Ontario wants wind turbines closer than 550m from homes: “new models are taller and quieter” ?!

2014_05140205Just when you didn’t think it could get worse, the Ontario government shows they are more vicious than imaginable. They want to put LARGER turbines CLOSER to homes, farms and schools! They are looking to do away with the meagre 550m setback to accomplish this.

Comment Period: 45 days: submissions may be made between August 04, 2015 and September 18, 2015

Environmental Registry

Updates and clarifications to the “Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms”

Description of Regulation:
O. Reg. 359/09 Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Act (REA regulation) is intended to support the Ontario Government’s Green Energy initiative to expand renewable energy generation, encourage energy conservation and promote the creation of clean energy jobs, while upholding our commitment to protecting the environment. The renewable energy approval (REA) process is based on clearly communicated complete submission requirements, whereby proponents of renewable energy projects know in advance what studies and reports are expected of them in preparing a complete application for a REA.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is proposing amendments to the REA regulation to reflect the most recent Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 2013 Noise Standard, “Wind Turbine Generator Systems: Acoustic Noise Measurement Techniques”. The CSA Standard is used by proponents for the purposes of determining the sound power level of wind turbines under the REA regulation. The amendments also address advancements in wind turbine technology, issues related to operational flexibility and continued protection of noise receptors. An amendment is also being proposed that relates to the natural feature protection and assessment sections of the REA regulation to reflect current practices in the province. Additional minor amendments are also being proposed to clarify other aspects of the REA regulation.

The ministry is also proposing updates to the Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms. For more details on the proposed changes to the Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms, a link has been provided to the associated Environmental Registry posting.

Descriptions of the key proposed regulatory amendments can be found below.

Adoption of 2013 CSA standard (CAN/CSA-IEC 61400-11, Wind turbines — Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques) 

MOECC’s REA Regulation currently references the CSA 2007 Noise Standard, “Wind Turbine Generator Systems: Acoustic Noise Measurement Techniques”.

An amendment is being proposed to adopt the most recent 2013 CSA standard (CAN/CSA-IEC 61400-11, Wind turbines — Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques) to replace the existing CSA 2007 Noise Standard.

The CSA standard is referenced in the definition of “sound power level” in the REA Regulation and is used by proponents to determine wind facility classification. It is also referenced in the specifications report, which all proponents of Class 3, 4 and 5 wind facilities are required to submit as part of a complete REA application.
Proposed Modifications to the Definition of “sound power level”

To reflect the ministry’s conservative approach to dealing with noise emissions from wind turbines and to support the adoption of the 2013 CSA standard, three amendments are being proposed to the definition of “sound power level” in the REA Regulation to provide clarity:

Clarify that the definition of “sound power level” refers to the rating expressed as an “apparent” value.

This amendment would re-affirm MOECC’s current requirement of the use of the “apparent” sound power level when conducting a noise assessment, and is reflective of the value used by other jurisdictions.
Modify definition to require the inclusion of the positive uncertainty value.

The ministry does not currently require the inclusion of manufacturers’ uncertainty values in its definition of “sound power level”. The “uncertainty value” is a +/- value assigned under the CSA standard to account for potential range of uncertainty in the sound power level rating of a wind turbine.

The ministry is taking the conservative approach in requiring proponents to include the positive uncertainty value, given by a manufacturer of the wind turbines under the CSA Standard, as a conservative value to be accounted for in noise assessments for their project.
Clarify that proponents are not required to use a rounded value when conducting a noise assessment in accordance with the ministry’s Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms.

Proposed Changes to the Classification of Wind Facilities and the Application of the 550 Setback 

Due to technological advancements of wind turbines, such that new models are taller and quieter, amendments are being proposed to the wind facility classification table and to the 550 metre setback. The purpose of the proposed changes is to ensure that all wind turbines used on a commercial scale continue to meet all of the comprehensive standards in the REA regulation that were designed to be protective of human health and the environment.

The proposed regulatory amendment is to include a wind turbine hub height of 70 metres as additional criteria to the existing wind facility classification requirements of greatest sound power level (expressed in dBA). Complementary amendments would also be made throughout the regulation including the provisions governing the noise setbacks. 

Proposed Exemptions for Changes to a Renewable Energy Project after a REA has Been Issued 

To date, the ministry has issued a large number of amendments to existing REAs for minor project changes.

To address issues related to operational flexibility, an amendment is being proposed to exempt proponents from having to obtain an amendment to an REA for specified changes to the project that are not expected to have any negative environmental effects and/or are already occurring at the project location assessed in the original REA application. These specified changes cannot be within any of the setbacks in Part V of the Regulation other than s.55. Proponents would be required to provide notification of the change to the Director and the ministry’s District Manager in each district in which the project location is situated for record-keeping and monitoring purposes. Proponents would also be required to post the notification of the change on their website for public awareness purposes.

