Royal Society warns of possible danger posed by low frequency noise from wind turbines

Wind turbine noiseThe Telegraph
Living close to wind farms may lead to severe hearing damage or even deafness, according to new research which warns of the possible danger posed by low frequency noise.  The physical composition of inner ear was “drastically” altered following exposure to low frequency noise, like that emitted by wind turbines, a study has found.  The research will delight critics of wind farms, who have long complained of their detrimental effects on the health of those who live nearby.

Published today by the Royal Society in their new journal Open Science, the research was carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Munich.  It relies on a study of 21 healthy men and women aged between 18 and 28 years. After being exposed to low frequency sound, scientists detected changes in the type of sound being emitted from the inner ear of 17 out of the 21 participants. The changes were detected in a part of the ear called the cochlear, a spiral shaped cavity which essential for hearing and balance.

“We explored a very curious phenomenon of the human ear: the faint sounds which a healthy human ear constantly emits,” said Dr Marcus Drexl, one of the authors of the report. “These are like a very faint constant whistling that comes out of your ear as a by-product of the hearing process. We used these as an indication of how processes in the inner ear change.” Dr Drexl and his team measured these naturally emitted sounds before and after exposure to 90 seconds of low frequency sound.

“Usually the sound emitted from the ear stays at the same frequency,” he said. “But the interesting thing was that after exposure, these sounds changed very drastically.  “They started to oscillate slowly over a couple of minutes. This can be interpreted as a change of the mechanisms in the inner ear, produced by the low frequency sounds.  “This could be a first indication that damage might be done to the inner ear.

“We don’t know what happens if you are exposed for longer periods of time, [for example] if you live next to a wind turbine and listen to these sounds for months of years.” Read article

Hansen, Zajamsek, Hansen, Noise Monitoring, Waterloo Wind Farm

is-wall-insulation-an-effective-way-to-block-out-low-frequency-noiseKristy Hansen, Branko Zajamsek and Colin Hansen, School of Mechanical Engineering
University of Adelaide May 26, 2014 Waubra Foundation
This report by the above authors describes the results of their concurrent full spectrum acoustic monitoring conducted at a number of homes located between 2 km out to nearly 10km from the Waterloo Wind Development. This monitoring was independent of the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (SA EPA) and was requested by Mrs Mary Morris and other concerned residents in the Waterloo district. The monitoring occurred during the period of the South Australian EPA Acoustic Survey, conducted in mid 2013.

The results in this independent survey as well as the conclusions are in marked contrast to the results and conclusions of the SA EPA Acoustic Survey report, and reinforce the Waubra Foundation’s opinion expressed at the time the initial SA EPA report was released that there were serious problems with the methodology used by the SA EPA in its acoustic survey at Waterloo. This report provides further evidence that the current SA EPA Wind Farm Noise Guidelines do not protect the health and sleep of the neighbours to these wind developments, out to nearly 10km from the closest wind turbine, because they do not regulate the acoustic emissions to protect health, and most importantly, the sleep of the neighbours.

Emeritus Professor Colin Hansen has advised that he sent the report to the EPA, requesting their comment. To date, three months later (19th August, 2014) no comment or feedback has been received by the Adelaide University researchers from the SA EPA responsible public officials.

Extract from the Conclusions:
“Therefore, the results show that there is a low frequency noise problem associated with the Waterloo wind farm. Therefore, it is extremely important that further investigation is carried out at this wind farm in order to determine the source of the low frequency noise and to develop mitigation technologies. In addition, further research is necessary to establish the long‐term effects of low frequency noise and infrasound on the residents at Waterloo. This research should include health monitoring and sleep studies with simultaneous noise and vibration measurements.” Read article

Amherst Island group to appeal Ontario government decisions

wolfeBy Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
Opponents of a wind energy development on Amherst Island are appealing two recent decisions about industrial developments near the island. In late August the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change rejected a pair of requests from the Association to Protect Amherst Island. The association had asked for a full environmental assessment of the TransCanada Napanee Generating Station.

