Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise: How the Ear and Brain Process Infrasound

PunchRick-JamesHearing Views, By Jerry Punch, PhD, and Richard James, INCE, BME
Part 3: Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise: How the Ear and Brain Process Infrasound

As noted in the second installment of this series, Dr. Geoff Leventhall, a co-author of the 2009 AWEA/CanWEA report, attributes the health complaints of people who live near industrial wind turbines (IWTs) to psychological stress, but does not acknowledge that IWTs can be detrimental to health because infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN) emitted by wind turbines are largely inaudible to humans. He stands on the argument, therefore, that what we can’t hear can’t hurt us.

We know that things we cannot see, touch, taste, or smell can hurt us, so why is it unreasonable also to believe that what we can’t hear might also hurt us?

Dr. Nina Pierpont, in describing Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), has expressed her belief that many of the symptoms comprising WTS are mediated by overstimulation of the vestibular system of the inner ear by ILFN. Recent evidence supports the general view that the functioning of both the vestibular and cochlear components of the inner ear, and their interconnections with the brain, mediate the type of symptoms that Pierpont and others have described.

Infrasound: More of a Problem Than We Thought?
Industrial-scale wind turbines generate peak sound pressure levels at infrasonic frequencies, especially between 0.25 and 3 Hz, as the blades pass in front of the tower. Most of us do not experience the energy in this lowest of low-frequency regions as sound; instead, we perceive a variety of other sensations. When present, infrasound can be more of a problem than audible sound. Read full article

See also:
Part 1: Negative Health Effects of Noise from Industrial Wind Turbines: Some Background

Part 2: The Negative Health Impact of Noise from Industrial Wind Turbines: The Evidence

Posted in Health, Noise | 12 Comments

Flying turbine debris has local MPP concerned

turbine pieceThe Chatham Voice
The provincial Ministry of Energy will launch an investigation into reports that an 18-inch chunk of a wind turbine blade came loose and flew some 400 feet before landing in a field in the former Howard Twp. Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls raised the matter during question period Wednesday at Queen’s Park, calling it a significant safety issue that must be addressed immediately.

“Will your government do the do the right thing and put a moratorium on turbine developments until there is a thorough review of safety standards pertaining to industrial wind turbines,” he asked Premier Kathleen Wynne. Energy Minister Bob Chiarellli said he was unaware of the problem but will raise the issue with his staff as well as those at the ministries of environment and climate change.

Nicholls said called the detached section “flying shrapnel” since the 400-foot tall turbines with blade lengths of 135 feet rotate at nearly 200 miles per hour at the blade tip. In an interview with The Voice, Nicholls said, “we need to know just how widespread this problem is,” he said. “We have scores of turbines along the (Highway) 401 and this kind of flying shrapnel could result in a fatality. The government’s first responsibility is to the citizens of Ontario, not the wind companies or whatever agreements they may have made with private individuals.” Read article

Posted in Safety | 22 Comments

Your eyes are on the road, right?

(NextEra Adelaide wind turbines along HWY 402)

Posted in OWR | 7 Comments

Report avoids wind turbine health woes

2014_05140201by Keith Stelling, Owen Sound Sun Times

Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise “Statistics” Avoid Real Health Problems

Tim Matheson (Nov. 11, 2014) tells us he has had enough of wind turbine health effects. I am sure that the many people living near Ontario’s wind turbines who are still suffering from pounding in the chest and head, dizziness, headaches, ringing in the ears and sleep deprivation have had enough too. However, the serious inaccuracies in Mr. Matheson’s letter must not go without comment. It is entirely untrue, as he claims, that “every peer-reviewed study world-wide has consistently shown the same” as the Health Canada key findings.

