C-K residents living in shadow of industrial wind turbines resort to drastic measures

LibbyChatham Daily News
David Libby has lived on Golf Course Line outside Ridgetown for nearly 20 years. He built his brick home with ceramic tiled floors in the kitchen and dining room. A decision, all these years later, that is helping him sleep in his basement at night.

In December 2010, two industrial wind turbines began operating a few hundred metres to the south of his property. The noise coming from their direction was waking him up at night. “I tried six different kinds of insulation to block out the noise through my bedroom windows,” said Libby. Sheets of one-inch Styrofoam and thick corrugated cardboard still cover his upstairs bedroom windows. “It helped,” he said. But, he says he gets his best sleep now in the basement. “I’m lucky I have nearly an inch of cement in my floors to help deaden the sound,” he said.

A neighbour isn’t as fortunate. Mike, who asked his last name not be published, has lived on Shewburg Line for over 20 years. “I would lie there wide awake (at night in bed),” said Mike. He too has moved a mattress into his unfinished basement to try to get a better night’s sleep. But rest still doesn’t come easy without sleeping pills, said Mike. Read article

Court declares bylaw invalid and without effect

JeffsBy Dave Johnson, The Tribune
WAINFLEET – A Superior Court judge has ruled Wainfleet’s two-kilometre setback for wind turbines invalid and without effect. The decision came down Friday in the lawsuit brought about by Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc., and its owners the Loeffen family and Tom Rankin, head of Rankin Construction, after the township passed its bylaw last year.

The bylaw was an attempt by to overrule the Green Energy Act which has a 550-metre setback rule in place. “I know there’s going to be a lot of disappointed people,” said Mayor April Jeffs, who called The Tribune after learning of the decision late Friday afternoon.

Jeffs, with obvious disappointment in her voice, said as much as people outside of Wainfleet think there’s no reason to be opposed to wind turbines and that green energy is good, residents in her township, and across Ontario, have genuine concerns. “People are worried about their health, getting sick and having to leave their homes. They’re also worried about property devaluation,” she said, adding that too was one of her concerns. Read article

Quebec bans wind turbines within 2 km of homes and 1 km of public roads

quebec-flagWind Turbine Syndrome
—Patrice Laflamme, TVA Nouvelles, 3/25/13
No wind turbines can be built less than 2 km from a home and 1 km of a road in the Haut-Saint-Laurent, in the Montérégie. The Quebec government has officially endorsed the amended interim control (RCI) of the Haut-Saint-Laurent surrounding these structures in its territory, which the council of mayors adopted on 9 January.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy (MAMROT), Sylvain Gaudreault, approved the new RCI in a letter dated March 13. “The Regulation respects the policies of the government in terms of development.  Therefore, under the Planning Act and planning, it shall take effect the day on which this notice is served,” the minister said in this letter for the prefect of the MRC, Alain Castagner.

In the territory of Haut-Saint-Laurent, this revised version of RCI forbids the erection of wind turbines 2000 m (2 km)  from any dwelling and 1000 m (1 km) from any public road. Read article

CTV News: Fire destroys top of wind turbine near Goderich

ctvfire

CTV News
There will be one less wind turbine in Ontario. An overnight fire has destroyed the top portion of a wind turbine at the Kingsbridge Wind Farm near Goderich, Ont. The fire in the seven-year-old turbine began around 1 a.m. on Tuesday and had burned itself out about two hours later.

Dan Hayden of Kingsbridge Wind Farm Operations says “It has burnt itself out through the night and we have a team of specialists coming to do a root-cause analysis.” Neighbours speculate it was a mechanical or electrical problem because the blaze started where all the gears and electronics in the turbine are located. Hayden says while nothing can be ruled out, it’s unlikely a lightning strike or any kind of sabotage started the fire.

