Category Archives: Direct Effects

Study first to demonstrate infrasound near hearing range may induce brain changes

Altered cortical and subcortical connectivity due to infrasound administered near the hearing threshold – Evidence from fMRI

PLOS

  • Published: April 12, 2017
  • https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0174420

    Abstract

    In the present study, the brain’s response towards near- and supra-threshold infrasound (IS) stimulation (sound frequency < 20 Hz) was investigated under resting-state fMRI conditions. The study involved two consecutive sessions. In the first session, 14 healthy participants underwent a hearing threshold—as well as a categorical loudness scaling measurement in which the individual loudness perception for IS was assessed across different sound pressure levels (SPL). In the second session, these participants underwent three resting-state acquisitions, one without auditory stimulation (no-tone), one with a monaurally presented 12-Hz IS tone (near-threshold) and one with a similar tone above the individual hearing threshold corresponding to a ‘medium loud’ hearing sensation (supra-threshold). Data analysis mainly focused on local connectivity measures by means of regional homogeneity (ReHo), but also involved independent component analysis (ICA) to investigate inter-regional connectivity. ReHo analysis revealed significantly higher local connectivity in right superior temporal gyrus (STG) adjacent to primary auditory cortex, in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and, when allowing smaller cluster sizes, also in the right amygdala (rAmyg) during the near-threshold, compared to both the supra-threshold and the no-tone condition. Additional independent component analysis (ICA) revealed large-scale changes of functional connectivity, reflected in a stronger activation of the right amygdala (rAmyg) in the opposite contrast (no-tone > near-threshold) as well as the right superior frontal gyrus (rSFG) during the near-threshold condition. In summary, this study is the first to demonstrate that infrasound near the hearing threshold may induce changes of neural activity across several brain regions, some of which are known to be involved in auditory processing, while others are regarded as keyplayers in emotional and autonomic control. These findings thus allow us to speculate on how continuous exposure to (sub-)liminal IS could exert a pathogenic influence on the organism, yet further (especially longitudinal) studies are required in order to substantialize these findings.

    journal.pone.0174420.g002

Shut them down! Turbines Exceed Noise Regulations

Ontario has had years to respond to the knowledge that industrial wind turbines are exceeding noise limits. Regulations that the wind industry lobbied for.

In Huron-Bruce county residents continue to battle government to enforce existing regulations to protect and preserve health from intrusive noise of industrial wind turbines.  The document below is just one example of many submitted to Ontario from adversely impacted residents:

The pressure continues to mount on the MOECC (Ministry of Environment and Climate Change). The turbines are emitting noise above regulated limits with tonal qualities. Ontario on their own admission and as on the public record- will use the ‘law’ to enforce protections.  Do the right thing.

SHUT DOWN THE TURBINES NOW!

Tests Find Some Huron Bruce Turbines Exceed Noise Regulations

The MPP for Huron Bruce has called on the province to shut down all industrial wind turbines that fail to comply with noise regulations.

Lisa Thompson says test results released April 7 indicate that the noise levels of turbines near two Huron Bruce residences exceed Ministry of Environment noise guidelines.

The results also acknowledged the possibility that tonal noises are being produced.

However, instead of agreeing to shut down the turbines, Environment Minister Glen Murray claimed the law is being enforced and complaints are being dealt with quickly.

“It has taken two years get these results. The next round of testing could take at least another year and a half,” says Thompson. “I don’t know what this minister thinks quick means, but suffering for three and a half years before anything gets done doesn’t sound quick to me.”

“The Black and Stachura families as well as other families across Ontario have been suffering for far too long from the impacts of IWTs which were built too close to their homes.” said Thompson. “The Minister needs to acknowledge the test results and once and for all do right by the people of Ontario affected by industrial wind turbines.”

She calls on the Minister to acknowledge the test results, and do the right thing.

READ AT: http://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2017/04/12/tests-find-huron-bruce-turbines-exceed-noise-regulations/

Don’t throw turbine neighbours under the bus

thrown_under_the_busHuron Daily Tribune

Wednesday April 5, 2017

To the editor:

You’ve heard that wind turbines are no louder than refrigerators at 40 decibels? That measurement is taken a foot or two away from the bottom of the refrigerator.

If 40 decibels is acceptable to you, then maybe refrigerators should be installed on your night stand next to your bed. Please make sure the refrigerator is set to turn on and off, on and off every two seconds to simulate the wind turbine blade’s movement. Do you really think that two-second intermittent noise all night long will lull you to sleep?

