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Here in North Gower-Richmond, we have the support of MPP Lisa MacLeod, who is not only going to vote FOR the private member’s bill being presented by Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson next week, she is going to rise in the Legislature to speak to it.

What can you do? Add your name to an online petition asking for Ontario to stop expensive wind projects that are crippling our economy, wrecking property values and making people ill. Go here to add your name:

http://www.ontariopc.com/petitions/support-wind-turbine-moratorium/

Thank you.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Well, we never stopped, really.

Premier Dalton McGuinty will be facing angry rural municipal councillors at the Ontario Good Roads conference beginning this weekend.

Organized by the  Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group–which is headed by Mark Davis, Deputy Mayor of Arran-Elderslie–the event will be a Walk Out on Dalton as the Premier stands up for his speech to open the conference. (In Ottawa we don’t have much hope of any representatives standing up for us, as the vice-president of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association or ROMA is Doug Thompson…he won’t likely abandon his position to act for us in North Gower and Richmond. But we can hope.)

The organizers acknowledge that such an action will be a first at a conference that is known for its bonhomie but they also say it’s about time. At last year’s conference, Mayor of Amaranth Don McIver met with then Environment Minister John Wilkinson to talk about what’s happened to Amaranth since the turbines started spinning in his community in 2006 (people are sick, property worthless, homes abandoned) and followed up with a letter. It was never answered. He sent another. No answer. Wilkinson of course was roundly defeated in the October election, but for his department to ignore a sitting Mayor is appalling.

Now, says Davis, it’s time to act. “Why not?” says Davis. “McGuinty has walked out on us.”

Here is a story from QMI today. http://www.lfpress.com/comment/2012/02/24/19422056.html

Rural Ontario set to blow up at McGuinty

By Jim Merriam, Special to QMI Agency

Last Updated: February 25, 2012 12:00am 

It won’t be the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral but next week’s meeting between Premier Dalton McGuinty and rural municipal leaders is shaping up to be a major confrontation.

The issue involves shunning Premier Dad at the Good Roads convention in Toronto.

One organizing group is urging delegates by letter to greet the premier with respect.

However, the Multi-Municipal Working Group on Wind Turbines isn’t backing down on plans to walk out on McGuinty’s speech if a one-year moratorium on installation of wind turbines isn’t announced before the meeting.

The Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), which sponsors “Good Roads” in partnership with the Ontario Good Roads Association, suggests such a walkout would be shortsighted.

“We invited the premier to our conference, we appreciate his decision to come, and we will respectfully listen to what he has to say,” says the ROMA letter, hoping for the final word on the subject.

The working group’s chair will have none of it. In his written response, Mark Davis, deputy mayor of Arran Elderslie said, “There are times you must stand up and be counted. You must do things that you believe are right for the people you represent. I firmly believe this is one of those times.” ROMA’s letter looks back at its successful history to discourage a walkout by the folks concerned about the way wind power has been forced down the throats of rural residents.

“As a group, Ontario municipalities have worked very hard over many years to build a relationship with the Government of Ontario that is based on open doors and frank discussion. The mature and respectful relationship that makes these exchanges possible provides us with our greatest opportunity to achieve meaningful progress.” But members of the six-county wind turbine working group are more interested in what ROMA has done for them lately?

“ROMA must be aware of the depth of these (wind turbine) concerns and we hope to hear at the conference the steps that ROMA, like the other organizations representing rural Ontario, has taken to represent concerns of its members on this issue.” ROMA goes on to list the issues it is discussing with the province including the global recession, economic development, funding for roads and bridges, the costs of emergency services and the Drummond report.

In response the anti-turbine group has a list of its own, pointing out those who have serious doubts about the “green energy program and wind turbines.” This includes the Ontario Auditor General who said the turbines are not replacing coal-fired plants nor cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“They (turbines) require additional fossil-fuel gas generation back-up because their production is unpredictable, intermittent and cannot be stored.” This means consumers pay twice for wind energy, adding skyrocketing electricity costs that are a real threat to jobs.

