Medical Officer of Health does not have the authority to stop noxious wind turbines

Just in case we thought the wind turbines would be ordered to be mitigated or shut down  if health problems were noticed in the Huron County Health study – nope that’s not gonna happen. Read the correspondence below and you will realize that it is all just ‘process’, with no action to ‘correct’ on the horizon. Basically more people are just being used as test subjects. That’s it. And that’s flat out unacceptable.

Thanks to Richard Mann, Associate Professor  Department of Computer Science; University of Waterloo for this.


From: Erica Clark
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 3:44 PM
Subject: Ability of MOH to write orders against wind turbines under section 13 of HPPA

Hello,

One of the issues the University of Waterloo ethics committee asked us to address was the hope residents had that, at some time, the Medical Officer of Health would be able to write an order curtailing or shutting down the wind turbines. We had already stated in the recruitment materials that the study would not generate sufficient evidence to prove wind turbines cause health problems (establishing causality) but the ethics committee questioned whether we were providing enough information on the limits of the Medical Officer of Health’s authority. To address that concern, we have spoken with individuals experienced in interpreting the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) specifically, sections 11 (investigating health hazards) and 13 (writing orders). They provided us with the attached documents that outline the limits on the MOH’s authority to write orders.

The first document (Pelletier v Northwestern Health Unit) is the proceedings from an Ontario Health Services Appeal and Review Board and the second (Court File 2006-01-04) is a judicial review of the appeal hearing by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Essentially, these documents state that when the Legislature places the authority to regulate with one organization, such as municipal councils or the Ministry of the Environment, the courts do not accept that there was an intention to give the same authority to the MOH under section 13 of the HPPA. The rulings were made when the Northwestern Health Unit MOH wrote orders prohibiting exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (second hand smoke) in several bars and restaurants. At the time the orders were written, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was (and still is) deemed a health hazard.

Since the Legislature assigned the duty to regulate wind turbines to the Ministry of the Environment and not the health units, the courts will not recognize the authority of the MOH under section 13 of the HPPA to write an order curtailing or shutting down the wind turbines.

I will be putting these documents on the health unit website soon, however, I wanted you to have a chance to read them first. The documents are publicly available at

Thanks

Erica

____________________________________
Erica Clark, PhD
Epidemiologist, APHEO Secretary
Huron County Health Unit
77722B London Rd., RR #5
Clinton, ON N0M 1L0
519.482.3416 ext. 2022
Toll-free 1.877.837.6143
www.huronhealthunit.ca
eclark@huroncounty.ca

13 thoughts on “Medical Officer of Health does not have the authority to stop noxious wind turbines

  1. An open letter to:

    Erica Clark, PhD
    Epidemiologist, APHEO Secretary
    Huron County Health Unit
    77722B London Rd., RR #5
    Clinton, ON N0M 1L0
    519.482.3416 ext. 2022
    Toll-free 1.877.837.6143
    http://www.huronhealthunit.ca
    eclark@huroncounty.ca

    Subject: your correspondence of May 12, 2017

    Ms. Clark:

    In your letter of May 12, 2017, which has been furnished by Professor Richard Mann, you wrote:

    “…the ethics committee questioned whether we were providing enough information on the limits of the Medical Officer of Health’s authority. To address that concern, we have spoken with individuals experienced in interpreting the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) specifically, sections 11 (investigating health hazards) and 13 (writing orders). They provided us with the attached documents that outline the limits on the MOH’s authority to write orders.”

    What are the names of the “individuals experienced in interpreting the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA)” that you were referring to.

    Please feel free to provide this information on the Ontario-Wind-Resistance.org website at your earliest opportunity.

    Yours truly,

    [shocked and disgusted]

    • The symptoms from smoking may or may not have detrimental affects on your health, but if they do, it will be a long time into the future. Harm from wind turbines is almost immediate, and the effects are far more devastating.

  2. sad and dismayed. I believe that the only way anything will stop these things is 1. stop the money flow, at least in the US
    2. And, a class action law suit with good facts and medical records of before wind turbines, after wind turbines.

    • “2. And, a class action law suit with good facts and medical records of before wind turbines, after wind turbines.”

      Jannie, do you have an evidence that your second idea for how to stop this madness has actually worked?
      If so, could you please provide a link?

      • No, I don’t.. When the wind company was coming to our county we approached the county health department and suggested that people who would be near the wind turbines have a health exam and that way there is actually proof that there has been an impact.

        Luckily they several small town councils pulled any support and then funding fail short & they left (at least for now)

        I believe with facts and and good lawyer it might work. hit them at the pocketbook!!