Dan Morgan lives near the turbine and witnessed the fire. He says he “saw an orange fireball a couple of miles from the front yard, so I thought I better investigate this,” before driving over to get a closer look. Read article

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Wind turbine fire near Goderich

This happened around 2a.m. at the Kingsbridge 1 project. Initial info is that the turbine is on Golf Course road east of Sunset Golf Course Goderich, Ontario.

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CAW turbine is turning

CAW protestOwen Sound Times
A Canadian Auto Workers’ wind turbine that has sparked protests, petitions and a strong public backlash is now in full operation in Saugeen Shores. The turbine, at the union’s Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, was turned on and the blades began spinning at about 12:30 p.m. Monday, according to Ken Bondy, the CAW’s national health, safety and environment co-ordinator. “It was a long time coming for us, about nine years from the initial thought process,” he said Tuesday in an interview. He said the turbine is expected to generate enough “green energy” to offset 350 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

While the union is celebrating the “milestone” — it is the first union-owned and operated wind turbine in Canada — opponents of the project are still fuming. Karen Hunter, spokeswoman for Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy (STOP), said the group is “extremely disappointed” the CAW has decided to “roll the dice and take a chance on our health and their own employees’ health. “They’ve chosen to ignore the massive evidence that turbines located too close to people destroy health. Their decision to start the turbine shows that the CAW’s priorities are money first, people second.” She said STOP will continue to be involved in “noise monitoring and legal action.”

STOP and other opponents of the CAW turbine say it is too close to homes and, as a result, threatens the health and safety of many people and reduces the value of nearby residential properties. About 100 homes are within 550 metres of the turbine, which is the minimum setback in the Green Energy Act. The turbine is exempt from the act since approval was granted before it became law. Read article

Siting of large-scale wind turbines causing problems

IMG_1692Shoreline Beacon
Last Sept. 21, Rachel Thompson of Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns and Virginia Stewart Love from Grey Highlands delivered presentations to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hazel Lynn and the Grey-Bruce Board of Health in Owen Sound.

The presentations were made on behalf of the Health Affected Residents Meeting (HARM) living in the Municipality of Kincardine within the Enbridge wind power project and those impacted by the Plateau wind project.

Thompson and Love reported that people living near these power projects are experiencing physical symptoms from the noise and vibration produced by the power generating machines, ranging from discomfort to a high pitched ringing in  their ears, headaches, dizziness, vertigo, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, inability to sleep, loss of concentration and mood disorders.

The two delegations pleaded with the Grey-Bruce Health Board to acknowledge the residents’ health problems, and to investigate this further. Continue reading

Wind Turbines; Distance is not the culprit nor the remedy for health issues

CHATHAM KENT ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL POWER GDF SUEZ WIND FROM CROSS ROADDan Reid, London Free Press
Imagine your home in a quiet rural setting with no neighbours for miles around. At the back of the house is a panoramic window with a view of the countryside. Parallel to that back wall exactly 1km away is a fence row of 5 industrial wind turbines. The turbines are arranged like fence posts 400 metres apart to avoid operational difficulties. Each turbine is rated at a 102 db(A) noise level and the turbine in the middle of the group lines up perfectly with the centre of your panoramic window.

Now let’s advance this entire fence row of 5 turbines progressively closer to the house, up to the point where the cumulative noise of the entire group creates 40 db(A) of noise at the house. At that point, the two turbines on either end of the fence row would be 974m from the house. Moving towards the middle of the fence from both ends the next two turbines would be 684m away. The final turbine in the centre of the fence, aligned with the panoramic window, would be 550m from the house. This is how the 550m setback became a reality. Continue reading

CBC documentary addresses wind farm noise in Ontario

CBC Wind RushThe Acoustic Ecology Institute
A new documentary from the CBC’s Doczone series, titled Windrush, takes a look at the widespread resistance to wind power in Ontario, which is largely based on noise and health impacts.  While the CBC video is only viewable in Canada, a regional organization opposing industrial wind has posted a version on YouTube (it’s 42 minutes long and ends a bit abruptly; it’s unclear whether it’s abbreviated, or simply missing the end credits).