Also joining the anti-turbine movement is the Ontario Federation of Agriculture that represents 38,000 farm families.

In addition 79 municipalities have called for a moratorium on wind turbine installations.

The working group also points out that the province responded within hours to a light rail transit motion by Toronto council, but there has been no meaningful response to rural concerns about wind turbines.

In summing up the fighting words ROMA attempts to speak for all Ontarians: “Ontario residents are counting on us to work co-operatively and productively.” The conclusion from the working group is quite different: “There are many reasons to walk and very few not to.”

——————

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and please donate to our efforts. You may donate securely by Interac or PayPal.

The North Gower Wind Action Group is a member of Wind Concerns Ontario http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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An alert listener to CBC’s daily Ontario Today program called in last week when Rita Celli had as her guest Don Drummond, the former Federal Associate Deputy Minister of Finance for Canada, who recently was tapped by Dalton McGuinty to diagnose a fix for Ontario’s financial ills. The question: with Ontario poised to spend probably $100 billion on renewable energy schemes, mostly wind, why didn’t you mention this in your report?

It didn’t occur to me, Drummond said. He and his team never even looked at wind power.

We don’t usually go out on a limb and make bold political statements here but today we will: WHAT?!?!?! Billions are being spent, the resulting property value loss and damaged tourism will affect Ontario’s economy, lower productivity as people become ill … and you didn’t even think of it?

That’s because Mr Drummond’s team just acted on what the McGuinty government told them to look at and never questioned the assumptions given to them.

Shabby. Pointless. And a grave disappointment to those who thought a financial professional could shed some light on this issue and maybe make the government change its mind.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter @northgowerwind

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News release from today.

 February 13, 2012, Toronto:

Wind Concerns Ontario announces Golden Pinwheel Awards for the wind power industry

Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of more than 50 community groups concerned about the effects of industrial wind power plants throughout the province, has announced its first annual Golden Pinwheel Awards.

“We had a bit of fun with this,” said WCO president Jane Wilson. “But it is a serious business: Wind power is being pushed through Ontario as an answer to a number of problems, but it’s really a giant profit-making scheme for a few individuals and companies. It won’t ever live up to the promises of job creation and power production, and instead will end up costing the people of Ontario millions.”

1.   The “Green Doesn’t Mean Honest” Golden Pinwheel : Bullfrog Power. In September, the clean energy retailer was fined by the Ontario Energy Board for using misleading contracts and marketing practices. 
2.   The “Pie in the Sky” Golden Pinwheel: to Toronto Hydro jointly with Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative for their fantasy claims about the Toronto Exhibition Place wind turbine, which has barely operated above 13% efficiency and has cost investors millions. Maybe to recoup their losses they should charge Dalton McGuinty a fee every time he uses the useless icon for a photo op.

 

3.   The “Take It for Granted “ Golden Pinwheel: the Ontario Power Authority for insisting it pays for its own advertisements instead of cash-strapped Ontario ratepayers.

 

4.   The “Best Supporting Role in a Political Debacle” Golden Pinwheel: former Minister of the Environment, John Wilkinson, who ignored his own constitutents as well as other rural Ontario residents who don’t want their communities turned into wind power factories, and was defeated in the October 6th election, helping to create a serious rural/urban division in Ontario.

5. The “I Can’t Hear You-lalalala” Golden Pinwheel: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty who is ignoring the Auditor-General’s criticism that the province is spending too much on renewable energy schemes, particularly wind, that the claims of 50,000 jobs being created are unsubstantiated, that health problems are being ignored, and that the province embarked on all this without a single cost-benefit study.

For more information, please contact windconcerns@gmail.com and visit http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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The Ontario Federation of Agriculture today announced it is asking the Ontario government to stop industrial wind power generation development. Too many  problems and unresolved issues, the Federation said in a news release, here:

http://www.ofa.on.ca/media/news/OFA-calls-government-suspend-wind-turbine-development-in-Ontario

 

We say, AT LAST!!!!