The scientific studies referred to by wind energy companies are often wind energy-funded studies. And when recent studies from many independent researchers are published that comment on audible noise, pulsation/vibration, and shadow flicker affecting nearby residents, the wind faction is quick to dismiss, trivialize, debunk, and simply ignore that information.

Michigan State University has been promoting sample zoning for wind energy systems that was highly permissive toward wind development and darn near hostile to neighbors of wind turbines. The animosity created in communities with unsafe wind development favoring wind developers may take years to disappear.

It’s a brand new ball game because, on March 6, MSU released its new wind energy sample zoning regulations. MSU researchers don’t condone prohibiting turbines. They condone safe setbacks.

The study informs the uninformed about wind development and reasonable land use regulations. These new recommendations are extremely important and confirm all of the things so many people in Michigan have worked so hard for.

Here are some highlights of the MSU recommendations:

Sound Level — On-site use wind energy systems shall not exceed 40 dB(A) at the property line closest to the wind energy system. This sound pressure level may be briefly exceeded during short term events such as utility outages and/or severe wind storms.

One MSU recommendation is a turbine setback of 2,500 feet from the property line of any parcel which is not receiving compensation for the Utility Grid Wind Energy System.

And, to show how wind energy is losing its grip in Michigan, here is a recent straw poll: In Ingersoll Township, Michigan (just south of Midland), board officials took a poll of 88 people at their March 22 board meeting. Results?

• 75 against wind development in township

• 3 for wind development in township

• 10 undecided

The money a community can make and the money a large landholder can make certainly is important. But, it’s the only bullet the pro wind faction has. However, to allow so many large landholders a financial gain is to throw the neighbors of wind turbines under the bus.

Norm Stephens

Caro

WindTurbinesComparision_BySchindler

New wind energy resource for planning commissions; Michigan State University

Wind Turbines Hamper TV signals

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Summerhaven Wind Turbine (Next Era)   Haldimand County, Ontario

TV reception in many areas suffers with the installation of industrial wind turbines.  The Summerhaven wind (Next Era) project located in Haldimand County as one example responded to multiple complaints about poor TV signals by commissioning a cheeky report in 2014 ( posted online shortly after that project became operational).  The conclusions of the hired opinion was that complaining people were ever so pleased and delighted to receive proper direction on how to improve TV reception by not using misaligned and broken antennas.   One project operator’s response to reported problems but has it succeeded in redirecting criticism that turbines are to blame or fixed the problem?  In 2017 deteriorated TV signals persists as an unresolved issue as demonstrated in the following letter recently published in the local paper.

“I see problems for broadcasters and the wind turbine operators. They are required to work in accordance with the requirements of the federal government. I feel that a petition signed by a number of citizens with their addresses and locations would have a possibility of resolving the situation.”

Wind Turbines Hamper TV Signals

Sachem   March 30, 2017

While removing a recent snowfall from our porch deck, the telephone rang and a volunteer from TV Ontario was asking for their annual donation. I have the highest regard for their TV programs, presence and availability — especially with the conversion from analogue to digital a few years back.

We had over-the-air TV for many years at our location and it has been quite successful with the conversion to digital, with improved picture and sound.

However, with the commissioning of wind turbines, we frequently notice a decline of the TV signal’s strength — resulting in unacceptable audio quality, which in turn, makes the entire TV signal unwatchable. If a satisfactory TV signal strength can be maintained, the process will correct itself and the TV becomes highly desirable.

Canadian TV for the east end of the Niagara peninsula is basically fed from transmitters on the CN Tower in Toronto in a straight line to the various over-the-air antennae, and passes by many wind turbines — and their associated impulse noises — resulting in the aforementioned problems. The principal TV transmitters are CBC, CTV, TVO and Global, as well as several smaller stations.

The wind turbine operation and TV system may be a question of co-ordination between the turbine power generator and associated electrical demand, as well as the population’s desire for TV — both for necessity and enjoyment.

Satellites in the upper stratosphere can be used whereby signals from the transmitter — CN Tower — can be reflected off to be received at a customer’s home, thereby obviating the wind turbine problem. However, this results in a cost for installation and ongoing rental of equipment.

To my TV Ontario fund requester, I felt I had to explain that they were a worthy charity that does a superb job, but I would not want to spend the funds and be unable to enjoy the fruits of their effort. Due to the havoc caused by wind turbines, I therefore declined their request until signal improvements can be made.

