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Posts Tagged ‘Carmen Krogh’

You thought we were going to refer to the two cases going on in Ontario just now, didn’t you? Nope. Here is an account of expert testimony from California (featuring our own Carmen Krogh) as the potential effects of a planned industrial wind turbine development, based on observed effects around the world.

Please check the Wind Concerns Ontario website for other (alarming) stories and comment, this weekend. http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

Saturday, January 29, 2010
 
 
PROPERTY VALUES AND HEALTH IMPAIRED BY WIND TURBINES, EXPERTS TELL EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS
 
Appraiser says average loss in home values is 25 percent
 
By Billie Jo Jannen
For East County Magazine
 
January 28, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –East County residents who oppose a growing collection of industrial wind turbines proposed near rural residences have discovered that they have much in common with wind farm neighbors in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada and other parts of the United States. Residents who have lived near windmills for years are now publicizing impacts to health and property values.
 
In fact, a standing-room-only crowd got an earful on those impacts last Wednesday, when experts from Illinois and Canada discussed them at the Boulevard Fire Station.
 
Experts speak on impacts to health, property values
 
Speakers included appraisal consultant Mike McCann, of Chicago, Ill., Carmen Krogh, of Ontario, Canada, Bill Powers, of Powers Engineering in San Diego, Dave Elliott, of Boulevard, and Donna Tisdale, also of Boulevard.
 
.McCann stated in no uncertain terms that property value losses of about 25 percent are becoming the norm within two miles of a wind farm. Krogh shared a litany of health ills related to the strobe light affect of the turbines and both audible and inaudible sound.
 
Reported health effects include sleep deprivation, headaches, heart palpitations, vertigo, tinnitus, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety and cognitive impairment, Krogh said. Matching results are reported in every country that has erected large numbers of industrial turbines, she added.
 
Krogh, a retired pharmacist who networks with health professionals worldwide to track and document wind turbine health affects, said the impacts of both audible and inaudible sound cannot be mitigated: “The only mitigation is to remove the people from the environment they are in,” she said.
 
McCann – whose resume includes real estate zoning evaluations, property value impact studies, analysis of wind turbine generating facilities and evaluation of eminent domain real estate acquisitions – advised residents bluntly that no permits should be issued on any wind generation project without a property value guarantee for homeowners in the turbine area of influence.
 
The impact zone of a wind farm is two to five miles, he said. In addition to 20 to 40 percent value loss of homes in that area, residents have increased costs of health care, costs to try to retrofit homes to block noise or the strobe light affect of the turbine shadows, and the complete losses of people who are forced to walk away from their homes.
 
Scale of local proposed projects
 
In the Boulevard planning area, 392 turbines are wending their way through the permitting process, according to Tisdale. Hundreds more are planned in Ocotillo and Jacume, Mexico, immediately south of Jacumba, she added. The current San Diego County wind ordinance makes no provision for property value guarantees, nor are health impacts currently tracked or considered in the permitting process.
 
The additional windmills include a project of the Campo Band of Mission Indians, which is partnering with Invenergy and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to add another round of turbines to its existing wind farm. The proposed project, which is not under county permitting authority, is projected to produce as much as 160 megawatts of energy.
 
Wind powers economic opportunity for tribe
 
In a statement supporting the construction of a large power substation in Jacumba, the tribe’s chairwoman, Monique LaChappa, wrote, “We’re excited about the possibility of developing another wind farm on our reservation. In order to move forward with development, we need adequate transmission to bring this project — and other renewable energy projects — online. We support SDG&E’s efforts to construct its proposed ECO Substation project.”
 
La Chappa added that Native Americans consider themselves to be caretakers of the earth, with a responsibility to help protect the environment and our sacred resources. “Our tribe’s renewable energy investments fit with these traditional values,” she added.
 
Asked if the Chairwoman was familiar with the alleged health issues and property value concerns, a spokesperson for LaChappa pledged to ask for a response but could not obtain comment in time for press deadline on this article.
 
Residents voice concerns
 
Several meeting attendees, one who lives as far as two miles from the existing wind farm on Campo Reservation, commented that they can hear the turbines clearly, even inside their homes. McCann said that wind turbine noise can travel up to nine miles in mountain terrain.
 