This is a fairly balanced program, especially in highlighting the differences between building wind farms in the wide-open spaces of Alberta and the more densely populated rural areas of Ontario.  While it gives a lot of screen time to researchers and public officials who are studying the negative responses of many neighbors to nearby turbines, it’s useful and important to hear these sober and measured voices of concern.  The conventional wisdom, as reflected in the MOE health effects report, is also presented, though more as a context within which the program attempts to explore the persistent claims that living near turbines can be more difficult than these reassuring assessments suggest. Read article

Wind activists want Lambton Shores to take a tougher stand with wind energy companies

stw-wind-response MarcelleSarnia Lambton Independent
Local anti-wind activists are worried Lambton Shores officials are not making tough enough demands nor asking the right questions on the two wind energy projects in the community. Lambton Shores preparing its comments on the Suncor Energy project (62 turbines) and NextEra Energy (92 turbines) which will be within the municipal boundaries.

The municipality planned to hire a consultant to comb through the binders of questions to be answered but found any firm with expertise in the area was already employed by the wind energy companies. Marcelle Brooks, spokesperson for Middlesex Lambton Wind Concern, has looked at the municipal response to both projects and has one major concern. In both documents, the municipality states the turbines are equipped with sensors which automatically shut down if abnormal amounts of noise is found.

The sound waves are one of the major concerns of the people opposed to wind energy who say the sound can cause headaches, sleeplessness and tinnitus. “I question where that information was obtained,” says Brooks. In fact, in an email to anti-wind activist one of NextEra’s consultants debunks the idea. “The turbines can be shut down remotely but not as a result of achieving a certain sound limit,” writes Derek Dudek in an email. “The 40 decibels is not measured at the turbine but rather at the receptor location (nearby homes.)” Read article

Steps taken to minimize safety concerns over ice and fire, Invenergy Canada says

fire-turbine-smListowel Banner
NORTH PERTH – Representatives from Invenergy Canada have responded to resident concerns over fire and ice safety concerns posed by wind turbines. James Murphy, director of business development for Invenergy Canada, answered questions from The Banner via email after a resident approached North Perth council in January about the potential of fires in wind turbines. Murphy said Invenergy operates and maintains 1,300 turbines at 23 wind farms across North America, and that the Invenergy fleet has never experienced any major turbine fires. According to Murphy, a documented emergency response plan would be in place before any turbine construction would begin in the Conestogo Wind Energy project proposed for North and East Perth.

“Local emergency units will have access to this document along with site maps to allow for easy location of work locations,” Murphy said. “Local fire departments typically do not allow their employees in a turbine; therefore, we train only Invenergy staff in this discipline.” Murphy added that Invenergy employees are trained in the use of fire extinguishers in the case of fires that can’t be suppressed by the turbine nacelle system. “The nacelle systems don’t suppress large fires, but rather they suppress fires in cabinets,” he said. “Technicians carry fire suppression equipment with them in the trucks at all times, and they carry this equipment with them on every climb up the tower.”

In the event that a wind turbine does catch fire and causes damage to neighbouring buildings or crops, Murphy said individual home owner’s insurance would cover this, the same way it would if a barn, car, house or other object caught fire and it spread. Read article

Bluewater Wind may interfere with Exeter Radar

exeter radarAM920
Bluewater’s C-A-O told councillors at last night’s special council meeting that tests on the proposed Grand Bend Wind Energy Project indicated some problems with the Exeter Radar station.Steve McCauley explained that tests looked for any kind of interference with telecommunications near the turbines and the consultant found that there would be interference with the Exeter Radar. McAuley added Environment Canada confirmed those findings and said the two would not be able to co-exist without some form of mitigation.

