Adelaide ERT: Ben Greenhouse and Shant Dokouzian

nexterrorSo – Wednesday – we have two witnesses for the other side. NextEra’s project manager Ben Greenhouse is up first. Esther takes a page from the Nextera Lawyers – you’re an employee of Nextera so you have an interest in the outcome of this project. He claims not. He’ll just go on to the next project. He admits to being a board member  of CanWea. Esther suggests that’s like being an activist for wind. Like being a board member of Wind Concerns Ontario (reference to Bill Palmer). Ben tries to reword his answer.

It’s really boring. They talk about the new blade design and the new gearbox design that both reduce noise. Later, Esther will ask the engineer how much they reduce noise. Although qualified as an expert witness in several areas, he repeatedly answers questions like this with ‘I don’t know. I’m not a specialist in that area? This is a typical example – we’ve been complaining about noise and they come up with NEW IMPROVED TURBINES – LESS NOISE! Try to get specifics and they don’t know. But it is definitely measurable, so presumably the improvement is at least one decibel.

I’m not sure what is the difference between an expert and a specialist. Maybe a specialist is only expert in one field, but he’s a ‘generalist?’ – an expert in many fields? Who knows?

Ben continues –

COMPLAINT RESOLUTION.

If you have a complaint they will respond within 24 hours. If they can’t resolve it over the phone, it will be reported to MOE and they will try something else?

PUBLIC CONSULTATION AND HEALTH

Ben tells us they hired two doctors through INTRINSINK – ‘independent consultants’ Dr. Olsen and Dr. Knopper. Esther brings out the fact that they  are PH.Ds not medical doctors. Ben says they never claimed they were medical Drs. (Not their fault if people make assumptions.)

EAGLES – HALDIMAND AND BORNISH.

As for Bornish, they say their intent is not to take the nest down. (note that is not a commitment. They don’t want to get that kind of publicity again, but they won’t let a bird nest jeopardize their project.)

They talk about how the time was so short and they were worried about weather so there really wasn’t time to do much consultation with the public. They keep making reference to the week they had after the permit to destroy was given – they ignore the fact that they admitted to knowing about the nest since November at least and did no public consultation. They claim that part of the discussion with the MNR was that the nest was high in the tree and might have fallen down anyway.  (Apparently it wasn’t built to nest code. No permits had been issued.)

Eagle nests do fall down. They are huge and the birds add to them every year. They can end up weighing tons and after many years they can bring down a tree. And they are usually built high in the trees.

When big business and politicians get together the lies and spin can leave you with glazed eyes and serious doubts about which way is up.

Oh Yeah – it was the MNR that told them to apply for a permit to destroy the nest.

HEALTH

Esther quotes Ben’s witness statement about turbines for health – replace coal,,help asthma victims, etc. She asks how it will benefit the health of residents of Adelaide Metcalfe who will suffer from the noise, flicker, etc. Ben replies that they are of the view that there are no health problems and ‘we have followed the rules.’ Through the day, both Esther and Harvey will mention the term  ‘willful blindness’ after comments like that one.

NIGHT LIGHTS

Esther asks about the flashing lights – how many will there be polluting the night sky outside her son’s bedroom window? He doesn’t know. He talks about the rules governing them, but he doesn’t know the answer. HOWEVER – he points out that there is a communications tower on Centre road that has a light on it, so the night sky isn’t pure. Apparently, once you have one, another hundred won’t really make any difference.

DISCLOSURE

Esther wonders why Nextera didn’t make the changes in the noise report public. She follows these things closely and had never seen it until it showed up in the MOE disclosure. Ben doesn’t know. He doesn’t know that the changes are significant. (Does he know for sure that they are NOT significant?)

The report says that ALL RECEPTORS are required to be below certain decibel levels. Eshter points out that in fact this only applies to non-participant receptors. Participants – leaseholders – can be subjected to any level. They seem to think Esther is nit-picking, but concede the point.

COMMUNICATING WITH RESIDENTS

Ben tells of all their efforts to inform the locals – newsletters, open houses, etc. Esther asks if lawsuits are a way of communicating with residents? Not usually. Ben claims he’s not involved in that. Esther says that’s the only time he’s ever phoned her – he called her at home about the lawsuit.

