Not a Willing Host communities voices grow

Posted here on the London Free Press website, the online version of a feature for this weekend.

This blows: Growing list of Ontario municipalities declare ‘unwilling hosts’ to wind turbines

18

By ,The London Free Press
First posted: | Updated:
wind turbines
Wind powered turbines spin on a wind farm in Port Burwell, a town near London, Ont. (Derek Ruttan/QMI Agency files)

LONDON, ONT. – Enough. Dozens of Ontario municipalities say they don’t want wind turbines.
Heavily pushed by the provincial Liberal government, the electricity they produce deeply subsidized by taxpayers, giant wind energy projects have sprouted across rural Ontario — often pitting neighbour against neighbour and community against community.
With local control over where the highrise-sized towers can be built taken away by the province, many communities — especially in southwestern Ontario — were already fuming about wind turbines long before Premier Kathleen Wynne took office in February, vowing not to impose such projects any more on places unwilling to take them.
Now, a list of unwilling hosts is circulating — with 61 of the province’s 444 municipalities already on it.
That number will only rise, observers warn, as the “Not a Willing Host” movement grows and pressures the government to bar the industrial turbines from rural Ontario, where 1,200 have already cropped up.
Wind Concerns Ontario, an organization upset at the province’s aggressive promotion of wind power at the expense of local control, compiles and maintains the list of unwilling hosts.
“It was important for someone to keep this list and say, ‘You are not alone,’” said Wind Concerns president Jane Wilson.
“Wind power can work,” she conceded, “but plunking them (turbines) down, right next to communities and next to homes and schools, is not the right idea.”
Ninety municipalities — in favourable zones, located mainly in southwestern and eastern Ontario — “are vulnerable to wind power,” she said.
“That’s where the wind companies have been prospecting.” As the list stands now, two-thirds of those “vulnerable” municipalities are effectively saying no more.
Wind Concerns has dubbed the seven years of wind power development under the Liberals “a disaster for rural Ontario.”

Read the full article at the London Free Press site.

The 2003 blackout:truth and lobbying

Now that the media “Where were you when the lights went out?” pertaining to the black-out in north-eastern U.S. and Canada  10 years ago is over, we can take a look at what really happened (it wasn’t an Ontario event) and then be able to look at the comments being made by the current Ontario government and lobbyists in context.
Here from energy analyst and blogger Scott Luft, a posting from Cold Air.

Satellite photo from NOAA

NOAA image of blackout in the Northeastern USA taken Aug. 14, 2003, at 9:03 p.m. EDT.

Wind Concerns Ontario cleared of all accusations on election finances

Wind Concerns Ontario received a letter from Elections Ontario today from Director Maria Martins, advising us that following a full investigation, which WCO cooperated with at every step over the last 20 months, the conclusion is that the organization did not contravene the Election Finances Act of Ontario.

The complaint was lodged by Toronto activist Jude MacDonald, and pertained chiefly to a billboard purchased by a community group in Ontario that featured the WCO (then) URL, and images from news media on our website.

We are pleased that the this matter has concluded, and that now, all our members and member community groups can continue our advocacy work to inform the public on the potential negative effects of industrial wind power generation on human health, the natural environment, and Ontario’s economy.

Jane Wilson, President
Parker Gallant, Vice-president
Wind Concerns Ontario
windconcerns@gmail.com

Industrial Wind Turbines – Watershed Magazine

Since being posted to our Facebook page earlier, as recommended by CCSAGE‘s Gary Mooney, it’s been recommended to get this article referenced on the blog too

Industrial Wind Turbines – Watershed Magazine:

It starts with an unfamiliar car in the driveway. Two people get out and approach your farmhouse. They knock, you open. “We’re interested in doing a study on the feasibility of wind turbines here,” says the taller one. “There’s no commitment,” adds the other, following a well-rehearsed script. Just like the travelling salesmen of yore, the Fuller Brush man or the FilterQueen vacuum guy, these folks have something to sell, a proposal – you can do your bit for the planet and make a little green while you’re at it. What’s not to like?
You invite them in to hear more, offer them coffee while you sit around your kitchen table, listen with interest as they lay out the numbers: $12,000 per year minimum per turbine and maybe as much as $18,000. You picture five slender poles with blades glinting in the sunlight and do the mental arithmetic: 60 to 90 grand a year for letting them use your land? Sure beats sitting on a tractor for 12 hours a day.

Problem is, they’re not slender poles, they’re industrial behemoths, five metres wide at the base, 100 metres tall to the hub with blades half again as high – 150 metres from toe to tip, as tall as a 40-storey building. In skimming the fine print, you also missed the part about the potential health and environmental impacts of turbines, and breezed past the language about not talking to anyone about the deal.
But you don’t realize this till later, after you’ve signed the lease, and by then your neighbours have stopped speaking to you and have formed a group to stop the wind project with whatever it takes, including filing a lawsuit, contacting reporters and meeting with local councillors and MPPs.