Specific changes to a project that would be exempt from an amendment to an REA may include:

A change that results in the reduction in the size of the project location, provided that there are no changes to the renewable energy generation facility;
A change in respect of a communications tower
A change in respect of a fiber optic communications line

Proposed Changes to the Definition of “Noise Receptor”

An amendment is being proposed to the definition of “noise receptor” to encourage timely information sharing so that planned noise receptors (e.g. homes, schools) surrounding a project are properly assessed and accounted for by proponents.

Currently, proponents contact municipalities to obtain site plan and building permit information to account for potential noise receptors that have been approved, but not yet constructed.

The ministry is proposing to amend the definition of “noise receptor” to specify that in order for an approved but not as of yet constructed building or structure to be considered a noise receptor, the municipality or landowner must disclose the site plan approval or building permit to the proponent within 60 days of the proponent making a written request for it.

Proposed Natural Heritage Amendments 

Through the Renewable Energy Approval process, proponents are required to address potential impacts to the natural environment, including significant natural features (e.g. provincially significant wetlands, significant woodlands, and significant wildlife habitat).This requirement is implemented in O. Reg. 359/09 under the EPA through both a setback from significant natural features, and natural heritage assessment requirements related to natural feature evaluation and mitigation of potential environmental effects. Reports associated with these requirements are reviewed and confirmed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) as part of the REA process.

An amendment is proposed to align the area of land that is to be searched and analyzed as part of a records review with the land that is to be investigated as part of the site investigation.

An amendment is also being proposed to revise the definition of “woodlands” to align with Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), 2014. This relates to the natural feature protection and assessment sections of the REA regulation and reflects current practices in the province.

This amendment would align the geographic extent for determining woodlands with the 2014 PPS, requiring proponents to use Ecoregions instead of the Canadian Shield.

Other Minor Amendments 

Minor amendments are being proposed to clarify policy and to ensure language used in the Regulation is consistent with other regimes.

Transition Provisions 

To take into account the new amendments, a provision is being proposed that will allow proponents of projects who have entered into a power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) or Independent Electricity Systems Operator (IESO) in respect of the supply of renewable energy from the facility and who have submitted a Renewable Energy Approval application or an Environmental Compliance Approval application to MOECC before January 1, 2016 to continue to apply the pre-2016 sound power level requirements in accordance with the previous REA Regulation.For proponents of projects who have submitted a Renewable Energy Approval application or an Environmental Compliance Approval application to MOECC on or after January 1, 2016, the new 2016 sound power level requirements apply.

Proponents of projects that propose changes to a wind facility after being issued an approval before January 1, 2016 would be subject to the new sound power level requirements if the change was not previously approved and consists of any one of the following changes:

Changes in the location(s) of wind turbine(s).
Increase(s) in sound power level(s) of wind turbine(s).
Addition(s) of new wind turbine(s) to the facility.
Class 3 wind facilities with a hub height of 70 metres or more (excluding blade length) that were granted an REA prior to January 1, 2016, will not be subject to the 550 setback requirements unless changes are made to those turbines that increase their sound power level.

In respect of the amendment to the definition of woodland, the current definition will continue to apply to in respect of projects for which a REA application is made on or before December 31, 2015. The current rules that apply to projects for which a project notice was issued before December 31, 2010 are proposed to continue to apply.

For all other regulatory amendments, no transition provisions apply and all associated rules would be in effect as of January 1, 2016.

The proposed transition provisions ensure clear rules for applicability of the proposed amendments exist, and take account of projects already significantly underway.
Purpose of Regulation:
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is proposing regulatory amendments to O. Reg. 359/09 under the Environmental Protection Act. The proposed amendments include adoption of the most recent 2013 CSA standard (CAN/CSA-IEC 61400-11, Wind turbines — Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques) are intended to provide more clarity to proponents of renewable energy projects in conducting noise assessments, reflect changes in technology, increase operational flexibility, ensure that the ministry’s regulatory standards remain protective of human health and the environment, and maintain the original policy intent of the regulation.
Other Information:
Amendments are being proposed that relate to natural feature protection and assessment sections of the REA regulation to align requirements with current practices in the province.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Contact:
Joshua Cornfield
Senior Program Advisor
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Resources Conservation Branch
Policy Division
300 Water St.
Peterborough, ON

Public Consultation:
This proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting August 04, 2015. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by September 18, 2015 to the individual listed under “Contact”. Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line.

All comments received prior to September 18, 2015 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 012-4493.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. You will not receive a formal response to your comment, however, relevant comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.
Regulatory Impact Statement:
The proposed amendments will, in some cases, increase work for proponents but will contribute to more robust and accurate noise assessment reports and therefore assist proponents in meeting the requirements of the REA process in a timelier manner.

All comments on this proposal must be directed to:
Stephanie Liu
Senior Program Advisor
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Environmental Programs Division
Modernization of Approvals Branch
Green Energy Approvals
135 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto Ontario
M4V 1P5
Phone: (416) 212-0313
To submit a comment online, click the submit button below:
Additional Information:

The documents linked below are provided for the purposes of enhancing public consultation.
All links will open in a new window
1. O.Reg. 359/09
2. Environmental Registry posting 012-4601
(Updates and Clarifications to the “Nois
e Guidelines for Wind Farms

78 thoughts on “Ontario wants wind turbines closer than 550m from homes: “new models are taller and quieter” ?!