McAuley says suggestions for mitigation included the use of stealth turbine blades or turning the turbines off on days when Environment Canada needed to use the radar to issue weather warnings.McAuley added no agreement on mitigation has been reached at this time. McAuley also suggested the same problem would likely exist with the Goshen Energy Project.

Action group targets Watford open house

watford protest2By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Opponents of a 92-turbine wind farm Nextera Energy is proposing for north Lambton say they want the company to know they’re not going away. Members of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group and its supporters protested Wednesday evening at a public meeting Nextera held at Watford’s Centennial Hall.

It was the first of three the company is holding this week. “We continue to protest, mostly just to show Nextera they aren’t welcome here,” said Esther Wrightman, with the wind action group, joined by about 25 other protesters. She said there’s “extreme opposition” in the community to the company’s plans. “If we don’t protest, it’s as if we say, ‘We give up, come on in,’” Wrightman said. “And that’s not how anybody feels.”

Nextera’s meeting was the part of a final round of open houses the company is holding before submitting its project for provincial environmental approval. The Jericho Wind Energy Centre already has a contract to sell power from the proposed turbines into Ontario’s electricity grid. Read article

Wind turbine neighbours could find their land at risk

CHATHAM KENT INTERNATIONAL POWER GDF SUEZ FROM FARGO LINEHeather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independant
Lambton wind activists are warning landowners they could be at risk even if they don’t have a wind turbine on their property. Lambton Shores is soon to be home to two major wind projects. Suncor Energy plans to build a solar project with 62 industrial turbines and NextEra Energy’s plan has 92 turbines. Middlesex Lambton Wind Concern spokesperson Marcelle Brooks says a little known part of the regulations for turbines allows for boundary setback reductions. It basically means the giant turbines could be placed very close to the property lines of people who don’t want turbines on their land.

Suncor is applying for 21 boundary setback reductions and NextEra is looking for 39. “It benefits the host property owner,” says Brooks. “The companies are putting the access roads close to the turbines as close to the property line as possible so they don’t chop up the farmer’s field.”

But she says in the case of a massive failure of the turbines, they could land on the neighbour’s property. “If it did fall into the neighbours property, you’re going to have not only the blade length of 50 meters but you’re going to potentially have another 20 meters of hub and turbine tower come crashing into your field. A hub and rotor weighs 144 tonnes…that’s going to make a pretty big hole.” Read article

Community group demands setback from wind project to protect environment, health

P1020398The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier -Designate
Open Letter re Safe Setback Amendment to GEA

Dear Premier-Designate Wynne:

Congratulations on your election to office as Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, and our new Premier-Designate.

We ask you now to consider acting on an issue of critical importance to Ontario’s rural and small urban communities, and the environment. We believe it is well past the time to amend the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) to protect the health and safety of Ontario citizens and wildlife.

To be specific, this amendment should stipulate that until scientifically-determined setbacks are established, Industrial Wind Turbines must be no closer than 10km from internationally-recognized Important Bird Areas (IBAs), and no closer than 2km from present or future residential home sites. These interim “Safe Setback” amendments would remain in effect until scientifically-determined safe setback distances are decided by independent organizations such as Nature Canada and Health Canada.

CCSAGE strives to promote “Safe and Appropriate Green Energy”, but many Ontario wind energy projects are neither safe nor appropriate. These include the recently-approved nine-turbine project on Crown Land in the Important Bird Area or IBA at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County. Read letter

Wind turbine safety concerns heard at council

fire-turbine-smby Andrew Smith, Listowel Banner
NORTH PERTH – Residents have once again come forward with concerns about industrial wind turbines, and the dangers they pose to the safety of both human and livestock health. North Perth council heard from local farmer and Elma Mornington Concerned Citizens member Tim Martin as he presented several safety concerns he has with industrial wind turbines. Martin said wind turbines represent a fire hazard, and that fires can break out in the turbine nacelle areas more commonly than the public knows.  “It isn’t a case of if it’s going to happen here in North Perth, it’s going to be when,” Martin said. “There’s been numerous fires in California in wind turbines.”