“I’m calling for a moratorium pending studies of health impacts,” said Tisdale, who recently attended an international symposium of doctors, researchers and other health professionals who have documented wind turbine health effects worldwide.
 
Effects on children cited
 
Both McCann and Krogh said that a number of turbine neighbors had walked away from their homes, because they could not live with the impacts and no one would buy their homes. Others must find someplace away from the turbines to sleep and many have had to send their children to live with relatives to clear up various illnesses.
 
Adequate research on the long-term affects of turbine noise on growing children has not been done, Krogh said. However, according to Arline Bronzaft, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., who spoke at the Oct. 30 International Symposium on Adverse Health Effects from Wind Turbines, her research has demonstrated that intrusive noises, such as passing traffic or overhead aircraft, adversely affect children’s cardiovascular systems, memory, language development and ability to learn.
 
The title of Bronzaft’s presentation was “Children: The Canaries in the Coal Mine.”
 
Asked what local clinics might do to mitigate health problems that could develop from proposed area wind farms, Krogh said there literally are none, though local health professionals can help by gathering information: “A clinic can assist by documenting impacts to its patients.”
 
Global issues
 
.Krogh brought filmed interviews with wind turbine neighbors from Norway, Canada and Japan. The sound levels from their homes, in some cases, drowned out their voices and the nature of the sound was so distressing that audience members asked that it be turned down.
 
Krogh is a member of Society for Wind Vigilance, an international federation of physicians, acousticians and other professionals who seek to quantify heath risks and ensure that permitting authorities and wind turbine operators acknowledge and remedy those risks. So far, she said, there has been great resistance from governments, who seek to provide “green” alternatives and who receive tax money from wind farm profits.
 
Industrial wind farm operators in the United States and Canada, most of whom receive taxpayer supported benefits and highly favorable permit conditions, resist revelations of adverse effects by requiring property owners from whom they lease lands to sign non-disclosure agreements, McCann said. The few off-site residents that have received buy-out offers from wind companies are required to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of the buy-out.
 
Property values and legal rights weighed
 
McCann added that property value losses are not offset by local jobs or by lease payments to property owners. The leases are often predicated on the power the turbine produces and few of them actually work at maximum capacity. Hence, “They (landowners) aren’t getting what they were promised,” he said.
 
“Always have a lawyer look at the lease document before you sign it,” he advised. Among the small print items to be aware of is what is going to happen to the turbine when it is taken out of service. The I-10 in Nevada is littered with carcasses of turbines that are no longer useful, but they have never been removed, he said.
 
Large companies further “defuse their liability” by creating smaller limited liability companies to actually own and operate the wind farms, McCann said.
 
The mass erection of wind turbines near people’s homes is a form of taking from the property owner and giving to the wind developers, he added. “It’s not okay to rob from Peter to pay Paul.”
 
Property value impacts start to show up as soon as the possibility of a project becomes known, according to McCann. The phenomenon even has a name among appraisal professionals: wind farm anticipation stigma.
 
In a comment paper on the Brucci MET tower on La Posta Road, he asserted that the construction of a meteorological testing tower “serves as constructive notice to existing neighboring property owners and any potential buyers” that wind turbines may come in later – and that is enough to drive homebuyers elsewhere.
 
According to nolo.com, a law information website, California sellers must disclose any and every natural and manmade hazard that might affect the value of the property. This includes everything from neighborhood nuisances, such as a dog that barks every night, to major hazards like floods, earthquakes, fires, environmental hazards, and other problems. Failure to make the required disclosures not only costs the seller in a lawsuit, but can also carry criminal penalties.
 
So what is a homeowner to do if his home is untenable and no one else wants it either? “It’s really sad to talk to these people who put their life savings into their homes and then have to walk away from them,” McCann said.
 
The county’s wind ordinance calls for permitting requirements to state noise limitations at the property line, but makes no provisions for property value protections or mitigation of health impacts, according to Planning Manager Joe Farace of San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use.
 
That’s a different realm from what we do,” Farace said. State and federal environmental and planning laws don’t require that these impacts be quantified or mitigated, though the county could, if it wishes, explore going beyond those minimums.
 