  1. I was sorry to hear about the change in setbacks from the 550m (1804 feet?). However, in the US the federal standards seems to be 1000 feet (suggested) which was probably taken from when the wind turbines were much smaller. In our midwestern county the ordinance is1250 feet from the neighbors home – which basically means we lose use of the backyard. And, are definately going to have noise problems. Tried to get it changed to be from the property line, but too many board members “believed” the wind company or had sign a lease agreement.

  2. Wind turbines that are part of earlier projects commissioned before the Green Energy & Economy Act of 2009, such as Mike Crawley/AIM PowerGen’s projects in Norfolk County, Ontario, are regularly observed covered in oil that has leaked out of the nacelle and smattered the tower and surrounding earth.

    In Clear Creek, Norfolk County, the turbines are Vestas 1.65-MW models, notoriously damaging the world over, and were constructed as close as 350 metres from homes.

    No doubt the owners would like to replace the machines (it’s been a rough 8 years), and would this regulation amendment permit them to construct new turbines at the same locations as the originals, which are significantly less than 550 metres from homes?

  3. “Ontario” wants wind turbines closer
    here is something to ponder about,they say ONTARIO wants this.
    My question to all is who is Mr. or Mrs Ontario?
    Can you talk to this Ontario person?
    Can see this Ontario person?
    What amazes me as how we are so programmed to read right pass this crap they set before our eyes.
    Do you real eyes that your acting with these actors as fiction?
    You even call yourselves fiction names like even good ol corporate citizens
    All fake fiction.
    Time to pull the vail
    Fiction land or Alice in Wonderland.
    ONTARIO is nothing more than a corporate fiction and you claim to have a member ‘ship” carrying I.D to it which is also fiction
    Be real!

    • So please help us farmer! Are you a farmer. Or is it a fictional name. ?? If we got the number for you .. What will you say??
      And who will you be speaking to … Beside the devil or his advocate .
      I just hope you are not here to ridicule the real concerned citizens of ontario and there fight to stop corporate greed ..
      And the invasive ruin of rural land and ways

      • Get me the number of Mr Ontario and i’ll record the conversation if you like
        i am not here to ridicule anyone only fictional corporate fictional citizens as they have no say in the crown’s jurisdiction,consider too them as dead fictions. I been there myself as a fictional legal namer and feel your anger as I lost a lot and did not want to move.
        I knew there is something very wrong with this cystem as i have had a lot of encounters with crown doing many wrongs and could never get why are they doing this to us.
        i lost the revenge as it does not work against them that powers our lives as slaves
        Yes, farmer is fictional but not a legal registered name and have my own name I chosen myself,my own creation,not registered as I like to use it for myself and for other love ones.
        i chose farmer in here as I was farming and moved off the farm as you can guess why
        So now I try to be a farmer here planting these seeds,and chance on these seeds coming to fruit
        As a farmer I can only do my best the rest is up to you to overstand these powers that be.
        Screw the understanding them,thats giving in to there realm of demonic cyst em
        Much love .

      • 1. Can you hear me?
        I am a Canadian citizen – not a ‘world citizen’!!!!!

        2. Justin Trudeau – a liberal – thinks we should all vote for him
        and become – ‘world citizens’;
        thus giving up a Sovereign Canada and its Parliament

        3. So does Justin Trudeau – believe in One World Government?
        The answer is so obvious;
        Justin – a member
        Campaign for a United Nations
        Parliamentary Assembly

        4. Justin Trudeau wants to be Prime Minister of Canada
        – and then what?
        The Campaign for the Establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly is currently supported by 16 non-governmental organizations and 776 individuals, among them 65 Members of Parliament.

        5. Citizens of Canada – are not – ‘world citizens’!!!!!!!
        Please tell Justin – to get a life – and stay out of politics;
        he can leave Canada,
        and find himself – a better country;
        he admires communist China.

        Call me crazy!

        6. Wake up Canada!
        Election Year 2015
        Vote Conservative!

        7. Vote Stephen Harper – the most despised man @ the United Nations!
        …….because he wouldn’t bend to them;
        therefore Canada has no seat [booted Canada]
        – on the security council…….
        and the liberals call this a – Harper leadership disgrace.

        8. Canada on the world stage – is the most respected country
        if you do your research – [without quoting liberal propaganda].

        9. I’m with Stephen Harper – who needs the United Nations…..
        ……when they have lost their – ‘original mandate’!

        10. Again….
        Wake up Canada!
        Election Year 2015
        Vote Conservative!

        Any particular point – have you confused?

  4. Moore Twp, Sanilac County, Michigan board proposed IWTs 750 feet from the property line!

    Invenergy signing up property owners in that area according to the local news paper.

    Which developers are in your area?

