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Posts Tagged ‘Ontario government’

Ottawa Morning

Here from today’s CBC show Ottawa Morning, is a panel discussion on the impact of Ontario’s rising electricity bills. The panelists include a representative from the Preston Street BIA, a representative of an agency trying to help people in need, and an Ottawa area dairy farmer.

The message is a powerful one: rising electricity bills will result in increased costs for everyone including for food, as well as job losses as business try to cope.

Dairy farmer Peter Ruiter of Black Rapids Farm says the province ought to have figured out how it was going to pay for its renewables progarm. He invited Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli to come to his farm.

Listen to the program here.

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Here is a definition of the Ontario Feed-in Tariff program for wind and solar power, as proposed by Dan Wrightman, who farms in south-western Ontario.

A brief summary of how the FIT program works
1)you have money and want to make more
2)you get a contract from the OPA and install solar panels or wind turbines
3)the Ontario government will steal the money on your behalf from low and fixed income ratepayers
4)wait for the cheques to come every month and enjoy the good life
Note: do not apply for this program if you have a conscience

……………………………………………………………………..

 

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Here is a posting from Nature Canada’s blog on the recently reported bird and bat kills at Wolfe Island, as a result of the 86-turbine industrial wind project.

How Ontario can claim this is all for the environment and that they’re doing everything possible to protect people and wildlife is incredible.

http://naturecanadablog.blogspot.com/2011/07/wolfe-island-wind-farm-still-one-of.html

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wolfe Island Wind Farm Still one of most Dangerous for Birds, Bats

 
*Purple Martin at Home
Tree Swallow via Marshall Segal on Flickr

TransAlta has just released its fourth Report on bird and bat monitoring from its Wolfe Island wind plant located on the west side of Wolfe Island, near Kingston Ontario.

The report affirms that TransAlta’s Wolfe Island Wind Energy plant is one of the most destructive for birds and bats in North America.

Easily visible from the Kingston waterfront, the 86 turbines continue to kill large numbers of birds and bats. Most of the casualties described in the report are the same species reported in the three previous TransAlta studies of bird and bat deaths at their Wolfe Island plant, with Tree Swallow and Purple Martin at the top of the list, and including Bobolink and Barn Swallow, both listed as Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

All of the Ontario swallow species listed in the report are suffering long-term population declines, which makes the unforeseen impacts of the wind energy plant on wildlife all the more troubling. Only two raptors casualties were reported, which may be more a reflection of reduced search efforts in this period, although winter raptor surveys on the island revealed higher numbers of several species compared with the previous year, in particular, Rough-legged Hawk and Short-eared Owl. However, raptors do not appear to be using the habitat on which the wind plant in the north-west corner of the island is situated, and where the turbine density is highest. Three migratory species of bats, including Hoary, Eastern Red, and Silver-haired, comprised the balance of the bat casualties. Unlike birds, which are struck by the fast spinning tips of the turbine blades, bats are killed due to “barotrauma,” a condition caused by the sudden change of pressure around the blades that result in damage to their lungs.

The report presents the findings of monitoring programs that began in June 2009, which will produce reports approximately every 6 months over the first three years of the wind plant’s operations. The current report represents the third six-month period of monitoring. (The first Report was for a two-month period). Several aspects of the plant’s impact on birds and bats are monitored, including casualty rates of birds and bats, displacement of waterfowl and distribution and behaviour of raptors.

The results of the report reinforce the significance for birds and bats of the open scrubland habitat on the offshore islands at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, and onshore alvar habitats such as those found on Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County or Amherst Island. Wind energy plants, transmission towers, and other types of developments that put birds and bats at high risk should be excluded from these significant areas. All of Wolfe Island and a portion of its surrounding waters were recognized as a globally significant Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International’s Canadian partners, Nature Canada and Bird Studies Canada.

Taken together, the reports show that TransAlta’s Wolfe Island Wind Energy plant has one of the highest annual rates of casualties, reporting 16.5 birds per turbine and 43.7 bats per turbine, based on the 6 month study period from July 1 to December 31, 2010. Over a year, this would amount to approximately 1,500 birds and about 3,800 bats. Only one wind plant of the 45 reported on in a landmark 2010 study cited in the TransAlta Report by the US National Wind Coordinating Committee killed more birds per turbine. That plant, the Buffalo Mountain Wind Farm in Tennessee, which is consisted of only three .66 MW turbines at the time of the study, and so makes for a poor comparison. Most wind energy projects have much lower casualty rates for birds and bats.

It is also becoming clear that the July to September period (when the Swallows congregate and the bats migrate) is the most devastating for birds and bats. In my view, it is time that TransAlta implement serious mitigation, and turn off the turbines during this high risk period. This would save the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of birds and bats.

 

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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A statement by Wind Concerns Ontario president, John LaForet:

Sussex Strategy – a Liberal connected PR firm – was quite candid in a leaked document calling for moneyed interests to try to change the channel on the current wind energy debate in Ontario. These guys – a professional public relations firm advised their unnamed clients – basically an orgy of government subsidized energy interests – to ‘confuse’ the issue. That means lie to voters. They made it clear the existing work being done by groups opposed to the government’s plan are creating a real problem on the ground and one Dalton McGuinty can’t win. In fact according to Sussex Strategy – McGuinty has done such a bad job on the energy file he could lose as badly as Ernie Eves did in 2003.

It calls for $300,000 to be spent immediately as seed money trying to fight back for the Liberals, by the same moneyed interests that they’ve rewarded since taking power. It calls for lying to Ontarians about wind energy on a number of fronts, dividing communities and and colluding with government, industry and NGOs.