Our Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn found 18 peer-reviewed studies that “provide reasonable evidence . . . that an association exists between wind turbines and distress in humans”. Instead of disparaging Dr. Lynn we should admire and respect her for taking the trouble to listen to her constituents and speaking the truth. The Brown County (Wisconsin) Board of Health has taken the growing peer-reviewed evidence seriously enough to declare its industrial wind turbines a “public health nuisance” and a “human health hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passers-by) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health”. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

P-W mayor describes Suncor bully tactics: ‘Here, we’re going to hold a gun to your head, again’

How’s this for ‘community consultation?’

Suncor rep: “Once finalized, we will share our construction plans with the community and continue the dialogue with our stakeholders,” he said.

Suncor BullyPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Suncor Energy was issued building permits for 27 wind turbines it plans to erect in Plympton-Wyoming, after filing a court motion. The permits were issued in early November, according to the company. The 27 turbines planned for Plympton-Wyoming are part of Suncor’s 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project that received provincial environmental approval in August.

“There were some challenges in the issuance of our building permits and Suncor filed a court motion to ensure that our project timelines do not contravene our contract with the province,” Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant said by e-mail. He said Suncor’s contract with the Ontario Power Authority requires that it have the Cedar Point project built and operating in 2016, or face penalties. “However, we have resolved this issue with the Town of Plympton-Wyoming and our building permits are now in hand.” Read article

Posted in Ethics | 1 Comment

Decision from three-judge panel in landmark wind turbine appeal expected before January

ERT injusticeBy Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
A judicial fight over the future of wind turbines in Ontario wrapped up Thursday with the fate of the province’s green energy law in the hands of judges. On one side is big money, wind energy giants like Samsung and a Liberal government intent on becoming a world leader in creating green energy.

On the other are four families in Huron and Bruce counties whose homes are close to dozens of proposed turbines. But while it seems a David and Goliath affair, the underdogs have enlisted a legal pugilist who Thursday seemed to dance circles around the arguments of his adversaries, wrapping up a four-day hearing in London with an emotionally-loaded challenge to three Superior Court justices.

“The system has utterly broken down,” said Julian Falconer. “You have been tasked with keeping these people safe.” Falconer was the most dynamic of lawyers representing four families in Southwestern Ontario battling the building of wind farms. It’s not the first time lawyers have challenged the Green Energy Act in court. Three years ago, wind opponents lost in court fighting a decision by an environmental review tribunal to allow a wind farm. But the 2011 effort had a handicap this one does not — it was a judicial review, in which judges must give deference to the tribunal.

This time, Falconer wants the three-judge panel to:

  • Halt, by issuing what’s called a stay, wind farms that are expected to be tested in January.
  • Rule the environmental tribunal violated the constitutional rights of wind opponents when it refused to allow new evidence from a Health Canada study.
  • Allow wind opponents to stop wind farms by showing they might be seriously harmed rather than proving they had been harmed. Read article
Posted in Environmental Review Tribunal, Legal | 3 Comments

Bird Studies Canada’s (and CanWEA, MNR) July 2014 Bird/Bat Fatality from Wind Turbines Summary

birdcartoonBird Studies Canada  – why bother doing the summary if you know more than half the birds are not being collected? Why is the specific data on each projects ‘kill’ confidential? Do the wind companies own the wildlife here too? Seems like it. 

“In Ontario, 1,187 bird carcasses were found, comprising 118 identified species. Passerines were the most common fatality, representing approximately 69% of all bird fatalities in Ontario. The most prevalent passerine species found were: Golden Crowned Kinglet (9.39% of all bird carcasses found), Red-eyed Vireo (6.91%) and Horned Lark (5.39%). Raptors represented 8% of all bird fatalities, with Turkey Vulture (2.29%) and Red-tailed Hawk (3.99%) found most commonly. Gulls represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities; with Ring-billed Gull (1.59%) the most often reported Gull species. Waterbirds represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities, with Mallard (1.29%) as the most frequently reported waterbird species.

Table 4 lists the top 20 bird species found during post-construction mortality monitoring at wind power projects in Ontario and the proportion of carcasses found of each species, listed from lowest rank (most prevalent across sites) to highest rank (least commonly found). A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.”

