Category Archives: Lack of municipal power in planning

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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Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Misleading the Public

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January 17, 2018

A group of municipal officials sent a formal letter to the supervisor of the Owen Sound office of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) following a presentation by the MOECC on the subject of wind turbine noise, noise reports, and adverse health effects.

While thanking manager Rick Chappell for his presentation, Stewart Halliday and Mark Davis, deputy mayors speaking on behalf of the group, said it was disappointing, and designed to mislead the public into thinking there are not problems with wind turbine noise in Ontario.

It’s time to stop denying the health effects, the Multi-Municipal group said, and get on to the business of alleviating the real suffering.

The letter follows.

M U L T I – M U N I C I P A L W I N D  T U R B I N E W O R K I N G  G R O U P

11 January, 2018

Andrew Barton, District Supervisor Andrew.Barton2@ontario.ca

Rick Chappell, District Manager Rick.Chappell@ontario.ca

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

101 –17th Street East

Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 0A5 Dear Mr. Barton and Mr. Chappell,

RE: Your presentation to our meeting of 14 December, 2017

Thank you for taking the time to make your presentation to the Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group.

As councillors, we have had ongoing complaints from a significant number of residents living near wind turbines in our area who are suffering harm to their health. The video we presented to you documents the experience of some of those affected. It will also help you to understand the widespread anger and disillusionment with the MOECC’s failure to act on their behalf.

Much of the suffering could have been avoided had the local MOECC offices identified to their standards division that the public were adversely impacted (as confirmed by complaints and field monitoring) even when the turbines might have been compliant with the A weighted limits, since those limits were not appropriately corrected for the cyclical nature of the sound that is unmatched in nature, the tonality, the frequency spectrum, and the dominance of the sound above the local environment, and the other special characteristics of the wind turbine sound.

As recently revealed in FOI disclosure, there have been hundreds of complaints. Failure to resolve them, declining to shut down problematic arrays, and relying on proponent estimates of noise emissions only creates growing distrust of the MOECC.

Your presentation was disappointing. It appeared to be designed to mislead the public into thinking there are no health problems. You presented a rosy picture of a government that is busy working  on our behalf. But our experience shows that it is not.

You admitted at the meeting that you are aware that some people living near wind turbines are getting sick. You agree that IWTs cause annoyance and that leads to health issues. It is time to accept this and move forward— to protect the public so that they are not adversely impacted.

The urgent need for action is confirmed by the recent decision of Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) that declared: “We accept that the evidence points to an association and a plausible pathway between WTN and adverse health effects (of a physical nature) mediated by annoyance, sleep disturbance and/or psychological distress”.

The Ministry’s commitment to the Statement of Environmental Values (SEV) under the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) (1994) stipulates that it will use “a precautionary, science-based approach in its decision-making to protect human health and the environment” and that “it will place priority on preventing pollution [in this case harmful noise emissions] . . . minimizing the creation of pollutants that can adversely affect the environment. . . . The Ministry will ensure that staff involved in decisions that might significantly affect the environment is aware of the Ministry’s Environmental Bill of Rights obligations”.

You can no longer justify continued inaction by falsely assuming that “components of wind turbine sound including infrasound and low-frequency sound have not been shown to present unique health risks to people living near wind turbines”.

Scientific, peer reviewed work carried out on infrasound and wind turbines by NASA under the direction of the highly respected Dr. Neil Kelley between 1981 and 1988 demonstrated the infrasound component of wind turbine emissions and its adverse effect on nearby residents. The World Health Organization has issued warnings that “the evidence on low frequency noise is sufficiently strong to warrant immediate concern”; “low-frequency noise . . . can disturb rest and sleep even at low sound pressure levels”; “other primary physiological effects can also be induced by noise during sleep, including increased blood pressure; increased heart rate; … vasoconstriction; …cardiac arrhythmia”.

