I attended a recent meeting in Linden concerning wind turbines and the current county ordinance. I came away saddened by all the conflict over this issue among neighbors and even within families over this issue.
I have always been opposed to county-wide zoning, but wind turbines seem a much worse threat to the county than zoning, since zoning only represents a raid upon our wallets, while wind turbines represent a danger to the health and safety of our neighbors and their children.
I was shocked to learn that our local ordinance allows children to play closer to the turbines than the operating companies allow their employees, except in cases of necessity.
I was saddened to hear allegations that some of our elected officials may have a monetary interest in wind turbines.
The county ordinance requires setbacks from the foundations of homes, rather than property lines. This seems to preclude anyone from building a dwelling on land between a current dwelling and the owner’s property line, which appears to be an unconstitutional taking of land without compensation.
The contracts with wind turbine builders have an allowance for $15,000 for decommissioning each turbine. This is not enough money to even get a crane to begin to take down one of these towers.
To add insult to injury, wind turbines are heavily subsidized by the federal government, because they are not and never will be economical to operate.
Finally, it is an insult to the people that our county commissioners have yet to put wind turbines on the agenda for a commissioners’ meeting.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Silverdale Community Hall, 4610 Sixteen Rd. St. Ann’s, ON
Members Election of Board 7:00 pm • Program Start 7:30 pm
• Current Situation, Locally, Provincially & World Wide • Legal actions in Ontario
• What are our Activities? Health study for those thinking of moving.
• Long term exposure and VAD • The Risks – Infra Sound – Stray Current-Water Wells
• 2500 Homes in rural in West Lincoln exposed to IWT’s • Your Questions Answered
On Thursday, June 15, 2017 Niagara Wind held an open house to celebrate the inauguration of its 77 industrial (3MW Enercon) wind turbine project located in West Lincoln, Haldimand and Niagara region. The following is a write up from a member of the community who attended with her impressions and opinions.
For sake of anonymity, I will use false names for anyone I speak of in this write up.
It should be noted that the true inauguration celebration happened at approximately 1pm and as noted in Niagara This Week, all the bigwigs in suits were bused in attendance for this champagne shindig.
“Representatives from Boralex, Enercon and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation all defended wind power and their new farm that straddles Haldimand County and the Niagara Region.”
Michael Weidemann, executive vice president of ENERCON Canada standing outside of the company’s recent project in Lowbanks. The Niagara Region Wind Farm is a joint partnership with ENERCON, Boralex and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. – Alexandra Heck/ Metroland – Photo from Niagara This Week.
Here is a local write up from a local media company.
I arrived at the gates of hell, sorry, I mean gates to the property where the event was held on Bird Road, Lowbanks, Ontario shortly after 4pm.
I stopped and talked to Linda from MAWTi for a quick moment before entering the property. Her infant was napping in the stroller and I asked how the 1pm shindig went and we discussed a few things before I carried on. Linda was holding a nice big sign, specific to the design of the Enercon Turbines that infest our rural routes and in many cases, our backyards and as always, she is fierce in her stance against the projects despite the extreme heat, humidity and sun.
So attendees to this event had to drive quite the distance through the agricultural farmed land to the designated parking area by the temporary white tents and out near the turbines. I was greeted by ‘security’ before getting to the parking and tent area. Really? Security? Is this necessary? For some reason, the community attendees were required to purchase a ticket(s) online ($0). Anyways, Mr. Security didn’t ask for my ticket, just told me where to park because ‘its about to get real busy.’
I said ‘Oh ya? Whys that?’
He replied with ‘I just think it’s going to get super busy, people want to come and see these turbines.’ I replied with a bit of a sarcastic tone ‘most of us get to see them every single day, like it or not’ and I put my window up drove to park.
