Category Archives: Health

Call for Action over claims of water well contamination

Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group

MEDIA RELEASE
14-September-2017

“Rural residents near Chatham Ontario have accused Samsung Renewable Energy, (a division of the Korean trans-national) of contaminating their drinking water wells.
The contamination is believed to have resulted from continuing pile driving for a 36 turbine development in North Kent on Bush Line near Highway 40. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) approved the North Kent Wind project even though it is situated on an important aquifer. Residents say the MOECC has ignored their concerns and refused to test their wells for heavy metals or even tell them whether their water is safe to drink……”

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Turbine Protesters Chain Themselves Together to Stop Construction

Protecting clean water from wind turbine construction has seen residents chaining themselves together in protest to stop further damage of reported turbid drinking water that occurred after the pile driving for turbine foundations in Chatham Kent.  What is it going to take?   It is time to halt the wind project!

By Trevor Terfloth, Chatham Daily News

1297986670881_ORIGINAL (1)In In an effort to halt construction of a wind turbine project in North Kent, three protesters chained themselves together in a show of solidarity on Tuesday.

Sheltered from the rain, but weathering the elements, Rick Ball, Lee Montgomery and Yvonne Laevens were at the entrance to the site on Bush Line, near Highway 40 in the former Chatham Township.

“It should have never have gone this far,” Laevens said. “We have to (do this). We’ve tried just about everything else.”

Several water wells in the North Kent Wind project area, currently under construction by Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy, have been clogged with sediments shortly after recent pile-driving took place for constructing industrial wind turbines.

Tuesday’s protest was peaceful, with Laevens adding that Chatham-Kent police have been “congenial” with the group.

Ball said he appreciated the members of the public who were on hand and hopes the government takes notice.

“Start paying attention to what we’ve been saying for a year and a half,” he said.

Last week, Chatham-Kent council passed a motion asking the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to halt the project until water well concerns were dealt with.

Ball said a halt would allow everyone involved to work together on a solution.

Also part of the council motion was to implement independent water testing for the wells currently experiencing problems.

In a media release, the municipality stated that residents near the North Kent One wind farm project whose wells have water-quality issues will be contacted by Chatham-Kent officials this week to allow them to select a firm to test their well water at no cost.

Municipal chief administrative officer Don Shropshire said the municipality, working with public health officials, have identified 17 labs in Ontario that are licensed and accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation to test drinking water for microbiological agents, organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, and other particulate matter.

Shropshire said in the release that residents will have the option to choose any of the accredited labs.

“We want to ensure there are no concerns about who does the testing,” he said. “We’ve provided the list but the choice will be up to the residents.”

At a meeting last week between municipal officials and ministry representatives, the province also committed to contact owners of wells which have experienced issues and review those concerns with Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy.

As for the request to halt the project, the municipality’s release stated “that request is still before the premier’s office.”

In a statement e-mailed to The Daily News on Tuesday afternoon, the company said it was aware of the water well concerns.

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Immediate Action promised over dirty well water after turbine construction

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Members of Water Wells First, a water advocacy group in Chatham-Kent, blockaded several wind turbine construction sites on August 18 to protest government inaction on pile driving they believe is pushing sediment into their drinking water. (Yvonne Profota)

Chatham-Kent officials say ministry promises ‘immediate action’ on water well issues

‘They took our concerns very seriously and committed to working to deal with the issues’

CBC News Posted: Aug 25, 2017 11:31 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 25, 2017 12:11 PM ET

Staff from Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change will be meeting with well owners in Chatham-Kent after the municipal government demanded construction of wind turbines be stopped until water quality concerns could be answered.

Officials in Chatham-Kent sat down with ministry representatives after reports five water wells near the North Kent Wind project had become clogged with sediment residents claim are caused by pile driving. The government maintains it requires pile driving companies to complete vibration testing and water quality monitoring while work is going on.

Members of Chatham-Kent’s council said the ministry will take “immediate action” after the Thursday meeting….

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Protesters Block Turbine Sites

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Honk: if you agree Clean, Safe Water matters!

