate responsibility was that all three local TD’s and all Laois County Councillors were unanimous in calling for Eirgrid to cease the development.

We set out some of the evidence for the Ministers as to how Eirgrid have been deliberately deceiving us, the planning authorities, the other arms of state, and even the Dáil from the very outset of this ill-conceived project. This is not due to a few mistakes, or a few individuals making errors, but systematic deception through every phase of this development from its inception to illegal commencement. This evidence has been collected through in depth research and forensic examination. The community could not rely on what Eirgrid were telling us in the public domain throughout their sham consultation process. This damning dossier has been given to Minister Naughten, who as line Minister is ultimately responsible for Eirgrid, their conduct and corporate transparency and accountability.

The buck stops with him. He is now in full knowledge of the scale and scope of Eirgrid’s deception and disgraceful behaviour, we expect the Minister to reel Eirgrid in, to finally make them accountable for their actions on site and in their boardroom. He must move to scrap the project. On foot of today’s new revelations it is incumbent on the Minster to act, act promptly and decisively”.

The last word goes to the current Minister of Justice, who made the following statement after being briefed by the RTS Group:

“There has been a clear breach of law. The breach is sufficiently serious to abandon the project. I don’t believe there is any way back for EirGrid. They should pack up their machinery and should not come back.”

Source: The Law is My Oyster