Background: The introduction of industrial wind turbines into quiet rural en-vironments in Ontario, Canada has resulted in complaints about environmental noise and adverse health effects. Ontario has a process whereby residents can report noise to government. Official government records of Incident Reports/Complaints submitted by residents living near operating wind turbine installations were obtained through a Freedom of Information request. This article presents an evaluation of this process while commenting on the significance of Incident Reports/Complaints. Methods: Government records of Incident Reports/Complaints were analysed. Peer reviewed publications, conference presentations, judicial proceedings, government resources, and other sources were evaluated and considered in context with the topic under discussion. Objectives: The purpose of this article is to present the role and significance of Incident Reports/Complaints and discuss the value of these when assessing outcomes related to the introduction of wind turbines into a quiet rural environment. Results: Government records document 4574 Incident Reports/Complaints received by Ontario’s hotline (2006- 2016). There was no ministry response to over 50% of more than 3000 submitted formal complaints (2006-2014). Another 30% were noted as “deferred” response. Only 1% of the reports received a priority response. Provincial Officers noted in summary reports that people were reporting health effects such as: headache, sleep deprivation, annoyance, and ringing or pressure sensation in the head and ears. Health effects were reported many times including those occurring among children. Discussion: In the case of wind power installations, Incident Reports/Complaints are an important source of information for evaluating outcomes of introducing a new noise source into a quiet rural environment and are a form of public health surveillance. These reports can highlight risks to a healthy community living environment, act as an early warning system, and aid in evaluation of government policy initiatives. They may also be used before legal tribunals in public or private actions.
Cite this paper
Krogh, C. M. , Wilson, E. J. and Harrington, M. E. (2019). Wind Turbine Incident/Complaint Reports in Ontario, Canada: A Review—Why Are They Important?. Open Access Library Journal, 6, e5200. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1105200.
Living with Industrial Scale Turbines and the disturbances each night has impacted my capabilities. I have noticed many negative changes in my cognitive functions and handlings each day: Without a doubt related to sleep deprivation that includes the numerous sleep disturbances nightly.
Infrasound triggers the brain to be ‘awake.’ Does this mean our brains that are influenced by infrasound and low frequency waves are not able to do their night repairs and storage?
July 2018-Testimony from a resident adversely impacted by Industrial Wind Turbines adjacent to their home.
What Does Your Brain Do When you Sleep?
“Sleep deprivation is more deadly than food deprivation.”
Saturday afternoon over ninety members of the public attended an electrifying community information session on “Understanding Stray Voltage and Industrial Wind Turbines” held at Covenant Christian School in Smithville.
The keynote speaker was Mr. David Stetzer an electrician with 30 years’ experience. Stetzer specializes in power control in industry, municipalities, and motor control centers. For the last decade, Stetzer has focused his attention on power quality analysis and troubleshooting. He is a senior member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers), an expert witness in litigation suits in ground currents and power quality, co-author of peer reviewed papers in journals as well as a producer of the documentary ‘Beyond Coincidence: The Perils of Electrical Pollution’.
Stetzer attributes much of the dirty electricity – frequently referred to as ‘stray voltage’ that exists in Ontario – to the overloading of the single return wire in our power supply. Eighty percent of the power that returns to the substation is “dumped” onto the ground. We do not see, hear, feel, taste or smell electromagnetic energy. Yet the proliferation of electrical pollution creates problems for people who have a biological reaction to the poor power quality that is generated by industrial wind turbines, power transmission lines and distribution lines.
Any power generator in Ontario has an obligation to transmit ‘clean power’. Using an oscilloscope, it is possible to measure the pure sine wave of clean power and determine what harmonics, transients or intermediate frequencies which produce poor power quality or ‘dirty electricity’ are also present.
Tuned filters at the site of power generation prevent some of the distortion. But according to Stetzer the best solutions are to enforce current and existing codes and standards like the IEE519. Stop using the earth as a return circuit for the neutral current, by increasing the size of the utility’s Primary Neutral or utilize a 5-wire system to accommodate power returning to the substation.
Much of Stetzer’s work has been done with dairy cows to identify causes of decreased milk production. Poor production costs time, money and health.