Martin said the turbine project proposed by Invenergy Canada in North Perth and Perth East is situated in a high density rural area, with insufficient separation between homes, farm buildings and crops if a fire were to occur, creating a debris field of hazardous material. “They’re not quite far enough away from homes as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We need a realistic plan to address fires before they’re approved.”
Martin related to a 2009 incident in San Antonio, Texas, where three workers were performing maintenance on a wind turbine when a fire was sparked, leading to one man falling to his death. High-angle rescue is not available from fire departments in North Perth or Perth East, and waiting for other emergency services would not meet response times. Read article

2 km setback not possible for wind turbines

A West Lincoln alderman who doesn’t want wind turbines in the township told a packed community meeting that he won’t support a proposal for boosting the setback distance of turbines from homes. Hamilton Spectator file photo

A West Lincoln alderman who doesn’t want wind turbines in the township told a packed community meeting that he won’t support a proposal for boosting the setback distance of turbines from homes.
Hamilton Spectator file photo

Natalie Paddon , The Hamilton Spectator
SMITHVILLE A West Lincoln alderman who doesn’t want wind turbines in the township told a packed community meeting that he won’t support a proposal for boosting the setback distance of turbines from homes.

“It’s illegal,” John Glazier told a planning committee meeting attended by about 500 community members on Monday that ran close to seven hours. “I cannot expose residents of West Lincoln to a potential lawsuit” that could result in a “huge potential cost.”

Glazier, who represents Ward 3, said he wouldn’t support a motion by fellow alderman Alex Micallef for a two-kilometre setback, because Ontario’s Green Energy Act has a 550-metre rule. However, Glazier did say he is hopeful Ontario’s next premier might reform the setback distance in the Act. The township will continue pushing for changes.

Brian Treble, director of planning and building for the township, said the proposed two km setback was discussed in a staff report released last February.

Micallef, who withdrew the motion at the meeting, said he’d do more research to make his proposal more concrete. He said afterward that he “pulled it off the table so people wouldn’t think it was over.”  read article

Breathing down rural Ontario’s back

Chatham Kent: IPC GDF Suez Wind project (from Fargo Line) – photo by David LibbyCHATHAM KENT INTERNATIONAL POWER GDF SUEZ FROM FARGO LINE

County endorses 1.4 km setbacks for wind turbines

CHATHAM KENT ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL POWER GDF SUEZ WIND FROM BISNETT ROAD (5)By Wes Kellar, Orangeville Citizen
Dufferin County council has endorsed an Amaranth resolution calling for a 1,400- metre separation of “industrial wind turbines” from homes and farms, as well as a shutdown of any now operating within the 1,400 metres. The Amaranth resolution had been based on the so-called Nissenbaum report, whose authors are identified as Michael A. Nissenbaum of the Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent, Jeffery J. Aramini of Intelligent Health Solutions of Guelph, and Christopher D. Hanning of the University Hospitals of Leicester, U.K.

The report, “Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health,” states in part: “This investigation is a stratified crosssectional study involving two sites: Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine, USA. “A questionnaire was offered to all residents meeting the participant-inclusion criteria and living within 1.5 km of an industrial wind turbine (IWT) and to a random sample of residents, meeting participant inclusion criteria, living 3 to 7 km from an IWT between March and July of 2010. “The protocol was reviewed and approved by Institutional Review Board Services, of Aurora, Ontario, Canada.”

The results of the study were either used or referenced in a Saskatchewan wind farm case and also in the challenge to the approval of Suncor’s Kent Breeze wind farm near Thamesville in the spring of 2011. It was published by the bi-monthly Noise & Health in its September-October 2012 issue.

