Category Archives: Health Canada’s wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

Bottom Line- We Don’t Believe You

MOECC failing as regulator: WCO

Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson says these remarks are either a sign of “stunning ignorance, or a calculated policy by the MOECC to ignore and even demean what is happening to people in Ontario.”

MOECC reps stun audience with views on wind turbine noise

Municipal officials told wind turbine noise no worse than barking dogs, no action planned

MOECC officials actually compared noise emissions from large-scale wind power generators, including harmful low-frequency noise, to barking dogs. A failure to regulate

December 16, 2017

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) position on wind turbine noise is that they don’t pose a health problem.

That’s the conclusion from remarks made by Owen Sound District Manager Rick Chappell and District Supervisor Andrew Barton, speaking to the Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group in Chesley this past week.

The two MOECC managers said repeatedly indicated that they are just messengers: the MOECC’s Technical Assessment and Standards Branch is responsible for establishing the Ministry’s position on wind turbine noise and providing “advice” to local District staff when they respond to queries.

Bottom line: we don’t believe you

In their presentation and responding to questions from municipal officials in the Multi-Municipal working group, the MOECC officials outlined key elements of the MOECC position on wind turbine noise.

  1. They agree that wind turbines can cause annoyance. Contrary to medical literature, however, they do not use “annoyance” as a medical term denoting stress or distress. They actually compared annoyance caused by barking dogs to residents’ reactions to wind turbine noise. *
  2. The MOECC managers insisted the literature did not demonstrate any direct health effects from wind turbine noise, when asked about health studies and reviews on turbine noise. Despite evidence of indirect health effects raised, the staff comments repeatedly indicate the MOECC is narrowly focused on direct health effects.
  3. The MOECC takes a one-sided view of the Health Canada study which according to these officials only found that there was no link between wind turbine noise and health impacts. This statement ignores the second half of the findings which confirmed a link between reported health effects experienced over 12 months and wind turbine noise. They also do not seem to be aware of the findings released to WCO which indicated that annoyance starts at 35 dBA, not the 40 dBA used in Ontario.
  4. Their view of the Council of Canadian Academies report was similarly selective. They downplayed the key finding of this review which was that there is sufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and annoyance in the medical sense. Also not mentioned were the issues highlighted about measurements of wind turbine noise using A-weighted tools which fail to capture low frequency components of wind turbine noise. The Council noted that averaging measurements over time does not convey changes in sound pressure levels occurring in short periods.
  5. In terms of low frequency noise and infrasound, the MOECC representatives relied on a statement from Health Canada that levels of these emissions were found to be below levels that would expect to result in harm to human health. When questioned, however, they were not able to quantify what the MOECC considered “safe” levels of infrasound, or when the MOECC would be acquiring equipment that is capable of measuring emissions at frequencies below 20 Hz.
  6. Members of the Working Group countered by referring to research that conflicted with the MOECC statements. The response from Chappell and Barton was that the Technical Assessment and Standards Development branch reviews emerging research, but limits its assessments to peer-reviewed articles in “respected” journals.
  7. In the MOECC presentation, staff said the 2016 Glasgow International Wind Turbine Noise Conference supported their position on infrasound and health effects. This prompted the Technical Advisor to the group — who actually attended the conference — to inform them that he sent 14 papers presented at this conference to the Ministry, because the conclusions do not support the Ministry’s position.
  8. Chappell and Barton did not seem to be aware of the work of Dr. Neil Kelly at NASA in the mid-1970s on low frequency noise and infrasound from wind turbines, even though it was published in respected peer-reviewed journals and presented at U.S. wind industry conferences.
  9. Residents affected by wind turbine noise were present in the audience. One from Grey Highlands asked when the Ministry was going to respond to the noise assessments at his home that had been provided to the Ministry. No response timeline was provided. Another asked for the position of the MOECC on people who had to move from their homes because of the impact of the noise from nearby wind turbines. The response was that the MOECC has no position except to repeat that there is no direct link between wind turbine noise and health issues.

Members of the Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group did not appear to be satisfied with the answers provided by the Ministry officials; several follow-up activities are planned.

MOECC failing as regulator: WCO

Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson says these remarks are either a sign of “stunning ignorance, or a calculated policy by the MOECC to ignore and even demean what is happening to people in Ontario.”

Wilson, a Registered Nurse, says there is a great deal of evidence in the health literature about the range of noise emissions produced by large-scale wind turbines, and growing international concern about adverse health effects.