Perhaps the worst part is the $300,000 is just seed money, and in bold they talk about taking anonymous donations to fund their desperate scramble for more of your hard earned money and defence of the government that shovels it out the door by the billion to these guys.

Read for yourself as the wind industry admits the jobs that were promised never showed up, that bills have spiked and that the environment and health aren’t really the point of this whole exercise. Seriously folks. – This is the wind industry talking.

The reality is, the wind industry is dying world wide. Subsidies are drying up, public opinion is shifting and jurisdictions are now in a race to see who is the last to be conned by this corrupt industry.

Wind Concerns Ontario will continue to fight like hell and stand up to the moneyed interests of the desperate pro-wind forces. We’ll continue to stand with Ontarians facing these projects, fight off the foreign corporations destroying rural Ontario and defeat the politicans that let it happen.

Here is a link to the appalling document (Renewable Energy Matters – Campaign Outline) that outlines how this slimy industry’s ‘hail mary’ pass to your wallet is supposed to work.

As I said to Robert Hornung, President of CanWEA in September 2009 – you can spend all the money you want, we will defeat you, and the political backers you’ve bought because we’ve got the bodies on the ground and money can’t change that.

Over the last month we’ve shown that with rally after rally and it’s going to continue until we’ve reclaimed our rights, can protect our communities and defeat the bought and paid for politicians that let this happen.

http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

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Yesterday we posted a summary of the international conference in Picton (prepared by Lorrie Gillis), but we would now like to add some points of emphasis.

1. Dr Michael Nissenbaum demonstrated absolute proof that there are health effects as a result of exposure to the noise and infrasound from industrial wind turbines. Even he was surprised at the extent of it. His study is relatively simple to duplicate, and there are plans to do just that in Ontario.

2. Dr Carl Phillips said that claims that there is no research are spurious and agenda-driven. There is quite enough evidence, he says. Much of the studies done to date that show there are no health effects are very “poor” and done by people who have no understanding of epidemiology.

3. Economic professor Ross McKitrick called into question the Ontario government’s cry that “dirty coal” is a health hazard, and showed that in fact, pollution has declined in Ontario, dramatically, due to “Clean Drive” and other programs and technology. In one moment that would have been hilarious were it not for the fact that it is an indication of how set this government and the wind industry is on misleading people, Dr McKitrick showed that using the statistical model employed by the Clean Air Alliance, the Registered Nurses Association, the OMA and others, if you applied it back to 1965, more people died from air pollution than actually died. If your model is giving you unreasonable numbers, he said, then there is clearly something wrong with it. Income and smoking are the important factors in respiratory health, he said, not air pollution. [Note: the Ontario Power Authority’s own VP Communications, Ben Chin, has said this on occasion: air pollution in Ontario comes from the U.S., and cars]

Last, lawyer Eric Gillespie update the progress on the Ian Hann challenge to the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, and predicted that there would be plenty of litigation on the horizon: as the proponents/wind energy developers meet with resistance from municipalities, they’ll be threatening legal action, and, as property owners/rural residents face health effects and declining property values, they will be pursuing legal action against the landowners who have leased their land for turbines.

Ignorance, wilful misleading of the public by both government and industry, and neighbours pitted against neighbours: this is Ontario today.

November 18th is when the Ontario Power Authority announces the next round of FIT agreements.

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

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Since our provincial government thought so little of the concerns of dozens of municipalities throughout Ontario, and the people who are suffering because corporate wind developers have built industrial wind turbines too close to homes (in some cases, rendering them uninhabitable so the developers have to buy the properties), we’re not going to spend much time discussing the 14-page report released yesterday by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

It is simply another review, and in many cases the papers reviewed were themselves reviews. It includes the infamous, industry-funded report by Colby, Dobie, Leventhall, et al, which has been roundly discredited as biased and inadequate. It also pointedly includes criticism of the work done by Dr Nina Pierpont (author of Wind Turbine Syndrome).

Here’s the truth: everyone knows that sleep deprivation causes health problems. Everyone knows that constant noise and vibration/soundpressure/infrasound disturbs sleep. If industrial wind turbines are built too close to homes and disturb sleep at night (when they are at their noisiest) then it is more than likely there will be health problems for some people.

Here’s a quote from a 2005 study on traffic noise: “More people are exposed to noise from traffic than from any other noise sources. The degree of noise perception by humans is inflenced by various psychological factors and the syurrounding physical environment. There are numerous health risks due to elevated and prolonged exposure to noise such as irritation, hearing degradation, ability to perceive and process information, sleep deprivation, etc. Lack of sleep has a negative effect on performance,attentiveness and alertness.” (Ilgakojis, Jotautiene et al, 2005. Urban Transport)

That’s just one paper.

The report from the Chief Medical Officer of Health is inadequate, flawed, selective in its sources, and very narrow in its focus. And once again, not a clinical study, i.e., not a single actual person was contacted or examined. And once again, they bring up the idea that if people near wind “farms” felt they were being treated fairly, their “attitudes” would be influenced.

Tax dollars went into the preparation of this “report”. It is indeed a disappointment that it has done nothing to advance experience or knowledge about the important questions concerning industrial wind turbines.

To read the report, go to:

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ministry_reports/wind_turbine/wind_turbine.aspx

French – http://www.health.gov.on.ca/fr/public/publications/ministry_reports/wind_turbine/wind_turbine.aspx

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