There was one big white tent with tables set up inside, a bar that clearly had the champagne cleared out, but residents were privy to chilled water and pop. Inside the tent situated at one end were the typical large displays with descriptive images of the internal mechanics of the project Enercon E-101 turbines, stats and facts and various pamphlets touting the good of the wind industry. I pretended like I haven’t seen all this before and snapped a picture. Internally I felt like a moron because anyone who is interested in Industrial Wind Turbines for any reason, knows about the guts so I passed on any further photo ops.
I took a pamphlet from CanWea titled, “The Secret Is Out, Wind Is In. Building a stronger, cleaner and affordable energy system.” I grumbled under my breath, ‘Gawd, this shit is thick’ and an elderly man I hadn’t noticed beside me snickered and nodded his head. I winked and quickly scooted away before I felt obligated to engage in conversation.
The pamphlet, if it is to spout the reality of Renewables, should read, The Secret Is Out, Wind Is RAMMED In. Building the most unreliable, intermittent power grid, wiping out ecological systems far and wide, dividing communities, harming humans and creating wide spread energy poverty in Ontario. That is what it should read. The TRUTH.
So then I began my stroll to the other end of the tent. This tent was huge! Obviously there was a need for this large tent to house all the leaseholders, stakeholders and investors and surely it must be challenging to squeeze that much corruption into one tent.
Fred from Boralex noticed me and walked over and we said our courteous hellos. We chatted for a brief few more minutes about this and that, but as usual I was eager to jumped into question mode. There are some mechanics I don’t understand and want to understand better.
I asked ‘are the converters are under the ground?’
Fred replied no they are in the turbines themselves.
Me, not fully understanding how can a converter be INSIDE the turbine did my squinty face and I asked ‘so under the turbine?’
Fred said do you want to go in the turbine I can explain better. Off we went to the turbine. Fred, Roger and myself.
Before I got to the turbine I could hear this high pitch screaming. I knew I was in for it with these triggered ears and head of mine, but in I went because curiosity always gets the better of me. It is so loud with this high pitched frequency that I cannot relate it to anything else I have ever experienced before. It could be like tinnitus in 4D. Anyways, in I went. WOW! Not going to lie, very impressive! (Impressive minus the high pitched screaming that is). We talked for a bit about what was inside and how it all works and fans etc. and guess what. They have an elevator to get to the top. Yup. An elevator.
Don’t quote me on this, but if I understood correctly the high pitched screaming is because they convert from AC to DC then back from DC to AC. It is the switching of something at a very rapid pace that makes the high pitched noise and does the converting inside the converters that really are inside the turbine. So this converting back and forth, as I was told, was the most perfect energy (Hz I believe) wave that is created. Picture a hand moving in a up and down in a perfect wave motion <– as per Fred with Boralex.
As we continued to converse with others joining in on the conversation, an eager graduate who proudly just graduated his 4 year program at Mohawk almost bounced over, blonde trendy hair flopping all over as he runs his hands through it, whips his clipboard out from under his arm, fully armed with his resume and credentials from school and boldly interrupted our conversation. He wanted a job in the wind industry. BADLY. I took the opportunity to move on and Fred continued his conversation with this very eager new graduate.
I made my way back to the tent. I wanted to see what was on the computer screens and to see if there was a presentation. I asked the young lady there, very nice young lady, if there was a presentation put on later. Nope. No presentation, just a slide show of photos of during and after construction of the project. Nothing worth sticking around for.
On my way back to my truck I noticed a GAS generator. Ok, best photo OP of the day. A gas generator used to run the computers for the slide show. The irony was not lost on me.
When I was leaving I saw the eager graduate at his vehicle. I stopped and asked him about his program at Mohawk. I wanted to know if he was serious about Wind and what he knew. He clearly is in over his head. It was shocking to me that after 4 years he hadn’t a clue about the simplest thing, such as The Grid app on a smartphone or a reasonable ‘educated’ response to any questions I asked him. I asked why the wind industry and he said it fascinated him the most. I slide into our conversation that you will not be a very liked person within the communities and could cause conflicts between friend and family.
