Irish medical study links wind farm noise to poor health: “environmental insomnia”

Residents against wind farms protest in Kilkenny

Irish citizens protest in Dublin (Source: Photocall)

Irish Daily Mail, October 16, 2015

WIND FARMS DO MAKE YOU SICK
Leah McDonald
Irish scientists link them to cancer, stroke and heart attacks – wind turbines ‘too near family homes’

WIND farms can contribute to people getting diseases such as cancer and heart attacks, two leading Irish health experts have warned.

They say that noises emitting from turbines lead to sleep deprivation that can cause cancer and heart disease, along with a number of other illnesses.

Professor Graham Roberts, head of the Department of Endocrinology at University Hospital, Waterford, and Professor Alun Evans, an expert in public health at Queen’s University, Belfast, met Alan Kelly yesterday to warn the Environment Minister that the current guidelines in Ireland are a cause for alarm.

The rules allow turbines and power lines as close as 500 metres to a family home, while international standards demand they should be at least 2km away.

Prof Evans, recently wrote a report pointing to ‘serious adverse health effects associated with noise pollution generated by wind turbines’. The risks were due to sleep disturbance and deprivation with loud noise being one of the main causes.

He pointed out that sleep deprivation is associated with memory impairment in children and disturbed cognitive function in adults.

He told the Irish Daily Mail yesterday that distances between homes and turbines should be increased.

He said: ‘The bad effects of low frequency noise has been known for at least 40 years, the thing is 500 metres does not protect people. It is insufficient.’ He warned that there is evidence that the ‘infrasonic signatures’ that cause the damage can be picked up from 50 miles way, adding: ‘It is a serious problem. It doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Something like a quarter of people are more susceptible.’

Prof Evans explained: ‘It is a problem, the big thing being noise and sleep deprivation. Once you deprive people of sleep you make them more liable to become overweight and you delay their learning because while we sleep we reinforce memory.

‘Depriving people of sleep is not a good idea, overweight children become obese adults and obese adults are far more likely to [develop] a whole range of diseases particularly cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.’ He added that the noise doesn’t have to have a direct effect to cause a problem. ‘It can be indirect but it is still very important,’ he said. ‘And you can prevent diseases by preventing the more distant causes.’

And in his recent report, Dr Evans said that there had been no proper cost-benefit analysis in Ireland before the widespread introduction of wind power.

Both he and Dr Roberts believe there are fundamental technical errors in reports on current wind farm and power-line projects here.

They are concerned over the consultation process with the public. Some parents of autistic children have particular fears about the effects turbines and high-voltage pylons have on their quality of life.

John Callaghan has objected to wind farms in Co. Meath, which he fears will affect the environment and health of his autistic son.

The engineer, who has studied renewable energy at postgraduate level, said his seven-year-old son is autistic and very sensitive to noise and says he has ‘grave concerns’ about the impact of the proposed wind farm on his son, himself, his family and the local area, including wildlife, heritage and the cultural landscape.

The meeting between the professors and the minister was organised by community campaigner David Reid of the Westmeath Alliance. Mr Reid said there are significant concerns about noise pollution for people living close to wind turbines. He said the World Health Organisation refers to this as ‘environmental insomnia’, if the noise is above a certain threshold.
Irish Daily Mail

Money lures farmers to sign up for Nation Twp wind farm

“If I didn’t sign, I would see the windmills without revenue”: cash crop farmer Marc Bercier

Not too many years ago, cash cropper and seed grower/processor Marc Bercier was actively opposed to green energy projects being proposed and built in his area, but this February he signed for a potential five windmills* and one substation to be located on his 1,700 acres.

“If I didn’t sign I would see the windmills without revenue,” said Bercier.

$15,000 per turbine, per year

Pointing to the 29 pages of documentation involved for his portion of the 10,000-acre proposed windmill project, Bercier noted how the negotiated sections on soil compaction, erosion and overall environmental protection were vital to him, considering that his farm is only just over the requires 500 meters from this village. [Editor: what? Do you mean from the project?]

The documentation showed that Bercier was promised $15,000 per windmill per year as a base price, with incentives for more power and compensation for anything that affected the surrounding land. The substation lease was $20,000 per year.