As one member of the audience pointed out – industrial wind turbines are an intermittent power generator and only produce 28% of the nameplate capacity. “It’s like buying a one-titted cow” she said.
The second speaker was Carmen Krogh – a full time volunteer and published researcher regarding health effects and industrial wind energy facilities. She shared her preliminary research on why people in communities with industrial wind turbine generators leave their homes. Community members were invited to participate in a community-based study to explore the circumstances which may influence individuals and families to vacate or remain in their home when living near a wind energy project. Participation was voluntary, and 67 community members shared their experiences.
Based on preliminary results, sleep disturbance appears to be the most common reason people vacate. Other symptoms included: sensations such as pressure in the ears, chest, head, heart, bladder: ear problems such as tinnitus, burning, popping in ears; heart palpitations such as racing heart, increased blood pressure; headaches such as, migraines, stomach aches; nausea, vomiting, dizzy, vertigo; nose bleeds, skin infections, stress, anxiety, extreme agitation/ irritability, depression, cognitive, loss of concentration, and a sense of panic.
Krogh’s next steps are to finalize her data analysis and submit a number of papers for publication in peer reviewed journals. In addition, these findings will be shared with government authorities both domestically and globally.
Barb Ashbee – a member of the panel discussion – provided the victim impact perspective. Ashbee and her husband were happy, healthy involved community members before a wind turbine project started up near their home. The serious adverse health effects drove them out of their community. Testing in their home showed out of compliance noise, infrasound and electrical pollution. It was a battle to get any meaningful information or assistance from the government. After hiring a lawyer, they settled with the company, were able to relocate and their symptoms subsided after moving. Almost 10 years later, the anger and dismay at what the government is doing to citizens has not lessened as the toll rises. Ashbee continues to advocate for resolution for victims impacted by wind energy.
The supper speaker was Mr. Alan J Whiteley, an attorney for over 30 years. He has negotiated government defense contracts and served as counsel for the arbitration of international commercial disputes. Whiteley is legal counsel for the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) based in Prince Edward County, and is challenging various aspects of Ontario’s Green Energy Act via a Judicial Review.
According to Mr Whiteley, the Green Energy Act (GEA) has harmed the health of rural residents, the sustainability of the natural environment, water quality, local economies, rural roads, property values, municipal assessment taxes, heritage properties and the safety of residents and communities.
The implementation of the GEA is biased in favour of proponents of renewable energy projects and against individuals, communities and municipalities. In many cases the Ministries improperly delegate their statutory powers to others, and continually grant consent to renewable energy projects without any cost/benefit analysis.
Industrial wind facilities must be placed in rural agricultural areas of Ontario and the result has been an industrialization of rural Ontario. Unwilling host municipalities and their residents can not exercise sound planning principles with respect to industrial uses of land within their jurisdiction.
The Fire Protection and Prevention Act was changed to prohibit owners of abutting lands from claims for damages caused by fires originating from renewable energy projects.
The Assessment Act, deems the assessed value of a $2.2 million wind turbine tower at only 4.6% of the current value of the industrial wind turbine. This discrimination violates section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights, which guarantees equal protection and equal benefit of the law to all Canadians. The GEA contravenes several international conventions to which Canada is a party, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
According to Whiteley, the Canadian legal system faces an access to justice crisis. The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that there must be practical and effective ways to challenge the legality of state action. However, ordinary citizens have unequal access to costly justice that wealth can provide. Huge corporations can bully and manipulate the law in their own interests while ordinary citizens lack the means to begin a legal proceeding. If the traditional cost rules of the justice system are revised, citizens will regain their right to challenge government action.
The day provided information on issues that affects us all – dirty power and limited access to legal justice.
Catherine Mitchell – a concerned citizen
Information event held April 21, 2018 co- hosted by MAWT and WLGWAG
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.
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.
Residents, visitors and sensitive passerby, your daily life will be gravely impacted by the proposed 170 to 198 Industrial Wind Turbines 24/7 constant blinking, constant shadow flicker, constant noise, constant vibrations, constant electro-magnetic energy emissions because your body reacts to the overstimulation. You do not choose to react. The miraculous body has an autonomic reflex similar to the knee jerk response. The body PCO2 Respiratory Reflex becomes affected.