Table 4: The top 20 bird species found at wind power projects in Ontario based on fractional ranking and percent species composition. A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.

Rank        Species                     % Composition

  1. Golden-crowned Kinglet     9.39%
  2. Red-eyed Vireo                      6.19%
  3. Horned Lark                          5.39%
  4. Purple Martin                        6.09%
  5. Tree Swallow                         8.79%

“The total number of operating turbines in Ontario as of February 2014 was 1,331 (CanWEA, personal communication) resulting in an estimated mortality of 7,250 bird fatalities (95% confidence interval of 6,236 to 8,265 fatalities) in Ontario between May 1st and October 31st based on February 2014 installed capacity.”

The mortality estimates presented here potentially underestimate true mortality as they are based solely on carcasses that fell within 50 m of the turbine base. It is expected that a certain proportion of birds and bats will fall outside of this radius, and there are several different approaches to quantifying this correction factor as can be inferred based on extrapolation of Figures 11 and 12. Zimmerling et al. (2013) reported that turbine heights were very similar (~80 m) for most turbines installed in Canada as of 2011 and estimated the proportion of carcasses expected to fall outside of 50 m to be up to 51.8% of birds, based on 4 studies that searched a radius up to 85 m. These values were further validated based on a field trial that searched up to 85 m from the turbine base (Zimmerling et al. 2013). Smallwood (2013) found that the proportion of both birds and bats that fell within 50 m of the turbine base varied with turbine height and estimated higher correction factor values for carcasses falling outside of 50 m than Zimmerling et al. 2013. Smallwood (2013) fit a logistic function to carcass distributions, and the proportions of carcasses falling within the search radius were calculated based on a variety of search radius and turbine height combinations. For 80 m turbines, carcasses were expected to fall to a maximum distance of 156 m. These findings indicate that the mortality estimates presented here may underestimate true mortality, but still allow for comparisons amongst sites and regions as long as turbine heights are similar; this is an important consideration for future investigation of landscape level factors and mitigation measures.”

Read more here

Posted in Bats and Birds, CanWEA, Environmental, Ethics, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario government, Wind Industry | 14 Comments

Film Down Wind ‘politically heavy but true’

DownWind-DVD_largeOrangeville Citizen
Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill was the only political dignitary at the Sun News documentary Down Wind, screened at Grace Tipling Hall in Shelburne last Saturday. The Township of Melancthon hosts 167 of Dufferin’s 200 wind turbines and continues to face controversy and citizen push-back with the most recent project, owned by Dufferin Wind Power Inc. Focusing on industrial wind turbines in Ontario, the rather lengthy documentary highlights the stories of rural families and communities torn apart by the ‘ill effects’ of whirling towers, some up to 550 feet high, churning out costly electricity at the expense of citizens’ health and welfare.

Sun News publicly released Down Wind one week before the last provincial election, raising the question of whether wind turbine neighbours, who have been treated with the disregard of lab mice by all levels of government, were once again the victims of a political agenda. Like the beating blades of the turbines, the documentary endlessly pounds out anti-Liberal sentiment for provincial voters: “If we keep the Liberal government we won’t be able to stop anything,” in conjunction with “Progressive Conservatives seem to be the only hope.”

Mayor Hill says the film “was politically heavy but true.” As for the Green Energy Act, “This is the most draconian piece of legislation ever introduced in my political career of 28 years.” Read article

Posted in OWR | 1 Comment

18″ piece of blade found 400′ from wind turbine base in Chatham-Kent

DSC_0618…and the Ontario Liberals could care less.


Mr. Rick Nicholls: My question is to the Premier. A Chatham-Kent constituent of mine found an 18-inch section of a wind turbine blade on his farm while farming this spring. He found a blade on his property some 400 feet from the base of the turbine in question. I have documented proof, and I will be sending these pictures over to you for review.

Fortunately, there was no damage to his property or personal injury to anyone, but this raises a very serious safety issue. Picture a 2.3-megawatt turbine with a blade length of 135 feet, standing some 400 feet tall. It should also be noted that the blade tip speed rate rotates at 164 miles per hour.