It’s a massive community project that seems to have the support of Nation Township Mayor Francois St. Amour. A January 20, 2014 council motion passed, stating it [council] “supports the application under the Ontario Power Authority’s Large Renewable Procurement Program.”

Ontario Farmer obtained documentation showing that, as of March, 2015, 165 landowners had been approached by the EWG windmill company, of which 128 had signed agreements and 37 were in discussion.

“They are all farmers,” said St. Amour, noting that the required setback distances from the windmills meant that a lot of land was involved per windmill.

As of mid-June, almost everyone of the former holdouts had signed up and joined, said Bercier.

The company had persuaded and signed up a local, prominent farmer who then went up and down the concessions promoting the project to individuals, said Bercier.

OFA “incredibly helpful”

… “yes, there are liens on the project,” said Bercier. However all lien documentation has been passed by his lawyer, alleviating all concerns as to affecting the farming operation, he said.

The OFA has been incredibly helpful in promoting the project, noted Bercier.

Spending $42,000 a year of hydro costs for his farm, “double what it would cost if I was in Quebec,” Bercier is well aware of the extra hydro costs the public pay to finance such green energy projects.

“We had an election, the Liberals won. The voters chose to pay for more electricity,” said Bercier.

By Ian Cumming

Ontario Farmer

June 23, 2015

*They’re NOT “windmills”!

 

 

ERT wind farm testimony: Environment officials not doing their job

WAINFLEET WIND ENERGY INC.

 

 

Here is a report from Loretta Shields on testimony given at the appeal of the HAF wind power project by Vineland Power (IPC Energy); the hearings began on Monday this week.

For those of you that were not able to make it, Ministry officials from Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and also the Ministry of Natural Resources  were questioned and cross examined during the last two days.  A representative with the Environmental Assessment firm was also cross examined today.  Here is the damning testimony that we learned:

1.  The Ministry of Environment does not verify set back distances of the wind turbines.  They trust the wind proponent (but the turbines did not meet the required set back distances!)

2.  The Ministry of Natural Resources does not verify either the presence or absence of natural features.  For example, the size of woodlands were inaccurate in the Natural Heritage assessment report and no one at the MNR verified this.  They are not careful to review the relevant documents and corresponding versions of those documents.

3.  The Tribunal Chair identified training gaps with the environmental assessor that authored the Natural Heritage Assessment report.

So we have a problem with training, verification, process control with both Ministries and the environmental assessment firm.

Please email the ministries and show your concern.  If you have property within 120 meters of either a proposed industrial wind turbine, collector line or transmission line, please let them know that we learned that there are verification issues, training issues and process control issues.  Demand that they review the NRWC project in relation to your property to determine whether significant natural features exist and require mitigation measures.  If you live within the HAF project location, demand that they review the project in its entirety.  The HAF Renewable Energy Approval documents now lack the required integrity to provide the people in our Community with assurances that other components of the project were investigated in accordance with the REA Regulation. If you don’t live within 120 meters, please write to voice your concerns. Because once this is approved, it is a tougher battle, and time is running out!

This is so NOT right.  This is NOT how civil servants serve the people in our Community.  This is NOT how a Ministry protects our natural features.

Please help with this fight. If you could write/email in the next day or two, it would be so much appreciated.

1.  Eric Boysen, Renewable Energy Director, Ministry of Natural Resources eric.boysen@ontario.ca

2.  Agatha Garcia-Wright, Director, Renewable Energy Approvals, agatha.garcia-wright@ontario.ca

3.  Copy:  Andre Marin, Ombudsman for Ontario info@ombudsman.on.ca

4.  Copy:  Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner for Ontario  commissioner@eco.on.ca

Single wind turbine to hamper development in KIncardine

Concerns Over Single Turbine

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 6:05 AM by John Divinski, Bayshore News
Kincardine says Quixote turbine could hamper future development

There is audio for this story.

MP3 - click to open

click to open MP3 version
or click the play button to listen now.

(Kincardine ) -It’s only one turbine but its recent approval by the province has many Kincardine councillors seeing red.

The Quixote One stand-alone turbine is to be constructed on Bruce County Road 23, near Tiverton and Kincardine CAO Murray Clarke says it could have ramifications on future growth in the area.