Ambrose and Rand (2011, 2012), Basner et al. (2014), Cooper (2014), James (2013), and Nissenbaum (2012) all related measurements of wind turbine emissions (including infrasound) directly to diarized symptoms reported by those living nearby. Thorne’s study (2013), which took place over seven years, collected acoustic data at a number of homes so that cumulative exposures could be estimated. It concluded that health is “seriously and adversely affected”. Swinbanks paper presented in Glasgow in 2015 did not support your position. The MOECC failed to refer to  published peer reviewed documentation by Tachibana and Kuwano in the Noise Control Engineering Journal 62(6) 503-520 (2015): “Wind Turbine Noise (WTN) generally has dominant low frequencies and is easily transmitted into buildings, causing residents psycho-acoustical annoyance and sleep disturbance”.

We would be happy to provide you with these documents.

How did it get to this state of affairs that local residents have a greater understanding of the problems than the people whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers to protect us? We await some timely, responsible, diligent enforcement action from your office to alleviate the suffering of our residents.

Yours truly,

Stewart Halliday, Deputy Mayor Municipality of Grey Highlands, Chair

Mark Davis, Deputy Mayor Municipality of Arran-Elderslie, Vice-chair

Reposted from Wind Concerns Ontario

A Holiday season spent reading ‘worthless pile’ of turbine documents

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Wind turbine blades are shown being transported by rail through Dundas County.

National Valley News| December 31st, 2017| Letter to Editor

Good morning, Ms. Wynne.

First off, thanks for taking the time to read my last letter to you and getting back to me.

That said, I still have not heard back from Mr. Ballard nor Mr. Thibeault, nor did you answer my two questions.

I acknowledge that my last letter was a tad long and that you may not have had the time to read the whole thing, and as such I am re-asking my two questions and await your response.

1. Given that the timing of the Notice of Posting to the Environmental Registry is completely inappropriate, will you repost the 45-day period to start January 1, 2018?

2. Who is ultimately accountable to the citizens of North Stormont when problems arise during the construction and 20-40 year operational period of the Nation Rise Wind Farm Project? Do we send our bills to the Premier of Ontario, the project developer/owner or to the participating land owners who invited the foreign owned wind developer into the township in the first place?

While waiting for you to answer my two questions, I spent numerous hours between field and office work reading the thousands of pages of EDPR prepared documentation in the off chance that you will not move the end of Christmas Day deadline to submit comments into the MOECC Registry.

What are my conclusions to date, you may ask?

Well, the EDPR-prepared documents are generously sprinkled with hundreds if not thousands of promises to the people, birds and bats and the environment of North Stormont.

For example, EDPR is promising that each turbine will not kill more than 10 bats and 14 birds per year, they will keep turbine noise within the old (not new) MOECC noise guidelines (we’ll hardly hear them like a soft whisper at most) and they will “lightly grade“ the areas where the access roads and lay down areas will go in.

There are two problems with this.

1. EDPR seems to have problems “keeping promises” at least to my wife and me. Perhaps others on my distribution list have had better experiences. EDPR made one promise to me and another to my wife during the so called “consultation meetings” with citizens of North Stormont, and sadly they are zero for two in keeping their promises with us;

2. Your Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) does not appear to have the tools, resources, and/or interest to strictly enforce wind turbine companies’ promises. The most recent example of this came to light this past week in the Kincardine area where citizens have lodged numerous complaints about noise emanating from the Enbridge Underwood Wind Project. The turbines have been in place since 2007 and given the number of complaints received since the project start up the MOECC and Enbridge decided to perform a noise audit in 2011. Here comes the head scratcher, we are on the verge of the end of 2017 and the noise audit is still not completed. The MOECC confirmed that the MOECC and the wind project developer have been going back and forth with each other for over six years and they still can’t figure out whether there is a problem or not with noise levels emanating from the turbines. In the meantime citizens within the project area continue to have their lives disrupted because of the turbines.

This is unconscionable in 2018 Ontario.

Ontario is blessed to have an Auditor General that is absolutely committed to rooting out waste and mismanagement in Ontario. An example of this happened again this past week where Ms. Lysyk dropped another bombshell on the Energy File where she reported out that private electricity generators fleeced the rate and taxpayers of Ontario to the tune of some $260 million over the past few years.

