Welcome Minister Ballard: now here’s a list of things to do

An Open Letter to the newly appointed Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Chris Ballard. “You have work to do”

The former Minister of the MOECC left behind a full list of things that need doing, now [Photo: Dorothea Larsen]
July 31, 2017
To the Honourable Chris Ballard
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Queen’s Park, Toronto
Welcome to your new position as Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
Unfortunately, Minister Glen Murray has left you an extensive list of action items requiring your immediate follow-up. We highlight the key issues for you in the following list, related to Ontario’s energy policy and wind power projects.
White Pines – Withdraw the Renewable Energy Approval for this project as developer wpd cannot meet the terms of their contract. There are significant environmental concerns with this project that remain, even after a successful appeal by citizens before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
Amherst Island – Rescind Renewable Energy Approval for this project which is planned for the tiny island heritage community. Significant environmental risks are present including the serious impact on migrating birds that congregate in this area; Ontario does not need the power from this project.
Saugeen Shores – The single wind turbine at the Unifor educational facility has been fraught with problems and engendered hundreds of complaints about excessive noise. This turbine would not be allowed under present regulations. You can immediately address the failure to meet a June 30 deadline for submission of a compliance audit report.
K2 Wind – This is another wind power project, a large one, with many problems in its relatively short history. You can deliver on Minister Glen Murray’s mid-May commitment to Black family, and others, to provide a solution to wind turbines that MOECC testing indicated were not compliant with Ontario regulations to protect the environment and health.
Address Concerns Raised at Request of Minister Murray – Many people across Ontario took Minister Murray at his word when he said that there were no complaints reaching his office and that he would ensure his officials responded quickly to address the issues. They wrote to him and are still waiting for action on their issues.
Complaint Tracking Process – Complaint records released to WCO in response to an FOI request indicate that the MOECC does not respond to most complaints about wind turbine noise. These complaints should be a source of learning for the Ministry rather than being ignored as currently appears to be the case. A full revision of the process is needed to ensure that complaints are actually resolved with procedures that allow the Minister’s office to track resolution. MOECC records indicate little or no resolution of more than 3,100 formal Pollution Reports made by Ontario citizens between 2006 and 2014.
REA Approval Process – Increase setbacks from residences to reflect learning from MOECC complaint records that include staff reports that confirm that current regulations are not sufficient to protect health of residents living in wind projects. Last week, the Supreme Court set out standards for consultations with communities which are substantially more rigorous that the standards used for Ontario Renewable Energy Projects.
MOECC Noise Modeling Procedures – implement new noise modeling procedures based on MOECC internal testing that demonstrates wind turbines routinely exceed predicted levels.
Otter Creek – Retract decision to deem this application “complete” for the Renewable Energy Approval process. The proponent is unable to provide noise emission data for the turbine equipment proposed. The noise report submitted with the application for a REA is not grounded in fact but rather is estimates based estimates. Also, a full MOECC investigation of the impact on well water is required.
LRP I Contracts – suspend REA process for remaining LRP I projects until full review of requirements based on internal complaint records is completed.
Noise Compliance Audit Protocol – Expand the wind speeds covered under the protocol to include wind speeds below 4 metres/second which are the source of a substantial portion of complaints about excessive noise. Even MOECC testing shows these wind speeds are the source of noise levels exceeding 40 dB(A), which completely undercuts the credibility of this audit process.
REA Enforcement – REA terms make the project operator responsible for addressing the concerns raised in each complaint to ensure that it does not recur. The MOECC needs to follow up on all operating with projects to ensure compliance with these terms and take action where it is not occurring.
Shadow Flicker – The flickering shadows produced when a turbine is positioned between the rising or setting sun is a major irritant for residents. It is not considered in the REA approvals and is easy to address by turning off the turbine for the times when it is casting moving shadows on a house.  In some projects, these changes have been implemented by the wind company but in other MOECC staff is telling residents no action is required, even though the REA requires the wind company to address complaints like these.
Infrasound – Expand MOECC testing to include the full range of noise emissions from wind turbines as independent testing shows the presence of elevated levels of infrasound in homes where residents have had to leave to protect their health.
Health Studies – The Ministry has been telling residents that its policy is based on the “best science” available since the first turbine projects were built. MOECC records clearly show that this is not correct, but the Ministry continues to be willfully blind to input from both residents and its own staff, quoting dated and selective literature reviews in a field where the science is rapidly evolving.  The need for noise studies and other investigation has been highlighted in numerous reports but never undertaken.  It is time for some serious field studies of the problems being caused by wind turbine projects in rural communities across Ontario. This was an information gap identified in 2010 by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Last, it is important that as you prepare for this major portfolio, you understand that industrial-scale wind power generation offers no significant benefit to the environment.
Wind power generation on this scale is a high-impact development for little benefit, if any. Two Auditors General for Ontario recommended that Ontario undertake a cost-benefit and/or impact analysis — that has never been done.
We ask you to approach this issue with honesty and honour, and respect the wishes of the citizens of rural Ontario.
Jane Wilson
Wind Concerns Ontario
Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of community groups, individuals and families concerned about the impact of industrial-scale wind power development on Ontario’s economy, the natural environment, and human health.