SCHOOLS

Did they ever approach the school or the school board about health and learning? Ben says they didn’t consider it a problem.  And you can see their point. They have to appear to be consistent. If they are going to pretend they don’t believe there are any health effects, they can’t consult schools about health impact. They’d be admitting the potential. Yet, somehow, it’s not a problem when they put in all those clauses in the leaseholder contracts. Go figure.

Esther – you don’t consider 36.1dba loud for learning – much louder than world Health suggests? Ben says that’s outside the school. Walls and windows should lower that by 15 dba.

(infrasound – below human audible level – actually increases inside a building, but the government doesn’t require them to measure, or even consider, infrasound. It’s been noted elsewhere that at the Open Houses, Nextera’s maps don’t even mark schools and they got quite upset when Esther tried to write the word SCHOOL  on their map. They don’t want people to notice the relative position of the schools to the turbines?)

EAGLES – again

Ben has told us that the eagles have successfully built a new nest on one of their platforms. Esther asks how they know it’s the same pair. They don’t. She asks about hatchlings. They think the pair had success but have no pictures because they didn’t want to get close enough to disturb them.

Harvey brings up Open houses – why they do it the way they do instead of a ‘Town Hall’ style where everyone can hear the questions and the answers. They claim some people are uncomfortable with that.

It is our belief that they don’t want people to hear the questions OR the answers. Most people coming to an open house don’t know much about the turbines, and those of us who have looked into it and learned something are mostly opposed so they don’t want the general public hearing our pointed questions.

MLWAG has put on a couple of town hall style meetings and North Middlesex council has put on at least one, and the turnout has been much better than at most of Suncor’s or Nextera’s open houses. OK – that’s another reason why they might not want to do it.

Moving along…

LANDSMEN

Harvey asks if landsmen are registered with anyone or regulated with any organization.  He wants to talk about leases and how landowners/farmers are convinced to sign them.

Nextera’s John Terry objects – he wants no reference to leases.

Harvey tries to read from a lease and Terry objects again. Harvey asks, ‘so how do we bring it up – when and where?” Because sometimes these objections are just that you can’t phrase the question that way – rules of the game, eh?

The Chair tells him – the tribunal has already ruled on that.

Harvey says, ‘So I can’t bring up the root casues of all this? And the Chair comes back with, “Time – better move on – you’ve got 5 more minutes. Harvey mutters something about the other side went over time.  A little further along Terry will complain about these asides of Harvey’s and the Chair will warn him.

HIGH VOLTAGE POLES

Harvey asks Ben why Hydro One seldom puts high voltage poles along the right of way. Ben doesn’t know. Harvey points out that there will be 75 poles of which 17 are within 8m of the road and a car traveling at 100k/h leaving the road would take about a quarter of a second before hitting the pole. Harvey wonders if this is a safety concern. Ben says they’re designed to meet the requirements.

ICE AND BLADE THROW and SAFETY

They tell us that they have noticed that the blades only ice when they are moving. They don’t know why. Harvey asks if Ben is aware that the complete official records are only available at Exeter Rd in London and in Toronto – not at the municipal offices and not on Nextera’s website.

Ben wasn’t  aware of that either, and Harvey says, “Makes my point.”

Harvey says, ‘You’ve said you don’t believe the project will cause harm – would you give us a written guarantee of public safety – that no one will be harmed?’

Ben says that isn’t ‘best practice’, whatever that means. Harvey tries to elaborate but the tribunal chair tells him he’s had his answer, so move on.

SHANT DOKOUZIAN will be referred to as DK

I had noticed a man sitting in the gallery – behind all our people. He had spoken to the Nextera lawyers and I wondered if he were watching for surreptitious video cameras, but it turned out he’s a lead engineer for this project.

He’s sworn in and given status as an expert in shadow flicker, noise, impact assessment, and post construction monitoring of wind farms.

Harvey questions how you can be considered an expert in shadow flicker when it is not a recognized academic pursuit. Harvey and Esther both object that there are no courses in shadow flicker, but since he has done lots of studies and had in-house training in using computer models he is accepted. Harvey doesn’t challenge all this because it is a waste of time and you need to be a lawyer to do that and probably still wouldn’t change anything.

The chair considers the objections for about 5 seconds and rules against us.

DK tells us that all points within 1.5 km are compliant for sound. This is, again, based on a computer model.