Because the turbine did not meet the set-back rules of the municipality of 2,000 metres, it flatly opposed the project and wrote a letter to the ministry stating so.

Clarke says they received no acknowledgement about their letter of concern until a directive was received in late July stating the turbine project had been approved.

He says the location of the turbine could potentially conflict with future growth in the Tiverton and Inverhuron areas, even if it abides by the provincial set-back requirement of 550 metres.

Clarke says they’ve invested millions of dollars in infrastructure in the area on the premise that there would be future development but the turbine approval could throw a wrench into their investment.

The Quixote One project is a single 2.5 megawatt industrial wind turbine project.

Council has instructed staff to get a legal opinion to see if any option is open to the community.

Read the full story and hear the audio clip here.

Wind farm appeals a “stacked deck”

Judges quash majority of turbine appeal

Setback issue to be argued Sept. 3
The Environmental Review Tribunal has ruled that only issues related to an amendment to the HAF Wind Energy Project will be heard next month. The majority of the issues raised in West Lincoln resident Anne Fairfeild’s appeal will not be argued.
Grimsby Lincoln News

WEST LINCOLN — The case against the five industrial wind turbines already spinning in West Lincoln is “still partially alive.”

Anne Fairfield, who appealed the province’s approval of the HAF Wind Energy Project, appeared before the Environmental Review Tribunal for a preliminary hearing last week. All of the issues raised in her original appeal were quashed, meaning only those mentioned in her appeal to the province’s subsequent approval of an amendment to the project will be heard at a hearing next month.

“They knocked out everything not mentioned in the amendment,” said Fairfield. “All we’re left with are property lines and the withdrawing of post construction raptor monitoring.”

Project proponents Rankin Wind Energy and Vineland Power Inc. had to submit an amendment to their application after it came to light that four of the five turbines were built closer to property lines than regulations allow.

According to the Green Energy Act, turbines must be located a minimum of a blade length from the nearest property — in this case, 95 metres.

The province approved the amended application June 20. Fairfield filed her appeal July 3.

Come Sept. 3 Fairfield will only be able to argue on the issue of property line setback infractions and post-construction raptor monitoring. The West Lincoln resident will no longer be able to present on issues of health, gas wells. hazardous waste and the impact on Charter rights — the issues Fairfield raised in her original appeal to the project’s approval.

Fairfield and members of the West Lincoln Glanbrook WInd Action Group met with Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak Monday to discuss the upcoming tribunal.

Judges quashes majority of turbine appeal

West Lincoln-Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak meets with constituents in resident’s home

Hudak was vocal in his opposition to the Green Energy Act in his time as PC Party Leader. He raised the issue several times at Queen’s Park on behalf of his constituents in West Lincoln and the province at large, calling for a complete moratorium on more than one occasion. He has called on the Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, twice now to “do the right thing” in the case of the HAF project.

“If you had been caught speeding on Twenty Road, you wouldn’t get a redo,” said Hudak, speaking on the province’s approval of the amended application.

“It only makes sense for the government to follow its own laws.”

Hudak, fresh on the heels of his loss to Kathleen Wynne in the race to become premier, said he would do what he can to help his constituents but realizes his influence is not as strong as it could have been had the outcome had been different in June.

“My goal was to win the election and stop this thing in its tracks,” said Hudak. “I’ve met with Wynne and McGuinty, face to face like we are now, to say this is a bad idea for the province as a whole.”

Fairfield asked if the PC party would continue to push against the Liberal’s green agenda without Hudak at helm. Hudak said he appointed Lisa Thompson to the post of energy critic because her own riding of Huron-Bruce was home to several turbine projects. He was confident the party would continue to push against “one of the most destructive policy decisions in recent history.”

Hudak, like the half dozen residents gathered at Veldman’s house, did not have the same level of confidence the Environmental Review Tribunal would side with Fairfield.

“It’s an incredibly stacked deck,” said Hudak.

“ERTs don’t work,” said Fairfield, noting ultimately the decision will lie in either appeals court or in a judicial review, both of which she is prepared to more forward with.

Read the full story here.

Editor’s Note: the Environmental Review Tribunal Panel is NOT made up of “judges” but rather lawyers who are civil servants, employed by the Province of Ontario.