      • Majority will not make the effort to overstand but understand the cystem. Simple put all these signed contracts are indeed fraudulent.
        To get it you need to real eyes that the legal name that has been given to you at the hospital is not yours but registered to the crown and it is copyright to them.They own it now not you This is truth, ask any lawyer straight out about copyright infringements.
        Your so called name was without full disclosure at the hospital when the registered nurse took the name your parents gave to you and given away.
        When you use it or claim joiner to this legal name you are indeed committing a fraud.
        Only B.A.R members have consent to use the legal name
        Every time you go to court and claim joiner to that legal name you are in dishonour. And using it is actually a fraud they want you to use it to profit from your ignorance
        Sorry but true
        I would say start calling there bluff on these contracts on these wind leases. Stay away from using the legal name.
        lose the name.com

      • You thought agenda 21 was bad this one tops it off. And coming your way for all corporate citizens this september.
        Welcome to more harsher slavery.https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1919&v=jglHg7ZRrlc
        probably move all nearby wind turbine neighbours into stacked rabbit cages.
        what will peta say about humans in stacked cages and charged for the air you breath/
        Geez what a nice world order coming our way.
        For the good of the planet,not humans,

  5. Anyone gotta phone number to reach this person called Ontario? I would love to have a conversation with IT.

  6. This is a public consultation process. Your submissions are crucial…if this is an honest public consultation process.
    Don’t hesitate or hold back if the very thought of larger turbines even closer to homes in Ontario enrages you.

    • Have we not learned from past experience about the public consultation process? It is just a formality process. We had approximately 3000 comments of scientific research etc sent in to the MOE after the project in our area was approved. The project should never have been approved with ALL the mistakes and fraudulent information that we
      accessed about the project. You cannot reason with set minds.
      There needs to be a class action lawsuit against this government who is so bent on ruining the lives and environment of rural citizens.

      • No they haven’t learned! Too many still think they can deal with this government. The present government has proven time and again that they can do as they please.

        Lawyers here are too interested in working for renewable energy companies to be bothered with class actions suits against the renewables industry.

  7. Why with all the land in Ontario is it necessary to further encroach on setback space? Even within 550 m allowance, individuals have abandoned their homes because their health has been affected by the turbines. Maybe consider putting them 550 m from shore line on Lake Erie. If it is absolutely necessary to put a turbine closer than the 550 m, then give the land owners the choice by offering them fair market value for their property and whatever structures are thereon to allow that they move so as to avoid having their health effected by a wind turbine. Put the turbines on the properties where our politicians reside. That is the first place they should go.

    • Joan….. Why should people, who may have lived in their home for generations, be forced to move from their homes?? Maybe these people would prefer to stay where they are… WITHOUT IWTs. Who was there first and would the family prefer to stay there for more generations? THIS is the issue! The “wind companies” are interlopers pure and simple!

      Your last point is a good one! How many Liberal ridings, in Ontario, have wind turbines?

      Why does Six Nations get paid “rent” for having IWTs and solar panels installed in Haldimand County….everywhere but anywhere near Six Nations reservations? As the Six Nations Chief said…. It gives them more leverage when negotiating to reclaim land 10kms on either side of the Grand River from the Luther Marsh (north of Fergus) to Port Maitland (Lake Erie shore) in the south. And we think the Douglas Creek (small sub-division in Caledonia) occupation and the work stoppage at the Grand River bridge in Cayuga is of little consequence. Maybe it IS… in comparison to what could be coming!

  8. All politics – are Local politics!

    ‘[excerpt] Currently, proponents contact municipalities to obtain site plan and building permit information to account for potential noise receptors that have been approved, but not yet constructed.’

    What’s changed?

    I trust municipalities across Ontario will be commenting
    – or @ least – taking additional U.N. classes;
    let’s pretend it’s intelligent!

    • Part 2
      All politics – are Local politics;
      the invitation upon request:
      ‘[excerpt] The ministry is proposing to amend the definition of “noise receptor” to specify that in order for an approved but not as of yet constructed building or structure to be considered a noise receptor, the municipality or landowner must disclose the site plan approval or building permit to the proponent within 60 days of the proponent making a written request for it.’

      Again – I trust municipalities across Ontario will be commenting
      – or @ least – taking additional U.N. classes;
      let’s pretend it’s intelligent!

      How stupid do you have to be – to get it!
      Well I’m beyond crazy!
      I’m dancing now…….

    • A ‘guzzilion lawyers’ – from an unbeknown regime
      contributed to the – ‘regulatory impact statement’
      ……..’robust and accurate’;
      sounds darkish – according to the manufacturers label
      – still a blonde should be careful
      – when reading labels!

      ‘[excerpt] Regulatory Impact Statement:
      The proposed amendments will, in some cases, increase work for proponents but will contribute to more robust and accurate noise assessment reports and therefore assist proponents in meeting the requirements of the REA process in a timelier manner.’
      Since all politics – are local politics
      who will hold them to account;
      the proponent still – pays to play!