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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For some, the appointment of new ministers by the McGuinty government, offered a ray of hope that new thoughts might be employed—especially in the Ministry of Energy where the renewable enery initiative has been plagued with criticisms of poor planning, galloping expense, and a complete lack of insight from other jurisdictions. According to the Auditor General for Ontario, there has never been a cost-benefit analysis done for what the McGuinty government plans, especially for the wind power generation business. And as for the environment, the approval process for industrial wind power projects seems to be nothing more than a rubber stamp.

This past week, Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley appeared on CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning. Interviewer Wei Chen tried her best to get some original thoughts out of the Minister, but here is the result.

CBC RADIO: In principle, most Ontarians support the idea of wind turbines for green energy, but that general acceptance often diminishes with their proximity to you. Many who live near wind turbine developments have concerns about the health impact of low level noise they emit. They’re not comforted by the fact that they can’t be closer than 550 metres from their homes, and they’re angry that the Green Energy Act robs their municipalities of a say in where they can be built.

This morning, we’ll address some of these concerns with the Minister of the Environment. Jim Bradley joins us from Toronto. Good morning.

JIM BRADLEY: Good morning.

CBC RADIO: Now, we have heard time and again on our program that the low level noise and vibration associated with wind power is harming the health of people who live near them. What’s your understanding of those negative health effects?

JIM BRADLEY: Well, we don’t — have not seen evidence that that is the case. Scientists have not found any direct link between wind turbine sound and human health, and we’re certainly reliant upon those scientists. See, wind turbines have been in existence — what? — for more than 40 years in Europe and elsewhere, and there have been a number of studies. It has never been scientifically determined by these scientists that turbines have a direct impact on health.

Ontario, as you know, is taking a cautious approach. We have one of the strictest criteria for sound in North America, including the 550 metre minimum setbacks. This limit is consistent with the World Health Organization’s recommendation for the protection of human health. I know even Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said there’s no direct causal link between wind turbine sound and adverse health effects. That’s the same conclusion drawn by another provincial study done by an independent consultant. Even I think the Chief Medical Officer of Health from Chatham-Kent, whom you had on this program, told your listeners there is no direct* link. That said, we’re always open to new information and we have funded a university chair to do even more research.

CBC RADIO: But that Environmental Review Tribunal that was looking at that wind farm in the Chatham area found that there are negative health impacts from the noise created by the turbines.

JIM BRADLEY: Well, in the same case, the Environmental Review Tribunal recognized that Ontario’s standards for wind turbines’ sound limits are consistent with the — well, with what? — the best available science in this issue and with international approaches. Also in the same decision, the Environmental Review Tribunal upheld the Ministry’s approval of a wind farm, and the wind turbines’ opponents lost that particular case. So all scientific data studied to date indicates there is no direct causal link to health impacts. And as I said, the Ministry will continue to study all emerging technologies and all the health studies as they emerge to ensure our setback and noise limits protect human health and the environment.

CBC RADIO: Why not err on the side of caution, though? Why not rethink even that 550 metre setback? Why not place it a bit further?

JIM BRADLEY: I don’t know whether in any case you would find there’s stricter criteria that are applied. Certainly ours is among the strictest there is in North America. And health studies have clearly indicated that there’s no direct causal effect on individuals’ health with the limits that we have now, which we consider to be, as I say, among the strictest that you will find in North America and around the world.

CBC RADIO: The other controversy sparked by the Green Energy Act has been that its taken control away from local governments. What was the justification for that and is there any need to revisit it?

JIM BRADLEY: Well, Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approvals process requires now that developers of all major wind projects consult with the local municipalities and with the public even before they submit an application to the Ministries. They must inform the local municipality about the proposed project, they have to hold at least two public meetings during the planning stages, and they’ve gotta document all municipal feedback received as part of the application process. So the Ministry considers if the developer has met the consultation requirements and how it plans to address the municipal concerns that happen to have been raised.

I should say my colleague, the Minister of Energy, has also conducted a two-year review of what’s known as the Feed-In Tariff or the FIT program, and I can say that local consultation and the Renewable Approvals process are certainly part of that FIT review. The Ministry of Energy has consulted extensively with the public and other stakeholders, and I certainly, as you do, await the release of that FIT review.