I, along with many of my riding, am rightly concerned for the safety of my residents. Premier, my question to you is simply this: Will your government do the right thing and put a moratorium on turbine developments until there is a thorough review of safety standards pertaining to industrial wind turbines? Continue reading

Posted in Ontario government, Safety | 1 Comment

Annoyance is not ‘harm,’ turbine defender says

2014_05140206Deborah Van Brenk, London Free Press
Health safeguards are “baked right in” to the Ontario process for wind turbine applications, a lawyer for the province said Wednesday. Lawyer Matthew Horner told a panel of three judges Wednesday it’s not correct to suggest the province is violating turbine neighbours’ constitutional right to live free from government harm.

“The safety aspect is baked right in with the regulations . . . instead of an ad hoc, application-by-application process,” Horner said. He disputed lawyer Julian Falconer’s argument that the province’s approvals process is unconstitutional.

It’s the first anti-turbine case with a constitutional challenge to reach Ontario divisional court. And it’s being watched throughout Ontario, where thousands of turbines are in place or planned. Many of the 50 people in the courtroom had driven through snowstorms from Huron, Bruce and Lambton counties or stayed overnight in hotels to hear the third day of arguments. Clinton-area farmer Luke Schilder, for example, started his barn chores at 4 a.m. and was at court for 11 a.m. in the hope of hearing he might not have to put up with proposed turbines near his farm. Read article

Posted in OWR | 18 Comments

Health Canada Windpower Study: Playing Politics (Grubered up North)

health hazardMaster Resource, Lisa Linowes

“The Canadian government is correct that there is a need to understand ‘the potential health impacts and community concerns that underscore public resistance’ to wind energy. But Canadians and others will not be Grubered by phony studies.”
The Canadian government is trying to ‘Gruber’ [1] its residents on wind turbine noise. It will not work.

This story dates back two years ago when community resistance to industrial wind energy was impeding the expansion of projects in Canada’s rural areas, especially in Ontario. Turbine noise and the impact on human health were of primary concern for residents and for good reason. Documented cases of home abandonments to escape the ‘whoosh-thump’ of the blades were piling up (see here, here and here).

In 2012, the federal  government authorized Health Canada (HC) to investigate the validity of the complaints. “The continued success and viability of wind turbine energy in Canada, and around the world,” according to the feds, “will rely upon a thorough understanding of the potential health impacts and community concerns that underscore public resistance.” [2] Read article

Posted in Canadian Government | Leave a comment

Wind turbines causing thousands of bats to die of collapsed lungs annually in Alberta: top bat expert

CNSPhoto-Munro-BatsNational Post, Sheila Pratt
EDMONTON — Thousands of bats die on southern Alberta wind farms each year, but it’s unclear what effect that is having on the overall population, says Canada’s foremost bat expert, Robert Barclay. Most of the bats die because their lungs collapse when they run into low air pressure around the tips of the wind turbines — not because they hit the towers or blades.

With wind farms now coming to north-central Alberta — including two new projects east of Edmonton — the impact on bats migrating from northern forests needs further study, says Barclay, a University of Calgary biology professor. It’s a serious issue, but with no accurate count of the province’s bat population, “it’s hard to say if turbines are killing too many,” said Barclay. “We know very little about the abundance and distribution of bats in central to northern Alberta.”

Barclay’s research, begun in 2006, uncovered the surprising fact that migrating bats are much more likely than birds to be killed by wind turbines. Thanks to their sonar bats can detect solid structures, but they cannot detect the changing air pressure that causes bleeding in their lungs. Birds’ lungs are able to withstand the pressure change.

