Hold off on wind turbines, says speaker

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Dr. Robert McMurtry has some advice for municipal leaders fighting to block development of industrial wind turbines: do everything possible to delay the process until next October.

That’s when McMurtry, a former dean of medicine at the University of Western Ontario, believes Ontarians will elect a new government, and local decision-making powers will be restored to municipalities.

Under the Liberals’ Green Energy Act, municipalities can do little to stop a development, he notes.

“Hire a good legal counsel who understands the options available that can hold up the process until after the election,” says McMurtry, who was one of the speakers last Thursday at a information meeting at the Arden Park in Stratford hosted by West & East Against Turbines, a small grassroots group of citizens who are concerned about the impact wind turbines place upon human health and the environment.

Perth-Wellington MPP and Minister of the Environment John Wilkinson did not attend last week’s meeting.
He said it is important that he remain impartial throughout the process.

“The Ministry of the Environment has the responsibility of approving or rejecting any renewable energy projects. It’s important for me that an application will be judged on its merits or lack thereof,” he adds.

The Ministry has taken control over future renewable energy projects because it’s the province, not the municipality, that has the legislative authority to shut down a project if it fails to meet regulation, says Wilkinson, who adds a project will not be approved unless the developer meets all requirements, including an “extensive consultation” with both the municipality and the public.  “Though the province has the final say on these projects, we will say no,” he adds.

Wilkinson says applications and the Ministry’s final decision are each available for public review, and that anyone can appeal the Ministry’s decision or take the matter to court if they choose.  “The process is designed so the public has a chance to say what their issues are,” he adds.

Since 2008, McMurtry has been calling for an independent epidemiological study into health effects from wind turbines. He says the province’s current regulations and standards do not protect people from the noise, both audible and inaudible, that is generated by a turbine. He claims government guidelines for noise levels and turbine setback distances are computer-generated, not based on scientific evidence.

He says the province has yet to produce any peer-reviewed evidence that show turbines are safe, adding, “There’s no doubt in my mind people are suffering adverse health effects.”

Wilkinson says the province’s regulations (a setback distance of 550 metres and noise not exceeding 40 decibels) are based on science and the recommendations from Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

McMurtry says a turbine is on average 22 per cent efficient, and that wind energy will never fully replace traditional energy sources. He would like to see the government invest more research into other sources, such as hydroelectricity, electric crystals and nano diamonds.

10 thoughts on “Hold off on wind turbines, says speaker

  1. “Perth-Wellington MPP and Minister of the Environment John Wilkinson did not attend last week’s meeting.
    He said it is important that he remain impartial throughout the process.”

    How is he “impartial” when the GEA prejudices everything the government does?
    By now the MOE and the MNR are complicit in the environmental disaster which is IWT and they should all be purged along with the politicians next October.

  2. “inson says the province’s regulations (a setback distance of 550 metres and noise not exceeding 40 decibels) are based on science and the recommendations from Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.”

    THAT IS A BOLD-FACED LIE!

    To quote Dr King’s report (Section 2.2.2 and Conclusions) directly:

    “Little information is available on actual measurements of sound levels generated from wind turbines and other environmental sources. Since there is no widely accepted protocol for the measurement of noise from wind turbines, current regulatory requirements are based on modelling”

    “The review also identified that sound measurements at residential areas around wind turbines and comparisons with sound levels around other rural and urban areas, to assess actual ambient noise levels prevalent in Ontario, is a key data gap that could be addressed. An assessment of noise levels around wind power developments and other residential environments, including monitoring for
    sound level compliance, is an important prerequisite to making an informed decision on whether epidemiological studies looking at health outcomes will be useful.”

    In other words:

    IT WOULD BE USEFUL IF THIS SHIT WAS ACTUALLY BEING MEASURED!!!!

    IT IS NOT! THEREFORE, THERE IS NO “SCIENCE”!!!!!

    AARRGGHH!!!!

    B.B.W

  3. Are we sure that after next October the Municipalities will have their power to determine the siting of IWT’s?

    Has Hudak promised that?…………………..is there something in these statements that we are unaware of?……………..

    But I digress……..Hudak in 2007 was 100% committed to Green Energy and his Party started this outrage. Has he had an awakening?.

