As you know, appellant Esther Wrightman has had most of her witness list destroyed by wind developer NextEra and the Ministry of the Environment (the latter supported by taxpayer dollars to fight taxpayers). Engineer William Palmer was allowed to provide “limited” testimony at the hearings in London yesterday.
Here is a lively account from Bob Lewis, excerpt courtesy the website Ontario Wind Resistance.
….They start out trying to reduce him as much as possible. They are ‘concerned’ about the ‘breadth’ of his planned testimony. They talk about his appearance at the Erickson hearing, that he wasn’t qualified as an expert. He pointed out that this was because the point became moot. He wasn’t DISqualified as an expert. This is how the game is played – they make insinuations hoping that the defense won’t be strong enough to save you or that you won’t be able to prove that it didn’t happen. It’s a game invented and tweeked and perfected by lawyers and it gives them good income but is really based on a dual of wits between different teams who have spent years mastering the arcane rules of the game – the law.Then Nextera’s [lawyer] John Terry [of Torys LLP] makes his offer: We will let him speak without hassling him if you put him on as a presenter – no Expert status. Esther doesn’t have to even think about that. Or we can fight for his Expert status and risk losing him altogether. Or let him testify and they’ll decide later if he’s an expert.Esther says, ‘He is a professional engineer. He IS an expert. What you suggest would reduce him to just someone like me.’Qualifications: William Palmer is a professional engineer in the province of Ontario experienced in public safety, risk assessment, and environmental assessment related to electrical power generating systems, including wind turbines and advising and reporting specific to the professional engineering aspects of safeguarding life, health, etc,requiring the application of engineering principles.He has taken courses at MIT in risk assessment of nuclear facilities. He was chosen by Bruce Power to train their people. Bruce is the largest nuclear power station in the world. He also did the risk assessment on the restart of units 3 and 4. Public safety is an essential part of being a professional engineer.It would be boring to read, but it was fun to watch – as they tried to suggest he couldn’t be expert in this or that – he just kept coming up with more qualifications and experience. When they asked about accreditation, he took them through accounts of the qualifications for acoustical societies in Canada, US, and Europe – and he’s a member of all of them. Even when they brought up that he had been a member of the board of Wind Concerns Ontario, he countered that he had also been a member of CanWEA five years ago.Nextera’s Terry had four problems with accepting his expertise:1. He’s taking expertise in one area and applying it in another2. He’s learned a lot from self-study to achieve his qualifications (engineering degree from UofT)3. He’s been an advocate for anti-wind4. (Missed the last one – then another 30-40 minutes of crap.)Jumping ahead to summation – Mr. Palmer outlined several reasons that he thinks the Director’s approval should be revoked – and most of these apply to all wind farms – not just this one.1 – He says there will be harm to humans from shadow flicker generally, and with the turbines along the 402, for a distance of 8km, drivers will sometimes be exposed to five minutes of very distracting continuous shadow flicker and the OPP have already listed driver distraction as a major safety issue.PANIC!! OBJECTION!! No mention of the OPP in the witness statement. Can’t use that!So drop that – but Nextera is not required to do anything about shadow flicker. The REA doesn’t deal with it at all. It’s a serious flaw, so the approval should be revoked.2 – Physical risk to neighbours – You can put a turbine within 60 m of a neighbour’s property. I have photos of ice falling further than that. Burning blades can go 200 m, he said. At mention of the Goderich turbine that burned, they asked if he had been there. He went and took photos. But did you actually see it burning?One of the lawyers objects – he doesn’t see the Goderich failure in the evidence. Mr. Palmer says it’s in tab… but they can’t find it, and time is fleeting – he says, ok – I’ll say Ontario, not Goderich. Really – this is what these legal eagles are resorting to. And the MOE guy was really offended by Esther’s accusation of nitpicking.He says that there’s a one in 14 million chance of winning the lottery and a roughly one in a thousand chance of failure so they shouldn’t be allowed to put them that close to a neighbour.Lawyer asks if anyone has died yet. Nobody. Except for the 33 during construction. There haven’t been more because most of the world’s turbines are older, smaller, and further from homes than these in Ontario.Nobody’s died yet.Ontariocitizens are not protected from known events that have happened.3 – Under REA rules, a leaseholder is allowed to VOID SAFETY RULES, which exposes to danger, family, children, employees, contractors, visitors and they have no voice in the matter.4 – He quotes Ben Greenhouse saying that IWTs are needed to replace coal, reduce CO2 emissions, etc, and then he goes on to show that it’s not happening and CO2 output is actually up, so the reason for having them is invalid.5 – MOE claims to be responsive and following the latest science but they fall very short in both instances.
6 – He said wind noise is different from other sound – more disturbing – the cyclical nature of it. At the Denver Noise converence, where MOE had people registered, there were 12 mentions of the special,unique quality of IWT sound. MOE denies any knowledge but even Vesta, a manufacturer, has made reference to it. People have complained about it all over the world and in the US, even 44% of LEASEHOLDERS found the sound bothersome.