Archive for the ‘Nova Scotia’ Category

Wind farm raises health concerns

March 28, 2008

Editor
research has suggested that those effects don’t cause long-term health impacts after people are no longer living near wind farms”.

Health Canada has never done a study of the health affects of wind turbines on the health of the people. I’ve asked, as have many others, both the Provincial and Federal Health Ministries why there hasn’t been a health study conducted. Now we know.

They already know industrial wind turbines are being placed too close to people and they know they have negative affects. Once you have been run off your property, the ill affects you experienced living next to a 400 ft. high wind turbine will disappear. Using their logic, there is no need for a health study.

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Daniel d’entremont and his family were forced from their home. The good news is their health is slowly returning to normal. They can’t live in their home any longer, but who cares about a home when you have your health.

Your government doesn’t give a damn, it’s that simple.

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Wind farm raises health concerns; No long-term effect, says Kingston doctor

Posted By Jennifer Pritchett

Kingston’s public health department will lobby government for more research into the health effects of wind turbines.

Dr. Ian Gemmill, Kingston’s medical officer of health, says there hasn’t been enough monitoring done to determine whether they’re harmful.

Gemmill made the declaration at a board of health meeting this week in response to residents who live near the proposed site of a wind farm to be built on Wolfe Island.

The citizens had asked public health to assess the health risks associated with the turbines, but based on the information that is available, Gemmill said, there is nothing to indicate that wind turbines have any long-term effect on people’s health.

“We haven’t got a lot of evidence to go on right now,” said Gemmill. Gemmill said that though there are concerns about low-level noise, appearance and stress caused by the turbines, research has suggested that those effects don’t cause long-term health impacts after people are no longer living near wind farms.

As well, much of the research that is available, he said, doesn’t appear to come from reputable sources.

“Our conclusion is that while there may be some short-term concerns, this will not have a long-term health effect,” said Gemmill.

Board member Vicki Schmolka told the board that she wasn’t sure that she agreed with Gemmill’s conclusion. She indicated that she felt there are health concerns associated with the turbines that the board should investigate further.

“Seems to me what we’re really saying is that this person needs to move away and they’ll be OK,” she said.

Schmolka, who is also a city councillor, asked Gemmill if he was comfortable saying that there were definitively no long-term health effects from wind turbines.

“I’m saying it’s reversible,” he responded. “I know that people are bothered by this, but the question here is when do we become involved.”

thewhigJennifer Pritchett

 The Studies are out there but the govt, refuses to acknowledge them.

Frey & Hadden, Wind turbines and health

Wind turbine noise affects health

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Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

February 6, 2008
Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

[ News Watch Home ]

“Understanding Sound Associated with Industrial Wind Developments”, was the theme of the presentation by Rick Bolton, Engineer & Sound Specialist, and sponsored by Citizens for a Healthy Rural Neighborhood (CHRN), on Wednesday, January 30, at Perry’s Masonic Temple.

Though Wednesday’s inclement weather prohibited attendance by many from outlying areas, citizens and Town Board members from Perry, Gainesville, Leicester, and Orangeville were there. Mr. Bolton’s presentation was designed to convey a basic understanding of the complexities of sound, effects on humans, and flaws in current analysis standards being employed by wind developers in the U.S.

Mr. Bolton began by explaining that sound associated with wind turbines is an extremely complex issue, and one that needs thorough analysis. “Sounds are waves – just like light and water,” he said. These sound waves are measured in deci-Bels (dB, or dBA – A-weighted deci-Bels – most closely imitate the human ear).

“Human audibility is extremely sensitive,” he said. “In fact, far more sensitive than anything we can use to record sound electronically. While the human ear can detect to 0 dBA, the lowest range even the most expensive noise meters can measure is 14 dBA.”

Elaborating on the factors that can amplify sound, Bolton pointed out:

1.) Sound can propagate for over a mile, and even further over water;

2.) Sound gets worse in water (i.e. – ice, fog);

3.) Low frequencies can double sound by refraction off hard surfaces (hillsides, snow-pack);

4.) ‘Wave Coherence’, created by a number of turbines together, amplifies sound;

5.) When the wind is blowing, it can refract noise from the elevated source-point downward;

6.) Sounds below 30 Hz, termed ‘infrasound’, create serious health problems (turbines have been indicated as being a strong source of ‘infrasound’)

7.) Ice-loading on the front edge of turbine blade tips disturbs air flow around the blade, creating turbulence, and increasing sound.

8.) Modulation occurs when the blade compresses air as passing the mast of the turbine, and is worsened by large groups of turbines’ blades not operating in sync. (Bolton has never seen modulation addressed in any wind developer provided studies.)