In the Kent Breeze case, the Environmental Review Tribunal is quoted as finding “that strong statements about harm that will be caused were preceded by evidence that largely showed that harm may be caused. For example, with respect to the Nissenbaum Study and Dr. Aramini’s application of it, there are enough uncertainties to lead the Tribunal to conclude that no proof of harm is present.” The tribunal did, however, suggest that more health studies would be warranted. Read article

The Cost of a Bad Idea

wind turbines are bad neighbours - proof lineby Bill Palmer, Owen Sound Times
What would you do with $50 Million dollars a year or more wasted in Ontario due to a bad idea fixated on by a government that does not listen?

On December 3, 2012, the Ontario Association of Food Banks reported that 412,000 Ontarians, including 160.000 children access food banks each month. 50 Million dollars wasted each year would provide over $100 for each of these people to help them eat better, but one reason it is not is that at least that amount of money was wasted in each of 2011 and 2012 by a government policy that forced utilities (and thus consumers) to preferentially purchase high cost electricity from wind turbines, even when it was not needed, forcing low cost base load generators like nuclear and water power stations to dump steam or water and not produce the electricity that they could have. Does this waste bother you?

A table (attached) shows from data provided by the Ontario Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO) that for the last two years (2011 and 2012) one or more Bruce B Nuclear Generating Units have been placed on condenser steam discharge valves (CSDVs) on about 75 days per year due to excess baseload generation. Why was there excess generation? On top of existing base load generators Ontario has added over 1900 MW of wind turbine generating capability that produces best at night when the electrical system demand is lowest. It also has added natural gas generators that produce continually.

As a result, the table shows the number of MWh that Bruce B Units were derated in 2011 was approximately 369,000 and in 2012 (to date) 374,000. The system needs to keep the Bruce B units available to load when the wind turbine output falls and the system load increases, so they are paid a flat rate (about $45 a MWh) to keep the unit at high power, dumping steam that is not used to produce electricity. Bruce B were paid some 17 Million dollars in each of 2011 and 2012 to produce and dump unused steam that could have produced electricity, while wind generators were paid (at $135 a MWh) some 50 Million dollars in each of 2011 and 2012 to produce the electricity that was already paid for to have been produced at Bruce B. In some cases we had to sell excess generation to the USA utilities at a cost to us. Today (Dec 16) at 4 AM, the wind turbines were producing 1235 MW and the electricity cost was minus $128.10 a MWh, meaning the system was paying customers in the USA to take electricity off our hands. Continue reading

‘Notice to airmen’ declared in Chatham-Kent

SAMSUNGChatham-Kent continues to be the laughing stock of the province as a prostitute for the wind industry. Just a week ago…C-K Mayor is very happy with the “independent” study done that finds turbines won’t be an issue for the airport. Chatham Daily News

The “independent” company that did the study was Genivar: “GENIVAR Wind Energy is part of the GENIVAR family of engineering services. We have an excellent reputation earned with over 20 years of experience in the wind energy industry.”  On top of that– shall we say, perhaps biased study, the anti-corruption squad recently raided one of Genivar’s offices.

And now (a week after the study is released that says the turbines are not an issue), the airport is issuing warnings of a potentially dangerous situation caused by the turbines…

‘Notice to airmen’ declared in Chatham-KentChatham Daily News
CHARING CROSS  –  A potentially-dangerous situation at the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport is being corrected, according to airport manager Marion Smith. Smith told The Daily News Wednesday she has been able to issue a ”notice to airmen” that the red flashing lights on top of an unspecified number of wind turbines around the airport are not working. Smith agreed that without lighting at night it created a dangerous situation for unsuspecting pilots. The Daily News was advised of the situation Tuesday by two pilots who asked to remain anonymous.

Smith said she has been assured by the company that owns the turbines that the lights will be working within the next few days. She said the company wasn’t even aware that the lights were not working. “The problem has been resolved, or at least it will be shortly,” she said. A Transport Canada inspector declined comment and referred inquiries to the department’s media department when asked about the lights.