I see problems for broadcasters and the wind turbine operators. They are required to work in accordance with the requirements of the federal government. I feel that a petition signed by a number of citizens with their addresses and locations would have a possibility of resolving the situation.

We have put together this petition and have over 70 signatures at present. We feel we need more and request readers of the The Sachem to endorse this petition.

Hopefully this can provide Haldimand with better television reception.

V. Huxtable

Dunnville

905-774-6822

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Summerhaven Wind Turbine (Next Era) being erected in 2013 Haldimand County, Ontario

Niagara Wind Turbines & Battle for Rights

1My project is the Niagara Region Wind, which consists of 77, 3.0 MW 124m height, plus the blade length which is 101m tip to tip. These turbines exceeds the span of a Boeing 747. In my backyard. I live in Haldimand County.

It is very hard to post everything about the projects, from noise, visual pollution, a community driven apart and divided, to human health, environmental health, the corruption uncovered, the rights you no longer have and the push backs from every single level of government there is. Not one single level of government will converse with you, they have a standard response they give to everyone.

I have one IWT 680m from my home, 417m to my property line. I have one 1022m from my home, another 1322m from my home and a transfer station is 900m to my home. Within 3km’s of my home there is at least 20+ turbines.

I live remotely, dead end street with 23 beautiful acres.
It’s a very different life. There is no more quiet space. There isn’t any quiet time anywhere. They are enormous, unsightly. Visually distracting, Visually disturbing, night and day. At night I have blinking red lights that penetrate our home.

I am on a prescription for vertigo, cabin pressure and motion sickness. This is a way of life I have never dreamed of living, nor thought would ever happen. This is MY new life, not chosen by me, but rammed down my throat by the incompetent greedy corrupt liberals. Yes, the prescription helps to lessen the symptoms and at times debilitating pain, but I am on a DRUG to remain in my home most days (forced out some days).

Let me explain something. I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Both of which I do not medicate or take any scribe for. I manage with a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Now, in order to not be hospitalized for violent episodes of vertigo, balance loss and vomiting, I MUST remain on a prescription.

I can not convey my anger at this situation correctly. I can not convey to those who do not have turbines exactly what it is like to live with them. It is an experience that goes beyond ones ability to express correctly.

How do you tell people, the turbines haunt you 24/7. How do you explain to people the turbines and the IFS and LFS keep you awake all night.

I continue to battle for my rights. The same rights given to every Canadian and the same rights laid out in the constitution. But when you learn the GEA 2009 has over ridden rights, over ridden by-laws, abolished the MOECC, MNR rights and so on, you know you don’t live in Kansas anymore.

I am more than willing to discuss this on an ongoing basis.
Later I will post videos of the noise, the view from my living room and explain that as a mother how your FIGHT mode is triggered when a minor in your home is adversely affected. How you quietly retreat to your room to cry in overwhelming shame; Shame you can not provide a safe home for your family and yourself.

I truly am a different person than I was 7 months ago.

With each write to the government and agencies, I remind them I did not give up my rights, I did not consent to be a human trial project and their blatant disregard for human health will have consequences.

Lastly, I’d like to mention I have a fantastic Doctor. Most GP’s think its all in your head. My doctor understands LF’s and IFS. Due to the immense cabin pressure in my ears he acknowledges it’s time to start tracking nerve damage seeing as we are at the early stages, nerve damage which will cause hearing loss. I will be going for extensive hearing tests until further notice.
There is so much more to write….

Sandy Max,  Haldimand County
March 2017

Niagara Wind turbines came online November 2016: http://www.nrwf.ca/ 

Toolkit for Turbines

house-surrounded-by-wind-turbines“Pressures to stop (new) wind energy production in Ontario have increased significantly since the controversial GEA. “

Opposition to wind turbines is facing a growing resistance not just in Ontario but globally. The acceptance and excitement over using an alternative way to generate electricity has  given way to the bitter nightmare  faced by abutting residents who are adversely impacted by these massive and intrusive structures. Courts worldwide are increasingly rendering decisions to compensate families and individuals who have been harmed.

The Toolkit document opines (give it a read and try not to choke on the obvious) as to why a few (smaller) turbines in a less densely populated rural area will meet with less resistance than clusters of hundreds (increasingly larger machines) placed adjacent to towns and settled areas.   It is suggested that entering into a more intimate relationship with wind development will mitigate the harms of not being able to give consent.

