Federal Health Minister: no help on wind turbine noise emissions

Health Minister Ambrose: no answers for you. No help, either.
Health Minister Ambrose: no answers for you. No help, either.

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose has written a letter to an Ontario resident who was inquiring about reporting problems with noise emissions to the government under the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA).

In the letter, which has been posted on a website by the Canadians for Radiation Emissions Enforcement or CFREE (not a Wind Concerns Ontario member group), the Minister repeats the claim that the Health Canada wind turbine noise and health study did not find any link between exposure to the wind turbine noise and health effects, but did find a relationship between increasing wind turbine noise and “annoyance” (which the Minister failed to identify as a health impact in itself).

She further comments:

There are no standards developed under the Act ‘that apply specifically to wind
turbines, and currently the weight of evidence does not support an association
between the noise (radiation) from wind turbines and effects on human health.
Health Canada remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of
Canadians and will continue to review any new scientific literature that
becomes available.

This is directly in opposition to two Ontario MPs, Ben Lobb (who was Chair of the House Standing Committee on Health) and Larry Miller, both of whom represent citizens living in areas with utility-scale wind turbines, and both of whom have received numerous complaints about the turbine noise and health problems. The MPs recently advised residents to write to both their local wind power developer, and the federal government, under the authority of the REDA.

This letter is also very confusing because, as the Minister must surely know, the Health Canada study was never designed to find a causal relationship between turbine noise and health impacts but merely to advance the research on the topic. That said, the study did find that 16.5% of people living within 1 km of wind turbines were “annoyed” in the medical sense, meaning distressed. That number climbed to 25% for people living at the 550-metre mark—the Ontario setback.

In other words, the Health Canada research clearly showed there is a problem with turbine noise.

The Minister said her department will review any new scientific research, but clearly they are not: the Australian government has chosen to accept the recommendations by the Senate Select Committee which acknowledges health problems and concerns with turbine noise, and that national acoustics standards for the noise–including low-frequency noise or infrasound–are required.

Contrary to being a world leader on this issue as Health Canada claimed in a frankly self-serving brochure designed to help the wind power industry, Canada is behind… and failing the citizens of Ontario.

Now the question is: where is the Conservative federal government on this issue?

Do they support the people of rural Ontario who are forced to sit and watch as these power plants are built in community after community, exposing thousands to the noise emissions?

Citizens will want to ask all candidates in the upcoming federal election what their policy is, what their views are, and how they plan to help.

…..

CFREE has posted a petition on the REDA. See it here.

Comments

Sommer
Reply

Canada’s inability to recognize the reality of this situation is downright embarrassing!
There is so much information available for all to see on the internet, that there is no excuse for these people to ignore the ‘on the ground’ reality that residents who have these turbines and their infrastructure too close to, or in some cases surrounding their homes are struggling with.
Victims have been attempting to communicate their distress for years now and still people in highly responsible positions are refusing to work together to make the necessary changes.

NIABY
Reply

Suppose we should assume Rona Ambrose doesn’t understand she’s spinning out of control?

Dumber than a box of hair?

Rachel
Reply

I have been asking Ben Lobb for over 1.5 years in writing and again in person this June if he could please confirm the amount his government has paid Enbridge through the Eco Energy Fund for their 115 IWTs in Kincardine. Our calculations show it is at least $14 million the question to Ben is do we need to do an FOI or can you find that out for us? His silence is not golden. It is a simple yes no question. The Conservatives are happy to fork out millions of wind subsidies to their oil and gas buddies but do you think they sincerely give a rats ass about your health? Most disappointing.

David Libby
Reply

11/21/2013
Dear Mr. Libby:

I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence addressed to the Prime Minister regarding wind turbines.

While you may be assured that careful consideration has been given to the situation you have described, the issues you have raised do not fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government. You would be best advised, therefore, to pursue your enquiries with the appropriate provincial authority.

Nevertheless, I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your e-mail to the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, as Health Canada is reviewing health issues associated with wind turbines. I am certain that the Minister will appreciate being made aware of your concerns.

Thank you for taking the time to write the Prime Minister.

P. Monteith
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister’s Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre

David Libby
Reply

2/17/2012
Dear Mr. Libby:

Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.

While you may be assured that careful consideration has been given to the situation you have described, the matter you have raised does not fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government. You would be best advised, therefore, to pursue your enquiries with the appropriate municipal authority.

I regret that I am unable to provide you with a more favourable response.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.

A. Opalick
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister’s Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre

David Libby
Reply

10/15/2013
(Un message suit en français ci-dessous)
Thank you for contacting the Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau. An additional response to your inquiry will follow accordingly.

At times during a high volume of inquiries, it is possible that you may experience a delay in response time. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

If you have a question of an urgent medical nature, please contact a healthcare professional.

still waiting…

Sommer
Reply

David, the disillusionment we face with this sort of response, when we’ve used proper protocol and have written sincere requests for assistance or sent information that is crucial to our crisis, in the hope that these ‘leaders’ will examine it and act responsibly, is profound.We are making an effort to protect our families, our homes and our friends, who are every bit as precious to us as the families, homes and friends of our ‘leaders’.
We are all receiving the same responses or lack of responses.
This is unbelievable!
I’m following the IWT story out of Australia through stopthesethings. There are so many parallels…. and yet, right now, we’re seeing a breakthrough down there. It gives me hope.

Barbara
Reply

InterNACHI/International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

Wind Turbines and Lightning”

Lightning strikes account for 80% of wind turbine insurance claims.

Note that lightning danger increases with turbine height.

A German electric power company shut down and dismantled their Helgoland Island wind power plant after being denied insurance against further lightning losses.

http://www.nachi.org/wind-turbines-lightning.htm

Wind turbine companies can lose their insurance coverage.

Richard Mann
Reply

Re: Green energy, an emerging insurance issue.

Note references to lawsuits (nuisance, nature, health), their failure so far (in just one jurisdiction), but also future risk…

Quoting:
“In a 2010 decision from Maine, an appeal was brought by a non-profit Corporation, from a decision of an environmental board, approving the issuance of permits to a wind power company for construction of a wind energy facility. The facility would include four large wind turbines. Concerns brought forward by the Corporation included the effect of the wind turbines on wildlife habitat and public health. The public health concerns included hearing loss and sleep disturbance. The decision of the board was upheld and the court articulated that there was a legitimate state interest in facilitating the development of alternative, renewable energy resources.

One interesting point in this appeal is that there was evidence presented indicating that damage to both the area wildlife and to public health were genuine concerns and would be closely monitored following the construction of the wind farm. 6 It will be interesting down the road to see the evidence with respect to the impact of renewable energy devices on public health and how the courts and insurers will respond to those claims.”

Barbara
Reply

Insurance companies are in the risk evaluation business. They watch claims trends and if there are too may claims for some kinds of damages, coverage is dropped or no longer offered.

So if you have something on your property that is high risk for insurance claims then you can expect high premium costs or no coverage.

This is still an emerging situation as IWTs in Ontario are new to the insurance industry.

Barbara
Reply

Looks just like a Muckety website diagram!

Barbara
Reply

Renewable energy developers who are well connected, by and large, will sell out their projects when completed and move on to other investments.

They are not long term power plant project investors. Leaving rural Ontarians to fend for themselves.

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