Wind farm noise complaints trigger MoE investigation

The wind “farm” or, as we prefer it, wind power generation project, in Brinston Ontario, is the first wind power plant to have 3-megawatt turbines operating … but not for long. Many of the other power projects such as those at Bluewater and in the Niagara Region are specified to have 3-megawatt turbines. Ontario still does not have any protocol for measuring infrasound or low-frequency noise (LFN) which these machines produce.

It is worth noting that Brinston has about 400 homes within 2 km of the wind power project and its 3-MW turbines; in the Niagara Region there will be 4,500 homes, and in Bluewater, more than 2,000.

Here is a report from Brinston where the turbines have been operating for only four months.

Noise complaints lead to monitoring

by Sandy Casselman, Winchester Press

BRINSTON – It has been more than six months since the blades of the South Branch Wind Farm turbines began to spin, leaving more than one nearby resident with some sleepless nights.

“I call when it gets to the point I can’t tolerate it anymore and I go to the basement [to sleep],” Brinston resident Leslie Disheau, former president of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group, said. “It is an issue and
I’m not the only person in town with the issue.”

Disheau, who is running for the Municipality of South Dundas’ deputy-mayor seat in this fall’s municipal election, has been staying close to home since the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) installed noise-monitoring equipment at her Brinston Road property last week.

“MOE contacted me and asked if they could put this noise monitoring equipment up,” Disheau said.

The two pieces of equipment measure wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, rainfall, and more, she said.

She has submitted three separate noise complaints so far. Every complaint must be filed with EDP Renewables’ project leader Ken Little and local MOE representative Terry Forrester to be officially registered.

During EDP’s first open community liaison meeting in March, a Brinston man spoke out about his own sleep disturbances, suggesting the turbines be shut off for a period during the early hours of the morning, beginning around midnight. At that time, Little confirmed that there had been one official complaint already registered. He also said an acoustic audit had been ordered, which he expected to get underway within two months of the meeting.

“EDP has not released their post-construction noise audit report,” Disheau said during an interview with the Winchester Press Fri., July 18.

In conversation with one of the MOE officials who installed the equipment, Disheau said she learned that the provincial authority also had not seen a report from EDP.

“They can take a long as they want,” she said, crediting the Green Energy Act with the responsibility for not specifying a deadline. “There is a 40-decibel limit [on the noise the turbines can make], and we have no idea if they’re in the threshold or not.”

To describe what the sound is like, she used Highway 401 versus airplane noise as an example, pointing out that the highway noise is more of a hum, and when she lived near it, the sounds did not bother her at all.
However, the turbines produce something more in line with the “drone of an airplane that goes into your head,” she said. “It’s a deeper tone, and that’s where you get the disturbance of sleep.”

Explaining the noise and its effects on her is not easy, she said, but it is similar to the sensation people get in their chest when listening to bass guitar.

Disheau said she explained her experiences to MOE’s acoustical engineer, adding that the sensations are at their worst when the blade tips of the turbine across the road (south of Brinston) and the one to the north behind her home (west of Brinston) are facing one another.

“The acoustical engineer said ‘yes, that it all makes sense,’ ” Disheau added. “This is not normal. You should not be in sleep disturbance in your own house.”

Meanwhile, Disheau is the only one in her home experiencing the effects of the rotating blades, as her husband, who shares the second-storey bedroom on the home’s vinyl-sided addition, is tone deaf, and her children sleep on the first floor of the brick-sided main house.

The noise-monitoring equipment is controlled by a switch, which has been placed inside Disheau’s home. When she notices the noise, she flips the switch and the machinery calculates and documents the findings.

“Once everything is taken down, the ministry guy goes through [the recordings] and writes his report,” she said, which will list the decibel readings for various weather conditions (wind speed and direction).

When asked what she hopes to accomplish through this procedure, Disheau said the findings could require that EDP shut down operations during specific times of the day or during specific wind conditions should they prove the decibel levels exceed the regulated amount.

 

Time for Transport Canada to act on wind farm safety

Small plane lands at Chatham-Kent airport
Small plane lands at Chatham-Kent airport

We understand that Transport Canada has recognized the seriousness of the situation in Ontario as regards aviation safety and wind turbines being built around airports. A committee has been struck and is now looking at recommendations and phasing in action.