TransCanada is in the early stages of developing a 900-megawatt natural gas-fuelled electricity generating station on the site of the Lennox Generating Station. The group had also asked for an assessment of the cumulative impact of four planned or existing industrial projects near the island, including the existing Lennox generating station, the proposed TransCanada project, a planned upgrade of the Lafarge cement plant and the proposed Windlectric wind energy development on the island.

Instead, the MOE accepted a TransCanada study that showed noise from the new generating station would be acceptable. APAI is appealing both decisions to Environment Minister Glen Murray. John Harrison, a Queen’s University professor emeritus in physics and a member of APAI, said the TransCanada study did not account for fact that the sound would travel across water. “In my view they pulled numbers out of the air to come up with a noise assessment for the north shore of the the island that just so happens to satisfy the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change guidelines on noise,” Harrison said. Read article

Dr. Arline Bronzaft: wind turbine noise

Arline Bronzaft, PhD, speaking to Vermont Public Service Board’s third sound standard investigation workshop, Montpelier, Vermont, July 29, 2014.

Noise complaints lead to monitoring

wind-farm-noise-mapby Sandy Casselmanhttp, Winchester Press
BRINSTON – It has been more than six months since the blades of the South Branch Wind Farm turbines began to spin, leaving more than one nearby resident with some sleepless nights. “I call when it gets to the point I can’t tolerate it anymore and I go to the basement [to sleep],” Brinston resident Leslie Disheau, former president of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group, said. “It is an issue and
I’m not the only person in town with the issue.”

Disheau, who is running for the Municipality of South Dundas’ deputy-mayor seat in this fall’s municipal election, has been staying close to home since the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) installed noise-monitoring equipment at her Brinston Road property last week. “MOE contacted me and asked if they could put this noise monitoring equipment up,” Disheau said.

The two pieces of equipment measure wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, rainfall, and more, she said. She has submitted three separate noise complaints so far. Every complaint must be filed with EDP Renewables’ project leader Ken Little and local MOE representative Terry Forrester to be officially registered. Read article

West Grey joins anti-noise coalition

noise1By Don Crosby, The Sun Times
DURHAM – West Grey is joining a growing number of municipalities across Ontario that are exploring ways of creating quiet nights for people living near industrial wind turbines. Council voted last Monday to throw its support behind a coalition of municipalities seeking a nuisance noise bylaw for wind turbines.

Mayor Kevin Eccles said council decided to support the coalition following a presentation at a recent committee of the whole meeting by North Perth Coun. Warren Howard, who is touring Ontario seeking support for a common bylaw. Howard told West Grey councillors that a recent American study claims to show the impact of wind turbines on personal health. Read article

Saugeen Shores Joins Quiet Nights Coalition

wind-farm-noise-mapBlackburn News
A coalition of municipalities looking to silence wind turbines at night has a new member. Saugeen Shores council has conditionally agreed to join the coalition, which is crafting a “quiet nights” nuisance noise bylaw targeting wind turbines, seeking to restrict the operation of turbines during evening and overnight hours.

Councillor Taun Frosst says municipalities are powerless to stop wind farms from operating within their boundaries, but he’s hoping this will be a tool for local governments to provide some peace and quiet for those living near wind turbines. Council has conditionally agreed to provide $15,000 to go towards the cost of defending the bylaw in court, which has been estimated at a total cost of about $300,000. Saugeen Shores is the third Bruce County municipality to join the coalition, which also includes Kincardine and Huron-Kinloss. Read article

North Perth May Regulate Turbine Noise At Night

South Kent Wind Samsung Pattern Chatham Kent Harwich Road 6Blackburn News, By Shelley Miller-Cameron
Noise nuisance regulations for wind turbines should be strengthened, according to a North Perth Councillor. Warren Howard made the comment after his Council supported “in principle” efforts to establish a so-called “Quiet Nights” by-law.