CBC RADIO: Now even the architect of the Green Energy Act, former Deputy Premier George Smitherman has expressed some concerns. He’s admitted that the Act has some failings, and that is that municipalities should have some say. He’s actually recommended that they should be able to weigh in on projects of a larger size.

JIM BRADLEY: Certainly they have those powers at the present time. There’s extensive consultation with local municipalities.

CBC RADIO: Can they actually veto a project?

JIM BRADLEY: But I can say this, that my colleague, the Minister of Energy, he’s conducted a two-year review of what’s known as the Feed-In Tariff, and that’s one thing being looked at by the FIT review. I think the Minister’s very interested in the kind of feedback that has come as a result of concerns that have been expressed, and I expect that he has addressed these in that review. In fact, he has addressed them, and I await the presentation of that to the public.

CBC RADIO: But would you actually give municipalities a veto over projects that they don’t agree with?

JIM BRADLEY: I would not want to presume to come in ahead of that particular review. I think we will see what the Minister has been able to conclude from the extensive consultation that’s taken place with all concerned. And that is one of the areas he will look at.

CBC RADIO: What are municipalities to do though if their bylaws are meaningless under the Green Energy Act?

JIM BRADLEY: I have to say that there is a very extensive consultation that takes place at the present time. The municipal information that is provided to the Ministry is very valuable in making the final determination, and certainly we consider that to be important. It’s not something that’s easily dismissed. The local input often through the municipality, but also through the process that the Ministry has established draws certain conclusions from what the public has put forward and what expert opinion has put forward.

But I think the FIT review is going to be very valuable in this regard. I know the Minister was interested in that as one of the aspects of the FIT review, the Feed-In Tariff review, because he did hear from various people, including some municipalities, that they were concerned about that. There are other municipalities who might be happy to have the Ministry make the final decision, but there are some that genuinely would like to have that final ability to veto. But there is an advantage, I guess, to municipalities in that all of the advantages that might come from a proposal are available to the municipality, and ultimately the Minister has to make that decision, not the municipality.

But I think that FIT review is gonna be very valuable, and I look forward, as I think the public does, to the publication of that FIT review.

CBC RADIO: There are also many who are concerned about the costs. Some critics have suggested that the Green Energy Act has created an unsustainable financial advantage for the corporate wind developers at the expense of property owners, electricity rate payers, and taxpayers. What assurance can you give them — give Ontarians that we will benefit in the long run?

JIM BRADLEY: Well, first of all, I think it’s important to know why we’re doing this. We’re doing it because we’re trying to produce cleaner air in the province of Ontario. We’re trying to find ways of producing electricity that are more benign than the coal-fired plants which we’ve relied upon for a number of years. What we are doing in closing the coal-fired generation and replacing it with cleaner sources by 2014, we’re really engaged in the largest single climate change initiative in North America. It’d be similar to taking 7 million cars off the road.

It’s been estimated that replacing coal with clean, renewable energy has resulted in about $4.4 billion in avoided healthcare and environmental costs, and has created over 20,000 jobs. So there’s a lot of benefit to the people of the province of Ontario. I can remember the Ontario Medical Association for years pointed out that air pollution was a major problem, and that the single largest source of that was the coal fired plants in the province of Ontario. They have indicated, for instance, that 1900 premature deaths that were taking place as a result of air pollution, largely from the coal fired plants in the province. And by replacing these with more benign ways of producing electricity will make a major impact in terms of healthcare costs in this province.

CBC RADIO: Can you address the widespread unhappiness with wind turbines? It cost your party seats in rural Ontario. How aware are you of this anger?