Not a minute too soon.

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) has been sounding alarm bells on this issue since 2009. Last year, CEO Kevin Psutka was engaged in correspondence with power developer wpd Canada over safety concerns at the Collingwood airport (See correspondence string here) and at one point accused the developer of “hiding” behind a consultant’s report on aviation safety that was actually prepared on the basis of very limited parameters.

In a note written in 2013, Mr Psutka states, “At least there has finally been an acknowledgement of the gap in the regulations. Transport Canada does not have to act on the recommendation but we can use this statement to further highlight to the provincial government that a ‘no objection’ statement from Transport Canada does not mean ‘no impact on aviation’. There should be a buffer zone around aerodromes and COPA made a recommendation during the development of the Green Energy Act to ensure that as part of every proposed project a thorough investigation is performed with a goal to minimize the impact on aviation. The gap in federal regulations, acknowledged by the Transportation Committee, indicates that until such time as Transport Canada makes the appropriate regulatory changes to protect aviation, the province has an important role to play in ensuring that the air transportation system, including smaller airports and aerodromes, is not adversely affected by windfarms.

“This is a safety and social issue that to date has not been given appropriate attention by the federal or provincial governments,” Mr Psutka concluded in his March, 2013 email.

This is another issue, like putting turbines where they will kill migrating birds, or bats which are so important to agriculture, or putting turbines next to homes and schools, that one would think would be governed by common sense, if not loftier ideas like the Precautionary Principle.

But it isn’t, not in Ontario, where you have government officials actually saying that the “overall benefit” of wind power generation trumps every other concern. Health, safety, even the environment–wind power beats all.

If the Ontario government won’t protect the people of Ontario, it is high time someone else in government did.

***

Email us at windconcerns@gmail.com

Bluewater appeals Grand Bend wind farm: health, Constitutional rights cited

Janice McKay, Blackburn News, July 22, 2014

The Municipality of Bluewater has filed an appeal of the Renewable Energy Approval of Grand Bend Power.

Lawyer Eric Gillespie says the appeal has been submitted to the Environmental Review Tribunal on the basis that the project has the potential to cause serious harm to human health.

The appeal also claims the legislative scheme for granting wind farm approvals violated the Applicants Constitutional rights.

The appeal says industrial wind turbines have been connected to serious health issues such as sleep disturbance, headaches, vertigo, nausea and lack of concentration.

It says the right to security as a person in the charter
is violated because wind companies and the province do not have to prove the safety of turbines erected within 2 kilometres of an occupied residence.

Grand Bend Power plans to put up 40 industrial turbines in Bluewater, South Huron, Huron East and West Perth

No date has been set to hear the case.

Read the full story  here.

Wind farm accident report released: blade failure number 1 cause

Image result for photo burning wind turbine

Photo UK Daily Mail

2 km setback recommended for safety

The accident report for wind ‘farms’ around the world prepared to mid-2014 by Caithness Wind Farm Information Forum has just been released.

The information may be found here.

Blade failure is the number one cause of incidents reported, with fire listed as the second cause. The nature of the blade failure incidents has caused the Caithness Forum to confirm its recommendation that the setback between any wind turbine and human habitation should be 2 km as a minimum for safety.

Wind power around the world: is the fantasy wearing thin?

Image result for photo wind turbines clouds

The reports of wind power generation projects being refused or declined is on the increase, despite the global wind energy massive PR campaign to make it appear otherwise. Here is a selection of stories from this weekend. Note the identical response from the wind developers–this would have been GOOD for you! There would have been jobs! (For ten minutes…)

Two Ohio wind “farms” now on hold as setback rules changed; one project would now have just seven turbines out of 50 proposed, while the other would be left with just 3 from 75. Hell of a drop. Story here.

Scotland council rejects plans for 50-turbine wind power development; potential benefits do not outweigh “unacceptable impact on tourism.” Story here.

Taxpayer funded wind turbine scrapped: produced $10CAD worth of power a months after thousands of taxpayer dollars spent. “It beggars belief,” was one comment. Story here.

Once again, if only a cost-benefit analysis had ever been done for wind power in Ontario, the truth would be out: wind power makes no sense, economically and it does not fulfill the environmental promises made for it.