Continue reading at Watershed Magazine:

Turbines are affecting people: Lynn

 Grey-Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn:
“All of the studies rejected the null hypothesis that there was no association. Every one of them found that there was an association.”
 

Of hundreds of credible studies around the world on wind energy, none conclude there is no association between the towering turbines and adverse health effects.
That’s what Grey-Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn and her researcher, Dr. Ian Arra, will present to the public health board Friday.
The report follows plaintive calls last fall from local residents who live near wind turbines for the health unit to investigate potential ill health effects.
Lynn has been asked repeatedly over the years by municipalities and residents to conduct a study on how turbines might be affecting people’s health, which they say include migraines, insomnia, heart palpitations and other symptoms. She has rejected the requests because of the time and cost involved and because the health unit is not a research institute.”
But last September, after an emotional delegation appeared before the health board, Lynn agreed to do a comprehensive search of the most current and credible studies available.
“(The conclusions are) not new, but it’s further confirmation that these are not NIMBYs, these are people affected by these things,” Lynn said Tuesday in an interview. “All of the studies rejected the null hypothesis that there was no association. Every one of them found that there was an association.”

Please continue reading at the Owen Sound Sun Times:
There is a poll at the end of the article: “Do you believe wind turbines can make people sick?

Related: .pdf of report presentation slides

Turbines ‘tarnish property values’

Turbines ‘tarnish property values’ | The Australian:

A FEDERAL magistrate has accepted that wind farms slash the value of surrounding properties, saying she found it “hard to imagine” any prospective buyer could ignore such development.
In a decision believed to be the first time an Australian court has recognised the adverse financial impact of wind farms for neighbours, magistrate Kate Hughes ruled a property would be worth 17 per cent less if a 14-turbine facility were erected next door.
For one part of the property, in regional Victoria, she accepted a 33 per cent fall in value was likely.
The ruling came in a family law case published this month amid separation proceedings for the couple who own the property.
Ms Hughes heard two separate valuers had agreed the wind farm would have a negative effect on the adjacent property, which the couple has divided into three blocks. “The expert value of the three blocks of land varies significantly depending on whether or not it is assumed the proposed wind farm will go ahead,” Ms Hughes said in her judgment.
“The impact of the proposed wind farm is apparent from the valuation report.”

Complete article at The Australian (subscription)

WIND RUSH A Look at the Wind Turbine Controversy

This is a press release for an upcoming program looking at industrial wind issues
An article by Paul Morden, in the Sarnia observer, quotes the program’s writer/director as stating “…obviously there is a problem,” and notes, “While wind energy is the subject of the film, it’s really about science.

WIND RUSH A Look at the Wind Turbine Controversy on CBC TV’s Doc Zone, Thursday, February 7, 9PM 
Driving by a wind farm, looking at the rural houses, it’s easy to be skeptical about the talk of wind turbines making people sick. We’re told that wind turbines are good and green. So how could those people living by them have an issue?

But there is a problem—and it’s there because some governments and wind companies didn’t do their homework before installing megawatt after megawatt of huge industrial machines. And as a result there are people living among the turbines who are suffering.

In the new documentary film WIND RUSH, produced for CBC Doc Zone by Toronto’s 90th Parallel Productions, the battleground for the pro and anti wind forces is southern Ontario. The government there pledged to wean the province off coal fired generation plants and replace them with green wind energy. WIND RUSH will be broadcast on Thursday, February 7 at 9PM (9:30PM NT).

But as soon as the turbines went up in places like Wolf Island, Amaranth and Bruce County, people realized they could hear them. Sometimes it was like a whisper, but other times it sounded more like a jet taking off.

And then it got worse.

New turbines started coming in at two and three times the size of the old ones. And they were even louder. It led to chronic sleeplessness for many people living close by—and that can lead to diabetes, depression and heart disease. Others were affected in their inner ears by low-level sounds that set off their equilibrium. Doctors started seeing patient after patient complaining of the same sets of symptoms. And then people started to realize that no one had done any significant human health studies before giving the green light to the turbine farms.

WIND RUSH takes viewers to southwestern Alberta, where wind has been an energy staple for more than twenty years. There is plenty of room for humans and windmills to coexist—a stark contrast to Ontario, where the same prairie technology was installed in a dramatically different landscape. The film then moves to Denmark, a country long considered the poster-child for the wind energy movement. But as WIND RUSH reveals, the relationship between the Danes and turbines has soured.

