Preliminary Results: Exploring Why Some Families Living in Proximity to Wind Turbine Facilities Contemplate Vacating Their Homes—A Community-Based Study
DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1106118, PP. 1-12
DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1106118, PP. 1-12
I often get this question: “Why have people vacated their homes, or are feeling sick, around windmills in Brown County”. This is not a unique scenario. Very large industrial-scale wind turbines placed irresponsibly close to families’ home have similar impacts worldwide. The impacts do not discriminate between young or old, rich or poor. Some people are more susceptible to the negative impacts (one consistent correlation is people who are sensitive to motion sickness).
This German video does a pretty good job describing the issue. Please note that the turbines in this video are MUCH smaller and less impactful than the 8 Duke Energy wind turbines in Glenmore that were unanimously declared a Human Health Hazard by the Brown County Government Board of Health.
Duke’s turbines in Brown County are among the largest in the country placed among the closest to homes. They are 493 feet tall and have 2.5 Megawatt generators (One megawatt = 1,000 kilowatts = 1,000,000 watts). You will also note that the turbines in this German video are over 700 meters (over 2,100 feet) from homes – the turbines in Glenmore are as close as 1,100 feet from homes.
Wisconsin Public Service (owned by We Energies) purchases the power from this project and it is regulated by the Town of Glenmore who apparently refuses to enforce the clear and protective language in their own ordinance and conditional use permit. Families are living away from the homes they still own; residents who can not move away have submitted affidavits attesting to the fact that they continue to feel severely ill when around the spinning turbines; and little is being done to bring any relief.
It breaks my heart to hear callous comments from well intentioned people that have not experienced the impacts in these homes first hand or even taken the time to talk with the impacted residents. The question I ask these people who don’t understand is why would people make this up. People do not leave the homes they still own and maintain for no reason. They do not want to sleep and do homework in their basements because it is the only place in their homes where they can get a little relief. They do not enjoy coming forward only to be the subject of ridicule and voluntarily devaluing their homes. The symptoms our neighbors express are shared world wide.
Even those profiting from renting land to wind developers have sued them because of claims of the unlivable conditions around the turbines. This is a social justice issue – Shirley Wind in Glenmore is arguably one of the most studied wind farms in the country and ample evidence is known on the conditions around these particular turbines. If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to call or write me – I can direct you to those that can provide the answers and have first hand experience. Hope some of this information is of value.
Thank you for reading this long post.
Steve Deslaurie, Brown County Supervisor
April 5, 2019
Source: Community for Steve Deslaurie,
DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1105200, PP. 1-12
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.
“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
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.
In 1987 the US Government published a document outlining a propose metric for assessing wind turbine noise and impacts at a community level.
Emmetsburg News| Letter to Editor|December 27th, 2017
Body Reflex affected by Industrial Wind Turbines
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.
November 11, 2017
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.
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 Farmer for a related story: Rural residents skeptical government would act on wind
Recruitment is now underway for the new wind turbine study.
This study has been reviewed and received research ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee (ORE 22115). However, the decision to participate is yours.
The Huron County Health Unit Medical Officer of Health will not be writing an order under section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. A single study will not provide enough evidence to prove causality. Further, the Medical Officer of Health does not have the authority to write an order under section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to curtail or shut down wind turbines. An Ontario Health Services Appeal and Review Board decision and Ontario Superior Court of Justice judicial review outline the limits on a Medical Officer of Health’s authority to write orders.
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.