“Of course there are health effects,” Wilson said. “That’s why we have setbacks between turbines and homes in the first place. This Ministry refuses to acknowledge it has a problem and take appropriate action — it is failing the people of Ontario as a regulator.”

MOECC managers Rick Chappell (4th from left), Andrew Barton at December 14th meeting: their answers didn’t satisfy the committee [Photo: Wind Concerns Ontario]

*CanWEA in a 2011 news release acknowledged that a percentage of people can be annoyed by wind turbines, and the trade association said that when annoyance has a significant impact on quality of life, “it is important that they consult their doctor. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also describes noise-induced annoyance in legislation as a situation that “can have major consequences, primarily to one’s health.”

Source: Wind Concerns Ontario

Huron County Wind Turbine Study Awaiting Ethics Clearance

huron county Wind-Turbines

September 28, 2017  By: Fadi Didi 

A study into the health effects of industrial wind turbines in Huron County is awaiting research ethics clearance.

Epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Clark, says the clearance is a normal part of conducting research effecting public health.

The study from the Huron County Health Unit will examine areas not touched on by a 2015 Health Canada study, which examined the health effects on those living within earshot of wind turbines.

As for the ethics clearance, Clark says a research ethics committee board at the University of Waterloo will ensure the study meets a strict set of guidelines.

Those include ensuring participants are giving free and informed consent, are not exposed to undue harm when taking part, and understand what they are agreeing to when participating.

Clark hopes to recruit several hundred participants in the upcoming survey.

The results are expected to be shared nationally.

In late 2014, Health Canada released the results of a study, which found no link between wind turbines and adverse health in those living nearby.

The study did, however, link turbine noise with increased levels of annoyance of nearby residents.

MORE INFORMATION  about WIND TURBINE STUDY : Huron County Public Health Unit

Annoyance is an adverse health effect

To:
Malcolm S. Lock, MD., M.P.H.
(A) Medical Officer of Health
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
malcolm.lock@hnhu.org
Copy:
Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health
c/o Chair, Mr. Charlie Luke
Charlie.Luke@norfolkcounty.ca
Ms Stephana Johnston
Ontario, Canada
stephjohnston519@gmail.com
February 25, 2015
Dear Dr. Lock,

Re: Response to your November 20, 2014 letter to Ms Johnston

Ms Johnston has asked that I respond to your letter of November 20, 2014. She requests that a copy of this letter be provided to the Chair and the Members of the Board of Health.

Personal disclosure: I declare no potential conflicts of interest and have received no financial support with respect to the research and authorship of this commentary.

This letter is public and may be shared.

I met Ms Johnston for the first time on April 22, 2009, during the Standing Committee on General Government, Green Energy and Economy Act, 2009 hearings. I have been in touch with Ms Johnston since that time and am aware of her circumstances. In my opinion since early 2009 Ms Johnston has explored every avenue available to her, including contacting your office, to find a remedy to her circumstances which are associated with the operation of
the wind projects in her vicinity.

There is sufficient evidence that some, including Ms Johnston are negatively affected by industrial wind energy facilities. Examples of reported adverse health effects include chronic and high annoyance, chronic sleep disturbance, stress-related health impacts and reduced quality of life.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12 In some cases families reporting adverse health effects  have abandoned their homes, been billeted away from their homes or hired legal counsel to successfully reach a financial agreement with the wind energy developer.13

Peer reviewed and published references, testimony under oath, and/or disclosure evidence and/or witness statements, authoritative documents and other references such as those briefly
summarized in this letter have acknowledged adverse health effects.

A brief bio and summary of the peer reviewed articles and conference papers for which I am an author / co-author is provided at the end of this letter.

Assurances of Health Protection

In a communication dated pre-Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA 2009), the former Minister of Environment of Ontario, John Gerretsen states the MOE is committed to siting and operation of facilities in a manner that is protective of human health and that it is an offence to violate a condition set out in a CofA (Certificate of Approval): [excerpt] Continue reading Annoyance is an adverse health effect

Michael Jankowski – Presentation as heard at ERT.

NRWC ERT Presentation Companion – Michael A Jankowski (1)

here is the word for word presentation….without the accompanying slide show…. that was heard at the ERT.