Protesters blocked the entrances to three wind turbine construction sites near Chatham Thursday morning.  Five families are now reporting dirty water in their wells after pile driving for the construction of industrial wind turbines began.

Source: Fight to save water wells

“At the press conference were the people whose wells have been affected in the North Kent Wind 1 project area – Theresa Pumphrey, Paul and Jessica Brooks, Valerie and Wayne Brooksbank, and a representative for Mark Moir (Countryview Line).

Visibly upset, the property owners talked about the impact on their families’ health and fear about the black shale that is visible in the water that is known to carry arsenic, mercury and other harmful chemicals in it.”

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Source: Protesters block turbine construction

Public need all the facts on well water

Aug 14 • Letters to the Editor •
Sir: Mayor Hope, you and Chatham-Kent council are playing a game. A very dangerous game that is affecting the life style as well as the very livelihood of some of your constituents.

Mayor Hope, you and most of your councillors do not know what is going on within Chatham-Kent, especially in regard to the wind farm sites in the former Dover and Chatham townships. This is proven by the fact that most of you have never visited any of the reported problem sites to see firsthand what the affected families are experiencing. You are making decisions based on what you hear from the wind companies, their associates and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change – all of whom have biased opinions based on profits or their lack of willingness to admit that they made errors.

In addition, you as mayor and council, who have invested $8 million of the Chatham-Kent taxpayers’ reserve fund, are in conflict of interest with regards to any decision made on wind farms or any conflicts arising form them.

You, Mayor Hope, indicated that, “the group (WWF) had a chance to meet with the MOECC ‘and they turned it into a circus.’” You were not there!

Do you recall that the MOECC, having been given a list of questions over one month before the meeting and not answering one of them being a circus? Do you consider the MOECC not giving WWF a promised copy of the minutes of the meeting that they promised part of the circus? Would those minutes have exposed their incompetence?

You indicate that you do not release all of your correspondence to the public. Perhaps you should. How many things are you hiding? Did you ever think that in the letter, received by Freedom of Information, that Mr. Murray’s reply might have been important information? In Mr. Murray’s reply letter it states, “The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality because it captures the potential impact that a vibration from a wind turbine could have on a water well. The ministry is aware that some residents are concerned that wind turbine vibration may shake sediment loose in a water well. These particles could have a chemical make-up of heavy metals that are naturally occurring in the area; however any existing heavy metals in the rock particles do not dissolve with vibration. Should a wind turbine vibration cause elevated turbidity in a water well, the wind farm company would be required to implement a contingency plan that is to include, as a minimum, remedial measures to be undertaken by the company, at the company’s expense, to resolve any impacts to wells or well water resulting from the construction, operation, or decommissioning of the facility.”

Mayor Hope, don’t you want your constituents to know that there can be heavy metals in their well water?

All of the affected wells in Dover were once clear water producers and now carry particles that the MOECC refuses to analyze for chemical content. Particles of 30 to 40 microns in size or larger can be seen by the human eye. Particle smaller than that cannot be seen.

In tests done to date by well owners in Dover Township, it indicates that almost half of the particles carried in the water are less than one micron in size. These particles can penetrate skin and walls of body organs. Approximately another 25 per cent of the particles are less than two microns in size.

These particles may carry the heavy metals, to which former Minister Murray refers, such as uranium, arsenic and lead. This is why, Mayor Hope, you should have released Minister Murray’s letter to the public, so the public could have been made aware.

According to the MOECC turbidity measurement, on which the MOECC hangs its hat, this water should be safe to consume. Why do they not take a total analysis and find out what is dissolved in the water and what are the particles carried by the water and if it is safe to drink.

I strongly suggest that the mayor and all of council visit one of the affected sites. If you find it too humbling to visit with one of your constituents, then go without using any of your water for drinking or cooking and think about what effect contaminated water could have on you when you bathe or wash your clothes. Perhaps all other people who are not sure of the effect of not having potable water should also try this for a period of time.