“The lights are on the turbines but they are not working,” said Smith. “The turbine company tells us the problem will be corrected within the next few days.” Read article

The view from Chatham Kent Boralex Front Line Wind

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SWEAR Legal Action: Helping us…. to Help You

Shawn and Tricia Drennan are landowners facing a pending windfarm project known as Kingsbridge II. Kingsbridge II will consist of upwards of 150 turbines one of which will be as close as approximately 650 meters from their home. Twelve more turbines will be located within the surrounding two kilometers. After learning that eleven families living amongst two different wind projects (one located in their neighbouring township) had their homes purchased by wind companies, the Drennans sought to gather key information from these former residents about the adverse health and safety effects of the wind turbines. However, they learned that as a part of the buyout agreements, these residents were blocked from discussing any negative experiences with the wind turbines, including adverse health effects.
The Drennans, supported by the community group S.W.E.A.R. (Safe Wind Energy for All Residents) will go to Court, asking the Court to invalidate the non-disclosure clauses which gag their neighbours as fundamentally against the public interest.

SWEAR is a group of people who have come together to support Shawn & Tricia Drennan in their endeavour. Thanks to our number of supporters we have gotten this far, but we cannot leave it to one family to fight this battle alone on our behalf. We need your financial support. This is probably the most important legal action currently in progress. It could be precedent setting and has the potential to affect all wind projects in Ontario as well as further afield. You can follow this case at falconercharney.com

Mail donations to:
SWEAR c/o: Dave Hemingway, RR#2, Bayfield, ON N0M 1G0.

Property Appraisals expert says turbines, transmission lines decrease land value

Ben_Lansink_Appraisal_ExpertBayshore Broadcasting
Appraisals expert Ben Lansink of London has told the Huron East Administrative Committee that rural residential property values fall when either turbines are erected, or transmission lines are cut through the landscape. He was addressing the committee, which determines the agendas for regular meetings of Huron East Council on Tuesday.

Lansink has done two studies in Ontario townships where wind farms have located. He says adjacent residential property values fall between 25 and almost 60 per cent. The appraisals expert say the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is technically correct in saying property values haven’t been affected by nearby turbines– its data is four years old.

Lansink says this is an issue that will get bigger when MPAC’s 2012 statistics comes on-line. He says in the case of Melancton Township anyone who bought one of the adjacent homes had to sign a waiver. The appraiser warned that one residence along the Bluewater Highway was rendered uninhabitable by dirty electricity leaking from the adjacent power-lines. Read article and listen

New house plans blown away

by  Hans Janzen, Toronto Sun
How does one man’s dream of becoming known as the “Green Premier” become a nightmare for much of rural Ontario? It’s called the Green Energy Act. It takes away the rights of individual landowners and municipalities to protect themselves from the placement of industrial wind turbines in their jurisdictions.

The mandate of the act is to harness the “free energy” of the wind. The concept sounds great, but the reality is much different. It’s anything but free, given the rising evidence of health issues, bird and bat kills, lost property values and unsustainable electricity rates. These wind farms do not get built without massive government subsidies from our already near-bankrupt government.

In 2004, my family and I purchased a 32.6-acre parcel of farmland in the Township of West Lincoln. It fulfilled our lifelong dream of owning a farm. Our land produces soybeans, wheat and corn. In 2007, we built a barn and we are continuing to improve the farm for future endeavours. We have not yet built a house on our site.

In 2011, we received a letter from a local wind developer looking for landowners willing to lease their farm land for the installation of industrial wind turbines. We naively believed people in our area would not lease their land to these corporations, but money talks. The leases for the land pay $50,000 per year per turbine for 20 years. Read article

Wind turbine ice throw a real threat, but there is no protection

Do you feel your children are safe when they ride the school bus under this everyday?

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Would YOU feel safe?