The Energy File seems to be in complete and utter disarray.

Again Ms. Wynne I urge you to cancel the Nation Rise Wind Project to avoid further embarrassment to your government and if that is not possible just yet, please allow us to enjoy our Christmas season without the need to continue reading the worthless pile of turbine documents.

I look forward to hearing your answers to my two questions soonest.

Thanks for your time and attention.

Raymond Grady,
Crysler

Fighting Words in Milford

vive a la resistance 2Credit:  The Intelligencer | December 20, 2017 | ~~

Experience is something you get right after you need it. On the heels of a potent, jam-packed rally in Milford to implore the government to pack up its turbines and go home, the bitter aftertaste and lingering sting of feeling deceived and betrayed remains ours to mourn and avenge.

When you think about it, the optics of investing in wind turbines can be construed as a patriotic opportunity to demonstrate support for green energy when better options may exist, but this turbine project is lead contender for first place as a blue ribbon colossal failure.

Clearly, Premier Wynne doesn’t want to be confused with facts, she has already made up her mind. Wynne is at the helm of The Ontario Green Energy Act – the largest transfer of wealth in Canadian history, and as it crosses the performance finish line, it’s lagging behind, Wynne thinks it came in first. As recited in quote after quote: The net result is this is the most over- priced, inefficient, redundant, useless subsidized wind power electricity in North America, never mind Ontario. All supply with no demand. Ontarians have an abundant supply of apologies and Mea Culpa’s from the Ontario Energy Minister for “sub- optimal outcomes”.

The notion of erecting seven 480’ turbines in Milford is just plain ludicrous, although the reality is easily heard by the heavy, gravel- laden trucks barreling down County Road 13 providing thunderous, early morning wake- up calls. The ugly esthetics beginning to sprout will impose a fire sale price tag for potential business investors in Milford and has struck fear in seniors inflicted with depressed residential land values while huddled beneath the looming white elephants. This is the Canadian government that has shoved its citizens to the sidelines to put up and shut up while they impose incompetent, environmental destruction upon a gentle community.

The knights of South Marysburgh tilting at wind turbines are growing in numbers scattered across the belly of South Bay in a mission to quash the project. Appointing Milford for monolithic wind turbines flies in the face of all that is naturally beautiful, peaceful and harmonious in the County. The 800- miles of shoreline tucked into warm, white sand dunes, tropically- hued waters, wine, food, farming, olive oil, maple syrup and bursting with artistic bounty is sacrilegious.

While defending both professional and personal scrutiny, perhaps Mayor Quaiff has the right idea, attacking the issue from within? After all, one of the most successful strategies every employed is “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

Milford owns the mouth’s that roar “we are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore” and it has fallen on the selected hearing of Wynne. Steve Ferguson closed his speech at the APEC annual general meeting last Sunday, quoting McGuinty “they (the public) can’t stay mad at us forever”. In Milford, Ontario, those are fighting words.

Mary Malone
Milford

Source:  The Intelligencer | December 20, 2017 |
Reposted from:  National Wind Watch

9 Years of ongoing Noise Complaints for Enbridge Wind

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CHATHAM KENT ONTARIO ENBRIDGE WIND FROM HWY3 TALBOT TRAIL15

Kincardine Council asked the MOECC(Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change)  on December 6, 2017 what is being done about continued noise reports at the  Enbridge wind power project for the past NINE YEARS!  MOECC District Manager documents the history of incomplete reports, and reported health effects.

 

The wind at his back

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Former Minister of Energy & Infrastructure Georger Smitherman- 2008

The date is September 28, 2008 newly minted Ontario Minister of Energy and Infrastructure George Smitherman gushes over  a vision of the future for green-energy in Ontario.   In 2009 the Green Energy Act passes and is rapidly followed by 1 000s upon 1000s  of industrial wind turbines erected.  Ontario bowed to political push back by pausing installation of wind turbines in the Great Lakes. Today an offshore  demonstration project looms with a build date of 2018.  The project proposed in Lake Erie off Ohio’s shores.

