Roger and Pat Foster
Submission to Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study, 2012
We write in support of attention for the initiatives of the Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group. It is important that turbines be treated as industrial projects.
We are supporters of renewable energy and initially supported wind development. The manner in which Industrial Wind Turbines (I.W.T.) are being sited and forced into rural Ontario (eg. Plateau-Grey-Highlands) has changed our perspective. We do not support I.W.T. being sited 550 metres from the centre of homes. It is wrong to saturate rural Ontario (where families are living).
Numerous small projects grouped together, should be considered to be one large array. The accumulative effect upon receptors can be dangerously significant! Large arrays, not just small projects should be studied.Having said that, some residents living within small arrays (8 or fewer) are also suffering. Large and small should be studied. Also turbine projects that have been generating for a few years (eg. Melancthon 1&2) should be included.
Whenever possible, families who have left and/or abandoned their homes should be participants. Hosting families are also a necessary component of this type of health study (in spite of non-disclosure clauses???)
Stress and anger is percolating within our community. Constituents feel abandoned by both federal and provincial governments. "Who do you vote for" is a much used question.
It is anger and a sense of betrayal by the fact that the Green Energy Act (Bill 150) exempts wind development from many regulations. In doing so, it also removes the ability of Municipal government to adequately protect its constituents from inappropriate wind development. This is an erosion of our democratic rights!
IMPACT OF WIND TURBINES
Some constituents are suffering health effects -that were not present before the turbines started generating. These are sensible hard-working people.Some are so tired that they have had to take time off work.
Other residents seem fine. But what will be the long-term accumulative effect of exposure to audible and inaudible noise? It took significant time for the long-term effects of exposure to second-hand smoke and asbestos to be fully understood. If only one child has a nut allergy--- nuts are banned in the school!
I have been told that the M.O.E. has done some noise testing in the Plateau Project. Testing is not done late at night, or when heavy moisture is in the air. Audible noise is much louder under these circumstances. Audible noise is also affected seasonally. Summer seems to be the most quiet.
There are three types of audible "cyclic" noise:
- a jet flying constantly overhead
- a mechanical screech
- whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh
Computer modeling cannot adequately calibrate the impact-experience of this audible noise.
Can low-frequency, infra-sound be tested and monitored? This is important!
As mentioned earlier the greater the number of turbines (especially with increased capacity) and the greater the density: the greater the potential accumulative health impacts will be. Rural areas should not be saturated! A moratorium on any new projects (going forward) should be in place until this health study is complete.
Would a 5 km. setback (the setback that was to be used for the proposed-postponed-cancelled?) Scarborough Bluffs project be sufficient? This industry should not be placed anywhere close to families. If Toronto residents could not accept a FIVE Km. set-back, why should rural residents be forced to accept 550 metres set-back from the CENTRE of their home?
One turbine (Plateau Project) located south of Maxwell on Grey Cty. Road 2 is located 65.9 metres from the edge of the paved road to the centre of the turbine. SCHOOL BUSES, tractors, tractor-trailers, Mennonite buggies and other vehicles use this well-travelled road.
This summer two Mennonite buggies were observed to slow down and very carefully pass by this turbine. It is assumed that they were afraid that the horses might be spooked by the noise and movement of the blades.
This turbine is located where some of the most hazardous Winter driving conditions can occur. Local police will close this section of the road.
The manufacturer's (G.E.) safety specifications for risk of ice-shed and throw is documented in:
Ice-Shedding and Ice-Shed Risk and Mitigation
by: David Wahl & Philippe Giguere (Wind Application Engineering)
The G.E. setback is 243.75 metres. This is a difference in setback distance of
243.75 − 65.9 = 177.85 metres. This is NOT SAFE!
The M.O.E. has been notified - no response.
Social Fabric of the Community:
Some relationships (family and friends) have become strained.
eg. When one farm-owning couple found out that the farmer who was renting their land was going to become a turbine host, they would not allow him to rent the land -- and told him why!
Proper Public Consultation:
All residents MUST be consulted BEFORE leases are signed. Why are confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure clauses allowed to be implemented by the wind industry?
A panel presentation followed by a question/answer period with the attending audience-- was consistently asked for. Developers consistently refused to provide this "proper " public meeting.
Many constituents left most, if not all public meetings, with questions/concerns unanswered or inadequately answered.
Some turbines are located closer to receptors than hosting homes.
Quality of Life:
The enjoyment of your property is diminished (eg. time spent outside gardening).
Some constituents ,who do not have air-conditioning are having to keep windows closed (instead of opening them for cross-ventilation) during recent heat-waves.
This creates stress----- over time, stress can negatively affect your health!
N.R.C. (Natural Resources Canada) is a federal government body. Information leads us to assume that it has provided very substantial (in repayable and non-repayable loans) to wind corporations, lobbyists, and other wind proponents. If this is the case then members of N. R.C. cannot be considered to be unbiased towards wind development!
From our understanding your Health Study (Wind) Panel consists of two N.R.C. representatives:
- Antoine La Croix Eng. M.Sc. (Wind Energy Engineer) Renewable Energy Technologies Natural Resources Canada
- Paul Dockrill M.Sc. Acting Program Manager, Wind Energy Technology Group--Natural Resources Canada.
Carmen Krogh B.Sc. Pharm. would be an excellent member of your study panel. Why has she not been included? She has contacted many families living within-near numerous wind projects in Ontario.
The Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Group suggests the participation of other excellent, independent, international experts.
We require and deserve an INDEPENDENT REVIEW!
A moratorium should be in place until this study is completed. It is a duty of government to protect its citizens.
Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this letter.
Roger & Pat Foster