Category Archives: Health

Wind Turbines & Human Distress

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In 1987 the US Government published a document outlining a propose metric for assessing wind turbine noise and impacts at a community level.

A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions; N.D. Kelley ,November 1987

Call for Health Hazard Investigation

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Credit 99.1 FM|Feb.5.18

 

Grassroots organization Water Wells First is calling for a health hazard investigation at the North Kent Wind turbine site.

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Water tank at Brooks residence / Photo: Robyn Brady – Feb 5, 2018

In a recent report, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change says that well water contamination in the North Kent area was not caused by turbine construction.

Spokesperson for Water Wells First Kevin Jakubec says this sets two precedents.

“The Ministry’s action on Thursday in releasing its findings for a few farms who had wells polluted during the pile-driving construction for North Kent One sets two very important precedents in Ontario’s history,” says Jakubec. “It sets a dangerous precedent for the protection of the environment, and the protection of our source water – groundwater – and equally, it sets a dangerous precedent for public health.”

Families whose wells are affected were provided with water tanks, but now that the MOECC has said the developers are not at fault, those tanks will be taken away.

Jessica Brooks, who lives outside Dresden, says she’s not sure what to do now.

“We really don’t know. We have to start pricing out [a water tank]. We’ll contact the water company we’re currently working with to see how much it costs to keep that tank. I’m sure we can’t afford it,” says Jessica.

The MOECC’s report, which Brooks and several other affected residents received recently, was presented to the media at a press conference this afternoon.

“I think honestly, I was surprised at how shocked and devastated I was. I think part of me was hoping my government would step up and do the right thing,” says Brooks.

Brooks’ well started showing black sediment last summer.

Sensing but Not Hearing: The Problem of Wind Turbine Noise

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Interview with acoustician Steven Cooper,AU

By: Sherri Lange |February 2, 2018|Master Resource

Editor Note: Steven Cooper has advanced our understanding of how people react to real recorded pressure pulsations from industrial wind turbines. In the last six months he has presented eight papers at Acoustic Meetings in Zurich, Boston and New Orleans. With this interview, he breaks down some of the salient points of his research discoveries. Cooper’s work is expanding our knowledge about “soundscapes” near projects, which could result in new legal requirements for manufacturers and developers.

“In general, wind farm applications claim that turbines do not generate any low-frequency, tonal, or impulsive characteristics, which is a matter disputed by residential receivers. The consequence of the pulsating signal generated by turbines (whether audible or inaudible) could potentially require a further adjustment to any perception or impact generated by wind turbines.”

“On discussing the resident’s observations (with the residents) for the first two weeks I found the use of describing the impacts in terms of Noise, Vibration, and Sensation was accepted by the residents as a better concept.”

– Stephen Cooper

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Niagara Wind Being Sued

Construction dust from a wind turbine project in Niagara is behind a $10 million lawsuit

Newstalk 610 CKTB|Bonnie Heslop| January 31, 2018

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Photo Credit: Stephanos K.

Construction dust from a wind turbine project in Niagara is behind a $10 million lawsuit that is making its way through the court system.

St.Ann’s resident Stefanos Karatopis says he was visiting his sister back in 2015 when cement dust from a nearby Wind Farm project blew into the home sending 5 people to hospital.

Karatopis, who is also a member of the Niagara Land Owners Association says the dust was so bad it was hard to return home.

Lawyer Akradi Bouchelev represents Karatopis and says the dust contains very harmful chemicals that can impact a person’s health.

The $10 million dollar personal injury and damage claim has been filed against the Wind Farm, construction companies involved, the Niagara Region, and West Lincoln.

Bouchele says some have filed a statement of defence and some have asked for a delay.

He says the next stage is the examination of discovery.

Construction dust sends family fleeing to ER (Niagara This Week, July 31, 2015)

Scandal! EirGrid in the Crosshairs

~What happens when decisions concerning build out of electricity generation infrastructure has already been decided and public consultation done just for show?

~What happens when new extensions of the grid appear linked to facilitate the rapid and contested build of industrial wind turbines while ignoring cumulative environmental impacts

Members of the RTS Substation Action Group in Ireland  are taking action to protect their communities and have exposed the involvement of  EirGrid.  A huge substation is planned capable of accepting multiple wind facilities to the Irish electrical grid.   A substation that if built could impact clean drinking water for well over 8 000.   

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Ratheniska residents are claiming that they have exposed Eirgrid’s litany of failures and systematic corporate sharp practice. 

The Ratheniska, Timahoe, Spink (RTS) Action Group, when briefing Minister Denis Naughten, made a number of extremely serious allegations, which they backed up with a dossier of painstakingly accumulated evidence: 20170118 – Presentation to Ministers-For Issue

Aside from the long standing issues of site unsuitability, water source destruction and planning process corruption, the RTS Action Group claimed to have unearthed very serious transgressions by Eirgrid’s board of the code of practice for semi state bodies.

The evidence indicated that EirGrid had created “a short cut on the board“.  RTS Action Group explained that four members on the EirGrid Board had formed a “sub-board” and were “filtering information going to the board where they are now rubber stamping projects and funding on the basis of recommendation by this four member sub – board.”