Fast forward to 2017.  Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault admits mistakes were made by government with its green energy plan. Ontario holds tight to its energy vision of a green energy industry.  Wind projects are forced onto unwilling host communities.   Resident’s voices of opposition muted under renewable energy legislation.   At the Federal level the wind industry is championed by many, including Minister of the Environment Catherine Mckenna.  The Minister recently declined to take up pleas to review cumulative wind energy projects along the Great Lakes 

From visions of green energy to build out of wind projects.  What do you see?

The wind at his back

By TYLER HAMILTONClimate and Economy Reporter
Sat., Sept. 27, 2008

NIAGARA FALLS–In just nine weeks George Smitherman has likely learned more about the green-energy industry than any energy minister before him, and then some.

Sitting in a meeting room at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel in Niagara Falls, just minutes after giving his first major speech since being appointed energy and infrastructure minister in June, Smitherman enthuses like a kid who has just returned from Euro Disney.

He recounts his visit to a small community in Denmark that powers and heats itself with straw, municipal waste and geothermal energy. Then there was the neighbourhood in Freiburg, Germany, powered by rooftop solar panels atop high-efficiency homes. In Spain, he saw how the local electricity operator manages the country’s 15,000 megawatts of wind turbines and a world-class stable of solar farms.

His travels also took him to California, where he learned how the world’s fifth-largest economy used innovative conservation programs and energy-efficiency mandates to keep per-capita electricity consumption flat for the last three decades.

“Imagine a world where we could emulate their success?” asks an animated Smitherman, 44, who later turns to Amy Tang, an adviser sitting across the table. “Sorry, now I’m getting all worked up. Am I frothing at the mouth?”

The trips didn’t end there. On his home turf, he has already visited the massive Prince Wind Farm in Sault St. Marie, the Atikokan coal-fired generating station near Thunder Bay, the province’s three nuclear power stations, the massive Nanticoke coal-fired station, Hydro One’s grid control centre in Barrie, and has been inside the Niagara Falls water tunnel currently being excavated by Big Becky.

“I call it sponging. I just went out there to try and learn as much as I possibly could,” he says. “Everything I do, I learn something that’s one more piece of, let’s face it, a complex puzzle.”

Smitherman says he’s “jazzed” about his new job, a fresh change after five years as health minister. Premier Dalton McGuinty made it a promotion, insiders say, by merging the energy and infrastructure portfolios into a super-ministry.

Read article

‘It’s David versus Goliath’

“The people in this region deserve better than what they’ve received. They didn’t have a say in what happened, yet it’s happening, and happening very close to the town of Wallaceburg,” Violet said.

The group is trying to make the community aware of the project, said Violet. Not only are there concerns about potential problems with water wells, but there are also concerns about noise and low frequency sound levels, due to their large size.

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ILLUSTRATION BY J.C. FRANCO

By David Gough, Postmedia Network
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Preparing for what they’re calling a ‘David versus Goliath battle’, a grassroots group is organizing opposition to the Otter Creek wind turbine project proposed for north of Wallaceburg.

But money is needed to fight a large wind company. Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns has a GoFundMe account, which has brought in $1,325 of their $50,000 goal. As well, the organization is accepting donations at the TD bank branch on James Street in Wallaceburg.

Earl Towell, a member of the newly formed group, said donations are coming in to prepare for the fight.

“These things aren’t cheap. We’re up against a company with plenty of lawyer services. If we want to be able to put forward any kind of battle against this, we have to hire experts,” Towell said.

Along with lawyers, Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns is looking at hiring expert witnesses.

The ministry is currently undertaking a technical review of the Renewable Energy Approval application for Otter Creek, which will include reviewing and considering all comments made about the company’s REA when it was posted to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry earlier this year. Once the review is complete the REA can be appealed…

Read article

Seeking Justice for Rural Ontario

aTurbine 109_v1 CRWind turbine approval process unfair to public

JIM MCPHERSON, SPECIAL TO THE TORONTO SUN
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2017
Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has approved numerous wind energy projects across the province.