SAFETY

In reference to Bill Palmer’s testimony the other day about ice throw and turbine failure, he says that there aren’t enough examples to be significant, and since most failures occur in severe conditions people tend not to be out so the risk is very low. As for the 402, he says that flicker isn’t as bad when you are outside as it is in your home.  Asked about farmers working the fields se says that it wouldn’t be a problem with a slow moving tractor. He doesn’t deal with the 50 ton, 110 km/hr tractor trailer with several turbines. He also says that the shadow from a row of trees is worse than turbines for drivers.

Harvey asks if they modeled the sound from the turbines below the audible level – infrasound. No. It’s not required.

Harvey asks about risk to non-participating residents when towers can be built just 60 m from property lines. Again DK says even if it happened, low to negligible chance someone would be there at the time. Harvey quotes Palmer that an engineer should always assume someone will be there. DK says, ”We don’t.” (so there!)

Harvey asks him what courses he’s taken in risk assessment . In-house, only. This means someone has sat him down and shown him how to operate the program.

Harvey asks a very technical question about how the sound levels are modeled and our expert in sound says he’s not a specialist. Lol

Harvey elaborates and the lawyers object. The chair points out that they are required to be below 40 dBA and the tribunal has to assume they will be compliant. He concedes that Harvey might have valid concerns but this isn’t the place for them. This wasn’t the point Harvey was trying to make but they aren’t interested. Move on.

EAGLES AND NOISE

Esther asks about the noise levels at the eagle nest – or for the eagles when they are out hunting. Apparently raptors are not receptors. She asks why they don’t model low frequency sound. Because it’s not required.

Esther asks if DK will suffer from the noise in the project. Will he be living near Adelaide Metcalfe? The chair says that’s not relevant. Esther points out that his witness statement says he has no interest in the outcome of the appeal, but if he’s wrong, HE won’t suffer.

She asks him if drivers on the 402 are considered receptors. He answers no – and there’s a turbine in Toronto that is only 30 m from the road and Esther comes right back with “it’s on the north side and it’s only a baby.” DK says you can get shadow flicker from the north as well.

And so it goes. And so it goes. (quote from Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)

—————————–

DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

In closing – I’ve received some very kind comments about my reports, and I do enjoy them, but I want to point out that I actually enjoy doing this, so it is no hardship – and very easy. I’m just the messenger. Harvey and Esther have put in countless hours doing real dog work – pouring over thick books of truly boring and often misleading information. Muriel  and Marcelle are in the background of this particular appeal, but they too are part of the years of work that have built the foundation upon which this appeal is based.

They have rented the halls from under Nextera’s incompetent hirelings. They gathered the information and put on information nights. They dreamed up the 402 event and put it all together – and these are just some of the highlights.

I’m a recent convert to the cause, and I happen to have pretensions of being a journalist. I’m sometimes front and center, but I mostly do easy stuff with a bit of flash, and sometimes all I do is get in the way.

Please don’t forget who is doing the real work here.

Bob – junior wind warrior – studying under the masters. (They’re all women, so I’m tempted to say ‘mistresses’, but that might be misunderstood.)

18 thoughts on “Adelaide ERT: Ben Greenhouse and Shant Dokouzian

  1. NEW IMPROVED TURBINES – LESS NOISE! Try to get specifics and they don’t know. But it is definitely measurable, so presumably the improvement is at least one decibel.

    Ya right. More than likely,one of those wind salesman’s half truths in that yes slightly quieter at the same blade pitch and power mode as old turbine but when you leave they simply adjust the computer controls to add pitch/power and presto ……. back to the same pulsating thumping noise especially in the middle of the night when most agriculture operators go home to bed. Furthermore, they aren’t required to monitor on the C or G scale or for pulsating amplitude modulation on a continuous basis because they most likely would be deemed non-compliant and have a 5dbA penalty applied.

    • Good luck trying to get anyone to identify WHICH are those first generation wind turbines that are so gosh-darned noisy???

      Are we talking about Mike Crawley’s General Electric 1.5’s? Or his Vestas 1.65’s?

  2. But there are no Reporting Requirements!???

    ‘[excerpt] In reference to Bill Palmer’s testimony the other day about ice throw and turbine failure, he says that there aren’t enough examples to be significant, and since most failures occur in severe conditions people tend not to be out so the risk is very low.’

    Thank you Ontarians — for being Vigilant!