What's your reaction?


  • Sommer
    Posted July 31, 2017 9:57 pm 0Likes

    One more thing that the new Minister needs to be aware of is the information in this recently published article: http://ulsterherald.com/2017/07/30/expert-warns-adverse-health-effects-turbines/
    The legal risk that this government has taken in their refusal to acknowledge the harm from low frequency noise is absolutely unacceptable. People have reported cardiovascular episodes, immune system suppression as well as neurological and psychological harm. Innocent men, women and children have suffered/are suffering. Being forced to leave one’s home must stop. The turbines harming people need too be turned off.

  • Johana
    Posted August 1, 2017 9:24 am 0Likes

    Following M. Alves – Pereira since April of 2012, selling my toxic wind turbine infected house, free from the incessant emissions, radiation, turbulence, finally getting restorative sleep, I pray that my body will rebuild new tissue over the next few years to restore hearing, balance and the other lost functions.

  • Barbara
    Posted August 1, 2017 9:48 am 0Likes

    UN Environment
    UNEP Newscentre, Sept.18, 2014
    ‘World’s Leading Institutional Investors Managing $24 Trillion Call for Carbon Pricing, Ambitious Global Climate Deal’
    See: About
    UNPRI/UN Principles for Responsible Investing is included in this article.
    Look behind the scenes.

  • Sommer
    Posted August 1, 2017 10:10 am 0Likes

    Johana, this travesty of justice will be fully exposed. There are so many good people working together to tell the truth about industrial scale wind turbines in rural Ontario. Many more brilliant leaders are exposing the global warming/ climate change deception and Agenda 21/30 which resulted from the manipulation of data. This is how this whole horrible chapter of rural Ontario’s story happened. History will be written truthfully.
    Stay positive.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted August 1, 2017 8:44 pm 0Likes

    There’s a whole bunch more unhappy people…
    notice the “transfer of wealth” statement….heat stroke = hospitalization!!!
    Especially seniors….
    Good thing them hospital beds are all freed up from the closure of them coal plants… we’re gonna need them!!

    • Barbara
      Posted August 1, 2017 11:11 pm 0Likes

      Landlords can’t “eat” all of the increasing costs. One result can be letting rental property go down hill until the property becomes slum property.

  • Richard Mann
    Posted August 6, 2017 2:54 pm 0Likes

    Dear WCO and others:
    Has anyone heard from Huron County Health Unit?
    An investigation into health impacts of wind turbines was initiated in March 2016. (Ontario’s HPPA, Health Protection and Promotion Act). Since then we have had one delay after another, and still no remedy for those living under turbines.
    As of Aug 1, 2017, Erica Clark informed me they have heard back University of Waterloo ethics and are now planning another ethics application to address concerns raised. Meanwhile I have been told that all communications of the ethics board, including the names an positions of the applicants, is confidential.
    I am asking for transparency, and for immediate action on this urgent health issue.
    For further details, including correspondence and my own research on Infra sound and wind turbines, please see my web page below.
    Richard Mann
    Associate Professor, Computer Science
    University of Waterloo

    • Sommer
      Posted August 14, 2017 8:15 pm 0Likes

      We finally have this statement for the residents of Huron County who are being harmed from the Huron County Health Board’s epidemiologist.
      The ‘criteria for assessment’ was met to initiate an investigation in early March of 2016…17 months ago. The ‘investigation’ is now being called a ‘study’.
      Status of the Huron County Health Unit wind turbine study
      The wind turbine study is currently undergoing ethics review. Due to the sensitive nature of the information we intend to collect, ethics clearance is important to ensure the recruitment and data collection methods are ethical. We partnered with researchers from the University of Waterloo to do the study and submitted an application to the University of Waterloo Human Research and Ethics Committee. The application was submitted on March 2, 2017 and reviewed at the March 23, 2017 meeting. On April 5, 2017 we received a letter from the University of Waterloo Human Research Ethics Committee listing revisions and additional information required to receive ethics clearance. We sent a response back to the University of Waterloo Human Research Ethics Committee on May 18, 2017 detailing the changes we had made. The University of Waterloo Human Research Ethics Committee met in June and sent us a second letter on June 27, 2017 outlining additional revisions and requests for clarification. We sent a second response back to the University of Waterloo Human Research Ethics Committee on August 9, 2017. We are now waiting for a response.
      We understand that it is a long process to get ethics clearance but it is a critical step to ensure that the recruitment and data collection methods are ethical.
      Erica Clark, PhD
      Epidemiologist, APHEO Secretary
      Huron County Health Unit
      77722B London Rd., RR #5
      Clinton, ON N0M 1L0
      519.482.3416 ext. 2022
      Toll-free 1.877.837.6143

      • Barbara
        Posted August 16, 2017 1:08 pm 0Likes

        The present government has no intention of doing an IWTs health effects investigation, IMO.

  • Notinduttondunwich
    Posted August 9, 2017 4:37 pm 0Likes

    Hospitals like the great STEG were told if they wanted cheaper hydro they should enroll into the FIT solar program and they would be able to make some money for their hospital to operate…
    What BS!!!!!

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