The Pre-Construction Analysis provides evidence this specific Palo Alto?County Industrial Wind Project will affect our health. Removing any doubt. Sadly, you will be robbed of health.
The PCO2 Response Reflex in humans means automatically your body processes react to exposure. You have excessive CO2 and the brain and lungs hyper-ventilate. The autonomic nervous system reflex becomes affected leading to brain lesions over time in the brain stem. The adverse evolutionary problem affecting respiratory control has been studied since the 1980’s through brain MRI.
Since 1988, Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira from Lusofona University, Portugal has been studying and clinically caring for patients who reside in close proximity to Industrial Wind Turbines from around the globe. The same causative link are found in in patients living in Industrial Wind Turbine Projects in Japan, Finland, Spain, New Zealand, Russia, China, Canada, US; wherever.
Unfortunately, wind does not stay on the private property line. Acoustical trespassing of harmful emissions intrudes upon anyone in electro-magnetic energy wave. Concerned citizens, I care about your health, feel free to contact me for more information.
Dr. Alves-Pereira presented these findings to the Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission on?October 19, 2017 and I shared them with the Board of Supervisors prior to their vote on 10/24/2017. Shockingly, none of the Supervisors read the pre-construction evidence presented on this project.
Here is an excerpt from a report on the recent meeting in Clinton, announcing the launch of the Huron County public health investigation into wind turbine noise.
A few notes: as far as we are aware, the “study” is actually an “investigation” under the Health Protection and Prevention Act of Ontario, in which reports of adverse health effects may be reported and investigated. The only association with the University of Waterloo was the review by the ethics committee of that university — the university is not involved in any other phase of the project.
Wind Concerns Ontario had proposed to carry out Phase II of the study which would involve follow-up measurements in homes identified as problematic by the Health Unit, as part of a research study by a multi-disciplinary team. Although federal government funding was not achieved for that proposal, efforts to fund that initiative are ongoing.
This project is the first of its kind in Ontario; it was initiated based on reports of adverse health effects by residents of Huron County made to their health unit, and is supported by them.
For more information about the Huron County Health Unit project please visit the website here.
Huron County Health Unit launches wind farm study
By John Miner
ONTARIO FARMER November 7, 2017
Huron County’s on-again, off-again study on the health impact of wind farms is moving ahead with warnings from the researchers about what it can’t accomplish.
Even if the results in the end definitely show that wind farms are damaging the health of residents, the county’s health unit will not be able to order the turbines stopped, a public meeting was told.
“We do not have the authority to curtail or shut down wind turbines. If you are thinking of participating in the study in the hope that we will shut down the turbines, we want you to understand we cannot do that,” Dr. Erica Clark, an epidemiologist with the Huron County Health Unit, announced at the start of a public information session attended by about 60 people.
Courts have determined that Ontario health units do not have the legal ability to issue orders to protect public health in cases where the provincial government has given that responsibility to another body, Clark said.
In the case of wind farms, the government has given the power to regulate wind turbines to the Ministry of the Environment, not public health units, she said.
Dr. Maarten Bokhout: “If research indicates there are health issues, that can be raised with the Ontario government”
Dr. Maarten Bokhout, Acting Medical Officer of Health at the Huron County Health Unit, said while he cannot step on the Environment Ministry’s toes and he does not have the power to write orders against wind turbines, the results of the study will be published online, including interim reports.
The health unit’s one-year study, established in collaboration with the University of Waterloo and reviewed by the university’s ethics committee, will look at how people are annoyed by noise, vibration and light [shadow flicker] from wind farms.
The goal is to establish how many people are bothered by wind turbines in the county and determine if environmental conditions that make the noise, vibration light and sensations from wind turbines worse.
The study will rely on residents living within 10 km of a wind turbine who volunteer to keep a diary of their experience within their own home.
Participants are asked to record their observations at least once a week.
The researchers will not be making any actual sound or vibration measurements for the study.
Huron County is home to more than 300 industrial wind turbines and some of the largest wind farms in the province.