Michael A. Jankowski – Presentation Companion (Exact Spoken Words at Presentation)

Slide 2:

I have come to you today because I know, based on our experiences, observations and learnings,  that the HAF Wind Turbines have invoked serious health issues for my family and myself and to warn you and others that if NRWC is allowed to proceed with a much larger Wind Project nearly the same distance from our home as HAF, that not only will our issues continue to get worse, but many of the 10,000 people living in the environ of the NRWC project area will also start to suffer from serious Wind Turbine induced negative health impacts as we have and probably worse. Many who will suffer will have a difficult task to determine why they are suffering and will also need help to know where to report any such suffering. Further, if they overcome the hurdles to find out where to report, it is unlikely they will receive any meaningful response, as experienced by my family and I.

We have established a chain of causality, from the noise/vibrations which invade into our home, most often at night as we try to sleep through to the resultant health impacts we have experienced, which, are strikingly the same health impacts that studies note and the experiences of many other people also report. You should consider my presentation to be “eye witness” material. In my full submission, I’ve provided what information I can from professionals in the short time I have been afforded by the ERT process. I offer this in addition to my experiences, observation and learnings including a letter from our family doctor.

In my direct experience, the giant Wind Turbines which are the HAF Wind Power generation project do emit audible Low Frequency Noise and Inaudible Infrasound with a multi-cyclic characteristic so significant that we can hear/feel this noise/vibration in our home many nights as we try to sleep. (Similar in characteristic to 2 or 3 alarm clocks sounding) Often, when we hear/feel this, my ears feel pressurized and in some pain at times after hearing/feeling the noise/vibration from the HAF Wind Turbines. This is also consistent with what many others have noted. The sound/vibration bears a distinct monotonal predictable repetitive pattern – WHOOM, WHOOM, WHOOM, WHOOM, WHOOM which is in time with the HAF Wind Turbines and only present when they are turning as I will describe later.

Since the HAF Wind Turbines (HWTs) commenced operation on June 14th, 2014, my family and I noticed serious and negative changes to our health and wellness over time. Since my family and I have been subjected the HWTs noise/vibration, we have endured negative health consequences which we have not experienced previously and which are directly related to the parts of my body which are irritated when we hear/feel this noise/vibration. Continue reading Michael Jankowski – Presentation as heard at ERT.

Industrial Wind Turbines: Why the Battle is Worth the Fight

1297643875683_ORIGINAL (1)Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. has launched an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) against the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOE) and the Niagara Region Wind Corporation (NRWC).   The NRWC has been granted approval by the Ministry of the Environment to construct 77 industrial wind turbines in West Lincoln, Wainfleet and Haldimand County.   These IWT’s are the largest turbines to be placed on land in North America with the smallest set back. They will generate more empty homes, hospital expenses and higher electricity bills.

Many in the reading audience may be bored with this news, or resigned to the results when little people battle huge corporations or the government, but this battle is worth fighting because more and more red flags are going up on the field. Continue reading Industrial Wind Turbines: Why the Battle is Worth the Fight

County urged to study EMF levels along Dufferin Wind transmission line

While Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) “unequivocally” states its transmission line meets all regulations, Melancthon Mayor Darren White wants the county to conduct its own electromagnetic field (EMF) tests.

At county council’s meeting this Thursday (Jan. 8), White plans to urge politicians hire an electrical engineering consultant to determine whether the amount of stray energy being emitted from Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line is safe or not.

“It’s in the best interest of us to at least know what the levels are that we’re dealing with,” White said. “To have somebody, who is professional in the field, explain to us that this is safe, this is not safe, or under which conditions it is safe.”

Since Health Canada doesn’t consider EMF a hazard, there are no precautionary measures required when it relates to daily exposure. As such, Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts noted the company has no testing guidelines to follow.

“We state unequivocally that all protocol has been followed in the construction of this line,” Roberts explained in an email, claiming opponents to her company’s project are requesting EMF measurements that aren’t mandated in Canada.

“DWPI has installed a safe power line,” Roberts added. “It has been built to the latest industry standards; and it is consistently operating at well under capacity.”

Continue reading County urged to study EMF levels along Dufferin Wind transmission line

Health Canada study: Ontario wind turbine rules not protecting citizens

December 3, 2014

NEWS RELEASE

Health Canada study: Ontario wind turbine rules not protecting citizens

The results of a Health Canada study released November 6 show that Ontario is not protecting the health of residents living near wind turbines, and that longer setbacks between the wind turbines and homes are required.