      Who’s doing the heavy lifting for the proponent?
      Who’s got the advantage – still?
      Ontario liberals have to be the stupidest people –
      and @ the local level of government – stupider!

      This is not a good deal for Ontario citizens!

  9. Now we know who is running Ontario! The big money interests and developers.

    This will continue as long as these parties control the OLA.

    Separation may be the only way out.

    • Wait!
      Before I start packing
      Where will we go?

      As I recall…….Washington didn’t want Quebec!
      …..so they slithered back home….

      Call me crazy!

    • Electing Harper won’t stop IWTs from being installed in Ontario.

      It would probably stop a national cap-and-trade from being enacted and maybe Canada would not sign on to COP21 in Paris.

  10. I’m with you Free thinker.. The conservatives need to get elected ..
    Although they do have to stop their endorsements to canwea .. And other renewable lobbyists

  11. Every time this industrial wind turbine issue conversation becomes political, I think about the idea of a multiparty committee, either inside or outside of government, advised by non-governmental experts, including scientists, economists, political scientists and social scientists who would have responsibility for recommending long term policy based on thorough cost/benefit analysis.

    This solution might encourage rational decision-making for long-term issues.

    A party that would promise to establish a multiparty committee to sort out issues like this would have my vote.

    • It is political because it has been made into a political issue like it or not.

      This coming election will be a pivotal election as the future direction of Canada will depend on the outcome.

      The coming 2016 U.S. election will be the same.

      Is the county going to move forward or return to an earlier time frame with lower standards of living?

      • Intransigent thinking does not serve us well.
        It never has and it never will.
        On the leading edge, the realization of how HUGE the energy issue is, demands a rethink of the way in which these crucial decisions are being made. We need brilliant people, working together, with a shared vision of a future where the needs of everyone are met.

      • Hey Sommer,

        You say,
        ‘We need brilliant people, working together, with a shared vision of a future where the needs of everyone are met.’

        That’s what got us into trouble – in the first place!

        Wake up!


        I know I would love it – if I understood it.
        Call me crazy!

        p.s. Ugh!

      • Oh I almost forgot!

        Election Year Canada!
        October 19, 2015
        Vote Conservative!

        Go Stephen Harper!

        Oh Yeah!
        Go Donald Trump!

    • “That’s what got us into trouble – in the first place!

      Wake up!”

      That is not my understanding of what got us into this mess in the first place. These industrial wind turbines are not the result of a genuine desire for a future where the needs of everyone are met.
      What about lack of cost /benefit analysis…the thorough health studies?
      If you don’t understand the ‘unsettled science’/ IPCC computer modelled data issue and you assume that there were genuinely good intentions behind the Green Energy Act Alliance and the MOECC’s policies regarding siting, then where are the good intentions in the face of all of the ‘on the ground’ reality of victims of these turbines?
      Why can they not see clearly the current reality of intense opposition from people who are experiencing the harm directly and make the necessary changes?
      Why, with this reality, are they threatening to bring in even more turbines?

      • Blinded by money and they have plenty of simpleton followers!

      • Agree with Barbara below….. One word “MONEY”!!

      • Sommer – this may be one of Free Thinker’s lessons about Groupthink! ‘consensus’ & survival-of-the-fittest.

        Just – bear with us…

  12. “Vermont’s energy scofflaws”
    by Mark Whitworth | Energize Vermont | Aug 18, 2015

    Scofflaw (noun) A violator who mocks or ridicules the law.

    Anybody who has ever objected to a “renewable” energy project in Vermont knows that the deck is stacked in favor of energy developers—that just about any project that’s proposed, no matter how objectionable, will be approved by our Public Service Board.

    Yet, having the playing field tilted sharply in their direction isn’t enough for some developers: they have to cheat too.

    A few weeks ago we learned that Travis Belisle, aspiring wind developer, didn’t bother to obtain a Certificate of Public Good for the MET (wind measurement) tower he had erected on his Swanton property. Mr. Belisle said that he was unaware that a CPG was required for the MET tower. His partner, Martha Staskus of VERA Renewables, was canny enough to know that this didn’t sound good. She thought it would be better if she suggested that they knew the law, but Belisle had put the tower up for personal reasons: he didn’t know he was considering constructing a commercial energy project that included seven industrial wind turbines. (The project would loom over several houses that Belisle built and sold to buyers who, today, are very angry.)

    Now the Caledonian Record reports that David Blittersdorf didn’t bother to obtain a CPG for the MET tower that he raised in Irasburg. Apparently when Mr. Blittersdorf put his MET tower up, he, too, did it for personal reasons. He says that he didn’t know that he was considering building a commercial wind energy project. But now, after collecting wind data, Blittersdorf realizes that the very location where he erected his personal MET tower would be the perfect spot for two industrial wind turbines.

    Isn’t this amazing?

    You see, under Title 30 Section 246, Vermont’s Public Service Board was required to develop a permit process for MET towers. So the PSB wrote rules that apply only to those who wish to construct a MET tower “as a means of acquiring wind data to determine the feasibility of constructing a commercial wind generation facility.”