Some residents have blamed the turbines for a series of health problems, including headaces, nausea, dizziness and insomnia.
Clark, who is principal investigator on the study, said they want participation from both people who have been bothered by wind turbines and those who haven’t experienced any problems.
The 10-kilometre study zone around wind turbines means thousands of Huron County residents are eligible to sign up for the project, including all of the towns of Goderich and Exeter.
See the print edition of Ontario Farmerfor a related story: Rural residents skeptical government would act on wind
You are eligible to participate if you are an English speaking Huron County resident and live within 10 km of a wind turbine.To see if your household is eligible, please view the eligibility map [PDF]. If you are having trouble opening the PDF, please see below.
If you live within five km of a wind turbine you will be mailed an information letter and consent form. If you live 5-10 km from a wind turbine you can still participate by reading the information letter on this website, downloading and printing the consent form, and returning the completed consent form to the Huron County Health Unit by mail or in person. You can also find copies of the information letter, consent form, parent permission form, child assent form, Registration Survey and Observation Diary at any branch of the Huron County Library. A copy of the map showing what areas of the county can participate in the study is also available at all branches of the Huron County Library.
“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”
A special event was held on September 12, 2017 with 4 speakers who gave presentations about wind turbine health effects:
BCCRWE September 12, 2017 Wisconsin Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy Press release
Shirley Wind (Brown County, WI) has received global attention following the October 14, 2014 declaration by the Brown County Board of Health that Duke Energy’s eight 2.5 MW wind turbines are a human health hazard – a declaration that has not been rescinded.
In an ongoing effort to gain further understanding of the issue of wind turbine adverse health effects, a joint meeting of the Brown County Human Services Committee and Board of Health was held on September 12, 2017. Four guest speakers gave presentations, followed by two hours of challenging and constructive questions from county officials (see questions here). The speakers included:
•Herb Coussons, MD, Brown County primary care physician who has evaluated six of the numerous adversely affected Shirley Wind residents
•Robert W. Rand, ASA, INCE, who has been investigating wind turbine noise with site noise measurements for the last eight years, including at Shirley Wind and Falmouth, MA
•Robert J. McCunney, MD, who practices occupational and environmental medicine in Boston, MA
•Mark Werner, PhD, from the Wisconsin Division of Public Health
The presentations by Dr. Coussons and Robert Rand focused on the science, on their personal expertise, and on what wind turbine residents have taught us about adverse health effects resulting from wind turbine emissions. Their goal is to protect public health, including the health of residents at Shirley Wind, by sharing with county officials why they have concluded that industrial wind turbines sited in proximity to human populations can cause adverse health effects.
Neither Dr. Coussons nor Robert Rand received any compensation for speaking at this meeting, whereas, when pressed, Dr. McCunney admitted on stage that he was paid by Duke Energy (owner of Shirley Wind) to speak at this meeting. Dr. McCunney has also co-authored literature reviews in 2009 and 2014 that were each funded by the American Wind Energy Association and/or the Canadian Wind Energy Association. He has also testified on behalf of wind interests in numerous court cases or wind project permitting proceedings in the US and other countries.
The central focus of Dr. McCunney’s presentation was the Health Canada study, which he knows, or should have known, cannot be applied to Shirley Wind. Health Canada and its lead researcher, Dr. David Michaud, have made it clear in public papers and statements that:
•“… results may not be generalized to areas beyond the sample as the wind turbine locations in this study were not randomly selected”
•“… this design does not permit any conclusions to be made with respect to causality.”
•“… the results will not provide a definitive answer on their own.”
Dr. McCunney did not disclose these limitations in his presentation, potentially leaving the impression that the Health Canada study is applicable to Shirley Wind, which it is not.
In summary, the meeting demonstrated that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that wind turbines pose public health risks, and that it is time for Wisconsin and Brown County health authorities to formally acknowledge this, so that the discussion will move forward to correct the harm that wind turbines have caused.
Watch it at: https://youtu.be/8bpc-pYMu48 … and don’t miss the critically important Q & A session, paying special attention to each question asked and how, or if, it is answered.
A repository of additional information related to this meeting will be developed over time and can be accessed at: http://bccrwe.com/27