  3. It does make a difference in situations such as this to make sure the public knows if a person has an MD or a PhD.
    If health is mentioned the public can assume this is a person with an MD degree.

  4. First names of Dr. Olsen & Dr. Knopper and where are they from?
    Google Intrinsink/INTRINSINK and there are no search results.

    • “Dr. Ollson was recently appointed as Vice President, Strategic Development for Intrinsik. He is located in our Mississauga office. Dr. Ollson brings fifteen years of international consulting experience in environmental health sciences and toxicology to the firm. His Canadian experience spans from coast-to-coast-to-coast, having worked in all Provinces and Territories. Dr. Ollson has been retained by Federal Departments to aid them in finding risk-based solutions for their contaminated site portfolios. Throughout his career, Chris has led some of Canada’s most high profile and controversial multi-disciplinary environmental health assessments for industry. In addition, Dr. Ollson has worked across the United States and is well versed in Federal and State contaminated sites legislation. He has also provided expert litigation support on a number of cases, both within Canada and the US.

      Experience Highlights
      •Considered an authority in environmental health issues related to the energy sector. He has led risk assessments and provided risk communication support for wind turbine projects, natural gas fired stations, energy-from-waste facilities, oil sands environmental assessments, refineries, pipelines, and coal power plants.”
      http://www.intrinsik.com/index.php/bio-chris-ollson.html

      Note.. Dr. Ollson was also the apologist for the proposed Clarington incinerator claiming there will be no airborne toxins from burning waste..
      http://www.durhamenvironmentwatch.org/Media%2011/OWTEFW%20gets%20the%20final%20go%20ahead.pdf

  5. Hello Chris Ollsen!

    I heard you said to one Ontario Victim that you read OWR posts and think we’re “better than porn”!

    No kidding.
    Good Grief!

  6. Linkedin, Chris Ollson
    Was principal Stantec Sept. 2002-June 2011
    http://ca.linked.com/pub/chris-ollson/22/7a2/b05

    Intrinsik Inc.
    Toxicology and Risk Assessment
    http://www.intrinsik.com

    Make copies of these webpages

    there may be grounds for filing a complaint of attempting to impersonate a physician.
    This is way recorded testimony so so very important but there still may be grounds as witnesses were present at this hearing.
    Toxicology and Risk
    Assessment are worlds apart from being a physician.

  7. Impersonating a physician is a criminal offrnce and attempting to impersonate a physician may be as well. Check with the OPP.
    It’s up to the person/witness to make it clear that he/she is not a physician.
    Dont’ buy excuses from the lawyers or the company as at least the lawyers know and they won’t take the blame anyway so they don’t care.

    • Barbara? You yourselves and everyone else are committing fraud using copyright ID that does not belong to you.
      Course you cannot believe that can be true,so you will take this as some sort of conspiracy belief.fiction.
      I have already revealed to unveil the fraud to the crown attorney.
      I have given this information to others such as the major,police about this fraud and ask them to comment on it if this is not true please give evidence to back up your claim this is not true within a time period of 11 days. Been more than 2 months NOTHING BACK!
      No cannot dispute this as i stand in the truth with this info.
      Lawyers take a blood oath to not expose this fraud BAR Welcome to your nightmare! Slave!

  8. written information that is posed on the internet is part of the public domain. You can copy pages and as long as you don’t alter the content or use the information as your own then this is ok.
    Some material posed on the internet is copywrited and other information is not. Look for the copyright mark.

  9. People can get away with things as long as no one complains.
    I do know what a toxicologist is and what they do and the practice of medicine is not one of them.
    Are any chemical contaminents being discussed at this ERT which pertain to IWTs?
    There were multiple witnesses at that time so multiple complaints can be made.
    There can be toxic materials associted with energy various types of energy projects.
    You can’t pass yourself off as a physician no matter who you are unless you are an MD.

  10. Amazing. There is so much dirt you actually have to try hard to avoid it! I don’t think anyone is going to pay attention until this gets into a *real* court. Does anyone know if/when the Ostrander case is going to trial?

  11. Appeals are to review testimony and findings of a lower legal division like an ERT to determine if the right “verdict” was given.
    Don’t expect new information to be provided unless the judge allows it. Mostly a review of information and testimony of the original ERT.

  12. The difference between an expert and a specialisit?
    For example, he is an expert auto mechanic who specializes in GM engines.

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