    If you don’t realize that you are considering constructing a commercial wind energy project, then you can erect MET towers without applying for a CPG. Later, you can slap yourself on the forehead and exclaim, “Holy cow! I could put industrial wind turbines right there! Why didn’t I think of this sooner?”

    So, are Vermont’s energy laws silly or are Messrs. Belisle and Blittersdorf trying to pull a fast one? The answers are yes and yes.

    State government has created a regulatory system that is easy for energy developers to game. The penalties for non-compliance are so insignificant that cheating has become part of the developers’ play book. The PSB often fails to enforce its own rules; its puny fines have become a minor cost of doing business.

    Consider these examples.

    In 2004, the PSB fined UPC, the developers of the Sheffield wind project, $2,000 for putting up a MET tower without a permit. On the strength of the data they collected, UPC put up a string of wind turbines that produces less than 80% of the electricity that their PSB filings promised. How’s that for the public good?

    In 2010, the PSB fined “The Vermont Community Wind Farm” $6,000 for erecting a MET tower in the wrong place—a location that suited the developer better, but a location for which they did not have a permit. The PSB used the inconsequential $2,000 UPC fine as the yardstick that justified the puny $6,000 VCWF penalty. (VCWF abandoned their project before they applied for a CPG for actual wind turbines. Their site was home to rare, threatened, and endangered species.)

    In 2013, the PSB awarded Eolian Renewable Energy a CPG to erect four MET towers for its ill-fated Seneca Mountain Wind project. (The SMW project would have fragmented Vermont’s second largest block of wildlife habitat and it would have cost $86M to connect it to the grid.)

    Eolian failed three times to provide the required notification to abutting land owners. After the third failed attempt, the PSB ruled that Eolian had “substantially complied” with the requirements. As a result, abutters were denied the rights that the PSB’s rules were supposed to guarantee.

    Oh well, rules are made to be broken—especially at the PSB.

    Confidence in Vermont’s state government is at an all-time low. The performance of the PSB is one of the reasons. If the PSB wants to earn some credibility and wishes to put an end to flagrant violations of its rules, then it will do what District Environmental Commissions do when Act 250 is violated: impose a hefty fine and require the violator to apply for a permit.

    Belisle and Blittersdorf plan to apply for permits to construct their wind projects any day now. The PSB should delay consideration of their applications until the MET tower permit processes are completed. The PSB should then delay an additional amount of time equal to the time the unpermitted MET towers stood. Finally, the PSB should reject the turbine applications because each of the applicants has a history of violating the rules.

    If the PSB follows our prescription, there will be no more energy scofflaws in Vermont.

    • Vermont chose to shut down 55% of its electric power. Now watch them scramble to try to get an electricity supply.

      Trying to get a power supply from Quebec as well. Willing to do cap-and-trade with Quebec to accomplish this.

  13. I know what I have lost that is all I know. We no longer walk along the shores as we don”t want to be zapped by the powerlines buried in the ground. We can’t build on our property as a turbine is too closeby next to our property. We sleep with the windows closed. Our brother left the area as the sound was not pleasant to him in his outdoor yard. My ears ring when I arrive home and I have to keep clearing them as if I was flying in an airplane….. to stop the echoy sound I hear as soon as I arrive at our property 800 metres from the closest turbine not 550 metres…backed up by 4 other turbines within 1000 metres of us. We have lost alot …… and didn’t ask for it.
    Who thinks a smaller set back will be acceptable ………not one person who lives near a turbine
    it is not acceptable to make this setback smaller …… Despicable them!

    • We know they are taller but who says they are quieter?


      On the federal level removing the income tax breaks developers get should be done. No longer needed to “kick-start” the industry.

      Remove the income tax breaks that are allowed to be passed-through to yieldcos.

      • Which party would be willing to eliminate these tax breaks and can be trusted to do so if elected in the coming federal election?

  14. InterNACHI/International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

    ‘Wind Turbines and Lightning’

    Lightning strikes account for 80% of wind turbine insurance claims.

    Note that lightning dangers increase with turbine height.

    A German electric power company shut down and dismantled their Helgoland Island wind power fleet after being denied insurance against any further lightning losses.


  15. E&E Publishing, LLC

    Chicago: ‘MacArthur Foundation vows to push climate solutions, starting with $50 M pledge to green groups’

    Nature Conservancy & Environmental Defense Fund share $20 M
    Sierra Club U.S., $15 M

    See the article for what other ENGOs will get.


    • The Sierra Club U.S. is connected to the USW that makes all the steel infrastructure for wind and solar projects. And the USW is connected in Canada and the U.S.

  16. It seems to me that the bigger the turbine and the blades, the farther the noise will carry on the wind! This is insane. I wish I could defect from this country on the grounds that we are being forced to live in dangerous life threatening conditions! Where to defect TO is the challenge.

    • Used to be that folks just packed up their wagons and moved on. They voted with their feet!