Barclay’s groundbreaking research took place at Transalta’s Summerview wind farm near Pincher Creek in 2005. When the company noticed bat carcasses under the turbines, it asked Barclay to do a study. Barclay and his team found 20 to 30 dead bats per turbine. But that number was cut almost in half when Transalta decided not run the turbines when the wind was low and bats are most active, he said. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds | 2 Comments

MPP Jim Wilson grills Liberals on wind turbines

(Give Glen Murray a piece of you mind here: )

Posted in Ministry of the Environment Ontario, Ontario government | 68 Comments

London court packed as groups try to stop large-scale wind developments


CTV Newsctvfalconer

Posted in Legal | 1 Comment

Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco: “It’s not much of a test if you first have to get sick in order to prove it”

do no harmColin Perkel, Globe and Mail
Families opposed to the erection of large-scale wind farms near their homes failed to prove the projects would cause any serious harm to their health, an Ontario government lawyer said Tuesday. In his opening comments, Matthew Horner told a Divisional Court panel that a review tribunal was correct to reject objections to the turbines based on health concerns.

“There’s no indication that the tribunal made a palpable and overriding error,” Horner said late on Day 2 of the hearing. He also said the tribunal was right to reject the residents’ “novel argument” that the approvals process violates the constitution.

Four families are asking the appellate court to throw out decisions by the Environment Review Tribunal that upheld approvals of three large-scale wind-energy projects. They also want the approvals process declared unconstitutional on the grounds that the law precludes them from arguing turbines might cause them harm. Read article

Posted in Ethics, Health, Human Rights | 11 Comments

Green energy laws ‘skewed’ in favour of turbines, lawyer contends

FalconerBy Kate Dubinski, The London Free Press
Lawyers representing four families battling wind turbine projects in Southwestern Ontario continued their legal arguments Tuesday in a London courtroom, arguing that the government is asking rural residents to bear the psychological and physical brunt of green energy projects.

“The legislative scheme is so skewed to fast-track green energy projects that it gives no meaningful way to appeal the projects,” said laywer Asha James, who represents the four families at the divisional court hearing. “(We) submit that given the state of current scientific knowledge, if an appellant is able to prove that there’s a reasonable expectation of harm, that is enough to stop a project.” The lawyers are asking the three Superior Court trial judges hearing an appeal of a decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal to rewrite the law because it’s unfair.

Tuesday was the second day of what was supposed to be a three-day hearing, but the lawyers for the defendants — starting with lawyers for the government — didn’t start their arguments until late in the day, so the hearing will likely go into Thursday. The government lawyers, who will be followed by lawyers representing three wind turbine projects, will argue that the original tribunal found that there wasn’t any serious harm to people living near wind turbines and that the Renewable Energy Act doesn’t deprive anyone of their fundamental rights, said Matthew Horner, one of the government lawyers. Read article

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Legal | Leave a comment

Airport Turbine Appeal

plane chatham airportMike James, Blackburn News
The appeal by a wind turbine company trying to avoid demolition of its turbines near the Chatham airport will start soon. Officials with GDF Suez say they filed their submission last month.

The Transport Canada deadline to submit the package is today. Government officials say the turbines exceed the height and distance restrictions around an airport, and must be torn down by the end of the year. Read article

Posted in Aviation Safety, Legal | 2 Comments

The Ontario Liberals could have eliminated coal power without wasting billions of our dollars on so-called ‘green’ energy

Wynne2Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
Every time the Kathleen Wynne Liberals are called on the carpet over skyrocketing electricity prices in Ontario, they go into their patented, “but we eliminated coal” routine. Meaning they eliminated polluting coal-fired electricity and replaced it with “clean” energy sources such as solar and wind power.

So today, let’s expose this claim for the nonsense it is. When Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals came to power in 2003, they promised to close all of Ontario’s coal-fired electricity generating stations, which at the time were supplying 25% of Ontario’s power needs, by 2007. That was completely unrealistic and the Liberals didn’t in fact eliminate coal until this year.