He said ‘my dad and his friends have already yelled at me several times for it.’ I responded with ‘it isn’t the yelling that should concern you; it is WHY they are yelling. What are they trying telling you? What aren’t you listening too?’
Then I told him Wind Industry will die one day.
He seriously thought I was crazy, I could tell, meanwhile I KNOW he is. ALL the energy needs of the world? Ok, buddy, refund in your education should be first on your list.
I asked ‘do you have a smart phone?’
I asked ‘do you follow any of the grid apps?’ He actually responded with ‘what is that.’ If ever there was a time to smack my forehead in disbelief then would of been an appropriate time.
I asked ‘do you have Google?’
He said ‘yes, I use it.’
I responded with ‘Google wind turbines and do some homework before you settle into the wind industry.’
We talked for a few more minutes and it became more and more obvious to me, and apparent to him that he really didn’t know squat. I suggested he talk to rural route residents on both sides of the fence. Talk to people who are slammed with energy poverty. He inquired on what energy poverty was. Spending 4 years in a renewables program and no idea with energy poverty is. Again I encouraged Google, the local news and worldwide news. We discussed other renewable options ‘taught’ in his 4 year program such as hydro, geothermal and solar. He (reluctantly) admitted the majority of his program focused on solar and wind, because Geothermal and Hydro weren’t our future. Boy would I love to get my hands on that program. He is a young kid, 24 yrs old tops and has no idea that there is a grid app and spent 4 years in the renewable energy program and to boot he PAID for that education. I showed him my app and what was being contributed to the grid live.
Snapshot of my grid app on my phone. It was a pretty remarkable day with West Lincoln NRWF pumping it to the grid. Good thing I didn’t depend on this 230MW, $1 Billion wind farm to use my toaster this particular day. (was not a current day photo)
He looked confused and said ‘OK, thanks for sharing that.’
I strongly urged him ‘seriously do yourself a favor and do as most responsible adults would, research your desired field and look into wind and its many complex problems associated with it.’
He said with so much excitement and enthusiasm, ‘look at these,’ both hands held out, one with a water bottle in it and his blonde hair flopping around in the wind. ‘They are huge and incredibly technical and generate so much energy to your home every day.’
I dropped the f-bomb and said tell your dad he has more yelling to do, I have to go.
I left the scene. Yes, scene. I feel like it wasn’t real and entirely staged. There were maybe 2 dozen tops when I was there. People brought their small children and there was a great mix of people of various ages.
Now, it is time for reflection.
Open house. It is slightly interesting but predictable, that the entire community wasn’t invited to the inauguration. There wasn’t even a great attempt at getting the word out that there was an open house with left over, sun exposed heated gooey cheese, bread and non-alcoholic beverages for the left over community.
If the people I communicate with almost daily didn’t share the info, I wouldn’t of been informed of this event. Which also raises an eyebrow, as I am suppose to be on the list of event notifications with Niagara Region Wind Farm.
There wasn’t even a wee bit of an attempt to ooohhh and ahhhh us with a small guided presentation, touting the benefits of the wind farm, the project completion, what this means for the community, how many jobs they (didn’t) create and so forth. No attempt to dazzle us, the left over community, with a show of any sort. We don’t matter. Clearly.
The designation of this champagne shindig was for those who profit financially. Stakeholders. Upper Management. Leaseholders.
Left out of the 1pm champagne inauguration is all the community members who are forced to live with these monstrous jolly green giants. Our choices revoked, our voices silenced and in too many cases, family units shattered. Our health can be adversely impacted, with families forced from their homes, permanently or to seek temporary relief. All the rate payers for electricity who are forced to subsidize an embellished industry, were left out of this celebration that they felt was appropriate to have in our backyards. All of us were left out of the celebrations.
This was not an accident. This is a Wind Industry, excelling with the support of the Liberal government, decimating rural route Ontario on our dime.