“This is so new,” he said. “We’d have to work with county counsel to see what we could do.”
 
Farace said there are no plans, currently, to pursue such a discussion.
 
County health official to review health information on turbines
 
Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer, sat in on a meeting with District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob, McCann, Krogh and Tisdale last week. She later told East County Magazine that she plans to continue to gather and review information on the subject.
 
“We have to be open to learning the unintended consequences of what seems like a good idea,” she said. “I’m looking at the health effects … If any action is taken, it would be by the board of supervisors.”
 
A local Indian voices concerns
 
Those unintended consequences may also be hurting local Indians, according to Dave Elliott, who lives on Manzanita Reservation about half a mile from the Campo tribe’s first wind installation. After speaking with Krogh, Elliott told East County Magazine, he put the pieces together on health problems he and some of his neighbors have experienced in recent years – among these a heart attack that he now suspects may be connected to wind turbines, which have been linked to irregular heartbeats.
 
“I was perfectly healthy before,” he said. “I think the health impacts should be put out to the public more.”
 
“People don’t hear about this side,” Elliott added. “They just accept what the officials say.”
 
Elliott is a Kumeyaay cultural monitor who works for a subcontractor tasked with identifying and protecting such cultural assets as Kumeyaay ceremonial grounds and burial sites. Large swathes of Indian history and culture, he says, are being lost in the rush to erect the Sunrise Powerlink and turbines.
 
“Once it’s destroyed, it’s gone forever,” he said sadly.
 
Elliott is also of the opinion that Indians are not getting the money they should for allowing green gold projects on their lands. “The Native American people are selling themselves short … and not really realizing all the consequences.”
 
Manzanita is also talking with wind developers, but Elliott said he is unsure how that will pan out in light of revelations about health problems linked to the turbines.
 
Supervisor Jacob opposes expansion of wind farm
 
At least one supervisor, East County’s Dianne Jacob, is definitely not in favor of adding more wind turbines, citing rooftop solar as a superior option:
 
“If the goal is self-sufficiency, homes and businesses must become their own power plants and avoid being gouged by a company that will stop at nothing, not even human life, to keep the profits rolling in,” Jacob said. “A better approach is to use rooftop solar on existing structures to put power in the hands of the people, not a monopoly utility company.”
 
Jacob cited the growing body of information on health impacts – as yet unstudied in neighbors of the existing turbines – the cost to ratepayers, intense industrialization pressure on backcountry lands and damage to historic and cultural sites as reasons to put the brakes on wind turbine and transmission projects.
 
Tisdale said she is asking that the county permitting process make provision for property value guarantees, relocation of impacted residents, evidence-supported setbacks and protections in the noise ordinance to include low frequency and sub-audible effects.
 
The Boulevard Planning Group will discuss and vote on the request at its Feb. 3 meeting.

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Contact the North Gower Wind Action group at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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A report on the International Symposium on the Global Wind Industry and Health Effects, which was attended by several people from the North Gower area, as well as several hundred participants from the UK, US, and Australia.

The first international symposium on The Global Wind Industry and Adverse Health Effects put on by The Society For Wind Vigilance was solid and powerful.
 
Dr. Robert McMurtry, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S., was moderator for the event and did a wonderful job of keeping everything moving along.  There was time for questions and comments set aside after speakers.
 
On Friday evening, we heard Orville Walsh speak to different setback distances.  
 
John Harrison, Ph.D., reviewed deficiencies in regulations and limitations in noise modeling.
 
On Saturday morning, Nina Pierpont, M.D., Ph.D., keynote speaker, spoke to navigating the surreal landscape of massive and systematic denial, cover-up and apathy to the suffering of many near wind turbines and to her work on Wind Turbine Syndrome.  The Society for Wind Vigilance recognized Dr. Pierpont as the pioneer in raising the issue of adverse health effects from industrial wind turbines.  She received a standing ovation!
 
Alec Salt, Ph.D. Cochlear Physiology, M.Sc.,B.Sc, Biology, demonstrated that the ear is far more complex than a microphone and that it actively amplifies high frequency sounds as it cancels out infrasonic sounds.
 