Bolton explained the many ways wind developers methodology is flawed. Field measurements are not done correctly (i.e. – improper microphone placement, no justification for sampling sites, etc.); accurate samplings need to be done for a full year to account for seasonal variations, but aren’t; and computer prediction models wind developers rely on are inadequate because they don’t account for modulation, coherence, refraction, and icing.

Facts contained in Perry’s DEIS from the sound study done by Horizon for Perry were brought up that highlighted Bolton’s point that sound studies being done are totally inadequate: “5 monitoring locations; Survey was carried out over roughly a 3-week period; Unfortunately, 3 primary & 2 backup instruments were destroyed by water infiltration, so octave band data could not be collected for ALL positions for the entire 3-week survey; There were a number of periods of either inclement weather or low wind speeds – conditions that are not generally useful; General conditions of temperature, barometric pressure, & wind for the survey period are shown in plots below as observed at DANSVILLE, NY – some 20 miles southeast of the site.”

Illustrating and explaining his points with numerous charts and graphs that were part of his presentation, he also included examples and measurements from homes that had been abandoned by their owners due to the resulting life-altering health effects of living too close to turbines. Not surprisingly, these health problems have been linked to sleep disturbances.

The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend that sound level should not exceed 30 dBA for a good night’s sleep. WHO also unanimously agrees that noise levels greater than 42 dBA create sleep disturbances, and that disturbed sleep has serious health effects.

Bolton explained that rural country settings currently enjoy extremely quiet night-time noise levels of 20 – 30 dBA. However, wind developers typically propose 50 dBA as acceptable noise levels at property lines of neighboring homes to their industrial wind installations. They do so despite the fact that the NYS DEC recommends no more than a 6 dBA increase over existing night-time ambient noise levels.

“Every 6 dBA is a perceived doubling of sound, or loudness,” Bolton said. When you understand this, you can begin to understand the problems that are occurring from siting these facilities far too close to people’s homes in rural areas. Bolton’s research suggests that 3,000′ – 5,000′ setbacks from the nearest property line should be the rule of thumb.

Neither citizens, nor the town officials being rushed through zoning, siting, and approval processes by wind developers truly understand the vast difference between 30 and 50 dBA until it is too late. Bolton stressed the importance of “getting it right” before allowing industrial wind facilities to be built, since mitigation after the fact is not available. He has yet to see wind developers do any follow-up studies for those now experiencing problems. They simply ignore them.

Bolton also explained that NY Townships are perpetuating flawed methods by accepting, and placing in their ordinances, the 50 dBA sound levels being submitted by wind developers, without demanding justifications – despite the fact that this is contrary to SEQR rules. NYS DEC’s Environmental Conservation Rules for SEQR state that the noise pollution potential must be evaluated at each affected “receptor”.

NYS DEC’s Program Policy, “Assessing & Mitigating Noise Impacts”, states: “When a sound level evaluation indicates that receptors may experience sound levels or characteristics that produce significant noise impacts, or impairment of property use, the Department is to require the permittee or applicant to employ necessary measures to either eliminate, or mitigate, adverse noise effects.”

If our townships fail to hold developers accountable to required standards, “we will lose the privilege, and precious asset, of having the peace and quiet of the country,” he said.

Mr. Bolton then took questions from the crowd. In response to questions asking what he thought of being “surrounded” by up to 23 turbines within 1.5 miles of their homes, he answered, “I would be VERY concerned if I were you.”

When asked if he has conducted any studies in the Perry area, Bolton replied that he had. Those who attended Perry’s Public Hearing October 16, 2006, will remember Mr. Bolton adding his comments, and handing in the study he did for Perry to the Board that evening. (Mr. Bolton’s comments on the Noise Issue can be found in the Comments to Perry’s DEIS under H-1, pages 1-24.)

By Mary Kay Barton

Batavia Daily News

Couple issues wind warning at the mall

November 15, 2007

From the Editor:

I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel when he was in Ont. to testify at an OMB hearing in Kincardine. He continues to fight for the rights of his family and I ask everyone to support him in his fight for justice. More and more lives are being destroyed as more families are being forced from their homes by the wind industry, with the help of govt. This must stop.

Nova Scotia Couple issues wind warning at the mall; Display informs public about family’s experience living next to turbines

A Yarmouth County couple who claim they were driven from their home by one of their neighbours — in this case a giant electricity-generating wind turbine — are now out shopping for support.

Daniel d’Entremont and his wife Carolyn spent about nine hours behind an information table they set up in the Yarmouth Mall one day last week in an effort to publicize their plight.

Daniel & Carolyn d'Entremont“I think it was a success,” Mr. d’Entremont said. “I think it opened the eyes of a lot of people.”