Howard is a member of a multi-municipal coalition that is investigating the matter. Howard states, “I think the lawyers have come up with a way that is legal for us to add to the regulations and it’s defensible in the courts.” Howard admits there is not much that can be done about wind turbine noise during the day because “we can’t ban them entirely”. He cautions the proposed establishment of a “Quiet Nights” by-law will not go much further until it has support from Councils across the Province.

North Perth is keenly watching the process due to a proposed local wind turbine project.

 

Bylaw sought for noisy turbines

wind-farm-noise-mapBy Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
NORFOLK – A movement is afoot that could ultimately force wind turbine companies to shut down some units after dark. North Perth Coun. Warren Howard is touring Ontario building support for a common bylaw that would silence turbines after dark if they produce noise that is audible to residents nearby.

“The legal advice we have is we can enforce a `quiet night’ provision,” Howard told Norfolk council Tuesday. “Yes, we’ll be challenged. But the legal advice we have is we can win.” The Liberals’ Green Energy Act stripped municipalities of planning authority in the area of renewable energy projects several years ago.

In a recent ruling, a court said that Wainfleet Township had over-stepped its authority by trying to establish a large setback for wind turbines. However, the judge also said municipalities have the right to pass bylaws on nuisance issues that affect residents’ quality of life. The Ministry of the Environment’s allowable noise range in rural areas is 51 decibels. Howard and his allies believe this is too high. Ambient noise in rural areas after dark is in the range of 20 to 25 decibels. The proposed bylaw would cap allowable noise from wind turbines at 30 decibels. Read article

Quiet nights

nightWellington Times, Rick Conroy
It’s a simple plan. But it may be just the thing to slow down the epidemic of industrial wind turbines spreading across rural Ontario. Warren Howard is a councillor in the municipality of North Perth and lives in Listowel. He is a retired banker and understands bureaucratic processes better than most. He thinks he has come up with a way to thwart the provinces heavy handed Green Energy Act (GEA).

Howard’s plan is to create a bulletproof municipal bylaw that prohibits industrial noise in a rural area at night. That’s it. It sounds simple—and it is—but Howard has done his homework.

He has been working with municipal lawyer Kristi Ross. Together they have discovered that while the Green Energy Act took away virtually all the municipality’s tools to manage, control and oversee the construction of these massive structures in its community—it left intact provisions municipalities use to govern nuisance noise. Read article

Municipality supports noise nuisance bylaw coalition

kincardineSaugeen Times
Kincardine council has gone from no support to full support for the formation of a multi-municipality coalition to draft a nuisance noise bylaw to regulate industrial wind turbine developments. Jan. 9, after a presentation by Warren Howard of North Perth, outlining the formation of such a coalition, council made no decision and no commitment to the proposal.

At the Jan. 15 meeting, council agreed to defer a motion by councillor Kenneth Craig directing staff to contact legal counsel to advise Kincardine on matters concerning a multi-municipality nuisance noise bylaw. Wednesday night (Jan. 22), council passed two motions, offering strong support for the coalition and the proposed generic noise nuisance bylaw. The first motion was Craig’s from the Jan. 15 meeting.

Deputy mayor Anne Eadie said she is unsure what Kincardine would have to send to legal counsel right now, other than a proposal in general terms. Councillor Randy Roppel said that before the coalition were to proceed, it would likely come up with a firm capable of representing all municipalities in the coalition. However, he agreed that a report would have to come back to council before approving anything. Read article

Bill Palmer Refutes Witnessees For MOE & Approval Holder

wind-farm-noise-mapBy Liz Dadson Saugeen Times
Acousticians made some more noise about sound in the final week of the Environmental Review Tribunal into the appeal against the Armow Wind development in Kincardine. Friday afternoon (Jan. 10), Robert O’Neal, an expert acoustician and witness for the approval holder, Samsung Pattern Armow Wind Ontario GP, gave testimony about wind turbine noise.