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Ollson: The doctor who isn’t a doctor

Harvey Wrightman
At yesterday’s Environmental Review Tribunal hearing in Kohler, Dr. Ollson’s (no, not a medical doctor, Ph.D., Environmental Sciences, Royal Military College of Canada)  sonorous voice mimicked that of a well-worn preacher, tired of standing before his flock, using his best “LFN” voice to lull his attackers into complacency. “How well you talk. Really I feel quite drowsy. It is like being in church.” – Oscar Wilde.

But traditional Onkwehonwe Lester Green, who remains nimble and committed to teasing out the “inconvenient” bits of truth, had Chris paying attention. There was a prolonged discussion of pre and post construction studies of wind projects – as you might imagine, tests are not comprehensive at all, almost non-existent. No real health studies exist – yet. Perhaps the recent Waterloo and Health Canada studies will enter this space, but they are way down the road. The province of Alberta does require pre-construction base noise studies, Ontario does not. Given the bias, if not outright prejudice, of most of the contracted acousticians, such studies would need independent “peer-review”. The industry shouldn’t object to that. It’s a process that CanWEA latches onto – when it sees fit. Continue reading

Times change, minds change

Phil McNichol, The Sun Times
The mostly positive feelings that greeted pioneering wind turbines on the Bruce Peninsula have been replaced by opposition as proposals for hundreds of the machines come to light.

It was a cold and blustery day in late November 2006 on the wind-swept Ferndale Flats, but a good crowd had gathered to mark the completed construction and startup of two more commercial wind turbine on the Bruce Peninsula.

The big Danish-made Vesta turbine blades throbbed deeply overhead. Nobody was bothered by them. Nobody covered their ears and ran away screaming. On the contrary, all seemed well and when the crowd of well-wishers gathered at the Rotary Hall, everyone was in a celebratory mood.

Glen Estill, founder and president of Sky Generation, the company that erected the turbines thanked the local community for their moral and financial support that began before the company’s first turbine at Ferndale began producing power in 2002.

How times have changed.

The Bruce Peninsula, like many other parts of Ontario where large-scale industrial wind farms — with turbines numbering in the hundreds — have been built or proposed, has become a hot-bed of anti-wind turbine sentiment along with other parts of Grey-Bruce.

“Stop the Wind Turbines” signs are tacked up on fence posts and even highway signs in steadily growing numbers. read article

Ont. couple seeks injunction to stop wind-farm expansion

Trisha Drennan, left, lawyer Julian Falconer, centre, and Shawn Drennan at a wind farm near Goderich, Ont. (CBC

‘I’m not interested in being a guinea pig,’ says resident, citing health concerns of turbines
By Dave Seglins, CBC News

A rural Ontario couple is heading to court to halt development of a large wind farm near the shores of Lake Huron – at least until Health Canada completes a new two-year study on the potential risks of living next to industrial wind turbines.

Lawyers for Shawn and Trish Drennan sent notice Monday to the Ontario government announcing they are seeking an injunction against expanding the Kingsbridge 2 wind farm near Goderich, Ont., by Alberta-based Capital Power.

They argue that in light of Health Canada’s announcement in July to study the health of 2,000 residents across Canada who live near wind farms, all construction should be stopped on the 140 turbines set to go up near the Drennans’ farm — several of which would be located within 700 metres of their home.

“There is no real set understanding how these things are going to affect people and I’m not interested in being a guinea pig!” Shawn Drennan told CBC News in an interview at his farm in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township.

Some of Ontario’s first industrial wind turbines were erected within 300 to 400 metres from people’s homes. After complaints, the government changed its regulations to require a setback distances of at least 550 metres.

But Shawn Drennan says he’s worried about the health of his family, as well as the effect turbine noise and vibrations could have on his livestock and soil, fearing it will kill off moles and earth worms that he says are vital to his “no-till” soil and acreage.

“Until they have the final results, they should have a moratorium,” he said.  read more