Water wells have gone for decades producing clean, clear water. Common sense would indicate that after the wind farms drove piles in Dover Township and ruined wells there, we would stop building wind farms. We now have piles being driven in Chatham Township and wells are now being ruined there as well. Obviously, there is a direct correlation between pile driving and a negative effect on water wells.

When will those with some authority ever wake up?

Is the solution bigger turbines in the Otter Creek Wind Farm? What would you expect to happen there?

Water security, Mayor Hope, is not a circus or a game. At the Windsor meeting with the MOECC, which you did not attend, it was the citizens of Chatham-Kent that were trying to protect the water security of the municipality, not you.

Mayor Hope, in the future when you receive information about public health, share the information with the public.

Peter J Hensel

Dover Centre

Published: The Chatham Voice.com

randy hope

The Definition Of ‘Nuisance’

Words and their meanings have powers that can impact our very well- being.  Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty II, of the Justice of the Superior Court ordered the cessation of the operations of the wind turbines in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  In giving his judgement he discusses findings and reasons while interpreting and applying the meanings of the words injurious and nuisance.

“Despite the Town’s insistence that Barry Funfar is hypersensitive to sound, it is clear that he is no lone voice crying in the wilderness.  Other residents of the neighbouring area have registered similar complaints which was the very reason the Town commissioned the HMMH study in the first place.”

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The Falmouth Enterprise  August 11, 2017

A neighbor of the town’s turbines e-mailed us last week to say that we have been misleading the public by stating in recent stories that Judge Moriarty ruled that the turbines were a nuisance to the Funfar property. A nuisance, he wrote, is generally thought of as a neighbor mowing the lawn on a Sunday morning, whereas Judge Moriarty defined nuisance not only as an inconvenience but also a danger. He attached a copy of the judge’s decision for our reference.

In fact, Judge Moriarty went into a good deal of detail in a five-page discussion of his findings and decision.

First, he pointed out that the Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision that the turbines constituted a nuisance could not be overturned, as the board would have had to have been unreasonable or on legally untenable grounds. The appeals board found that the turbines were a nuisance to the Funfars’ property because, based on a DEP sound study, they directly affected the health and well-being of the Funfars. “The decision here was hardly arbitraray and capricious,” Judge Moriarty wrote.

But the issue here, of course, is the definition of nuisance. Judge Moriarty pointed out that nuisance is difficult to define and, as much testimony as there was about sound levels, none of it applies to the definition because there are no numerical standards. “The issue is,” he wrote, “whether, on the facts found, the operation of the wind turbines was offensive because of injurious or obnoxious noise or vibration, a nuisance in violation of the by-law.”

He pointed out that, while the town argued that Mr. Funfar was hypersensitive to sound, “it is clear that he is no lone voice crying in the wilderness. Other residents of the neighboring area have registered similar complaints…”

The judge discussed the definition of “injurious,” at some length and concluded that “the physical effects of the turbine-generated sound upon Mr. Funfar have been certainly harmful and have tended to injure him.”barry funfar

There should be no mistake among the residents of Falmouth; when the appeals board and Judge Moriarty called the town turbines a “nuisance,” they did not mean it in the way of ants at a picnic or a dog barking in the night.

Judgement Town of Falmouth vs Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals et al

Water Wells rejecting statement from wind developers north of Chatham as false

Wind Project Manager Calls Water ‘Visually Clear’

A North Kent Wind Project manager referred to a family’s water as “visually clear” in a press release, despite tests and photos that show otherwise.

Brooks family water sample. August 7, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Jakubec).
Brooks family water sample. August 7, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Jakubec).

Aecom, the engineering consultant behind the wind project, scheduled a site visit to sample the family’s water on Wednesday. According to Law, the tests show no issues.Senior Manager of Development Jody Law says the Ministry of Environment (MOE) notified him of Paul and Jessica Brooks’ complaint on Monday. Paul and Jessica Brooks live on Brook Line in North Kent and say they have been experiencing a plugged water pump from nearby wind tower pile driving.