The family asserts that health risks have forced them to move from their Lower West Pubnico home, where the closest of 17 wind turbines spins just 350 metres from their back porch.

The family decided to move last year with their six children back to the home of Carolyn’s parents in Abrams River, about 35 kilometres from the wind farm at Pubnico Point that’s oper ated by Atlantic Wind Power Corp. Ltd. The constant swooshing sound from the turbines was making everyone in the home sick, Mr. d’Entremont said.

The couple distributed literature to passing shoppers during their full day and evening in the Yarmouth Mall.

“What really struck me was the amount of people who didn’t realize there was a problem,” he said. “A lot of people just didn’t know.

“We want (more) public awareness of the dangers and we’re hoping the company will step up and correct the problem they’ve created here.”

This is happening all over Canada. Time to say NO! Full Story

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The d’Entremont home click pic to enlarge.

Wind Power Will Save Us……NOT!

August 19, 2007

Bruce County to Get up to 3000 Turbines

July 28, 2007

From the Editor

Anything less than a complete moratorium on wind farms in Ontario is unacceptable. The corporations will smile at you while they take over rural Ontario. Heading full speed ahead back to “Feudal Times” where you are reduced to a Serf on the land you once owned and controlled.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.Serfdom is the socio-economic status of peasants under feudalism, and specifically relates to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery seen primarily during the Middle Ages in Europe. Serfdom was the enforced labour of serfs on the fields of landowners, in return for protection and the right to work on their leased fields.

Serfdom involved work not only on fields, but various agriculture-related works, like forestry, transportation (both land and river-based), crafts and even in production. Manors formed the basic unit of society during this period, and both the lord and his serfs were bound legally, economically and socially. Serfs were labourers who were bound to the land; they formed the lowest social class of the feudal society. Serfs were also defined as people in whose labour landowners held property rights.

The Bruce County Federation of Agriculture is calling for measures to protect the county’s tourism industry, farming operations and municipalities from the rapidly developing wind energy industry.

“Recent studies in other countries have shown that large wind generating areas and tourism are not compatible. It would be a shame to lose the gains we have made in tourism by not having planning in place to make sure our tourism industry stays vibrant,” federation president Robert Emerson told Bruce County council’s agriculture, tourism and planning committee on Thursday.

The committee was looking at wind energy policy as part of the county’s five-year review of its official plan and because of concerns raised by residents and the industry over the lack of adequate regulations.

Committee members later approved 15 recommendation that chair Charlie Bagnato described as a beginning of more policies to regulate wind energy development.

The recommendations include one calling on developers to provide clearer information about shadow flicker and noise and a provision for a complaint protocol, so members of the public can make their concerns known to the developer and the county.

There was no proposal to change setbacks from built-up areas, which municipalities can set at anywhere from 400 to 700 metres. However, there were recommendations that the planning department conduct further research on the density of turbine development, cumulative impact of wind turbines in an area and the effect of cold weather on wind turbine operation.

Bagnato said more policies will be included once that information is received.

“The overall updates they made today will be helpful in the short term . . . but we’re suggesting now is the time to take a long-term view of the whole issue as it affects county tourism, county agriculture and we’re identifying some real important agricultural issues,” said Emerson.

Emerson held up the example of Grey Highlands, which has designated certain areas suitable for wind energy development and prohibits it in visually sensitive areas. It has incorporated those regulations into its official plan.

“This is fair to all concerned because then wind prospectors will know where they can develop their wind parks and farmers will know if their land is eligible for development,” Emerson said.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith agreed with Emerson’s suggestion of looking into protecting natural and tourist attractions from wind energy development.

Chris LaForest, head of planning for Bruce County, noted the proposals by Grey Highlands still need approval by Grey County.

Emerson cautioned against rushing into new regulations to satisfy the demands of the wind energy industry. He noted the transmission capacity for new wind energy won’t be available until 2011 and the recent announcement of up to 3,000 megawatts of wind energy coming from Bruce County within the next 10 years would require between 1,500 and 3,000 wind turbines.

“Once these units are up and running . . . the citizens of Bruce County will be left to look at a wind park of industrial proportions for the rest of their lives,” Emerson warned.

Emerson also is concerned that wind turbines are not being fairly assessed. He worries that will result in municipalities collecting less in taxes.

Wind turbines are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation at $40,000 for each megawatt of electricity they are rated to produce. The standard 1.5 megawatt turbine worth $2.5 million dollars is assessed at $60,000. A farming operation of the same value is assessed at $500,000.

“To me these large wind turbines have been given a sweet heart deal by the province . . . there’s no fair comparison at all to agriculture. We see it having a detrimental affect on the whole county assessment,” Emerson said.