This is a false and misleading conclusion as landowners who host wind turbines have given witness that they too were harmed even when money was received.

“The ultimate goal is fairer and much less divisive turbine facility siting outcomes when governments and communities themselves decide that turbine development is the policy path they wish to pursue.”  Toolkit for Turbines: Wind Energy Development in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada

Harm from wind power will not be remedied with the stated goal. The document fails to address a fundamental flaw in reasoning- which is to examine if turbines justify the negative documented outcomes. Simply put the wind turbines are not fit for purpose. To continue to pursue an energy policy that accepts inflicting harm on a few without remedy and without proven benefits for the greater good is wilful blindness.

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Protesters demonstrated in Oakville where Premier Kathleen Wynne was the guest speaker at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Enercon Admits Liability for Noise Pollution

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Niagara Wind’s Enercon wind turbines in West Lincoln, Ontario

In Irish High Court Enercon admitted its liability for claims of noise pollution created by its wind turbines.  Several families in Cork sued the wind turbine manufacturer claiming the noise from its wind turbines were creating ill health that resulted in some of the families having to abandon their homes.  The decision is being watched closely worldwide. This  lawsuit has implications for Niagara Wind project in Ontario as some residents are already reporting ill health and negative symptoms since the installation was commissioned in late 2016.

Wind farm being sued by families admits its liability

Monday, February 06, 2017

By Claire O’Sullivan
Irish Examiner Reporter

The case is next listed for hearing on April 25, and will be closely observed by many of the families living in close proximity to wind farms and who claim that there should be a greater distance between homes and turbines.

The case against Enercon Windfarm Services Ireland Ltd and Carrigcannon Wind Farm Ltd was taken by the Shivnen family and another six households in Banteer including couples, families, and one single occupant.

The householders had claimed their health had been affected by the noise emanating from the turbines since they began operating in November 2011.

Planning regulation around wind turbines remain governed by 2006 guidelines which allow companies to build turbines within 500m of private dwellings.

Updated guidelines stipulating how far wind turbines should be set back from residential homes are three years overdue.

These guidelines will also deal with noise and ‘shadow flicker’ from the turning blades.

Up to 7,000 submissions were made in the public consultation process that followed the issuing of draft guidelines by the then minister for housing Jan O’Sullivan, which set down a mandatory minimum setback of 500m “for amenity considerations”.

The draft guidelines also set a maximum day and night noise limit of 40 decibels for future wind energy development, measured outdoors at the home nearest to the wind turbine.

The guidelines also stipulated that there should be no shadow flicker at home within 10 ‘rotor diameters’ of a turbine.

The Shivnen case appeared before Mr Justice Gilligan on December 6 where the Court recorded that liability had been admitted by the defendants.

A spokesman for Enercon was unavailable for comment.

A spokesman for the Department of Housing, Planning Community, and Local Government said that, due to the programme for government, ongoing policy, and legal developments, the Department is continuing “to advance work on the guidelines and related matters in conjunction with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, in order to bring the various issues to a conclusion as early as possible”.

“It is expected that a statement on the matter will be made in the coming weeks, outlining the timelines for implementation of the various elements,” said the spokesman.

READ AT: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/wind-farm-being-sued-by-families-admits-its-liability-442172.html 

Prove Your Wind Turbines are Safe

Water droplet with the earth in it.Regarding the Courier Press story, Otter Creek says there’s no proof that wind turbines are responsible for dirty water.

The headline of that story captures the essence of what’s wrong with Ontario’s Green Energy Act. Rather than providing proof that their turbines won’t harm well water, the developers are quite content with casting doubt about harm because they know the government will approve their project if they can create the slightest hint of doubt… the precautionary principle be damned.

This is perhaps the biggest flaw in the Green Energy Act that wind developers are only too happy to exploit — the burden of proof for proving harm rests with the individual residents. 

This is an impossible barrier for individuals with limited resources. The onus rightfully belongs on the Otter Creek developers to prove their turbines will not cause harm to the wells, rather than engage a consultant to review another consultant’s report, which in turn was based on other reports from other consultants; none of whom have bothered to actually test the water in the Dover wells.

This statement by Otter Creek project manager Marc Weatherill is one example of wind developers attitude towards local residents when he stated: “A lot of the claims have been based on anecdotal evidence or experience.”

