Wind turbine noise emissions listed among concerns for modernization of radiation emitting devices legislation

March 26, 2021

Health Canada released an update today on progress toward “modernization” of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act or REDA.

A consultation process was held last year in which the public and stakeholders could submit opinions and recommendations. Wind Concerns Ontario submitted a document which gave an overview of wind turbine proliferation in Ontario, and resulting complaints about noise and vibration.

Health Canada received 20 submissions from a variety of participants including interest groups and professional associations.

“Although many of the special interest groups and individuals expressed general support for strengthening the provisions of REDA,” Health Canada said,  “concerns were raised in relation to the application of REDA to address noise emissions from wind turbines. Respondents expressed a desire to ensure that the provisions of REDA, specifically the general prohibition and notification requirements, apply to wind turbines as well as other products that emit tonal infrasound.”

Wind Concerns Ontario referred to numerous federal documents including the Health Canada wind turbines and noise study published in 2014 and the 2015 Council of Canadian Academies report, which both acknowledged problems with wind turbine noise emissions. Current protocols for monitoring noise from the turbines do not capture the full range of emissions, the Council noted.

Wind Concerns Ontario said:

There are processes in place for the people of Canada to report adverse reactions or adverse effects from the use of medications and medical devices, and to report problems with machinery or other equipment that pose a risk to health. In the case of wind turbines in Ontario, there have been thousands of reports of problems with exposure to wind turbine noise emissions.

The REDA must be employed to halt the risk to human health.

This is particularly important now as well, as the federal government seeks to encourage an expansion in development of renewable energy, which may mean the planning and construction of more wind power facilities. …

It has been a heartbreaking and frustrating exercise reading reports on wind turbine noise emissions and attendant health impacts filed by the people of Ontario who thought their government would really protect them.

Health Canada says the comments are under review and may result in some revisions to the proposed legislation.

See the Health Canada update here: Modernization of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA) 2020 Consultation – Summary of Results – Canada.ca

See the Wind Concerns Ontario document here: Comment to Health Canada REDA-September 10-2

Suncor to remove question from wind turbine noise complaint record

March 19, 2021

Wind Concerns Ontario received the news today that the Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation (MECP) contacted Suncor, the operator of the Adelaide Wind Farm regarding our concerns about an internal document.

The document, turned over to us in a batch of files requested under Freedom of Information legislation, appears to be an internal record for noise complaints received by Suncor about the wind power facility turbines. The section of the form asked the staff member receiving the complaint to identify whether the person complaining was a “member of a larger stakeholder group.”

WCO was concerned that this question is an invasion of privacy and could be used to intimidate people wanting to report adverse effects.

Suncor has been contacted by the MECP. Suncor also responded to an email sent directly by WCO and said they will review and revise the form.

The letter from the MECP:

I had forwarded you concerns on to the London Office of the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks. They in turn reached out to Suncor to follow up.

Based on your concerns I believe Suncor has made changes to the wording of their questionnaire and shared that with you.

Thank you

Mark Dunn

Director, Divisional Compliance Branch (DCB)

Drinking Water, Environmental Compliance Division

Ontario Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks

It is the right of any Ontario citizen to report noise, vibration, sensation, disturbance to water wells or any other effect believed to be associated with the operation of wind turbines. Call the Spills Action Centre at 1-866-MOE-TIPS, and be sure to get an Incident Report number. Keep a record of your call.

 

Are wind power operators profiling people who complain?

March 15, 2021

Are wind power operators profiling people who call them to complain about noise or other effects from wind turbine operations?

In response to a request under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, Wind Concerns Ontario received what appears to be internal documents used by Suncor in 2016, related to the company’s Adelaide wind power project.

On the forms is the guide to staff to “indicate if the individual is a member of a larger stakeholder group”.

Wind Concerns Ontario is a community group coalition with dozens of community groups throughout the province, most of which actively criticized the imposition of grid-scale wind power facilities on their communities. Many also launched legal appeals before various tribunals and in court.

Was this question meant to intimidate people exercising their rights to complain under the government compliance process?

We sent an email to Suncor, in specific Jason Weir, the staff member who is named on the reports we received, but have had no response. Mr Weir has been listed as Site Supervisor and “Owners’ Representative” in the past, according to a search on his name.

Again these were internal forms for use by staff to guide information gathering. Other questions include asking about details of the complaint, wind direction, etc.

WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

Toronto had no business making decisions for small community: editorial

Huge wind turbines are near completion in North Stormont, in Eastern Ontario. Now, a community has to find a way to heal, if it can, after a scattering of property owners consented to industrialization of the rural area that will affect everyone.

The Nation Rise wind power project was approved in the last days of the Wynne government against community wishes. Now, the people have to live with 29 huge, inefficient, noisy wind turbines.

March 4, 2021

An editorial in the Eastern Ontario edition of Farmers Forum says “Toronto” should never have imposed the 100-megawatt Nation Rise wind power facility on the communities of North Stormont.

In his editorial titled “How wind turbines scarred a landscape and a community,” editor Patrick Meagher notes that the township conducted a survey of residents and found most didn’t want the wind turbine development, and then unanimously voted to declare North Stormont an “Unwilling Host”.

“But things didn’t go that way,” Meagher writes.

Weeks before the provincial election in 2018, the Liberal government “greenlighted the project. This was in spite of a longstanding agreement not to approve major projects when another government could take over. Wynne got a two-for-one deal, sticking it to the next government and the locals at Crysler, Berwick and Finch.” (The riding went Conservative.)

The wind power project caused strong feelings, Meagher says. “The project was so acrimonious that in this small community friendships broke up, family members stopped talking to each other, and more than 10 property owners sold their houses and moved away.”

Now the community is “stuck” with 29 huge turbines that are “large, inefficient, taxpayer-subsidized generators of intermittent power…not even a good business decision.”

“This ugly event is testimony to why governments should listen to the people they work for…Toronto should never have decided what should happen in this small farming community 400 kilometres away.”

The editorial also quoted former mayor Dennis Fife who said the community now has to try to move on.

Reposted from Ottawa Wind Concerns

contact@windconcernsontario.ca