He said there are two sources of sound in the wind turbines: the mechanical sound from the nacelle; and the aerodynamic noise from the blades. The older design, called “downwind,” has been replaced by a newer design, called “upwind.” With the old design, air moves around the tower, said O’Neal. That has been eliminated with the new design.

He described low-frequency noise and infrasound, stating that the human ear can hear noise from 20-20,000 Hertz (Hz). Low-frequency is found at 20-200 Hz, and below 20 Hz is infrasound. O’Neal said that, at 10 Hz, infrasound would have to be at 97 decibels (dBA) to be audible, but at 100 Hz, low-frequency noise could be heard at 27 dBA. Read article

Noise experts refute each other’s evidence at Armow Wind hearing

QUIET noiseKincardine Times
The final days of testimony became a bit “noisy” at the Environmental Review Tribunal into an appeal against the Armow Wind development in Kincardine. The evidence Tuesday (Jan. 14) at the hearing, held in Toronto, saw noise experts for the approval holder refute noise experts for the appellants.

Speaking as an expert witness for the approval holder, Samsung Pattern Armow Wind Ontario GP, was Shant Dokouzian, project manager, GL Garrad Hassan, Canada. A professional engineer, Dokouzian is licensed in Quebec and Ontario, and has extensive experience in wind developments. He explained that he worked on the Armow Wind development, completing the Noise Impact Assessment, as required under the 2008 Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) guidelines.

Using the information provided by Siemens, he reproduced the sound levels, incorporated low and high frequencies, determined the receptors and noise sources, and adjusted for summer and winter wind shear. That resulted in the maximum sound power level of the turbines, he said. Dokouzian also considered the nearby wind farms – Underwood, Cruickshank and Ripley – which were reassessed under Renewable Energy Approval (REA) guidelines. Read article

Municipality leaves coalition twisting in the wind

Wind turbines near Ripley, Ontario, northeast of Kincardine2Saugeen Times
Kincardine council has left a proposed municipal coalition on noise regulation, twisting in the wind. Warren Howard made a presentation to committee- of-the-whole Thursday night (Jan. 9), outlining the possibility of forming a coalition of municipalities, to draw up a noise bylaw to regulate the industrial wind turbine industry.

A member of North Perth council, Howard said he came to Kincardine council on behalf of the coalition committee. “Kincardine has a noise problem, and it’s going to get more serious if the Armow Wind project is approved,” he said. “Municipal noise bylaws need to be updated to reflect changes in the rural noise environment.”

He said the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) allows audible noise of 40-51 dBA (decibels) for wind projects. However, the ambient rural night-time noise is in the range of 20-25 dBA. Howard said a community group in the Kincardine area, HALT (Huron-Kinloss Against Lakeshore Turbines),has funded research into legal options for municipalities to regulate noise. Read article

MOE district supervisor testifies at Armow Wind hearing

heather pollardSaugeen Times
Heather Pollard, district supervisor of the Owen Sound office of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), gave testimony at the Environmental Review Tribunal Thursday afternoon in Kincardine. Appearing by way of a summons, Pollard said she has been the supervisor of the Owen Sound office since 2004, and was a junior environmental officer and senior environmental officer prior to that.

She said there are currently seven wind projects in the Owen Sound district, and all were constructed prior to the Green Energy Act and the Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) process. Pollard said her office has received complaints about six of the seven wind projects, mostly related to wind turbine noise and health effects.

“People have indicated they are having sleep disturbance, headaches, nausea, vertigo, tinnitus – symptoms they attribute to the wind farm,” she said. “We can follow up on the noise complaints but we have no expertise with health effects.” Asha James, counsel for the appellants, Ken and Sharon Kroeplin, asked Pollard if any complaints came from post-turbine residents suffering from health effects at the Enbridge Ontario Wind Farm.