Arline Bronzaft, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., shared her knowledge on the effects of intrusive noise on child development and learning. 
 
Dr. Christopher Hanning, B.Sc., MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD, told us that the most common complaint of those exposed to industrial wind turbine noise is sleep disturbance.  Many of the other symptoms, fatigue, headache, nausea, memory problems and tiredness are probably secondary to sleep disturbance.  He says there is now a large body of evidence proving beyond any reasonable doubt that sleep is disturbed and health impaired by wind turbines at distances up to 2km, at noise levels claimed to be safe by the industry.
 
During a working luncheon,[PowerHungry author and journalist] Robert Bryce explained that the growth of the wind industry came about because of the industry’s ability to portray itself as “green”.  He told us that the growth will be difficult to sustain because the industry has overstated its ability to deliver meaningful savings on carbon dioxide emissions, it faces a growing backlash from affected landowners and from ratepayers who are learning about the high cost of “green” energy.
 
After lunch, Michael A. Nissenbaum, MD, discussed his findings on the world’s first controlled study of adverse health effects related to industrial wind turbines.  He reports that adverse effects are real and significant.  Since the pilot study was completed, a larger, more detailed and standardized controlled study has been undertaken at Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine, utilizing validated questionnaires.
 
Carl V. Phillips, Ph.D., sent his presentation for us to hear in his absence.  He is awaiting the arrival of a new son/daughter at any minute and was unable to travel to the symposium in person.  He says the claim that there is no evidence of negative health effects from wind turbines near residences is clearly false since there are ample credible reports of people experiencing problems.  He is working on developing a research tool for collecting case-crossover data for use by any community.
 
Carmen Krogh, B.SC. Pharmacy, spoke to the consequences of the violation of social justice for families worldwide who are affected by turbines.  She states that those experiencing symptoms also feel victimized by the very systems that would normally protect them.  In some cases, Ontario families have abandoned their homes to protect their health. 
 
Eric K. Gillespie, LLB, spoke to legal challenges and opportunities that are being pursued, strategies that include private litigation brought by individuals, public interest litigation raising broader issues, by-laws, resolutions and other steps taken by local government and administrative hearings outside of the court system.
 
On Sunday morning, the room was full again to listen to Ross McKitrick, Ph.D., ask if coal kills, where are the bodies?  He explained the nature of the coal plants currently operating in Ontario and air pollution trends.  He was able to show that the claims that current air pollution levels result in thousands of cases of illness and death are not supported in up-to-date, peer-reviewed literature.
 
Dale Goldhawk, broadcaster, told us that everyone thought dump site 41 was a done deal, that nothing could be done to stop it.  He says there are no done deals with projects that are counter to the best interests of people – and that includes wind turbines!  He wants us to remember the words of Gandhi:  First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  Mr. Goldhawk will be speaking to industrial wind turbines all this week on his show, Nov. 1st to Nov. 8th and he would love to hear from you!  Shows start at 11:00a.m. each day on 740am radio or http://zoomerradio.ca 
Call in at 1-866-740-4740 or 1-416-360-0740 or email to fightback@goldhawk.com
 
Dr. Robert McMurtry eloquently summarized the weekend for us and thanked our speakers, all traveled to the symposium at their own expense, for sharing their knowledge with us.  It was uplifting to see the caring and concern in the room. There was an award and a standing ovation for all of the speakers! 
 
There were hundreds of messages of support from around the world for the first international symposium on the global wind industry and adverse health effects!  There will be a comprehensive list posted on www.windvigilance.com when the team catches their breath again.  Messages came from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Germany, EPAW, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Untited Kingdom, United States, Belgium, Crete, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Poland. 
 
From all around the globe, people spoke of correcting an unethical wrong and of their gratitude to the Society for arranging this powerful weekend of speakers.

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Perhaps the greatest compliment this wind action group has heard yet came last evening when a community member got up and said that too often, views on wind turbines can be very polarized, but that the panel discussion at the April 13th meeting was the most reasoned and informative he had heard yet.

And that was the tone of the evening. Reason. Information. Shared experiences. Truth.