The “experience” of residents in Dover, after nearby turbines have been installed, has been turbid well water that reeks of hydrocarbons. Their experience has been that they must buy bottled water for drinking and cooking, and some make regular trips to laundromats to wash their clothing.

Their experience has been that their horses would rather drink water at roadside ditches instead of the well water.

Their experience has been that the filters provided to some have not been effective in providing them with clean water.

Perhaps Mr. Weatherill should visit some of the well owners in Dover and taste their water before he dismisses their claims as merely “anecdotal” and not worthy of further investigation.

Mr. Weatherill also claims that if the Water Wells First group provided scientific data that proves their claims, they would be grateful and happily review the information and details.

He also states that, “What we said to them is, look we want to understand your concern, we want to understand the issue but we need to see it laid out for us.”

Seriously, he wants the residents to do his work for him.

Otter Creek’s selected turbine model, the Enercon 141, with a nominal output of 4.2 MW, will be the largest deployed in Ontario with a nacelle height of 129 metres and a rotor diameter of 141 meters.  There’s enormous potential for vibration, and yet Adam Rosso, project development director for Boralex, said there are no plans on doing baseline testing on water wells in and around the Otter Creek Wind Farm area. And Mr. Weatherill added: “If that’s something that is required of us then we will, but as of right now we don’t have any plans to do that.”

I would point out that the Otter Creek developers hope to vacuum about $218 million directly out of the ratepayers’ pockets over the 20-year life of the contract. Since the Minister of Energy has acknowledged that Ontario has a “robust supply” of generating capacity for the next decade, we will pay the Otter Creek owners about $100 million over the next 10 years in exchange for exactly zero net benefit. The cost of baseline and ongoing water testing pales in comparison to the potential profit.

Confirming “there’s no proof that wind turbines are responsible for dirty water” is as simple as installing an in-line turbidity meter and data logger at several wells in key locations before construction and continuing past start-up. This would confirm the water quality throughout the entire process. If there was an increase in turbidity, the data logger would be able to pinpoint the exact time it occurred, which could then be compared with any activity such as pile driving for turbine bases or when the turbines are operating. If there’s no change in the water turbidity, it would be definitive proof that the turbines are not causing any problems with the wells.

This so obvious, that refusing to perform such simple and low-cost testing would result in the public perception that the developers are engaging in willful blindness, perhaps out of fear of the results.

Santo Giorno

Camlachie

Published: http://www.wallaceburgcourierpress.com/2017/02/03/letter-no-reason-why-otter-creek-cant-do-more-tests 

 

People vs Wind Turbines

vive-a-la-resistance-2Ontario Superior Court- Goderich  January 19, 2017

Congratulations to Trish and Shawn Drennan!

You put a compelling and sensible case together and spoke with passion and the strength of truth behind your words today.  One comment was that some felt they were witnessing an important step in this fight.  I heard, from a lawyer, that a lawyer couldn’t have done a better job in arguing the case.  Most felt the judge really got it and it was in no small part because of the time, work, expense and personal sacrifice you’ve both given to this to put the facts on the table. 

You told the court the govt has put up an impossible barrier when we have to prove at an ERT that a turbine installation that isn’t built yet, will seriously harm us and that the judicial review confirmed the ERT’s decision.

You declared that the many witnesses who have come forward to testify that they have been harmed by turbines all over this province have not been given the gravity and respect they deserve for putting their testimony forward.  You told them the govt and the wind company KNOWS it will harm people even as the proposals and permits go ahead.  And I note that if the judge had asked, at least half or more of the people in that room today could have stood up and said, I am the evidence of harm from turbines.”

You told them that the difference between then and now, is now the switch has been turned on, the turbines are running and you too are being harmed.

The judge challenged the wind company and the MOE to tell him what remedy the Drennins have besides more time in court and we all watched them try to answer to no avail, because as was pointed out the only remedy right now is to move away. 

When the judge looked at the wind company lawyer and tried to paraphrase what the lawyer had just said to him with, “ So, the Drennins went to the ERT and judicial review, have complained to MOE, and still have no remedy, so it’s tough luck for them?  The wind company lawyer replied, “Yes.” which drew gasps of disbelief from the full gallery of people who attended.  

When it came time to argue about who should be named as defendants; wind company and /or govt., it was interesting to watch the judge watch both try to throw each other under the bus.

I await to hear the decision and keep fingers crossed that you can move forward. 

Thank you on behalf of a whole lot of us.

Lorrie Gillis