Andy Metelka, an acoustics and vibrations specialist who has been studying the sound effects of wind turbines, was very careful about the conclusions he made from his studies.
He has just returned from a conference on wind turbine noise in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and shared his insights with a group of residents in Smithville.
Metelka has perfected his own sound measuring technique and a formula to isolate the sound coming from turbines from other background noise.
“There are no guidelines in Canada on infrasound regarding wind turbines,” said Metelka, explaining that further research could lay the groundwork for those regulations.
“I’m not here to discuss medical science, I’m not a medical professional,” he said. “I do not act on behalf of any party as a professional engineer.”
Metelka has been studying the sound and infrasound from turbines in Grey Highlands, a municipality just southeast of Owen Sound. Infrasound is the low-level noise that is not detected by the human ear.
Metelka concluded that both weather and the shape of the ground can affect how the sound travels, and that older farmhouses let more infrasound in than newer homes.
Metelka also concluded that infrasound is indeed present in homes near operating wind turbines, but he could not say what effect, if any, they have on human life.
For anyone experiencing shadow flicker from turbines, and especially if you have been told erroneously NOT to report it, please read this message to us from the MOECC. We advise everyone to report to the MOECC, and the wind power developer but above all, to always include the MOECC in your reporting. Be sure to get an Incident Report number when you call.
MOECC: Thank you for your inquiry. The Ministry remains committed to reviewing and assessing all complaints related to the operation of a wind facility.
To register a complaint, please contact either the local MOECC district office (during business hours), or the Spills Action Centre (after hours).
Complaints received by the Spills Action Centre will be assessed and forwarded to the appropriate MOECC district office for action.
I thank you again for your inquiry.
Senior Manager, Spills Action Centre
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
5775 Yonge Street, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M2M 4J1
Spills Action Centre -Reports after business hours can be made by calling:
1-800-268-6060 (toll-free, province-wide, 24/7)
416-325-3000 (Toronto area)
Business Hours– Report to your local District Office
Just in case we thought the wind turbines would be ordered to be mitigated or shut down if health problems were noticed in the Huron County Health study – nope that’s not gonna happen. Read the correspondence below and you will realize that it is all just ‘process’, with no action to ‘correct’ on the horizon. Basically more people are just being used as test subjects. That’s it. And that’s flat out unacceptable.
Thanks to Richard Mann, Associate Professor Department of Computer Science; University of Waterloo for this.
From: Erica Clark
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 3:44 PM
Subject: Ability of MOH to write orders against wind turbines under section 13 of HPPA
One of the issues the University of Waterloo ethics committee asked us to address was the hope residents had that, at some time, the Medical Officer of Health would be able to write an order curtailing or shutting down the wind turbines. We had already stated in the recruitment materials that the study would not generate sufficient evidence to prove wind turbines cause health problems (establishing causality) but the ethics committee questioned whether we were providing enough information on the limits of the Medical Officer of Health’s authority. To address that concern, we have spoken with individuals experienced in interpreting the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) specifically, sections 11 (investigating health hazards) and 13 (writing orders). They provided us with the attached documents that outline the limits on the MOH’s authority to write orders.
The first document (Pelletier v Northwestern Health Unit) is the proceedings from an Ontario Health Services Appeal and Review Board and the second (Court File 2006-01-04) is a judicial review of the appeal hearing by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Essentially, these documents state that when the Legislature places the authority to regulate with one organization, such as municipal councils or the Ministry of the Environment, the courts do not accept that there was an intention to give the same authority to the MOH under section 13 of the HPPA. The rulings were made when the Northwestern Health Unit MOH wrote orders prohibiting exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (second hand smoke) in several bars and restaurants. At the time the orders were written, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was (and still is) deemed a health hazard.
Since the Legislature assigned the duty to regulate wind turbines to the Ministry of the Environment and not the health units, the courts will not recognize the authority of the MOH under section 13 of the HPPA to write an order curtailing or shutting down the wind turbines.
I will be putting these documents on the health unit website soon, however, I wanted you to have a chance to read them first. The documents are publicly available at
Census of Agriculture recently released by Statistics Canada shines a light on some interesting statistics about renewable installations on Ontario farms. There are 2 465 wind turbines erected in the province as of 2016.
“About 10,255 farms have a renewable energy system, Stats Canada reports. Of those farms, about 85 per cent had solar panels and 15.7 per cent had wind turbines.
Approximately 5,180 farms in Ontario had renewable energy systems, the most of any province. 4,428 farms (85.5 per cent) of these respondents said they use solar panels compared to 906 with wind turbines.”
MPP Lisa Thompson called upon Minister of Environment to meet family adversely impacted by wind turbine noise. She calls out new Ontario Noise Guidelines for Industrial Wind Turbines as failing to “cut it” by not taking into account tonal qualities of exposure in a home. Facts matter. No ONE should have to suffer.