JIM BRADLEY: I think there have been both opponents and proponents. There are a number of people in this province who are very pleased to see the province embarking upon an initiative that would ensure that there would be alternative energy available to people in our area for the health reasons that I’ve mentioned, for the benefits that have come to the province of Ontario, for the fact that we won’t be able to rely on coal fired plants or other fossil fuels to produce electricity. Remember that natural gas someday will run out. Oil someday will run out. And this heavy reliance on fossil fuels will put us really behind the eightball in that regard. I understand there have been concerns. I cannot attribute to what they might be as why seats are lost and so on. Remember the federal Liberal party lost a lot of seats in the province of Ontario as well, and there were different factors at play at that particular time. But we are concerned mostly about the health of the people of this province. And you know, if you have to make those tough decisions which result in better health for the people, a better result for the people, that’s the kind of decisions our government wants to be involved in.

CBC RADIO: Jim Bradley, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us.

JIM BRADLEY: Thank you very much.

* a direct link would be when one of the blades fell on your head or if the turbine noise caused hearing loss. No one is saying that.

We’re sure you have a few thoughts of your own now. Email Minister Bradley at:  jbradley.mpp@liberal.ola.org

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind.

News stories are updated daily at http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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We have been predicting that, once the people of Ontario realize the so-called Renewable Energy Application process for industrial wind power projects is a complete sham, and virtually a rubber stamp for the multi-million-dollar projects that reap huge profits for developers while taking wealth away from property owners and communities.

Already there are several legal actions ongoing: the Michaud family in Thamesville suing the Suncor Kent-Breeze project because the formerly healthy family of four is now ill; the Drennan family who are battling “gag” clauses in wind turbine project leases; and others.

The latest, announced today.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/907501/wind-company-and-farm-owner-sued-over-proposed-project

What will come as a surprise to many landowners leasing for turbines is that THEY are liable, not the wind power developer. (They also don’t understand that they are leasing their entire property, not just the patches around the turbines and the access roads.)

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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The past year was a wild one in Ontario: 10 Liberals, including several Cabinet ministers losing their seats, all of it in a straight line to the discontent in rural Ontario about having industrial wind power projects forced on communities.

We note a recent interview with AbitibiBowater CEO Richard Garneau in the Globe and Mail, in which Mr. Garneau was asked if the “so-called green revolution is over-hyped”?

His answer: “I always like to say that sustainable development is important but there are three pillars: the first one is, protect the environment; the second one is social–the people; and the third is economic, and these have to be balanced.”

By that definition, industrial scale wind power generation fails on all counts: it is not good for the environment —the inputs are tremendous, and the effects on the landscape are irreversible– it’s not good for people due to indirect health effects from the environmental noise and vibration produced by the machines, and last, it make absolutely no economic sense. Well, for Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers, that is. It certainly makes sense for the subsidy-hunting corporations flocking here to whack up wind turbines and quickly begin collecting the exorbitant money paid for power from wind in this province.

The year 2012 is going to be a very busy one: a lawyer’s prediction that there will be a flood of legal actions is now coming true, as property owners are saying to the people leasing land for turbines, you don’t have the right to affect my health and property value. It’s coming.

There is also another Environmental Review Tribunal, this one on the Zephyr project in Middlesex-Lambton. It promises to be a wild ride, with the government lawyer Frederika Rotter already coming out swinging saying that residents’ calling for an environmental review was laughable and an “abuse” of process. Really.

We encourage you to donate to this ERT: it will benefit everyone in Ontario, building on the decision from Kent Breeze earlier this year.
PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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For those of us who know the truth about industrial wind power generation–it is not “green”, it’s not “free”, and it can’t live up to any of the promises made about it–the sight of the industrial wind turbine in Toronto at Exhibition Place is a cruel joke. Thousands of people in Toronto pass by it every day and see it as innocuous, pretty even.

The truth about that one structure is a different story.

Here from Parker Gallant and the Financial Post, the true story of the Exhibition Place wind “mill.”

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/11/08/ontarios-power-trip-the-globe-has-gone-with-the-wind/

Ontario’s Power Trip: The Globe has gone with the wind

  Nov 8, 2011 – 9:35 AM ET | Last Updated: Nov 8, 2011 9:38 AM ET

The Globe and Mail declined to run the following letter to the editor from Parker Gallant:

Marcus Gee’s Nov. 2 article on the wind power in Toronto included the following statement: “A single wind turbine, championed by Jack Layton, the late NDP leader, has been operating for years at Exhibition Place in Toronto. Toronto Hydro says the impact on birds has been minimal and there is no evidence anyone’s health has been affected.”