Meanwhile, in 2014, wind and solar power provide about 4% of Ontario’s electricity. So even for the Liberals — whose math skills are not the greatest, as evidenced by the fact they’ve doubled Ontario’s debt to almost $300 billion since coming to power in 2003 — it ought to be obvious you can’t replace 25% of the system with 4% of it. Read article

Posted in Ontario government | 16 Comments

Ontario’s wind turbine approval process faces constitutional challenge

sean trish drennanFinancial PostDrew Hasselback
Governments love windmills, people who live near them hate them. The result is a beautiful recipe for lawyers. On Monday, lawyer Julian Falconer will rise in a London, Ont. courtroom to ask for a judicial order blocking the development of three wind farms near Lake Huron.

Mr. Falconer is one of the country’s top constitutional and human rights lawyers. He represented the Smith family in a lawsuit into the death of Ashley Smith in custody. He worked on the Ipperwash Inquiry. He represented Maher Arar in a suit against the federal government over his rendition and torture in Syria. The list goes on. Point is, Mr. Falconer takes a special interest in holding government to account.

On Monday he’ll be taking on windmills. He wants Ontario’s Divisional Court to overturn the regulatory approvals of three projects, the St. Columban Wind and K2 Wind Energy project in Huron County, and the SP Armow Wind project near Kincardine, Ont.

His clients, who live near the projects, fear the noise and vibration of the wind turbines will trigger a host of serious health problems. Mr. Falconer will argue in court that Ontario’s process for approving wind farms violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Provincial legislation says anyone challenging a wind farm project before Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal must prove “serious harm” to human health. Mr. Falconer says that threshold is unfair because it is too high. Read article

Posted in OWR | 3 Comments

Lawyer calls turbines “nightmare neighbours”

july aug 2014 218Deb Van Brenk, London Free Press
Wind turbines are like the “nightmare neighbours” that are “constantly noisy, constantly in your face,” says a lawyer looking to change the rules that govern turbine approvals. Julian Falconer told a divisional court of appeal that the nuisances might not be enough to burst eardrums, “but that neighbour slowly drives you crazy.”

It’s the first constitutional appeal that’s made it to divisional court about the province’s Green Energy Act process to approve the controversial turbines

A lawyer for the Coalition Against Industrial Turbines of Ontario says the case has impact all across the province, and well beyond the three projects (in Goderich, Seaforth and Kincardine) where these disputed projects are planned. A crowd of more than 70 people are in court today to support the appeal. Read article

Posted in Legal | 10 Comments

Suncor threatens Plympton-Wyoming with $18,000/day fine if wind project delayed

suncorThe Independent
“Basically, we couldn’t stop them.” That from Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper after Suncor Energy received its permits to start building the Cedar Point Wind Energy Centre. It’s a move the municipality has fought at every turn, but in the end, had to allow or face another court battle and the possibility of stiff financial penalties. The County of Lambton, which handles planning issues for Plympton-Wyoming, issued the permits – worth $378,000 – Friday.

Suncor spokesman Jason Valliant says the permits are “an important step in the construction process” adding the company will now complete a detailed construction plan. He expects the earliest the shovel will be in the ground is January. But getting the permits didn’t come without a fight. Valliant says Suncor has a contract with the Ontario Power Authority which requires it to have the turbines online producing power by 2016. “Failing to meet the terms of the contract will result in penalties to Suncor,” he said in an email to The Independent.

But Plympton-Wyoming was doing everything in its power to delay the process. The Ministry of the Environment gave final approval for the project in late August but by early October, the company had yet to receive permits. Read article

Posted in Municipalities of Ontario, Wind Industry | 9 Comments

High hydro costs due to provincial bungling

CHATHAM-KENT, ONTARIO, INTERNAIONAL POWER GDF SUEZ from Talbot Trail 15Peter Epp, London Free Press
Hydro One has issued 10 suggestions on how homeowners and others who use electricity to heat their homes can reduce their monthly bill. But not one of those tips mention the major reason electricity bills have risen the past year. Hydro One’s first tip is to ensure trim on windows, between the frame and the house, are filled and secure. “As much as 13% of your home’s heat loss could be escaping through the gaps,” Hydro One says.