“Yes,” said Pollard.

“Do you know the number?” asked James.

“350 complaints,” said Pollard. Read article

Wind Turbine Noise Complaint Predictions Made Easy

community reactionby Steve Ambrose and Rob Rand, Wind Wise Massachusetts

Introduction
The public response to wind turbines operating in a number of Massachusetts coastal communities have been greeted with a mixed response. A series of one-page articles have been written based on the acoustic investigations and research by Robert Rand and Stephen Ambrose. They are career-long friends and colleagues dating back to 1981 when they both worked as noise control engineers for Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts. Currently, they are independent acousticians working in Maine.

There should be no wind turbine complaints about noise with today’s knowledge and instrument capabilities. They have never investigated a noise problem where the public has been so vocal about ruined lives and home abandonment. Why are neighbors complaining about wind turbines? Why are regulatory officials unable to protect public health and well-being. The following is written to help answer these two-questions. (Click to view a PDF version of the four one-page articles).

Wind Turbine Noise Complaint Predictions Made Easy – Part 1
Acousticians have known for decades how to predict the community reaction to a new noise source. Wind turbine consultants have chosen not to predict the community reaction as they have previously done for other community noise sources. If they had, there would be far fewer wind turbine sites with neighbors complaining loudly about excessive noise and adverse health impacts.

In 1974, the USEPA published a methodology that can predict the community reaction to a new noise. A simple chart can be used that shows the community reactions (y-axis) versus noise level (x-axis). This chart was developed from 55 community noise case studies (black squares). The baseline noise levels include adjustments for the existing ambient, prior noise experience, and sound character. The predicted wind turbine noise level is plotted on the ‘x-axis’ and the predicted community reaction is determined by the highest reaction, indicated by the black squares. Here are some examples: 32 dBA no reaction and sporadic complaints, 37 dBA widespread complaints, 45 dBA strong appeals to stop noise and 54 dBA vigorous community action, the highest. Read article

Must Watch: Wind Turbine Syndrome in Denmark

Wind turbine noise: The 1234ever Lament

Wind turbine noise portrayed in disturbing video
MILFORD, ONTARIO.  DECEMBER 14, 2013.     Lights! Camera! Noise! A new video, produced by residents of Prince Edward County, depicts the environmental hazards from industrial-scale wind turbines, and the impact that the power-generating machines are having on Ontario’s rural residents.  “The 1234ever Lament” is a three-minute recitation of a poem, now available as a YouTube video.  It illustrates “shadow flicker”, and includes compelling footage of whirling turbines that currently dominate the Wolfe Island landscape. Continue reading

Judge Orders Falmouth to Run Wind Turbines on 12-Hour Schedule

Wind turbine noiseThe Enterprise
Barnstable Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Muse has ordered the town to operate its wind turbines at the Wastewater Treatment Facility for 12 hours per day except on Sundays starting today.

The preliminary injunction was filed late last night and requires the town to turn off the machines from 7 PM to 7 AM daily. Additionally, Judge Muse’s decision calls on the turbines to be turned off on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The move follows what was a supposed agreement reached two weeks ago in Barnstable Superior Court between Falmouth’s attorneys and lawyers representing neighbors living near the turbines. That agreement—to reduce the operating hours of the turbines from 16 hours per day to 12 hours per day as a temporary move toward a more comprehensive settlement—was tied to the town’s appeal of the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals decision in May upholding Neil P. and Elizabeth Andersen’s claim that the wind turbines constitute a nuisance. The Andersens live near the turbines on Blacksmith Shop Road and have been outspoken in their criticism of the machines and impacts they have had on their lives shortly after the first, Wind 1, became operational in March 2010. Read article

How we spend our Friday afternoons (at ERT appeals)

noise1by Bob Lewis
Friday – a short day at the Adelaide ERT. Mr. Zangeneh (spelling? – hereafter referred to as Z) is a noise engineer. Since many of us believe noise is at the root of the health problems this is important. OTOH, while Harvey has obviously spent a great deal of time building his understanding of noise and its effects, I have not and was not able to follow a lot of the testimony so the following might be more disjointed than usual. My editorial comment is interspersed randomly.