Whether that single turbine has been beneficial to the Toronto Hydro customers is a question that was conveniently omitted. The facts speak for themselves. It has cost the taxpayers a lot of money! The following reference can be found in Toronto Hydro’s 2007 Annual Report, the last reference to be found in any subsequent Annual Reports.

“Renewables/Clean and Green Generation
TH Energy/WindShare wind turbine at Exhibition Place has produced approximately 4 million kWh of green energy since 2003”

So that single turbine that Toronto Hydro owns a big piece of has operated at 12.2 % of its rated capacity for the five years from 2003 to 2007 but questioning Toronto Hydro on the issue as to what has happened since 2007 gets no response. It hides behind the cloak of “confidentiality.”

The Exhibition Place turbine was championed by none other than Joyce McLean, current Director, Strategic Issues at Toronto Hydro, when she was engaged with TREC (Toronto Renewable Energy Association) pushing for the erection of the turbine. Ms McLean also sat as a Director and Chair of CanWEA (Canadian Wind Energy Association) and prior to that was active with Greenpeace. Jack Simpson, current VP, Generation on his posted Toronto Hydro bio, said he was an early advocate of green generation projects, responsible for the 750kW wind turbine at Exhibition Place and the 36kW photovoltaic system at 500 Commissioners St. in Toronto. So these two advocates of the turbine are in a position to deny their responsibility on the costs of their boondoogle by hiding behind the “confidentiality” issue burden the ratepayers with their misguided efforts to save the world!

If you vist the TREC website you will get an idea of how this entity would be unable to survive without handouts/grants from the Toronto taxpayer-owned Toronto Atmospheric Fund ($910,000), or the provincially owned Community Power Fund (amounts granted are undisclosed) and the provincially owned Trillium Foundation ($202,500). TREC also claim support from the Ontario Power Authority, City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, CanWEA, CanSIA, the Ministry of Environment and the Toronto District School Board, of whom most are taxpayer funded institutions.

It should be pointed out that the anemometers in Lake Ontario were partially funded by TAF who granted funds to Toronto Hydro for their erection. This waste of taxpayer funds is a blatant affront, along with the necessity of Toronto Hydro paying the legal fees for their current lawsuit against OMERS. This lawsuit was instituted because Toronto Hydro isn’t satisfied that its executives will have sufficient monies in retirement benefits, because OMERS restricts the “bonus” payments when calculating retirement benefits. This CEO earned over $700,000 in 2010 including a bonus that exceeded $300,000.

Parker Gallant is a retired bank executive who looked at his electricity bill and didn’t like what he saw.

 E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind
 
Check out Dirty Business: the reality of Ontario’s rush to wind power, with contributions by Parker Gallant and three local authors, at http://dirtybusinessbook.wordpress.com

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From the Waubra Foundation.

LOCAL RESIDENT’S APPEAL UPHELD IN South Australian SUPREME COURT, 

AGL’s “HALLETT 2” WIND TURBINES noncompliant with EPA noise guidelines

16 out of 34 turbines currently turned off overnight by AGL

SOLUTION:  Don’t site them close to homes, & do the research to find out what is ‘safe’



The appeal by Mt Bryan resident Bill Quinn has been upheld in the South Australian Supreme Court, against the ERD (Environment, Resources & Development) Court decision last year to approve AGL’s Hallett Stage 3 Wind Development.  However there was no determination of the merits of any of the grounds of appeal.

Amongst these grounds of appeal was a challenge to the EPA SA Wind Farm Noise Guidelines, and specifically whether their limits take proper account of the impact on residents from the wind turbine noise.  In other words, the appeal is questioning the ability of the guidelines, as they are currently, to adequately protect human health.   