To sum up:

Dr John Harrison, who has addressed international conferences on noise issues, said that there is a serious disconnect between Ontario’s regulations for wind turbine noise and what engineers and health experts know. He concluded that all things considered, i.e., low wind potential, the number of homes and families that could be exposed to the noise etc., he cannot understand the rationale for a wind turbine development in North Gower. “Why they keep putting these things on top of people in Ontario is beyond me,” he said.

Carmen Krogh documented health effects throughout the province being experienced by people living with wind turbines; she dealt with industry denial, likening their response to that of the tobacco industry which denied any ill effects from tobacco use for decades, despite medical research.

Lawyer Eric Gillespie spoke on the Ian Hanna case, the challenge to the legitimacy of the Green Energy Act in Ontario…legislation that has removed the powers of municipalities to plan and to protect their citizens.

Brampton Realtor Chris Luxemburger discussed results of his now six-year-old study of 600 properties in the Shelburne-Melancthon area which revealed the negative effects of industrial wind turbines on property value; he will soon release results of a new study, which involves 18,000 properties.

And last, retired teacher Stephana Johnston travelled for hours from her Long Point Ontario home to share experiences of living with industrial wind turbines. “The effects Dr Harrison explained to you are for ONE turbine,” she said. “When you have 18 of them around your house as I do, the effect multiplies. … I can tell you, no one in the wind industry is living with 18 turbines around their house.”

And now a correction: the CBC interviewed Prowind’s Bart Geleynse prior to the meeting and he said that the complaints of people like Stephana Johnston are “psychosomatic” and a “reaction to something new,”  “largely based on emotion.” The Prowind sales rep then claimed that the “majority” of the medical community says there are no health effects from wind turbines. This is not at all true: the biased review commissioned by the wind development lobby says that, but other studies clearly identify ill effects from the constant noise and vibration from wind turbines.

Finally, Mr. Geleynse said that Prowind has got approval for its environmental assessment and will have the turbines operating by 2013.  THIS IS NOT TRUE. In fact, according to our legal advisor,Prowind does not have environmental approval for the turbines proposed for North Gower-Richmond, and no decisions have been made by the Ministry of the Environment in Ontario. Further, Prowind has NOT been granted a Feed In Tariff contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and in fact this project is on a waiting list for transmission capacity. Mr Geleynse’s remarks were aimed at persuading citizens to believe this is a “done deal” and nothing further can be done about it.

Mr Geleynse also told the CBC that he had asked to speak at the meeting and was “turned down”. Not really: it was explained to him that we had a full panel of speakers on the issues (it was not a debate) and he was welcome to attend (but didn’t).

We would also like to correct the impression left by the story in The Ottawa Citizen that Councillor Glenn Brooks did not attend; he was in the audience though not at his reserved seat.

Two hundred plus people attended and more than 100 news signatures on the petition calling for health studies.

Onwards!

To get in touch with the North Gower Wind Action Group, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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MEETING TODAY!!!! The information meeting for North Gower and Richmond, and anyone in Beckwith Twp and the Brinston/Shanly/Winchester area.

Please be sure to sign our contact list so you can get updates on future activities, and the petition!!!

Meeting Details:

Industrial Wind Turbines and their Effects

Tuesday, April 13, 6:30 p.m., Alfred Taylor Centre, 2300 Community Way, North Gower

Speakers:

Our speakers are graciously donating their time to come to Ottawa and share their experiences with industrial wind turbines, and/or their experiences working with people who are living with the turbines. Their presentations will be based on real experience, not merely reviews of literature, or industry-sponsored statements.

Dr Robert McMurtry, professor emeritus, medicine, University of Western Ontario, on health effects

Dr John Harrison, retired professor in physics, Queen’s University, on the nature of the noise and vibration produced by industrial wind turbines

Stephana Johnston, retired educator and rural property owner now living surrounded by 18 industrial wind turbines

Eric Gillespie, lawyer and lead in the quest for a judicial review of the Green Energy Act, which has removed the ability of Ontario communities to plan for themselves and protect their citizens

Chris Luxemburger, Realtor and author of Living with Wind Turbines, the result of a study of hundreds of properties in the Shelburne, Ontario area

Carmen Krogh, former health executive and health professional, now involved in research on the effects of wind turbines.

For more information, please email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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