Other tips suggest closing off air registers in unused parts of the house, moving furniture away from vents, and installing a programmable thermostat. Some tips are ridiculously obvious. “On sunny winter days, trap warm air inside by opening window coverings to let the warmth of the sun in,” Hydro One advises. “Once the sun goes down, close window coverings to help keep the warmth in..” All of this is wonderful, and perhaps necessary for some homeowners, but you have to wonder if these tips will make any appreciable difference in electricity bills that are rising not because of leaky windows or unfortunately-placed sofas, but because of the government’s bungling in what was once one of the best-managed public utilities anywhere. Read article

Posted in Subsidies / Costs | 15 Comments

The Solution To “Wind Turbine Study” Pollution Is Dilution‏

CirclesAs one reads the various comments about the Health Canada Wind Turbine Study, there’s so much that’s wrong/mangled/bungled that one gets bug-eyed with all the conflicting statements in the study summary. Is anyone doing quality control here?  Denise Wolfe wrote an excellent critique detailing the numerous errors and inconsistencies; but, one thing in particular caught my eye: the extension of the survey area to a 10 km radius beyond a wind turbine.  Why was that done? Dr. Alec Salt once neatly sumed up what this little trick is about. Read on:

Why pro-wind studies often use a 10 km radius

by Alec Salt, Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine

Last week I was reading of an Australian study, by a Professor Gary Wittert, which had shown sleeping pill usage for those living near wind turbines was no greater than the general population . The study compared those living within 10 km of turbines with those living more than 10 km away. There have been similar studies with property values using a 5 mile or 10 km radius that showed property values are not affected by wind turbines.  Had you ever thought why they pick a 10 km radius?

Consider this graphic. It shows 1 km bands with the calculated area for each band shown in blue.  Let’s keep it easy and assume that households are evenly distributed and there is one household for every 10 square kilometers.

So, within 2 km (the two innermost bands) of the turbine, the area is 3.1 + 9.4 km2 (=12.5 km2) which would represent 1.2 households.

Now let’s consider the two outermost (9 km and 10 km) bands. The area of these bands is 53.4 + 59.7 km2 (= 113.1 km2) which represents 113 households. So the outermost bands have about TEN TIMES the number of households of those living within 2 km, making sure that the contribution of the inner bands is diluted, swamped, covered up or however else you would describe it. Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Government | 5 Comments

Niagara Wind Project approval appealed

democracy liberty freedomBy Dan Dakin, Welland Tribune
The company planning to build one of Canada’s largest industrial wind turbine farms in Niagara has been given the approval to move forward.   Niagara Region Wind Corp. said Wednesday it is on track to build its 77-turbine wind farm in Niagara region and Haldimand county, after the Ministry of the Environment issued its Renewable Energy Approval last week.

The turbines being installed — the majority to be located in West Lincoln — are some of the largest available at three megawatts each. The total development has a capacity of 230 MW, enough to power 70,000 homes and make it the fifth-largest wind farm in North America. “The is confirmation of all the work we’ve done over the past seven and a half years,” said Merv Croghan, CEO of NRWC.

But while the REA is one big hurdle, the private company is still a number of steps away from being able to start construction. “We’re moving forward with our very detailed construction design plans,” Croghan said. “We’re getting into the real micro detailing of the project.” Read article

Posted in Environmental Review Tribunal | 26 Comments

Tribunal hears appeal of Suncor wind project approval

ERTSarnia Observer, Paul Morden
An Aberarder couple is concerned the health of their children will be impacted by Suncor’s plan to build wind turbines near their home, Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal heard Wednesday. Asha James, a lawyer for Kimberley and Richard Bryce, spoke about those concerns during her opening statement on the first day of testimony before the tribunal at the Camlachie Community Centre.

The Bryce family, and Lambton County, appealed the provincial government’s environmental approval for the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project Suncor Energy plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. James said two of the Bryce family’s four children have been diagnosed with communication disorders and are sensitive to noise.