      • In Huron County people were told that the turbines would not harm them because they were sited far enough away. People believed that so would not have realized they needed to have a medical examination before the turbines started operating.
        However, once the turbines started running the changes in their health became apparent. Neighbours started talking to one another and noticed that they had had ‘episodes’ at the same times as others had…to the hour. They began reporting this to the wind company and municipal leaders. The problems continued, so they expanded the list of people to whom they reported. In an effort to get the MOECC to realize there were distinct patterns, they documented the weather conditions and wind speed at the time when symptoms occurred. In good faith they believed that the wind company and the MOECC would recognize when the atmospheric conditions and wind speed caused the harm they were experiencing. This went on for many months. Eventually they expanded the list of recipients to over 50 people; all off whom were collectively responsible and ought to have worked together to make the necessary changes…to no avail. All emails and responses, or lack thereof were saved as evidence of ‘neglect of duty to protect’.
        Eventually residents held a teleconference with Diane Saxe, the Environment Commissioner, in the hope that she would take action that would lead to their protection, but nothing came of that either.
        The MOECC was ill equipped to even measure audible noise. Officers arrived on the scene long after the reports were made. Eventually, at the request of residents, the MOECC installed onsite, long term equipment at homes, which residents could use inside their homes to record the noise when it was the worst, day or night. These efforts were in vain also because of equipment problems.
        So anyone thinking that the MOECC acted responsibly has been mislead.

  3. “Furthermore, Ms. Clark, in your May 12, 2017 letter, you wrote:

    “We had already stated in the recruitment materials that the study would not generate sufficient evidence to prove wind turbines cause health problems (establishing causality)…”

    Please EXPLAIN HOW YOU RECONCILE YOUR STATEMENT with, for example, the Howe Gastmeier Chapnik Engineers report for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in 2010, which found:

    “The audible sound from wind turbines, at the levels experienced at typical receptor distances in Ontario, is nonetheless expected to result in a nontrivial percentage of persons being highly annoyed.”

    How is it that HGC Engineers reported to the Ontario government in 2010 that this kind of harm was known to be caused by exposure to industrial wind energy projects, but that your research has been designed to be, as you wrote, “insufficient to prove wind turbines cause health problems”?

    Just what do you think it means, in a “HEALTH PROBLEMS” context, that a non-trivial percentage of persons, including children, are expected to be “HIGHLY ANNOYED”? And in terms that laypersons can understand, please and thank-you.

  4. Thank you ‘shocked and disgusted’!

    The answers to your questions are critically important.

  5. Update:

    As of today (Jun 13, 2017) Huron County Health Board is waiting on University of Waterloo ethics. This is their second application, which was submitted on May 18, 2017.

    Below is a timeline of correspondence. Documents are on my web page.

    Richard
    https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mannr/

    Correspondence from Erica Clark, Huron County Health Unit. June 6, 2017. Email (text).

    Correspondence from Erica Clark, Huron County Health Unit. May 23, 2017. Email (text).

    Meeting with Professors George Dixon (VP, University Research), John Thompson (Associate VP, University Research) and others. May 17, 2017.

    Correspondence from Erica Clark, Huron County Health Unit. May 12, 2017. Email (text).

    Correspondence from Erica Clark, Huron County Health Unit. May 2, 2017. Email (text).

    Tri-Council Policy Statement. Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. Link. Submission, University of Waterloo (PDF). Submission, Carmen Krogh (PDF).

    Meeting with Professors George Dixon (VP, University Research) and John Thompson (Associate VP, University Research) Jan 9, 2017.

    Letter to Erica Clark, Epidemiologist, Huron County Health Board. 5 December 2016 (PDF).

    Huron County (Ontario). Health Board Investigation on Wind Turbine Noise. Initiated 7 March 2016. Stalled June 1 2016. HCHU meeting (4 Aug 2016, Transcript (PDF)). HCHU Public meeting (6 December 2016 (Link, Another Link (facebook), Transcript (PDF) ).

  6. Update (16 June 2017).

    University of Waterloo Human Research Ethics Committee (as of Jun 15 2017). Application was submitted by Phil Bigelow (faculty Waterloo) and Erica Clark (adjunct appointee Waterloo and Huron County Health Unit).

  7. Doubting Phil Bigelow’s Ethics
    Evidence from the archives…

    22 February 2012 | Dunville Chronicle | Matt Day
    “University to conduct wind turbine study in Haldimand-Norfolk”

    Professor Philip Bigelow is quoted:

    “We don’t care what the results are. If there are health effects, that’s not a bad thing for us and it will be documented…”

    Bigelow confesses they “don’t care”;
    asserts that health effects are “not a bad thing”!

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