  17. “A healthy environment nurtures healthy people”
    By David Suzuki
    Published in the Simcoe Reformer, print edition, Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    If a home is not cleaned and cared for, it will become run-down and less habitable or even unlivable. It’s no different with our broader surroundings, from the immediate environment to the entire planet.

    If we disconnect from the natural world, we become disconnected from who we are – to the detriment of our health and the health of the ecosystems on which our well-being and survival depend.

    Understanding that we’re part of nature and acting on that understanding makes us healthier and happier, and encourages us to care for the natural systems around us. A growing body of science confirms this, including two recent studies that explore the ways nature benefits human health.

    A Toronto-based study, published in Nature and co-authored by a team including University of Chicago psychologists Omid Kardan and Marc Berman and David Suzuki Foundation scientist Faisal Moola, examined the relationship between urban trees and human health. According to “Neighbourhood greenspace and health in a large urban center,” [sic] people living in areas with many trees, especially large trees, report feeling healthier than people in areas with fewer trees.

    The other study, published in Ecosystem Services and co-authored by scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reviewed a range of previous research to explore “observed and potential connections among nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services and human health and well-being.” The authors of “Exploring connections among nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human health and well-being” concluded, “the significance of biodiversity to human welfare is immense.”

    According to the Toronto study, adding 10 or more trees to a city block offered benefits to individuals equivalent to earning $10,000 higher median income or being seven years younger. As well as self-reporting of health and well-being, the study also found reduced rates of heart conditions, cancer, mental health problems and diabetes in areas with more trees.

    The NOAA study delved even deeper into specific physical and mental health outcomes, finding that people living in areas with abundant green space live longer and experience lower rates of “anxiety and depression (especially), upper respiratory tract infections, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), severe intestinal complaints, and infectious disease of the intestine” than people deprived of nature.

    The researchers concluded that increased exposure to nature “can have positive effects on mental/psychological health, healing, heart rate, concentration, levels of stress, blood pressure, behaviour, and other health factors.” …..

    • [continued] They also found that, although evaluating nature according to the services it provides to humans “may lead to a human-centric view of the biosphere,” preserving these ecosystems and natural biodiversity for our own benefit will improve ecosystem health and the natural services other species need to survive and thrive.

      As noted in a Toronto Star article, the Toronto research also found that, “within cities, urban tree lines often follow the fault lines of social, economic, political and ecological disparity.” In other words, protecting and increasing green spaces and improving access to them is a social justice as well as a health issue.

      This isn’t news to anyone who gets outside regularly. People who spend at least 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 consecutive days as part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s annual 30X30 Nature Challenge report numerous benefits, including improved mood and vitality and a greater interest in the natural world. It’s why the Foundation is launching the Back to School Superhero Challenge on September 21 to encourage kids, families, students and teachers to get outdoors, learn about environmental issues and make a difference.

      Science is giving us a better understanding of the many ways preserving, caring for and restoring natural spaces can improve the lives of humans and other beings—and how connecting with nature increases our desire to protect and reduce our negative impacts on our surroundings.

      Earth is our only home. But it’s more than that. We’re a part of the natural systems that make up our planet and its atmosphere, and what we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves.
      Written with contributions by senior editor Ian Hangington

      • So the urban cave dwellers just need more trees to improve their lives.

        And people get grant money for silly studies such as these.

        If and when the Ontario economy tanks, there will be more than just a few professors looking for jobs.

  18. Below is a response by Stephanie Liu to questions regarding the “new models are taller and quieter”. She states she looks forward to receiving your feedback on MOECC’s proposed amendments to Renewable Energy Approval (REA) O.Reg. 359/09

    Thank you for your e-mail of August 27, 2015 regarding the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) Environmental Registry proposal posting (EBR 012-4493), Proposed Amendments to O. Reg. 359/09 Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Act.

    The proposed regulatory amendments to Renewable Energy Approval (REA) O.Reg. 359/09 was posted for consultation on the Environmental Registry on August 4, 2015 for a period of 45 days. Comments are to be received by September 18, 2015. All comments MOECC receives during this comment period will be considered as part of the decision-making process.

    With regard to your request for additional information relating to the regulatory proposal posting, please see the responses below:

    “Will you please explain the intent and ramifications of MOE wanting to change the existing rules and place turbines closer than 550 m.”

    · The proposed amendments support rather than change the 550 metre setback. Most turbines being built when the renewable energy regulation came into effect (in 2009) were shorter than they are today and had to be located at least 550 metres away to meet our noise limit based on 40 decibels. We want to ensure that all large wind turbines maintain the minimum 550-metre setback.

    “Does this mean that existing projects – like K2, could have MORE turbines added to the project area….if the turbines are TALLER? ”

    · The K2 wind project already has a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for 140 turbines. As such, the existing wind project would not be affected by these proposed new rules unless the developer makes a significant change to their project, such as adding more turbines. If so, the developer would have to apply for an amendment to their REA and would need to demonstrate that their project meets the requirements of both the REA regulation and the updated noise guidelines.