My wounds are salted.
I have been working on this write up for a few days. I was rattled by the photo below. It literally stopped me in my tracks. I stared at it and over the last few days, looked at it several times. It took me some time to actually grasp and process this picture. It became apparent that I needed to acknowledge there are people actually celebrating with champagne around the corner from our once treasured home, while my family and my personal life has been inverted.
This picture right here. This picture brought it full circle for me and flooded my soul with a wave of raw emotions. These people are truly proud, celebrating the very same project that has devastated lives. Destroyed lives. Causing harm to family members and collapsing family units. Is causing physical harm to people. Is causing harm to the environment. Is forcing families from their homes. This project, this celebration, is also a contributor to the highest rates of electricity in North America. Energy poverty is forefront. A top news chart. These projects are costing ratepayers BILLIONS of extra money.
All of these champagne celebrating guests have hijacked my family of our rights to prosper, to enjoy our home and property, our right to health and protection and have subscribed to the removal of our rights, both under the Charter and in the Constitutional Act. This is no small feat. This is no small crime. This is a methodical conquering of the removal of many rights for everyone. You are not exempt from this wind industry corruption because you have your champagne glass in hand. You just haven’t felt the true wrath of your ill informed decisions. Yet here we have my neighbors celebrating with a corrupt industry, champagne filled glasses held high, in honor of all the mayhem forced into many people’s lives.
The ill placement of Industrial Wind Turbines has stolen our future.
Excuse me while I fill a glass with champagne to celebrate.
**Some photos compliments of Niagara News This Week
Loyalist Township Council Resists Bullying By Algonquin Power Stella, May 30, 2017
The Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) applauds Loyalist Township Council’s decision to defer approval of Windlectric’s Operations Plan for the Amherst Island wind turbine project. Council resisted pressure from Algonquin Power to approve a Plan thatin Windlectric’s own words, anticipates “Structural failure of lsland roads”.
On May 29, 2017, Mr. Jeff Norman, Chief Development Officer for Algonquin Power wrote:
“Due to the differences separating Windlectric and the Township, Windlectric can see no basis on which arbitration can be avoided on some of the issues identified in the Staff Report. Accordingly, Windlectric will have no choice but to commence arbitration proceedings under Part X of the RUA (Roads Use Agreement) if the OP (Operations Plan) is not approved by Council on May 29, 2017.”
APAI congratulates Council for choosing the public interest over Windlectric’s business interests by deferring at its May 29th meeting the Operations Plan pending receipt of:
a. legally supported definition of the extent of the Township’s road allowance, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township;
b. the confirmation that the width and capacity of the Township’s road allowances will support the construction and related detours as outlined in the Operations Plan, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township; and
c. that the issues noted by G.D. Jewell [Loyalist Township’s engineering consultant] be addressed to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township.
In its submissions to Council, APAI emphasized that:
• the fifth version of Operations Plan finally acknowledged that the lsland roads do not have the load bearing capacity to support the heavy equipment required for the wind turbine project and that structural failure of lsland roads is anticipated in section 2.6 titled “Potential Road Failure”. APAI asserted that it was inconceivable that Windlectric expected Council to approve a Plan that anticipates the total failure of roads on Amherst lsland, putting lives and the environment at risk.
• Windlectric’s Plan also fails to comply with commitments made to the Environmental Review Tribunal as Windlectric now plans to widen all haul routes to 6 m. This is totally contrary to the three minor and temporary widenings on which the ERT based its decision.
• the Operations Plan should be amended to place the onus on
Windlectric to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval Conditions of Approval, all federal, provincial, municipal laws, and commitments made before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
• Windlectric’s Marine Logistics Plan fails to demonstrate how 24 barge trips per day crossing the ferry path can possibly be safe. According to the Operations Plan, two barges carrying fuel, hazardous materials, heavy equipment, turbine parts and personnel will cross the ferry path twenty four times per day from September to April.