“…neither the environment nor the economy is served by aggressive environmental policies that prove to be economically unsustainable. The energy transition requires good planning and sustained momentum.
But the province has yet to revise its policies to reflect this lesson. For instance, it has not repealed the Green Energy Act which set overly expensive rates and led to overly generous long-term electricity contracts. It has suspended, but not cancelled, the second round of its Large Renewable Energy Procurement (LRP II) process, despite forecasts showing that this additional electricity supply will not be needed.”
To build a cost-effective, low carbon, reliable and resilient electricity system, Ontario must learn from its mistakes and face its challenges and risks.
Written By: John Haffner, Mark Cameron, Jim Burpee April 20, 2017
Ontario has had years to respond to the knowledge that industrial wind turbines are exceeding noise limits. Regulations that the wind industry lobbied for.
In Huron-Bruce county residents continue to battle government to enforce existing regulations to protect and preserve health from intrusive noise of industrial wind turbines. The document below is just one example of many submitted to Ontario from adversely impacted residents:
The pressure continues to mount on the MOECC (Ministry of Environment and Climate Change). The turbines are emitting noise above regulated limits with tonal qualities. Ontario on their own admission and as on the public record- will use the ‘law’ to enforce protections. Do the right thing.
SHUT DOWN THE TURBINES NOW!
Tests Find Some Huron Bruce Turbines Exceed Noise Regulations
The MPP for Huron Bruce has called on the province to shut down all industrial wind turbines that fail to comply with noise regulations.
Lisa Thompson says test results released April 7 indicate that the noise levels of turbines near two Huron Bruce residences exceed Ministry of Environment noise guidelines.
The results also acknowledged the possibility that tonal noises are being produced.
However, instead of agreeing to shut down the turbines, Environment Minister Glen Murray claimed the law is being enforced and complaints are being dealt with quickly.
“It has taken two years get these results. The next round of testing could take at least another year and a half,” says Thompson. “I don’t know what this minister thinks quick means, but suffering for three and a half years before anything gets done doesn’t sound quick to me.”
“The Black and Stachura families as well as other families across Ontario have been suffering for far too long from the impacts of IWTs which were built too close to their homes.” said Thompson. “The Minister needs to acknowledge the test results and once and for all do right by the people of Ontario affected by industrial wind turbines.”
She calls on the Minister to acknowledge the test results, and do the right thing.
The Schmidts of Kincardine in Ontario left their home in 2009 when debilitating health symptoms occurred after the wind turbines of an Enbridge project became operational. They are currently pressuring the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to undertake noise testing in a full sound spectrum including infrasound (inaudible) measurements.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Couple seeks help on wind turbine concerns.
Kincardine | by Craig Power
Kincardine residents want new tests done on Enbridge project.
A Kincardine couple is seeking Council support in their quest to have the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to investigate noise emissions from the Enbridge Wind turbines on Concession 6.
Norma and Ron Schmidt have had to move from their home due to health related issues they say are associated with infrasound from the nearby wind turbines.
Rachel Thompson, spokesperson for the Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns Group, says the project began in 2009 and they still don’t know if Enbridge is in compliance.
So far the Ministry has only done testing on the ‘audible’ noise emissions but they have not yet tested the ‘inaudible’ or ‘infrasound’ emissions which are known to cause adverse heath effects.
A noise modelling report conducted by Valcoustics Canada Incorporated showed an asterisk beside 6 properties within what they refer to as ‘ground zero’ for noise emissions, with the Schmidt home among them.
Thompson says “the report also stated that we cannot be certain that these 6 homes will not fall within the safe range of audible noise.”
At the April 5th meeting, Kincardine Council voted to support the Schmidt’s letter of request for further investigation by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
The pressure is being applied to the Owen Sound Office of the MOE with hope that testing will be conducted and answers reached.
“The Liberal government forced turbines on municipalities across rural Ontario against the wishes and concerns of residents and communities such as West Lincoln,” said Oosterhoff. “This stubborn initiative of the Liberals shows no respect for municipalities or for the ordinary concerns of Ontarians.”
“Industrial wind turbines are one of the causes of our sky-rocketing energy costs because of the unaffordable contracts made by the Liberals,” noted Oosterhoff. “Heat or eat is not a decision people should have to make.”
“The Liberals have a long history of ignoring municipalities and local residents. The NDP pretend to support local decision-making, but instead they supported the legislation that left municipalities without a voice on the placement of industrial turbines,” said Oosterhoff. “Tomorrow, they will have a chance to make amends and show respect for our communities by voting for my Motion.”
“That in the opinion of this House, the Government should place a moratorium on the installation of industrial wind turbines in unwilling host communities in the Province of Ontario.”