WIND RUSH talks to people on either side of the turbine divide, and then turns to scientists to try and determine what has gone wrong. In the next several years the turbines will double in size again—bigger, louder and more powerful. But without sufficient research have the people who live among the wind farms been forgotten?

WIND RUSH is produced by 90th Parallel Productions of Toronto. Gordon Henderson is Executive Producer. WIND RUSH is produced, written and directed by Andrew Gregg.

For further information, etc. please contct:

David McCaughna,
Publicist, WIND RUSH
David.mccaughna@cbc.ca 416-250-3030

Writer and director Andrew Gregg’s blog

Wind Wise Radio has posted a trailer for the program on their YouTube Channel

WCO President awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

We are delighted to share with you the good news that our President Jane Wilson was awarded the Jubilee Medal for her great work in fighing for us all.  Congratulations Jane and keep up the good work!

WCO Board of Directors.

November 22, Ottawa

Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in Ottawa as a “Champion” of rural communities. Presenting the medal was the Member of Parliament for Nepean-Carleton Pierre Poilievre, who has been very supportive of constituents’ fight against a large wind power development which will be close to hundreds of homes.

“Jane is a registered nurse and the current president of Wind Concerns Ontario,” he said. “She has been a powerful advocate for health and safety in the rural communities when it comes to the development of industrial wind turbines.”

“I am very honoured to receive this award,” Wilson said, “and it has been my privilege to speak on behalf of the communities and people whose lives are being altered by these huge power projects. There are many, many people working to protect our homes and families, and quality of life in Ontario. We will continue.”

Other recipients at the ceremony was a past-president of the Ottawa Federation of Agriculture, the former Mayor of Rideau Township and member of Ottawa City Council, and a teacher who advocated the Agriculture in the Classroom program in Eastern Ontario.

Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD – Noise Health

A new study study on sleep disruption due to Industrial wind turbines, by Michael A Nissenbaum (Northern Maine Medical Center), Jeffery J Aramini (Intelligent Health Solutions – Guelph), and Christopher D Hanning (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust)

Abstract
Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) are a new source of noise in previously quiet rural environments. Environmental noise is a public health concern, of which sleep disruption is a major factor. To compare sleep and general health outcomes between participants living close to IWTs and those living further away from them, participants living between 375 and 1400 m (n = 38) and 3.3 and 6.6 km (n = 41) from IWTs were enrolled in a stratified cross-sectional study involving two rural sites. Validated questionnaires were used to collect information on sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index – PSQI), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Score – ESS), and general health (SF36v2), together with psychiatric disorders, attitude, and demographics. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were performed to investigate the effect of the main exposure variable of interest (distance to the nearest IWT) on various health outcome measures. Participants living within 1.4 km of an IWT had worse sleep, were sleepier during the day, and had worse SF36 Mental Component Scores compared to those living further than 1.4 km away. Significant dose-response relationships between PSQI, ESS, SF36 Mental Component Score, and log-distance to the nearest IWT were identified after controlling for gender, age, and household clustering. The adverse event reports of sleep disturbance and ill health by those living close to IWTs are supported.

Continue Reading at Noise and Health

MPAC documents show some Wolfe Island property values plummet by over $100,000

An article in the Mitchell Advocate last week referenced MPAC lowering assessments on Wolfe Island.  Quixotes Last Stand now provides some specific properties.

MPAC documents show some Wolfe Island property values plummet by over $100,000 | Quixotes Last Stand:

Here are the addresses of residents (near the wind project) who were granted assessment reductions of over $100,000 by MPAC in the Township of Wolfe Island from 2008 until Jan. 2012.

Reduction

82 – Oak Point Rd. -$118,000
23 – Nine Mile Point Rd. – $143,000
429- Nine Mile Point Rd. -$119,000
433 -Nine Mile Point Rd. -$117,000
496 -Nine Mile Point Rd. – $107,000
136 – Lucas Point Lane – $101,000

Some of these properties are on Wolfe Island and the rest are on Simcoe Island. Simcoe Island is located just off the west end of Wolfe Island where the Wind Project is sited (see map attached). According to an e-mail I received from Gail Kenney (the prominent resident appealing their ARB decision on Wolfe Island) the Wind Project can be seen and heard from most of the south shore of Simcoe Island. She indicated that property sales have all but shut down on Simcoe Island. She now has this list from MPAC as well (they did not have it at the time of their ARB hearing).

Read the rest of the article at Quixotes Last Stand:

The Kenney’s MPAC assessment  appeal was reported on a number of places, including here.
Notably, and unusually for a property assessment appeal, MPAC had a lawyer as did the Township of Frontenac Islands.
Perhaps the lawyers were procured not because MPAC felt the Kenneys were wrong, but because they felt the Kenneys were right.