Health Canada’s summary of its Wind Turbine Noise and Health study results included the fact that responses to the study’s questionnaire show participants reporting experiencing distress or annoyance when wind turbine noise was at 35 decibels/dBA.   Current Ontario regulations are based on the World Health Organization Night Noise limit of 40 dBA but that limit was designed solely for traffic and airport noise.  Continue reading Health Canada study: Ontario wind turbine rules not protecting citizens

Wind turbine appeal to be heard in “Wellandport” (not Smithville)

Please donate to the Legal Fund, we can fight only as far as the money takes us.

Wind turbine appeal to be heard in Smithville   Wellandport

1331173896981_ORIGINALAs they said they would, an advocacy group has appealed the decision to allow a 77-turbine wind farm to be built in west Niagara, but they have no disillusions of their chances of winning.

A preliminary hearing for a tribunal that could overturn the wind farm approval has now been scheduled for Dec. 19 at the Wellandport Community Centre.

That building, on Canborough Rd. in Smithville, has become a key site in the wind turbine debate, with numerous public meetings held there as progress on the massive development has slowly moved forward.

Niagara Region Wind Corp. was given the green light to move forward with its industrial wind turbine project in early November when the Ministry of the Environment issued its Renewable Energy Approval.

The project calls for 77 three-megawatt turbines to be built in West Lincoln, Lincoln and Wainfleet. The total development has a capacity of 230 MW, enough to power 70,000 homes and make it the fifth-largest wind farm in North America. Continue reading Wind turbine appeal to be heard in “Wellandport” (not Smithville)

Mothers appeal turbine approval

NRWC given green light to erect 77 turbines

WEST LINCOLN — Despite government approval, a group of West Lincoln resident continues to fight impending industrial wind turbines.

Mothers appeal turbine approval Toronto Star photo Mothers Against Wind Turbines has filed an appeal against by Niagara Region Wind Corp.plans to erect 77 wind turbines, the majority of which will be located in West Lincoln.
Mothers appeal turbine approval
Toronto Star photo
Mothers Against Wind Turbines has filed an appeal against by Niagara Region Wind Corp.plans to erect 77 wind turbines, the majority of which will be located in West Lincoln.

Earlier this month the provincial government gave the green light to a wind farm planned by Niagara Region Wind Corp. The company plans to erect 77 wind turbines with the majority located in the township. Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. is doing anything but accepting the approval and has filed an appeal the project.

The appellants allege they have several grounds to prove the proposed project will cause “serious and irreversible harm to plants, animals and the natural environment” — which is what the tribunal can make decisions based on. MAWT alleges the project could harm butterflies and an endangered tree species within the project study area. They say that studies on both by the proponent are incomplete and that site surveys for several natural features were not conducted.

The group also alleges the project will harm human health, alleging that more than 600 people will be experience negative health effects from the turbines and that the project is a violation of rights granted to all Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Continue reading Mothers appeal turbine approval

Update: constitutional wind turbine court case

imagesThe Canadian Charter of Rights Constitutional court case re industrial wind turbines was heard in London Divisional Court last week from MondayThursday. (was extended into Thursday)  A panel of 3 judges heard the case and indicated they need to take enough time on the decision to ensure due diligence.  There were no references to decision timelines on the appeal.  The decision on the “stay” request of stopping the projects until a decision is made might possibly be sooner as the judge asked when the turbine blades would start turning and the answer was that turbine testing would begin in January.
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The Coalition Against Industrial Wind Turbines (CAIWT) lawyer, Richard Macklin, was allowed 15 minutes for his oral presentation in support of the appeal on Monday but no decision was made on whether the coalition would be allowed as intervenors so that decision will come out with the final decision. The coalition argued that various procedures in the Renewable Energy Approvals and the Environmental Review Tribunal appeal process are unconstitutional because they do not protect the health of the community. Some issues presented were: the Director issues wind project approvals without considering health; appeals must be heard and the decision out in 6 months which is a very short a time to hear all the evidence on a serious issue; adjournments are sparingly granted (none granted here); the bar is set too high when we have to prove that the project will cause serious harm to human health; the onus is on those appealing that the project will cause serious harm; and community groups do not have the resources for these appeals whereas the opponents are well resourced. Despite the importance of the issues in these appeals, no group in the coalition can afford to hire counsel on its own, hence the coalition. The coalition also shows that not just people living in the project areas of this appeal are affected but communities all over rural Ontario are being affected.
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So in the meantime, we wait for the decision. Whoever wins, there will likely be an appeal to the Supreme Court.

. Continue reading Update: constitutional wind turbine court case