If these allegations prove to be true, and the RTS Action Group are adamant that they are, then this constitutes an extremely serious breach of the code of practice, which should lead to a mass resignation of the EirGrid Board of Directors.

In a statement released after the meeting with the Minister, the RTS Group said:

“The RTS Group believe that Minister Naughten, who was accompanied to meet the delegation by his Cabinet colleague and local TD, Charlie Flanagan, had his eyes opened and was astonished by the import, nature, scope, scale and seriousness of the information being placed before him, for the first time.

This meeting arose from a promise made last June in the Dáil by Minister Naughten to visit the site of Eirgrid’s “unauthorised development” and the community who alerted the authorities to Eirgrid’s illegal building activities.

Our greatest concern is that the construction of Eirgrid’s unnecessary energy hub project will destroy and pollute the very necessary and only source of clean water for not just this community but for 8,000 Laois people. All of the evidence of how Eirgrid have conducted themselves up to now points to this eventuality, and we just can’t allow that to happen.
The political fallout from this semi-state operating with such a cavalier attitude to planning law, sustainable development, professional best practice, and corporate responsibility was that all three local TD’s and all Laois County Councillors were unanimous in calling for Eirgrid to cease the development.

We set out some of the evidence for the Ministers as to how Eirgrid have been deliberately deceiving us, the planning authorities, the other arms of state, and even the Dáil from the very outset of this ill-conceived project. This is not due to a few mistakes, or a few individuals making errors, but systematic deception through every phase of this development from its inception to illegal commencement. This evidence has been collected through in depth research and forensic examination. The community could not rely on what Eirgrid were telling us in the public domain throughout their sham consultation process. This damning dossier has been given to Minister Naughten, who as line Minister is ultimately responsible for Eirgrid, their conduct and corporate transparency and accountability.

The buck stops with him. He is now in full knowledge of the scale and scope of Eirgrid’s deception and disgraceful behaviour, we expect the Minister to reel Eirgrid in, to finally make them accountable for their actions on site and in their boardroom. He must move to scrap the project. On foot of today’s new revelations it is incumbent on the Minster to act, act promptly and decisively”.

The last word goes to the current Minister of Justice, who made the following statement after being briefed by the RTS Group:

“There has been a clear breach of law. The breach is sufficiently serious to abandon the project. I don’t believe there is any way back for EirGrid. They should pack up their machinery and should not come back.”

Source: The Law is My Oyster

Ontario Environment Ministry Sued

Fearful for his children’s future

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‘Windfarm has ruined my family’s life’

Credit:  By Erika Doyle | Wicklow Times | Tuesday 23rd January 2018 | wicklowtimes.net ~~

Richard Hobson from Ballycumber is fearful for his children’s future after a huge wind turbine was installed right above his house. Ballycumber Wind Farm consists of six wind turbines near Tinahely in South Wicklow.

Richard says the light flicker and noise levels are the “worst possible things” for his two small boys with autism, one of whom has epilepsy and the other hypersensitivity. He says his story is a warning to others that companies can ‘quietly put plans in place to build crazy things…uncontested and at odds with the local communities’ wishes.”

Richard’s story began some years ago when he bought a run-down property on Ballycumber Lane. He applied to Wicklow County Council for planning permission for a 6 metre house but this was refused on the grounds it was ‘dominant and intrusive or incongruous in the landscape or an area of special amenity value’, something he says he finds particularly galling as “they have now allowed a 50-storey turbine to be built above my head.”

Richard and partner Elaine spent all their savings trying to get planning permission, “I was put through the ringer for reports on my house but Wicklow County Council refused on a “height” of 6m. Then when the banks collapsed, I refurbished the house on my week to week wages.

“My home was sold to a vulture fund who pulled every trick in the book but I fought them. We were just moving out of negative equity and now I see above me six skyscraper industrial turbines of 131m each.” Richard says his home has now been devalued to the tune of 40% and he has been left with no choice but to pursue his legal options.

Partner Elaine is devastated by the turn of events. As full-time carer to sons Sean and Daniel, both of whom have severe health conditions and special needs, Elaine feels the full impact of the turbines on a daily basis.

“The children want to be outside,” she said. “But after being out there for a while and being exposed to the noise, between 30 and 45 decibels, they get very stressed and upset. A lot of the time now I bring them elsewhere to play. It breaks my heart as we moved here to have space. We used to live in a housing estate in the city but it was too busy and dangerous. We thought we would have the space and tranquility of the countryside here. I’m heartbroken that this has happened. We have so many medical appointments with our boys and should be able to retreat into our safe quiet home. People who don’t have children with special needs can’t understand the effect something like this has on them.”

“The natural beauty is now gone”, adds Richard. “The peace and quiet is gone for the next 25 years and my home is now seriously and permanently devalued by a Windfarm company, a government body Coilte and a consortium of business people that live far from me and I guarantee wouldn’t tolerate a wind farm above them. It seems as though County Councils and politicians bend over backwards for big business and laws are only for little people not the big boys.”