He has reviewed 130 applications – 30 for Ontario wind farms. There are different sound level limitations for rural and urban.  The 40 dbA rural limit is cumulative if there are more than 1 project, but only cumulative wind and wind or solar and solar. (How much noise does a solar project make? I have no idea, but the government will do anything to accomplish their goals.) Continue reading

I’m Thinking. Please. Be Quiet.

QUIET noiseNew York Times
Slamming doors, banging walls, bellowing strangers and whistling neighbors were the bane of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s existence. But it was only in later middle age, after he had moved with his beloved poodle to the commercial hub of Frankfurt, that his sense of being tortured by loud, often superfluous blasts of sound ripened into a philosophical diatribe. Then, around 1850, Schopenhauer pronounced noise to be the supreme archenemy of any serious thinker.

His argument against noise was simple: A great mind can have great thoughts only if all its powers of concentration are brought to bear on one subject, in the same way that a concave mirror focuses light on one point. Just as a mighty army becomes useless if its soldiers are scattered helter-skelter, a great mind becomes ordinary the moment its energies are dispersed.

And nothing disrupts thought the way noise does, Schopenhauer declared, adding that even people who are not philosophers lose whatever ideas their brains can carry in consequence of brutish jolts of sound.

From the vantage point of our own auditory world, with its jets, jackhammers, HVAC systems, truck traffic, cellphones, horns, decibel-bloated restaurants and gyms on acoustical steroids, Schopenhauer’s mid-19th century complaints sound almost quaint. His biggest gripe of all was the “infernal cracking” of coachmen’s whips. (If you think a snapping line of rawhide’s a problem, buddy, try the Rumbler Siren.) But if noise did shatter thought in the past, has more noise in more places further diffused our cognitive activity? Read article

“The sound of birds has diminished significantly, they have gone”

CHATHAM-KENT, ONTARIO, INTERNAIONAL POWER GDF SUEZ from Lagoon Road 3I moved to the country to enjoy the quiet solitude and the sweet sounds of the wilderness. To escape the manmade structures and noise of the cities and towns. Never did I imagine, it would encroach on me. I used to sit every morning on my front step with my coffee and listen to the birds and other sounds of wildlife.

The quietness only that the country has to offer. I used this time to give thanks, re-charge, and have a personal conversation with my maker. It was a special time of my day. I no longer have that because of these windmills. The peace has been replaced with the unbelievable noise of 12 mammoth blades spinning. I sit there in the beauty of nature now with a sound that is peace shattering and has changed the one part of my day I looked forward to. The sound of birds has diminished significantly, they have gone. It is sad to watch helplessly, the end results of man and their never ending greed for money.”

Michelle Hyslop
(In Haldimand Samsung Wind Project)

Newer wind turbines could be just as harmful as prototypes

noise1Graham Lloyd, The Australian
Modern wind turbines could cause the same health impacts for nearby residents as an older prototype rejected by the industry because of proven concerns, says the author of a 1987 study that established the link. Neil Kelley, who presented the findings of a comprehensive study prepared for the US Department of Energy to the renewable energy industry 25 years ago, said in-home testing of low-frequency noise from wind turbines was the only way to establish the truth.

The wind industry in Australia has rejected the findings of the 1987 NASA study because the type of wind turbine studied was no longer in use. The study used laboratory simulations to prove a link between low-frequency noise from the older-model wind turbines and health impacts. It found the impact of low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines was often “confined to within surrounding homes” and that residents became more sensitive to the impact over time.

