Port Elgin residents hear of infrasound worries at public meeting

By Sarah Sloan , Shoreline Beacon
In their latest effort to shed light on the possible adverse health impacts of Industrial wind turbines (IWT), Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy, or STOP, held a second public meeting Thursday evening at Lakeshore Recreation in Port Elgin. It was no surprise there was a large turnout of concerned residents and supporters for STOP, an advocacy group who has been relentless in their fight to halt the operation of the Canadian Auto Worker’s 500kw turbine at the Family Education Centre, which they believe will directly impact the health and safety of 4,000 Saugeen Shores residents.  Read article

12 thoughts on “Port Elgin residents hear of infrasound worries at public meeting

  1. Reality Check!

    About the Green Energy Act Alliance:

    The Alliance’s vision is to make Ontario a global leader in green energy development
    through the use of renewable energy,
    distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of jobs,
    economic prosperity, energy security, while ensuring climate protection.

    Founding groups include:

    the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association,
    Community Power Fund,
    the David Suzuki Foundation,
    Environmental Defence,
    the First Nations Energy Alliance,
    the Ivey Foundation,
    the Ontario Federation of Agriculture
    and the Pembina Institute.


    Now what?
    Looking for someone to thank!

  2. Regarding Torontonians’ perceptions of us as NIMBYs. This is really a complex issue, where at the end of the day when the Public Inquiry is under way it will come down to a question of whether the costs (financial, social, environmental) were proportional to the benefits delivered. When we’re out there trying to educate others there often isn’t enough time to fully describe all the costs and benefits and finally get to the point in the discussion where we can finally weigh the costs vs. benefits. So for this reason, it’s very important to choose carefully what you’re going to try and get across.

    The argument that wind turbines are “expensive” (see, Tim Hudak) doesn’t get very far with people in Toronto because they say, “well, our society already indicated that we were willing to pay more for “green” energy, and so, we’re not surprised.” And if McGuinty is allowed to exit this because “Ontario decided they didn’t want to pay more for green energy,” well then, he gets off the hook pretty easily, considering what he’s done to Victims of IWTs, and the fact that our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have to pay for this.

    IMO, it’s easiest to describe how much of a disaster this is by simply stating that there is not an adequate separation distance between these industrial activities and residential use; and that wind power is a poor form of power procution because it is intermittent and unreliable.

    And of course, people need to be proud to say we’re NIMBYs, because it seems the only way people start to care about this issue is when it ends up in their backyards. From my personal experience, even if the proper expropriation process had started BEFORE they built the turbines, and if I had been provided the honest facts at that time, I still would have objected because any “benefits” derived simply don’t warrant the right to expropriate. We have to stand up and say, “if you want to carry on with these shenanigans, fine, but you’re not going to do it in my backyard!”

    • You make a very good point S&D. Occasionally when I am speaking to some people who haven’t been following this issue they seem surprised that I am so dead set against IWTs. When they want to know why I frankly don’t know where to start there’s such a very long list of reasons. But, most people can relate to the idea that 550 metres is far too close to someones home to put a several 40 story structures.

      • That make you sick. Office towers would be preferable.

  3. Hey Shocked and disgusted,
    you say,
    ‘even if the proper expropriation process had started BEFORE they built the turbines’

    My question has to be:
    Who was expropriated, to host a wind turbine(s)?
    I thought the landowners were all ‘willing hosts’.

    Have I missed something?

    • I’ve re read your entire sentence:
      ‘From my personal experience, even if the proper expropriation process had started BEFORE they built the turbines, and if I had been provided the honest facts at that time, I still would have objected because any “benefits” derived simply don’t warrant the right to expropriate.’

      I’m not getting what you are saying.

      • Neighbours property rights have been taken away and this is a form of expropriation but no formal legal proceedings were used to do this. No compensation either.
        Can’t sell or build on property that is between their receptor house and an IWT due to the required setbacks.

      • My apologies, I knew when I posted that comment that I could have done a better job and could have been more clear.

        I’m just thinking about what’s going to happen when the court, or society, or whomever, recognizes that it is unsafe to operate a wind turbine within 2 km of a house. What are they going to do about all the wind turbines that are already up, some as close as 550 metres, and some even closer than that.

        If you look at the population of people who lives <2km from a WT, many have signed contracts with the developer, meaning they've relinquished many of their rights. And then there's the rest of us. Will we be made to sell our homes to the operator, or give up our right to a safe setback, or will the turbines be forced to be turned off? That's what gets me thinking about what is "expropriation". (Of course, that situation will not be "expropriation" because expropriation happens BEFORE a development goes through; one doesn't bulldoze through someone's house while they're still inside and THEN begin the process of expropriation.)

        On the other hand, if the regulators had approached this situation recognizing that the "nuisance" of wind turbines warrants a 2km setback, and if wind turbines were deemed "critical infrastructure" then it's possible that the developers could have "expropriated" our houses before they went ahead, or possibly they would have come up with a situation where you could "waive" your right to the setback if you chose to stay. (I don't think this would be appropriate because parents should not be able to choose to put their children in harm's way, but… that was, in effect, allowed to happen under the Green Energy Act where "participant" parents could choose to put their "non-participant" children at risk by choosing to live closer than 550 metres…) Nonetheless, the point is, in order to expropriate and force people out of their homes, it has to be shown that the project has societal benefits that warrant the expropriation. Wind turbines do not deliver on the "benefits" front, so I would argue that they shouldn't be allowed to expropriate.

        The Barbara Frey and Peter Hadden Study, "Wind Turbine and Proximity to Homes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Noise on Health," in Chapter 4, talks about the concept of "proportionality."

        And the State of Victoria in Australia enacted Amendment VC82 which prohibits a wind facility within 2 km unless the owner has given written consent. It's not clear whether this a "Veto."

    • If people are forced out of their homes who says anyone has to purchase the property? If the property taxes are not paid within the specified time then the property will be owned by the government. The IWT owners get away free. This kind of distressed property won’t bring much at property tax sales/auctions. Maybe only the vaccant land value. The government can’t afford to hang on to very much distressed property with no revenues coming from this kind of property.

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