“The youngest child, Luke, suffers from ear infections and has difficulty sleeping,” James said. “The Bryce family have a legitimate fear that the eight turbines that will be erected around their home will cause harm to their health.” Read article

Posted in Environmental Review Tribunal | 1 Comment

Hot air from the wind power lobby

Tom Adams and Ross McKitrick, Financial Post
Wind and solar power are key drivers behind Ontario’s surging electricity prices
On Oct. 30 we published a Fraser Institute study entitled “What Goes Up… Ontario’s Soaring Electricity Prices and How to Get Them Down.” We analyzed the factors driving the rise in Ontario’s electricity prices, focusing on the so-called Global Adjustment (GA), which is a non-market surcharge set by the province to fund payments to electricity producers for above-market revenue guarantees. Our econometric analysis allowed us to track not only the impact of direct payments to power generating firms but also indirect effects arising when one distorted production decision subsequently distorts the incentives of others, boosting overall provincial liabilities. Among other things we found that adding wind power to the grid increases costs by about three times the amount of the direct payments to wind turbine operators, with the interaction effects making up the difference.

On November 3, The Canadian Wind Energy Association issued a response to our study prepared by the consulting firm Power Advisory LLC. CanWEA’s press release acknowledges that electricity prices are increasing but claims that these changes benefit Ontarians. While it is certainly true that rising prices — up 52% since 2004 in inflation-adjusted terms — have been enormously beneficial to CanWEA and its members, they are harmful to Ontario consumers and firms. It is important to understand the real factors behind price trends, and not simply to take at face value the claims of an industry group with an obvious conflict of interest in the matter. Read article

Posted in Subsidies / Costs, Wind Industry | 11 Comments

Wind turbine opponents reject study

DSCN4134London Free Press, John Miner
The legal battle to halt wind farms won’t be abandoned because of a Health Canada study released last week, opponents of the turbines say. The Health Canada study dismissed claims wind farms cause medical problems for people living nearby.

“It makes no difference at all,” said Anita Frayne of Safe Wind Energy for All Residents, a Huron County group backing a lawsuit that claims the Ontario government didn’t exercise due diligence when crafting the Green Energy and Economy Act. Frayne said the widely publicized Health Canada study was only a preliminary analysis of the data and it hasn’t been peer reviewed. “It doesn’t provide any ­definitive answers on its own. I think the real question is, why did they even decide to release this at this point?” she said.

In publishing the study on its website, Health Canada said it was trying to be more open and transparent.​ Despite the study’s findings, Frayne said, opposition to the wind farms continues to gain momentum. Read article

Posted in Canadian Government, Health | 3 Comments

Queen’s University professor disputes wind turbine report

Professor (Emeritus) Ph.D. (Leeds)

Professor (Emeritus) Ph.D. (Leeds)

Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
KINGSTON, Ont. – One of the key experts backing opposition to a wind energy development on Amherst Island said a recent Health Canada study is more politics than science. John Harrison, a Queen’s University professor emeritus in physics and a member of the Association to Protect Amherst Island, located near Kingston, Ont., said the report contradicts itself and was not peer reviewed.

In a report released last week, Health Canada said there is no link between noise from wind turbines and adverse health effects. Health Canada scientists looked at communities that host wind farms. Two dozen government, academic and industry experts contributed to the study. Researchers examined 1,200 participants living within 2 km of wind turbines in Ontario and P.E.I.

Scientists found that while some residents living near wind turbines noted some indicators of stress — sleep disruption, headaches — there was nothing to indicate those stressors were the result of the wind turbines. Harrison pointed out that the report later states that annoyance caused by the noise from wind turbines is linked to sleep problems, illness, stress and quality of life. Read article

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

Health Canada Study flawed: Statement by Order of Canada physician Dr McMurtry supporting critique by Denise Wolfe


mcmurtryCV McMURTRY

Posted in Canadian Government, Ethics, Health | 40 Comments

Wind Action Groups respond to Health Canada Study


Posted in OWR | 7 Comments