Barrister Peter Quinn, has stated “These questions are of general significance for ALL AUSTRALIAN STATES currently applying SA EPA wind policies and guidelines which are in similar terms to the SA EPA’s 2009 guidelines for wind developments.  This is extremely relevant for any matter in ANY planning jurisdiction which is seeking to apply the SA EPA wind farm noise guidelines (eg NSW, WA and SA).  The court or planning authority should be advised that the adequacy of these guidelines is currently before the court in South Australia for determination,  and that those matters should therefore be held over in abeyance until this particular matter is determined.”

The appeal in this case was allowed, because evidence came to light that Wind Turbines owned by AGL, and operating at Hallett 2 Wind Development, are currently incapable of satisfying the current SA EPA Guidelines.  This evidence of “tonality” in the S88 turbines had been known to the manufacturers Suzlon, who found “tonality” in the same type of turbines in March 2007 at Hallett 1.  Despite prior knowledge of tonality, this information did not come to light in the initial court case in the ERD court in 2010.  The determination of that question has been remitted back to the ERD Court.   

Relevant to this is the fact that in the last week, AGL have shut down 16 of its 34 turbines at Hallett Stage 2, between 7pm and 7am.  

Predictably, the residents of the surrounding area including the township of Mt Bryan have reported some excellent sleeps in the last week, since these turbines have been shut off.  They have previously been publicly vilified and labelled as serial complainers and worse.

The inevitable consequence of placing large industrial scale wind turbines too close to rural residents in areas with quiet background noise is going to be disturbed sleep from the audible noise emissions alone.   The presence of “tonality” to the noise, as in this case, is going to increase the annoyance factor of that noise, and therefore result in more frequent episodes of disturbed sleep amongst the neighbours. 

It is well established by an extensive body of peer reviewed published medical research that chronically severely disturbed sleep, regardless of the cause, results in multiple serious adverse health consequences.  This is regardless of any other possible causative mechanisms responsible for the range of additional symptoms, some extremely serious, described as “wind turbine syndrome”, which have been reported by medical practitioners globally over the last 8 years.  These symptoms have been reported in some residents, workers and visitors in conjunction with  operating wind turbines, out to a distance of at least 10km under certain weather and wind conditions.

Over 20 families in Australia have already left their homes & farms because of ill health.  Some, like Trish Godfrey, were bought out and gagged by the wind developers, so they cannot talk about their health problems publicly, unless they are subpoenaed to give evidence in court.  

Others have just walked away from their homes.  

Landowners hosting turbines also get symptoms, their families become unwell too.

When are state planning authorities in Australia going adopt a precautionary approach, as the National Health and Medical Research Council’s CEO Professor Warwick Anderson has suggested, both in the NHMRC’s public statement and in his oral evidence to the Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms?   The Waubra Foundation currently recommends a 10km precautionary setback distance, until the proper research is completed, as this is the limit where highly specific symptoms correlating unmistakably with turbine operation are being reported.  

When are the relevant authorities (EPA, Planning, Health, Local Council) going to properly investigate the frequent complaints of serious illness and intolerable noise and vibration made by residents across Australia in the vicinity of large operating wind turbines?

When are the 7 recommendations of the Federal Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms going to be implemented?

Fraudulent ongoing denial of the adverse health problems occurring by ALL those responsible for SITING decisions is indefensible, given the mounting evidence internationally, and the recent finding in a court in Ontario, as follows:.

This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.” (p. 207) (Emphasis added)


[i] Environmental Review Tribunal, Case Nos.: 10-121/10-122 Erickson v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, Dated this 18th day of July, 2011 by Jerry V. DeMarco, Panel Chair and Paul Muldoon, Vice-Chair, http://www.ert.gov.on.ca/english/decisions/index.htm

 

Dr Sarah Laurie BMBS Flinders
Medical Director
 
Waubra Foundation
PO Box 1136 South Melbourne VIC Australia 3205
Ph        0439 865 914
Office  08 8636 2051
 
Researching the Health Effects of Wind Turbines close to Human Habitation.

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