Ministry of Environment Provincial Officers confirmed adverse health effects of wind turbine noise years ago. A new Freedom of Information report reveals provincial field officers were working on an abatement plan to help families who were being impacted by both wind turbine noise and by the transformer station. But where did the report go?
- The report was completed in August 2009 prior to the implementation of the Green Energy Act regulations.
- As you read through the documents it is clear the officers were trying very hard to get some relief for the impacted homeowners. (See the Abatement Plan dated August 2009.)
- These efforts and warnings were made and discussed before Chief Medical Officer of Health Arlene King had started working on her literature review that was released in May 2010. How could this important information have not reached her desk? Even as families who were being impacted were reaching out to her for help she chose not to investigate or speak with them. Why?
- Who in the MOE was responsible for informing her about the complaints that the Provincial Officers Abatement plan expressed?
- While the government may claim that new turbine projects post-GEA have stricter controls the fact is that the acceptable noise levels did not change (40 and up to 51 dBA as acceptable levels) and those living in the turbine projects can tell you without hesitation that the setback of 550 metres makes no difference on these noises.
- It makes sense now when thinking back to the various families in the project who were being told they were the only one making a complaint.
- It makes sense thinking of those who were repeatedly told projects are in compliance even when engineering reports clearly pointed to the contrary.
- It makes sense when you read portions revealed that were taken from a letter from the wind developer September 28, 2009:
“An enormous investment has been made to build Canada’s largest and premier wind energy facility….To assist in bringing this discussion to closure we request a meeting in part to review the facts surrounding both the TS and the wind turbine generators and even more importantly to explain policy and the legal reasons why the maintenance of a consistent position by the MOE is extremely important, both to xxx and to the cause of Green Energy in Ontario” (TS= transformer station)
And consider these observations from the Abatement Plan dated August 2009 drawn up by the Provincial Field Officers:
1.1 Noise emissions from xxx….. xxx County wind turbines….are producing large numbers of complaints (dating back to March, 2006) alleging adverse health effects (i.e. harm or material discomfort, allegations of adverse effects on health, rendering property unfit for human use, loss of enjoyment of normal use of property, and, interference with the normal conduct of business), due to noise emissions from the 133 wind turbines, and the associated step-up transformer station.
1.5 MOE Provincial Officers have attended at several of the complainant’s residences and have confirmed that despite the noise emissions apparently complying with the applicable Cof A limits that the noise emissions are in fact causing material discomfort to the residents in and around their homes.
1.6 GDO Provincial Officers have measured wind turbine noise levels at complainant’s homes that appear to indicate non-compliance with the CofA(Air).
2.4 the conventional approach to addressing noise complaints by requiring compliance with the applicable NPC guideline limits will not address this set of complaints. This would also appear to be the case for a number of other wind turbine facility complaints across the province.
3.5 As it has been verified by MOE Provincial Officers that an adverse effect is occurring and therefore a contravention of S.14 (1) EPA is occurring that appropriate abatement action must occur forthwith and if necessary be made mandatory via a provincial officer order.
This begs some obvious questions:
- What has been happening at the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario been these past 4 years? They’ve been inundated with information and documentation.
- Did the MOE share their vast knowledge of problems with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health?
- Why does the government continue to issue approvals for even more turbines when complaints are still being made?
- We must DEMAND a public inquiry into the wind energy policy! Why is this still being ignored and why are there families still suffering?
Contact your MPP’s, MP’s and authorities and demand an investigation!
The families experiencing problems must have immediate resolution and no more turbines erected until the people of Ontario get to the bottom of this!
FYI: This freedom of information request took almost 1 ½ years to obtain. While told there were over 300 pages collected a scant 26 pages were released and many of those pages are heavily redacted. What information has been withheld?