“The sample was visually clear and colorless with no visible sediment. We have requested expedited analysis from the lab but, at this point, there is no empirical evidence of an issue,” says Law.

However, Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec points out that a Ministry of Environment provincial officer made a visit to the home on Tuesday and found drastically different results.

According to Jakubec, the test results from the MOE show extremely high turbidity levels at 86.8 NTU. The Ontario Drinking Water Standard’s objective turbidity level is 5.0 NTU.

To meet conditions of the wind project’s permit, Pattern Development delivered a 2,000 gallon water tank from Ingersoll to the Brooks residence on Saturday.

“He said that there is no empirical evidence of an issue. I think the delivery of a water tank is recognition of an issue. Given that Mr. Law is the project manager, you’d hope he would know what is going on with this project,” says Jakubec.

Water tank provided to Brooks family by Pattern Development. August 7, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Jakubec).
Water tank provided to Brooks family by Pattern Development. August 7, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Jakubec).

Paul and Jessica Brooks demand that North Kent Wind executive Jody Law issues a full apology and retraction of his press release.Jakubec adds the project permit ensures that families, like the Brooks, who complain that their well has been affected by the turbines, do not have to pay for the costs of the investigation or water tanks……

READ ARTICLE: Blackburn News August 8, 2017

 

Well goes bad after pile driving

Pile driving for turbine foundation installations are again being associated to changes in a water well. Another day and another well impacted…

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Sediment so thick it prevents water from coming through taps of Chatham Township family’s home

By Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News

Less than two days after pile driving began to construct industrial turbines near Jessica and Paul Brooks’ home in Chatham Township, their once crystal-clear water well has become clogged with sediments.

The couple, who live on Brook Line north of Chatham within the North Kent Wind project area, say the sediment plugs up their system so badly that the water actually stops coming out of the taps at times.

Jessica Brooks said the first sign of the problem occurred last Friday night after 10 p.m. when her husband couldn’t finish taking a shower after work, because the four sediment traps they have installed on their well system were plugged up, preventing the water from flowing through.

They decided to deal with it Saturday morning and found they needed to clean the sediment traps every six hours. A few days later, the sediment traps began clogging at a much faster rate.

Brooks said they called the Ministry of Environment and Climate Control and an official came out on Tuesday.

“They took a sample of water but they did not take the sediments that we had collected over the weekend,” she said.

The Chatham Daily News contacted the MOECC and received a response by e-mail.

“The ministry believes the measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality in these circumstances because it captures the potential impact on a water well, rather than test for the presence of shale particles alone.

The ministry added samples collected on Tuesday will include analysis for turbidity.

Water Wells First spokesman Kevin Jakubec said the Brooks family has spent upwards of $4,000 on baseline testing recommended by Water Wells First.

Brooks said prior to this issue occurring their water was “beautifully crystal clear.”

She said they have documented tests done in February, March, April, May and June and “it’s all coming back – we have a beautiful well.”

She noted there’s some sodium in the water and it is a little hard, which is common for ground water, but “otherwise it’s a perfect well.”

Brooks said not having drinking water is the least of her concerns, noting they have three teenagers in a home where they can’t take showers, flush the toilet or do laundry.

Jakubec said this is the second well in the North Kent Wind project area that has experienced problems after pile driving activity has taken place nearby.

“Only a fool would think that there’s not a link between pile driving vibrations and impacts on our water wells,” he said…

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Living beside a Windfarm today in Ireland Co Wicklow

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Child negatively impacted by noise emitted by an industrial wind turbine located 800 metres away from the home in Ballinvalley, Ireland

Eugene Clune who lives in Ballinvalley shared his family’s trauma and said that if he had the chance now he would approach things very differently.

‘My house is situated 800 metres from an industrial turbine and my four-year-old has slept, maybe two nights since last winter.

‘She would ask us why her granddad is outside on the digger in the middle of the night – because that is what it sounds like,’ he said.

Source: Crouck Substation Action Group

Published July 29, 2017: Independent IE