Posts Tagged ‘environmental effects industrial wind turbines’

Legal Challenge Now Underway Against the Global Wind Industry

                                                 Or Pay by Cheque

To date, we have raised only 45% of the money needed.   We call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions. 

A staggering amount of evidence and the largest single gathering of internationally renowned experts has been assembled.  The international wind industry will face one of its biggest challenges beginning on February 1, 2011.  Canada will be at the centre of a legal battle of global proportions. 

In response to a recent approval of an industrial wind development, an appeal has been submitted to a Tribunal (ERT). The appeal is based chiefly on the issue of serious harm to human health from noise and low frequency sound. The appeal raises other issues such as the government’s apparently admitted inability to predict, measure, or assess noise levels.

A compelling and unprecedented witness list has been assembled on all sides. This appears to be the largest single gathering of internationally renowned experts that has taken place on these issues.  In all more than 20 experts and specialists in medicine, human health, acoustics and government will be appearing.

The project is owned by Suncor Energy Inc. an “integrated energy company” strategically focused on developing Canada’s oil sands.  Suncor’s reported assets at December 31, 2009 were $69,746,000,000.

Suncor’s obvious financial means together with an apparent limitless cash supply for the government of Ontario indicate the resources our opponents have at their disposal.

Therefore, we call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions.

What is at stake is nothing less than the future of wind development around the world.

The litany of half-truths and misinformation from wind lobbyists denying the adverse health effects of wind turbines must come to an end. Financial support is what is needed now to fight this case.

We have assembled a staggering amount of evidence and an extraordinary array of international witnesses. The appellants will be calling experts from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.  They include:

  • Dr. Robert Y. McMurtry, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S., Surgeon and Health Policy
  • Dr. Michael A. Nissenbaum, M.D., Physician
  • Dr. Jeffery J. Aramini, Ph.D., M.Sc., Epidemiologist
  • Dr. Carl V. Phillips, Ph.D., M.P.P., Epidemiology and Public Policy
  • Dr. Christopher D. Hanning, BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD, Sleep Specialist
  • Dr. Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Noise Specialist
  • Richard R. James, INCE, Noise Control Engineer
  • Dr. Jeff Wilson, Ph.D., Epidemiologist
  • Dr. Robert Thorne, Ph.D., Noise Specialist and Environmental Policy
  • Dr. Daniel Shepherd, Ph.D.  Psychoacoustic Specialist

Gather up your wind action groups and get involved in raising funds for this internationally ground-breaking legal challenge! We all win if we win this precedent setting case.

Please make your cheque out to :    “Douglas Desmond, In Trust”   Indicate the funds are for the “Kent-Breeze Appeal”.


Douglas Desmond, Barrister & Solicitor
PO Box 129,
27 Main St. E
Ridgetown, Ontario, N0P 2C0
Phone: 1-888-674-1955 or  Fax: 1-519-674-1957
Office: 1-519-674-1955

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Off the newswire yesterday, this warning about the potential for bird kills from industrial wind turbines.

Of course, in Ontario, the wind industry relies on two studies done by one person, in which it is claimed that only two birds are killed each year by each turbine. Then they follow up by saying that cats kill more birds each year than turbines do.

When reading the numbers of estimated bird kills, it’s good to keep in mind that these are just actual kills…this does not take into account the exponential effect of birds being killed and that it is not possible for the population to increase or even replace itself.

Last thing to consider is that North Gower is an important route for migratory raptors such as hawks and eagles. (Dalton McGuinty wants the red-tailed hawk, frequently seen in North Gower, to be Canada’s national bird.)

Here is the media release:

Voluntary Federal Wind Farm Guidelines Insufficient to Prevent Bird Impacts Says Bird Conservation Group
 (Washington, D.C., May 10, 2010) In letters to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Bob Abbey, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) President George Fenwick identified key shortcomings in recent federal plans to address the impacts of wind farms on birds.
Fenwick challenged the government’s plan to suggest voluntary guidelines for wind developers rather than imposing mandatory regulations, saying this would fail to result in industry compliance. He also highlighted differences in wind guidelines proposed by two Interior agencies, the BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and stressed the need for guidelines to be consistent across all agencies.
“I find it ironic that the Interior Department is asking us to believe that the wind industry will follow voluntary guidelines when their own land management agency is not even doing so,” Fenwick said.
The Fish and Wildlife Wind Advisory Committee has made excellent recommendations for the generation of wind power that ABC wants adopted throughout the Federal Government. The major shortcoming in the Committee’s recommendations, however, is that they are proposed as voluntary, rather than mandatory, and as such will do little to curb unacceptable levels of bird mortality and habitat loss at wind farms.
Fenwick is positive in terms of the overall effort put forth by BLM regarding wind, but in his letter to Abbey, identified over a dozen concerns, most significant among them, a key inconsistency between the FWS guidelines and a recent BLM Wyoming plan for Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. The FWS guidelines clearly advise against development close to leks, saying that, “development within three to five miles (or more) of active sage grouse leks may have significant adverse impacts on the affected grouse population.” Yet the BLM plan allows for siting as close as 0.6 miles.
In his letters to Salazar and Abbey, Fenwick asked for meetings with the two federal leaders, and identified a variety of other wind management issues, including:

1.       Wind project sites should be carefully evaluated at the proposal stage for habitat conflicts and migratory bird collision risks, and projects should avoid sensitive sites such as Important Bird Areas, Wildlife Refuges, and areas of concentrated bird use.

2.        Short-term operational shut-downs of turbines should be required at times during which large numbers of migratory birds can be predicted to pass through a wind farm. Such conditions (e.g., low cloud during peak migration times) occur for limited periods, but likely account for the bulk of migratory bird mortality risk. Similar shutdowns that use radar systems to detect birds so that operators can quickly start and stop the turbines have already been adopted in other countries that generate power through wind (e.g., Spain and Mexico).

3.        Infrastructure, such as power lines and lighting, should be minimized and designed not to interfere with the migration of birds such as the endangered Whooping Crane.

4.        The implementation of compensatory mitigation habitat banking.
 There are approximately 31,000 megawatts of installed wind generation capacity in the United States, with an additional 5,000 megawatts under construction. New construction is expected to reach 16,000 megawatts per year by the year 2018, and to continue at that rate or faster until 2030, by which time wind would generate as much as 20 percent of the nation’s energy needs. At that point, the United States would be able to produce approximately 350,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity, equivalent to about 200,000 – 300,000 large, industrial-scale turbines. If wind projects continue to be operated as they are today, approximately 1,000,000 birds will likely be killed each year from flying into those turbines. Mandatory regulations on siting and operation would significantly reduce the number of birds killed.
 “The notion that the wind industry is predominantly made up of small, environmentally conscious operations is one that must be quickly dispelled. These are large, corporate-scale utility companies, not unlike coal and oil conglomerates, in business to make corporate-scale revenues, and with a checkered environmental track record to date. The industry could have been acting voluntarily to reduce bird mortality for more than 20 years, but has failed to do so,” Fenwick said. “Voluntary guidelines will not change that paradigm, and will work about as well as voluntary taxes.”
Fenwick also added that the ABC positions on many Greater Sage-Grouse management issues are very similar to those adopted by the Western Governor’s Association.
 American Bird Conservancy (www.abcbirds.org<http://www.abcbirds.org>) conserves native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats while building capacity of the bird conservation movement. ABC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization that is consistently awarded a top, four-star rating by the independent group, Charity Navigator.

To email the North Gower Wind Action Group, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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