The National Health and Medical Research Council is conducting a review of its guidelines on whether wind turbines can cause health concerns. Leading public health officials have said publicly that reports of ill health are the result of a “nocebo effect“, with symptoms caused by apprehension about possible dangers. Mr Kelley, who served as the principal scientist (atmospheric physics) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Center in the US from 1980 to 2011, said research had shown it was possible for modern wind turbines to create “community annoyance”. Read article

North Perth Investigates Turbine Noise Bylaw

noise1Blackburn News
North Perth may not be able to prohibit wind turbines but every effort will be made to regulate them. Council has decided to further investigate a potential noise bylaw.

Staff have also been directed to continue discussions with other municipalities interested in working collaboratively on the issue. Councillor Warren Howard says a recent court decision shows there is “legal basis” to move forward but cautions the document must be developed “absolutely correctly”.

Howard stresses the importance of ensuring it can withstand challenges. A 26 wind turbine project involving properties in North Perth and neighbouring Perth East is being proposed. Public concerns about the potential impacts continue to be expressed.

U.S. government has known about Wind Turbine Syndrome since 1987 (U.S. Dept. of Energy)

Kelley1Calvin Martin, Wind Turbine Syndrome
October 1987.  The Windpower ’87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco.  A paper read by a physicist named N.D. Kelley from the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado.  A research project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-83CH10093.

Dr. Kelley titled his paper “A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions.”  “Emissions” means “noise & vibration.”  And the “low frequency” includes infrasound.  And the sterile phrase, “community annoyance,” is code for Wind Turbine Syndrome–except, Dr. Pierpont had not coined the name in 1987.

Here’s Kelley’s paper.  Rick James, America’s premier expert in measuring and assessing wind turbine noise/vibration, sent the paper to Dr. Sarah Laurie in Australia.  Dr. Laurie forwarded it to us. Read article

Bluewater Rep to Attend Wind Summit

mmw_windturbineBayshore Broadcasting
Bluewater Council will send representative George Irvin to the Multi-Municipal Working Group Wind Summit in Ripley on Friday, June 21st. Irvin will observe and report, but he hopes his peers will take things one step further. The Stanley West representative thinks Bluewater should consider joining up with the group.

The municipal wind turbine group holds regular meetings in Chesley where topics relating to the wind industry are discussed. This time the Huron-Kinloss community is hosting the gathering, and the topic specifically is noise. Irvin says Bluewater has dealt with by-laws addressing health, road access and setbacks, but it has nothing on noise. He says the group is raising issues that the public needs to be talking about. Within the County, Huron East is already a member, but sends a citizen delegate on the municipality’s behalf.

Construction on Nanticoke wind project to start in June

nightThe Saachem
Residents in Nanticoke can expect construction of an additional 45 Industrial Wind Turbines in the area. At the Tuesday, May 14 Council in Committee meeting, representatives from Capital Power Corporation appeared to give council members an update on the construction timeline of the wind farm in the Nanticoke and Port Dover area. Construction on the 58-wind turbine farm is anticipated to start as early as June and could carry on until late October, but instead of working 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. workdays, the company planned to work 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday in hopes of finishing the project sooner.

“Extending working hours… will enable the project to be constructed quicker and provide greater control over the associated construction schedule,” stated in the letter from the wind company to Haldimand County. “The benefit to the community will be a shorter period of disruption and reduced road congestion associated with our construction activities.”

Anthony Zlahtic, director of commercial services at Capital Power, said the extended hours would likely provide a 1/3 reduction in time spent on the site. The company wasn’t asking council for an exemption from the noise bylaw, but was there to simply inform council that their extended work hours wouldn’t break the noise bylaw. The company said the work that would be done from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. wouldn’t be any louder than 43 dB at the loudest allowing the company to remain within reason of the noise bylaw. Read article

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child & Canada’s Role Part 5 : Fullest Potential

receptorWind Victims Ontario
Canada played an instrumental role in drafting and promoting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention outlines the responsibilities governments have to ensure a child’s right to survival, healthy development, protection and participation in all matters that affect them. The four general principles of the Convention are: non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and respect for the views of the child. [1] Public Health Agency of Canada