    It is rather laughable that anyone who has endured the past results of Political decision making in this Province would put any FAITH in future Politicians to “save us” from these follies!

    I could be wrong and surely hope I am but I don’t think so………….Actions speak louder than Words!

  4. BBW, here is what MOE says:
    http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2869191

    “Kate Jordan, Ministry of the Environment spokeswoman, said citizens have the right to file an appeal.

    However, she defended the province’s process, noting it has safeguards and a chance for public consultation.

    “Certainly we believe we’ve put in place an approvals process that is protective of the environment and also of human health,” she said. “We’ve based it on science and we have tested the facts that are established in it.”

    Jordan said a consultant report on low-frequency noise will be available soon.

    “We’re awaiting that one,” she said.

    A report on audible noise is expected early next year.”

    I will bet noise reports will be released just prior to the start of appeals so that they will impact on outcome of appeals.

  5. “A report on audible noise is expected early next year.”

    I’ll bet $$$$$$$$$$$ to Dunkin Donuts that this 9 year belated noise report will be released in Sept 2011 just in time for the October election hoopla which says “See how wonderful the Liberals are” and then the crucial report on infrasound will be released IF you re-elect the Liberals!

  6. Incredibly, NO REPORT THAT I CAN FIND both pro and con that actually contains real world measurements SUPPORTS the wind industry. Even those reports SPONSORED BY the wind industry!

    this one off the CanWEA sight:

    http://www.canwea.ca/images/uploads/File/CanWEA_Infrasound_Study_Final.pdf

    Talks at length about “G” weighted sound pressure (infrasound) and gives various measured readings:

    “whether one was close to the Vestas V80 1.8 MW turbines or far from them. The overall G-weighted levels were 79 dBG at 60 m from a turbine, 81 dBG at 330 m, and 74 dBG at 700 m.
    At a site in Ontario. Overall G-weighted sound levels were measured to be 80 dBG at 60 m, 67 dBG at 300 m, and 59 dBG at a distance greater than 3 km from a GE 1.5 MW turbine.”

    Now for those who don’t know, the WHO recommends the use of “C” weighted sound pressure measurements when dealing with noise with a strong low frequency component. The ISO recommends “G” weighting. Although not identical, these two sound pressure weightings are close enough to be considered essentially the same.

    Why is this important? The WHO strongly recommends that noise DOES NOT EXCEED 30 dBA (nighttime) ESPECIALLY where children are involved! AND that the low frequency component (“C or G”) NOT EXCEED the audible component by more then 10db:

    http://www.who.int/docstore/peh/noise/guidelines2.html

    You will note that the CanWEA report above shows sound pressure readings of 59 dBG 3 KM FROM A TURBINE!!!!

    EVEN ACCORDING TO THE MEASUREMENTS IN CANWEA’S OWN REPORT, INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES ARE HARMFUL TO HEALTH!!!

    AARRGGHH!!!

    B.B.W.

  7. BBW – your earlier comment on this thread (and I quote) “THAT IS A BOLD-FACED LIE!” is quite correct for more than the reason you articulate….

    …the suggestion that the 550 metre minimum setback distance was based on the CMOH’s report is preposterous – since her report post-dates the regulation by many months!!!

    The continuous lying is repugnant – I wonder if Arlene King ever expected she would be abused, corrupted, debased …. to this extent. It is not nice to be made a courtesan for the Industrial Wind Industry, is it??

  8. “He would like to see the government invest more research into other sources, such as hydroelectricity, electric crystals and nano diamonds.”

    Electric crystals and nano-diamonds???

    Although piezoelectric crystals can in fact generate very high voltages and are currently used commercially for that purpose, generating ignition sparks for gas appliances and lighters is a far cry from generating electricity on a industrial scale.

    I am compelled to question the wisdom or necessity of developing new generation technologies while humanity continues to ignore those that have already been developed. Before we decide where we’re going it seems prudent and pragmatic to ascertain where we have already been.

    Perhaps the good doctor should stick to medicine.

    B.B.W.

  9. “or take the matter to court if they choose. ” This is the Ministers advice? Why on earth would he think that we “choose” to go to court. One only does that if they are backed into a corner with no choice, who wants to spend time and money fighting the government which is supposed to work for them?

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