Posts Tagged ‘Suncor’

Speaking at the first public meeting of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group this week, at a packed meeting in Dixon’s Corners, were two people from the Thamesvillarea area of Ontario, Lisa Michaud and her 20-year-old son, Josh.

The Michauds live 1.2 km away from the Kent Breeze project by Suncor, which was also the subject of an environmental review tribunal earlier this year.

Once the project began operation in April (construction proceeded even though there was an appeal) the family of four became ill. Their symptoms included nausea, vertigo, headaches and sleep disturbance.

It is interesting that these same symptoms are reported by people exposed to the environmental noise and the vibration /infrasound/amplitude modulation around the world.

As a parent, it was very affecting to hear young Josh talk about what the turbine project has done to his life: once a runner, he can’t exercise that way anymore, due to lack of balance. He works in construction in the family business, but now his balance is so unreliable, he can no longer work on a roof. “I used to do roofing, I’d walk on beams and that type of work—I can’t now,” he told the audience of more than 100 residents.

This is frankly appalling when a young person’s health and livelihood are affected. The Government of Ontario KNOWS there are problems with industrial wind turbine noise and vibration. They are choosing to ignore the health and safety of our citizens. They are supporting the industrialization of country communities, and they are looking the other way as properties become less valuable…in some cases, no longer inhabitable.

This must stop.

Wherever you are, join your local group, and make as much noise about this issue as possible–we must be heard.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca  and join Wind Concerns Ontario at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

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In the most recent Energy News, a good summary of what the recent decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal examining the appeal by Katie Ericson of the approval of the Kent Breeze industrial wind power project.

The post is here, and below: http://www.canadianenergylaw.com/2011/07/articles/renewable-energy/highly-anticipated-ert-decision-issued-for-erickson-v-director-ministry-of-environment/

Highly anticipated ERT decision issued for Erickson v Director, Ministry of Environment

Posted on July 28, 2011

On July 18, 2011, The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) issued its highly anticipated decision in Erickson v Director, Ministry of Environment. The ERT found that the applicant in this case did not meet the burden of showing that the project will, more likely than not, cause serious harm to human health. However, the decision is by no means a conclusive endorsement of the safety of wind turbines.

The high-profile appeal alleged that Suncor’s Kent Breeze Wind Project (Project) posed negative human health risks as approved by the Minister of the Environment (MOE) under Ontario Regulation 359/09 (REA). Over 17 days between February 1 and May 26, 2011 the ERT heard testimony of leading experts from around the world on the potential health effects of wind turbines.

The Project in question is a 20 MW Class 4 Wind Facility consisting of eight wind turbine generators in the Chatham-Kent region. On November 10, 2010, the MOE issued an REA to the Project under section 47.5 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). Shortly afterwards, that decision was appealed by Katie Erickson and the Chatham-Kent Wind Action Group. The appeal alleged that the Project posed negative human health risks including unsafe exposure to low frequency noise and shadow flicker. Additionally, the applicants raised concerns associated with the adverse visual impact of turbines, the negative risks of ice-throw and turbine failure.

In a detailed 223-page decision the ERT found that the applicants had failed to demonstrate that the Project will, more likely than not, cause serious harm to human health. However, the ERT explicitly acknowledged the risks and uncertainties associated with wind turbines and noted that the science behind the health effects of wind farms is in its infancy and is neither exhaustive nor conclusive. The ERT observed that continued research will resolve some of these concerns.

The ERT also noted that the question is not simply whether wind farms will cause serious harm to people, but is a question of degree: “what protections, such as permissible noise levels or setback distances, are appropriate to protect human health”? In this regard, the decision appears to find the REA regulations sufficient in the context of Kent Breeze Project. However, the ERT refused to confirm the adequacy of the REA process more generally. As such, while Erickson may at first blush appear as a victory for the renewable energy developers, the debate may be far from over.

The applicants will have until August 18, 2011 to appeal the ERT decision to the Divisional Court on a question of law.

“Environmental” groups take note.

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John Laforet addressed the Empire Club in Toronto yesterday and served notice to the corporate industrial wind business that the people of Ontario are onto their game and we are NOT standing down. In a masterful, at times whimsical, amusing and then downright forceful speech, Laforet debunked all notions that industrial-scale wind power generation is “green” and painted a horrifying picture of the costs to the people of Ontario in terms of health effects, lost property values, scarred landscapes, and horrendous taxpayer subsidy to a here-today, gone-tomorrow business sector.

He told the audience about what is planned for Thunder Bay: the blasting of the entire top of the escarpment there, including a 150-year-old significant sugar maple bush, to accommodate industrial wind turbines. “Does that sound green to you?” And Wolfe Island, where bird kills are now SIX TIMES what the developer estimated, and the problem is so bad that TransAlta has hired two people to collect dead birds: “Is that an example of Dalton McGuinty’s plan for green jobs in Ontario?”

His assertion that the industrial wind business is really all about natural gas (“Suncor, Enbridge, TransAlta—any of these names familiar to you??”) took many in the audience by surprise, as did his estimate of the billions the corporate wind industry would cost Ontario.

He told the wind business “you better be prepared to tell it to a judge” because the next step for communities and property owners in Ontario is the courts.

The result was a standing ovation.

What followed was a Q & A period with some questions being posed by the wind business, which Laforet parried back with whip-smart answers. Example: What is the basis for your claim that power rates are going to increase by 46% in Ontario? Laforet: Dwight Duncan said that: he’s the Finance Minister, I’ve got to think he’s got the reference behind him. Wind power has been in Europe without problem for 20 years, what do you say to that? Laforet: I say there are more than 400 community organizations against wind in 21 countries in Europe, what does that tell you?

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

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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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Yesterday saw the preliminary hearing for the appeal of the renewable energy certificate for Suncor’s Kent Breeze project. The appeal was brought by the Chatham-Kent wind action group, and by a private citizen.

Witnesses for the wind development opponents include Drs Robert McMurty, Christopher Hanning, and Michael Nissenbaum, as well as epidemiologist Dr Carl V Phillips. Witnesses for the wind development proponent include Geoffrey Leventhall and acting Chatham Medical Officer of Health Dr David Colby. (We are puzzled by the appearance of Dr Colby as he has already been told by the College of Physicians and Surgeons that he, as a specialist in infectious disease, is not to present himself as an expert on wind turbine noise and health effects.)

Once again, the proponents are sticking to the tenet that wind turbine noise does not harm hearing. And that’s not what the medical experts are saying: they are saying that the noise and vibration (nfrasound) from industrial scale wind turbines is a very different sound that is causing a unique set of health problems.

We wish the wind development opponents the best. For more details, and to donate to this landmark case, go to http://www.windconcernsontario.org

For more of the science on the effects of wind turbine noise and infrasound, go to http://www.windvigilance.com

To contact us in North Gower-Richmond, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

and remember our special Truth about wind event, January 23rd, North Gower, at 2 p.m.

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