Ballycumber Wind Farm consists of six wind turbines near Tinahely in South Wicklow and is owned by a consortium including local businessmen. It was granted planning permission by Wicklow County Council in 2013 and appealed to An Bord Pleanala who upheld the permission.

For the past five years the South Wicklow Wind Action Group (SWWAG), led by Richard More O’Ferrall have fought against the introduction of wind farms to their and other rural areas saying they should be located offshore. Mr More O’Ferrall told Wicklow Times that he was well aware of health issues arising from living in proximity (considered to be within 2km) of a wind turbine. “In many cases people must leave their homes. This is what happened in one case in Cork and the court case resulted in the wind farm admitting liability (a landmark High Court action taken by the Shivnon families against Enervon Wind Farm Services. The family claimed their health had been affected by noise from the turbines and Enervon admitted liability).

Mr More O’Ferrall also referred to a quote from Colette Bonner, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health who said, “There is a consistent cluster of symptoms related to living in close proximity to wind turbines which occurs in a number of people in the vicinity of industrial wind turbines. These people must be treated appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be very debilitating.”

SWWAG have not given up their battle and say they will work with Mr Hobson while he considers his options.

Source:  By Erika Doyle | Wicklow Times | Tuesday 23rd January 2018 | wicklowtimes.net

White Pines ERT & The People vs IESO & WPD

A call to action!

Your presence is requested in the seats at the upcoming Environmental Review Tribunal hearing against White Pines Wind and circumstances surrounding the IESO contract for the renewable energy approval.

Upcoming Court and ERT dates/times/locations:

APPEC legal action against the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and WPD White Pines Wind Inc. will be heard on January 29, 2018 at the Belleville Court House starting at 2:00 pm.

Additionally, the hearing dates for the APPEC appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) have been confirmed as follows:

Pre-hearing Conference
January 24, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sophiasburgh Town Hall, 2771 County Road 5, Demorestville.

The purpose of the Pre-hearing Conference is for interested persons who would like speak at the hearing to apply for status either as a Party, a Participant or a Presenter. Please click here if you are interested in finding out more about seeking status at the hearing and click here to view the ERT Notice of Pre-Hearing Conference.

ERT Main Hearing
February 12, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sophiasburgh Town Hall.

The most effective way of showing the Superior Court and the Tribunal of the level of community concern with the White Pines wind project is with your presence.

Source: Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County

*To confirm dates and venue locations for any changes please contact the Environmental Review Tribunal *

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Wind and water, right and wrong

Right-Wrong

The Chatham Voice|January 15, 2018| Letter to Editor

Sir: This wind-water issue in north Chatham-Kent has been dragging on – it seems like – forever. Is it just me, or does it feel like there is a lot of crap going on around the issue that is successfully distracting people from a real and serious issue. The ‘crap’ I am referring to is the politics (of wind power), the personalities (of Randy Hope and Kevin Jakubec) and the lame excuses getting in the way of meaningful action.

First is the excuse that the windmill projects are not to blame for the water quality issues. The only thing I can say to that is to please stop insulting our intelligence! It is NOT a coincidence that these wells, which have produced clean water for years and years, suddenly and en masse became spoiled at the same time that the construction of these mega-project windmills started.

The second excuse is the sediment in the water, and whether it should be tested, how it should be tested, and whether it is harmful to human health. My answer to this is quite simple: if you don’t know for sure, err on the safe side. Test it for everything you can, and if there are potential risks that exist, consider them real.

Mayor Hope wants to argue that the residents are not drinking the sediment, but perhaps he was sleeping through the science class that taught us sediment is made up of particles ranging in size from those you can see to microscopic ones that are essentially dissolved and part of the solution that can pass through filters and be consumed.

What if 20 years down the road it is found out that the black shale sediment in these wells is the root cause of widespread health issues among the rural population in these wind turbine areas? Is council blessed with some crystal ball that allows them to foresee the future? Is council willing to take the risk of being wrong? Do they want that on their conscience?

Behind all this smoke and mirrors is a real issue about water, and the rights we all have to water. More importantly, and what should concern every citizen in C-K, is the obvious and deliberate disregard our elected leadership in Chatham-Kent has towards this right. Those council members that are not giving their all to defend the water rights of those citizens in Dover and Chatham Townships are the same members that the rest of us across C-K are going to be counting on to look after our best interests when/if our need arises, whatever that need may be. How does that make you feel? How much confidence do you have that they will do the “right thing” when your time arises?

Here is the bottom-line: Water security is a principle where no exception should be made and no ground be given. It’s one of those hills that are worth dying for and something community leaders are elected to valiantly protect. We cannot let these wind companies walk away making millions off C-K’s wind resources and leave behind a trail of spoiled wells and plastic water tanks. If they are going to leave here and benefit from C-K for years to come, the least they can do is leave CK the way they found it!

We should all be paying attention and contacting our local councillors, demanding that they do their job, do the right thing and stand up for the basic rights of their fellow C-K citizens. This is not about wind any longer, it is about water – a basic human requirement and right! And we should be judging our elected leaders by their actions on this important community issue. Municipal elections are less than a year away – let’s hope this issue has a solution in-principle by then.

Rick Youlton

Chatham, Ontario