APAI’s submission also addressed a long list of significant and very troubling matters including resolution of the important and complex issue of forced roads, the lack of baseline testing of residents’ wells for water quality and rate of flow, and Windlectric’s request for a blanket exemption to the Township Noise Bylaw.
The Amherst Island Wind Project has already caused a major power outage on the lsland, a fuel spill, and awater emergency in Prince Edward County.Consequently, it is reasonable that Council insist on absolute compliance without exception to protect the public and the environment.
APAI commends the expertise, tenacity and due diligence of Township staff and congratulates Council for standing firm in the face of bullying by Algonquin Power until the Operations Plan addresses all outstanding issues.
Contact: Michèle Le Lay President, Association to Protect Amherst Island email@example.com
“Windlectric’s proposed haul route on South Shore for heavy equipment, turbine parts and concrete trucks – 10,322 trucks! The scene by Peggie’s house this morning Monday May 29. Windlectric says roads will fail and has finally discovered what Islanders have known all along: Island roads do not have the load bearing capacity for an industrial turbine project.
Be careful out there: South Shore is closed by Bruce and Andrea’s. South Shore to the east is being pounded by waves and the eroded bank may collapse” FaceBook, May 29, 2017 Caption on photos corrected: Road damage shown due to high water levels
The topic of the risk of harm to human health associated with wind energy facilities is controversial and debated worldwide. On March 29, 2017, Carmen Krogh presented at the University of Waterloo which considered some of the research dating back to the early 1980’s. A snapshot of some of the current research available in 2017 was provided. The research is challenged in part by the complexities and numerous variables and knowledge gaps associated with this subject. This presentation explored some of these research challenges and provided an update on the growing body of evidence regarding human health risk factors. Included was the emerging research indicating risks to those working in this field.
Carmen M Krogh is a full time volunteer and published researcher regarding health effects and industrial wind energy facilities and shares information with communities; individuals; federal, provincial and public health authorities, wind energy developers; the industry; and others. She is an author and a co-author of peer reviewed articles and conference papers presented at wind turbine scientific noise conferences. Ms Krogh is a retired pharmacist whose career includes: senior executive positions at a teaching hospital (Director of Pharmacy); a drug information researcher at another teaching hospital; a Director of a professional organization; and a Director (A) at Health Canada (PMRA). She is the former Director of Publications and Editor in Chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information in Canada.
Critique of “Health Nuisances of Land-based Wind Turbines”, Statement by the French National Academy of Medicine issued May 9, 2017
By Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.
The French National Academy of Medicine has used this document in an attempt to redefine “Wind Turbine Syndrome”:
In summary, the health nuisances seem to be primarily visual (disfigurement of the landscape and its psychosomatic consequences) and to a lesser degree noise (of an intermittent and random character as generated by wind turbines of older generations). Medically, wind turbine syndrome is a complex and subjective entity with several factors contributing to its clinical expression, some related to the wind turbine itself, others to the complainants and to the social, financial, political, and communication environment (p. 14).
To reach this conclusion, the authors first review turbine noise levels and hearing thresholds, concluding that noise levels are low. They then review the following potential mechanisms:
Outer hair cells (Salt): “The work is not clinical or experimental but theoretical, based on the analysis of electrophysiologic, biomechanical, and acoustic models and data, and its conclusions are conservative.” Mechanism not supported (p. 9).
Otolith organs (Schomer, Todd, Rand): Conflicts with other studies suggesting that the sensitivity of otolith hair cells to infrasound is too low for this mechanism to be relevant to the production of motion sickness symptoms (pp. 9-10).
Stimulation of visceral organs (Pierpont): Intensities of infrasound not high enough (p. 10).
Direct action of noise on sleep: This mechanism is supported with a 1.5 km radius, but not further mentioned in the conclusions (see below) (p. 10).