    “How close is MOE now wanting to permit new turbines to homes?”

    · The Ministry is maintaining the minimum 550 metre setback and a noise limit based on 40 decibels. Because turbines are being built taller and quieter, we want to ensure these large turbines are a minimum of 550 m away from homes.

    “Why isn’t MOE making the setbacks greater? The existing setbacks are inadequate. I have turbines in the 700-800 m range and they result in significant noise issues.”

    · Ontario has one of the strictest sound level standards in North America, including a minimum 550-metre setback and a noise limit based on 40 decibels. Our criteria are consistent with the sound level guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization. We took a cautious, science-based approach when setting standards for wind setbacks and noise limits to protect Ontarians.

    · The Ministry continues to review emerging scientific, health, acoustics and engineering studies to ensure Ontario’s requirements remain in line with the best available science.

    We look forward to receiving your feedback on MOECC’s proposed amendments to Renewable Energy Approval (REA) O.Reg. 359/09 through the Environmental Registry, which can be found at: http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTI1MzYz&statusId=MTg4ODU1&language=en


    Stephanie Liu
    Senior Program Advisor
    Green Energy
    Modernization of Approvals Branch
    Environmental Programs Division
    Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
    35 St. Clair Ave West, 12th Floor
    Toronto ON
    M4V 1P5
    Phone: 416-212-0313
    E-mail: Stephanie.Liu@ontario.ca

    • If any of the IWT construction projects were to be halted, then the big banks and other lenders could lose a fortune.

      Projects will be approved no matter what!

    • Ministry of Liberal Babel:
      ‘[excerpt] …..to ensure Ontario’s requirements remain in line…….’; along
      with the manufacture’s label – the best available!

      A scam – but within the law, often ends an argument.
      Go ahead – comment!

      Current Events
      Mon, 08/31/2015

      ‘[excerpt] Atmospheric science professors Nate Brunsell and David Mechem in KU’s Department of Geography are co-authors of a new study published in the most recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by an international research group that evaluated the effects of large wind farms on atmospheric flow and its implications for how much renewable energy the turbines can generate.

      “Wind turbines generate electricity by removing energy from the wind, so a larger number of wind turbines should result in a slowdown of the winds in the lower atmosphere,” Mechem said.

      The researchers quantified this phenomenon in numerical simulations by applying a sophisticated model normally used for weather forecasting to one of the windiest regions of the United States.

      The team found that a slowdown effect triggered by wind turbines is substantial for large wind farms and results in proportionally less renewable energy generated for each turbine versus the energy that would be generated from an isolated wind turbine.

      While the researchers stress that no current or planned wind farm approaches the size or concentration that would cause the slowdown effect, their results suggest the phenomenon tied to large wind farms needs to be accounted for in future planning of wind energy.

      “When just a few wind turbines are installed, each additional turbine results in a similar increase in electricity generated, as you might expect,” Brunsell said.

      However, when a substantial number of turbines are installed over a small area, the amount of electricity generated is no longer governed by simple multiplication, according to the researchers.

      “Instead, because the turbines extract energy from the wind, additional turbines will each generate less and less electricity,” Mechem said.’

      Election Year Canada
      October 19, 2015
      Vote Conservative!

      We are not going to Paris!

  19. The notice for public consultation from MOE, is a bit muddles, not by accident I’m sure,

    Should one send comments to the link provided for Stephanie.Liu@ontario.ca?
    Not that she would want to read opinions from anyone connected with this forum still we should be heard.

    • I suggest sending comments to BOTH the Environmental Registry and Stephanie Liu.
      I’d request a reply in writing from Stephanie Liu to any and all questions.

      • To submit a comment online, click the submit button below:
        Additional Information:

        The documents linked below are provided for the purposes of enhancing public consultation.
        All links will open in a new window
        1. O.Reg. 359/09
        2. Environmental Registry posting 012-4601
        (Updates and Clarifications to the “Nois
        e Guidelines for Wind Farms

        I don’t see any button below, and I wish to comment on line, as I say ambiguous.

      • I agree.Can someone provide a link to proper contact for comments.
        Otherwise comments will be deleted for sure.

      • Recent information has revealed that the wind has diminished in the U.S.

        So now install taller IWTs to tap into supposed greater wind resource at higher elevations to guarantee a steady income stream from these IWT projects.

        Has the wind resource decreased across Ontario?

  20. From Environmental Registry:

    “Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. You will not receive a formal response to your comment, however, relevant comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.”

    Wish I could believe that, but I do not. Asked for a formal response but none is forth coming.
    How do we know our comments ever are read by anyone?

    • We don’t Martin. They’re not. Only trashed by the most treasonously corrupt gov on the planet, re-elected by the most brain dead idiots on the planet.
      Jackassed Liberal slime voters! Death to them all. Batsards from H!

      • Please forgive me for for my above text. I was in a terribly troubled state, having just lost my beloved oldest son. Last night.

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