LaForest said he sees the updates to the county official plan passed by councillors on Thursday as a first step to setting policy for wind energy. Final approval will takes place at a meeting of County council on Aug. 2.

By Don Crosby

The Sun Times

28 July 2007

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

Pugwash wind project damaging says Elizabeth May Leader of the Green Party

July 26, 2007

From the Editor

I thank Elizabeth May for getting involved. Yes 500 meters is too close to homes. Here in Bruce County Ontario the setback is a mere 450 meters. The people here asked for a 1km setback at an OMB hearing, but in the end, after a 7 week hearing the OMB agreed with both the MOE and Enbridge that 450 meters is a safe distance. It is not.

Elizabeth May is all for wind power but not when it’s forced upon those residents living near giant windfarms such as the one proposed for the Gulf Shore.

The leader of Canada’s Green Party feels wind energy has great potential but is concerned when a company like Atlantic Wind Power chooses the wrong site because it runs the risk of discrediting renewable energy.

“We don’t want anything that stands in the way of the effective uptake of wind energy, but when you choose the wrong place and are not sensitive to local concerns it’s a real mistake,” May said. “Shorelines, where people have a lot of cottages, are not a good place. I haven’t gone and measured it myself, but the Pugwash beach is very much up against the 500-metre limit and that’s an unreasonably close spot.”

While the Green Party supports wind energy as a renewable energy source, May said the party also stands for grassroots decision-making.

Atlantic Wind Power Corporation plans to erect between 20 and 27 110-metre high wind turbines on the Gulf Shore near Pugwash. Project opponents want a two-kilometre separation between their properties and the proposed project, but the Municipality of Cumberland recently passed a bylaw setting the distance at the greater of 500 metres or three times the height of the turbine.

May believes the health concerns being raised by Gulf Shore residents are more than fear-mongering.

“Anyone who objects to wind farms because they’re ugly I’m not really impressed with, but as a health issue if you’re going to be that close it’s going to affect the quality of your life,” she said.

By Darrell Cole

Amherst Daily News

25 July 2007

Europe drying up for wind energy developers

July 12, 2007

‘Wind energy in the U.S. “is like Europe was years ago,” says Xavier Viteri, head of Iberdrola’s renewable-energy business. “There’s a lot of room for development there ….”‘ (Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2007, page A1)

That raises the question, Why isn’t Europe like Europe was? Clearly, the momentum has slowed. Even “showcase” Denmark hasn’t added new wind capacity since 2004. Doubts have arisen about the utility of wind energy on the grid. Adverse impacts (to wildlife, landscape, and human health) can no longer be denied. Instead of repeating Europe’s mistakes, the U.S. and Canada ought to consider the limits of wind energy that European countries have already discovered.

There’s a good reason Iberdrola and other European wind developers are moving their efforts to North America. Europe doesn’t want them any more. Let’s learn from that experience instead of repeating the same boondoggle.
From Kirby Mountain

Anne Murray lends voice to opponents of N.S. wind farm

July 4, 2007

By DARRELL COLE The Canadian Press | 5:41 PM

GULF SHORE — Nova Scotia’s songbird wishes a proposed wind farm in Gulf Shore would just fly away.

Singer Anne Murray, who has a summer home in the area, is joining other residents in opposing the construction by Atlantic Wind Power Corp. of 20 to 27 100-metre-high wind turbines in the province’s northwest corner.

“I just think it’s too close. It’s in all our backyards,” said Murray, who grew up in nearby Springhill. “I think wind power is a good thing, and I am all for them when they’re in the right place. I don’t believe these ones are in the right place.”

The project is presently undergoing an environmental assessment. Depending on how that goes, construction could begin in 2009.

Area residents have been fighting the project since it was first proposed and urged Cumberland County to set the distance between the turbines and their properties at a minimum of two kilometres. Instead, the municipality passed a bylaw setting the distance at the greater of three times the height of the turbine, or 500 metres.

Company president Charles Demond has said a two-kilometre setback would kill the project.

Murray feels the concerns being raised by the Gulf Shore Association and area residents aren’t being taken seriously. She believes there are too many unanswered questions surrounding the placement of turbines close to homes, including the effects of noise, vibration and shadow flicker.

“Some people think this is just a bunch of hysterical people opposed to change, but nothing could be farther from the truth,” she said. “These people are in favour of wind power, but the bylaw passed by the county doesn’t set the distance far enough between their homes and these turbines.

“I’m all for progress and I’m all for change, but not this close.”

Murray said she’s also not opposed to using her celebrity to help project opponents because she feels this wind farm will have a “catastrophic” impact on Pugwash and the Gulf Shore area.

The Amherst News