Psychological factors: These are supported, including the impact of new technologies, the nocebo effect, individual factors of hearing sensitivity and emotional/psychological fragility, and social and economic factors such as lack of profit sharing and excessive communication of unsupported fears on social media (pp. 10-12).
The authors continue:
These nuisance factors being identified, the analysis of the medical and scientific literature (more than sixty articles have been published to date on the health effects of wind turbines) does not make it possible to demonstrate that, when wind turbines are properly located, they have a significant impact on health. In other words, no disease or infirmity can be imputed to their functioning.
The problem, however, is that the definition of health has evolved. According to WHO, this today is defined as “a state of complete physical well-being, mental and social,” not only the absence of illness or infirmity.
In this sense, we must admit that wind turbine syndrome, though the symptoms are subjective, reflects an existential suffering, a psychological distress, in short a violation of the quality of life, which, however, concerns only a part of the neighboring population (p. 14).
The authors proceed to discuss how to ameliorate the effects of wind power development, assuming (as they do) that wind energy is a political given. They propose extending the setback distance from 500 to 1000 m, while recognizing that this is neither politically feasible nor likely to be effective with larger turbines (p. 17).
They discuss caps on dBA noise levels relative to pre-construction and suggest that post-construction enforcement should be improved (p. 15). They suggest design features that affect airflow over and around the blades or stop the turbines when noise thresholds are exceeded (p. 16).
They recommend better public discussion and profit-sharing:
In the dual aim of improving the acceptance of wind energy and mitigating its impact health, directly or indirectly, on a part of the population of residents, the workgroup recommends:
To facilitate dialogue between local residents and farmers [who host turbines] as well as the referral of complaints to the authorities, to ensure that public inquiry is conducted with legal rigor and effectively implemented, and to ensure that residents have more interest in the economic repercussions or spin-off of the projects (p. 18).
My critique of the Academy’s report:
Out-of-date on noise descriptions. Does not use the “wind turbine signature” of pulsatile infrasound/low frequency noise with duration of 4 to 100 msec, which is perceptible at sound pressure levels as low as 60 dB (Punch & James 2016, Cooper 2014).
Never mentions migraine as a clinical entity affecting 18% of women and 6% of men; individual differences are instead treated as a reason to discredit physiologic causation and discredit as psychological frailty the population affected. They cite 4 to 20% affected, saying this is so close to the 10% considered affected by traffic noise in Europe that it is acceptable. This is tantamount to defining a sacrifice population and includes blaming of victims.
All the recommended interventions are either in place, have been tried and are useless, or have been called for for years but require changes in human nature, reducing the recommendations herein to “tuttut, let’s all behave better.”
This document attempts to redefine “wind turbine syndrome” to represent factors which are actually not wind turbine syndrome. Wind turbine syndrome is the reaction of migrainous or motion-sensitive people to wind turbine acoustic emissions, the latter now well defined as sharply pulsatile lowfrequency noise. Wind turbine syndrome is different from hysteria or nocebo, as it occurs in people by surprise, who had no thoughts about the turbines before the turbines were installed and turned on and the symptoms began.
I challenge every member of the French working group and their consultants, listed in the report, who self-identifies as having migraine, motion sensitivity, or balance problems, or their family members, including children with developmental disorders such as autism in which auditory and position/balance processing are distorted, to spend a week in a wind park. This would be simple to accomplish and could lead to a tidy “exposure” experiment without ethical obstacles, as the authors believe that they could not be affected as they do not have the psychological limitations and shortcomings they blithely attribute to affected people and use as an excuse to dismiss them.
Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
19 Clay St
Malone, NY 12953
518-207-4488 fax firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry L. Punch and Richard R. James, “Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence That Wind Turbines Pose Risks,” The Journal at Hearing Health & Technology Matters (October 2016), 72 pp.
Steven Cooper, “The Results of an Acoustic Testing Program: Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm,” The Acoustic Group Report for Energy Pacific, 44.5100.R7:Msc (November 26, 2014), 224 pp.