But what if many of these approvals were improperly done, as determined by a court?

Rural residents have appealed several wind projects to provincial tribunals, but most are denied because Ontario’s Green Energy Act permits these appeals only on very narrow grounds of irreparable harm to the environment or human health.

For that reason, a citizen’s group in Prince Edward County recently filed for a judicial review of Ontario’s wind turbine approval process, in Superior Court in Ottawa.

The appellant is a not-for-profit corporation composed of hundreds of Prince Edward County residents, who claim their Charter rights have been violated by Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA).

They contend their rights have been violated by the “institutional bias” of the MOECC, and by its failure to properly consider matters of direct relevance to the wind energy project approval process.

The filing also alleges “an egregious instance of regulatory capture”, of MOECC and its affiliated provincial agencies.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.

In the view of the appellants, rural Ontario citizens receive only minimal procedural fairness under the GEA.

During the project approval processes, they are not entitled to present direct evidence but are restricted to submitting comments to a website.

In many cases, the information on which they are asked to comment is incomplete, as yet undisclosed, or subject to later amendment.

Appeals to Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) are possible, but again, only on very narrow grounds of proven, irreparable harm to the environment or human health.

Property owners living close to wind turbines have complained about the pollution of wells, restriction of land use, fires, flying debris, health impacts, killing of wild life, property value diminution and inhabitability of homes.

During and after construction, many municipalities are concerned about potential road damage, water pollution and financial damage to local economies.

Many residents complain that once wind projects are completed, the province fails to meaningfully enforce regulations connected with their operation.

Provincially regulated setbacks of turbines, while inadequate in the view of many rural citizens, nonetheless effectively mandate that wind energy projects are built only in rural neighbourhoods, as opposed to cities like Toronto.

Unlike cities, vote-poor rural communities are unable to successfully pressure the government to relocate wind projects they say are inappropriate.

By contrast, in vote-rich Oakville and Mississauga, urban residents convinced the Liberal government, leading up to the 2011 provincial election, to relocate two proposed natural gas-fired electricity plants at an eventual public cost exceeding $1 billion.

The Liberal government also suspended a proposed offshore wind project impacting urban ridings in Scarborough after protests by local residents.

Under the GEA, municipalities can no longer use official plans or land use bylaws to protect citizens from inappropriate land use.

Many believe this is a reprehensible failure by Ontario’s government, but it cannot be attributed solely to the provincial regulating agencies.

In many cases, skilled, professional staff working for these agencies have basically been rendered inoperative by provincial legislation that makes them ineffective.

Comparing rural citizens fighting industrial wind turbines to the Liberal government pulling the strings, one is reminded of what was said about Allied troops in the First World War: “We have lions led by donkeys”.

Perhaps the judicial review requested by Prince Edward County residents will help restore fairness to the battlefield.

To the very end

To the very end…

“It will be expensive. And it’ll be expensive when I win my suit in Ottawa because that will make all of the IWT’s illegal, they’ll all have to come down, and somebody’s going to have to pay the bill.”
– Alan Whiteley re: Ontario’s “Fair Hydro Plan”

Alan Whiteley presentation to the committee on Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan  links the government’s  response to escalating electricity rates and harsh decisions people are forced to make in the face of energy poverty.  Ontario is taken to task over to its failure to assess costs ,benefits and adverse consequences of its renewable energy policies.

 

heat or eatAlan Whiteley is the legal lead for the Judicial Review before the Courts of Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA).  The challenge is predicted to be successful and would result in making all erected Industrial Wind Turbines in Ontario illegal resulting in a very expensive bill to be paid as remedy.

For more information about CCSAGE Naturally Green’s Judicial Review of the GEA.

The following media report has an edited written version of Mr.Whiteley’s presentation to the Ontario Fair Hydro Act 2017 committee in June 2017:

Ontario’ Fair Hydro Act a Ponzi Scheme

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