Convention on the Rights of the Child [2]
Article 29

1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;

Fullest potential

  • Research linking loud sounds to hearing loss in youngsters is now widespread, resulting in the issuance of warnings to protect children’s hearing. However, studies attesting to the adverse effects of intrusive sounds and noise on children’s overall mental and physical health and well-being have not received similar attention. This, despite the fact that many studies have demonstrated that intrusive noises such as those from passing road traffic, nearby rail systems, and overhead aircraft can adversely affect children’s cardiovascular system, memory, language development and learning acquisition.[3]
  • Furthermore, based on our knowledge of the harmful effects of noise on children’s health and the growing body of evidence to suggest the potential harmful effects of industrial wind turbine noise, it is strongly urged that further studies be conducted on the impacts of industrial wind turbines on their health, as well as the health of their parents, before forging ahead in sighting industrial wind turbines.[3]
  • The report concludes that exposure to ambient noise was found to be linked to small decrements in children’s mental health and poorer classroom behaviour. This link was stronger in children with early biological risk. [4]
  • “During exposure, young Justin, a healthy 2½-year-old, pulled on his ears and got cranky at the same times that adults in the family noticed more headache and tinnitus. His language development was good before, during, and after exposure, but his mother noticed during exposure that the child began to confuse T with K sounds and W with L sounds, which he had not done before. This sound confusion was ongoing six weeks after exposure ended, when I interviewed the parents.” Continue reading

Will an economic policy take precedence over health?

conestogaDear Minister Aglukkaq,
Re: Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

Attached is a noise report relating to a family in close proximity to industrial wind turbines. The Weaver/Rooney family is one of those for which a pre- and post-turbine submission was forwarded to Health Canada ” Health Canada submission_November 23 2012 FINAL” and “Pre_Post_Wind turbine submission_Updated February 4 2013” respectively.

The family is reporting serious health impairment which is associated with the start-up of the facility in December 2012. A noise study was conducted and the results indicate “that the IWT generated noise does not comply with the MOE noise guidelines ~50% of the time and that SPL’s are above the predicted “worst case” ~59% of the time.”

The family started a journal December 26, 2012 and have maintained it to date. The attached noise study file contains extracts for a period of time that the noise measuring equipment was established at the family residence. The journal records the quality of life and health problems experienced by the family [see attached Appendix B of the report]. The journal documents many negative sleep events where one or both members of the family could not sleep. In some cases, sleep medication was required or members had to sleep away from their home.

Continue reading:
Weaver_noise_report  May 2013
Health Canada submission_Weaver_Noise study May 6 2013

Ontario court allows lawsuits against wind company and landowners … just a matter of time

court-decision1Cunningham & Gillespie LLP,  Canada Newswire

Court Accepts 22% to 50% Loss of Property Values is Occurring Today; Court and Wind Company also Acknowledge Health and Noise Issues in Context of Motion

TORONTO, April 23, 2013 /CNW/ – In a decision released late yesterday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has determined that while residents of Clearview Township cannot bring claims for a proposed industrial wind project at this time, the ruling is “without prejudice to the plaintiffs’ rights to commence an action for identical or similar relief when and if the Fairview Wind Project receives the necessary approvals to be constructed.” [Para. 6]

The court has specifically recognized that claims against wind companies and against landowners who agree to host wind turbines are possible as soon as projects receive approval. [Para. 37] “There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims” said lawyer Eric Gillespie, whose firm acts for the plaintiffs in the actions. “It now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved residents can start a claim. This appears to be a major step forward for people with concerns about industrial wind projects across Ontario.”

In addition, Gillespie’s firm acts for other clients in areas where wind projects have been approved. “Dozens of plaintiffs who have already started actions appear to have had the right to bring claims validated” he said. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.” Read article