Tests Show Turbines Near Goderich-Area
Home Have Unacceptable Noise Levels

Scott Miller reporting for CTVNews London with the first public report of non-compliance in the K2 wind power project.

This is the first time the MOECC has acknowledged non-compliance publicly, and also admitted the possibility of “tonal” or “cyclical” noise. ~ Wind Concerns Ontario

Woman claims wind turbines have driven her out of her home and wants them tested

Scott Miller reports for CTVNews London.

Testing being done for audible noise alone–residents’ symptoms indicate other problems.

Two Ontario municipalities are supporting the call for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to do comprehensive testing for the full range of noise emissions from wind turbines.

Last night, Kincardine Council supported residents Norma and Ron Schmidt, who have been forced from their home because of adverse health effects from the noise and pressure produced by turbines near them, in sending a letter to the Ministry.

The situation echoes that of Port Elgin where hundreds of complaints have been filed with the Ministry about the turbine on the property owned by Unifor. The municipality of Saugeen Shores has repeatedly asked the Ministry to conduct the necessary investigations, to no avail.

“The government said they were safe”

Read more: Municipalities Support Calls For MOECC To Do Testing For Turbine Noise

Ont. wind farm health risks downplayed: documents

Ont. wind farm health risks downplayed: documents

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment is logging hundreds of health complaints over the province’s 900 wind turbines but has downplayed the problem, according to internal ministry documents obtained by CBC News.

According to 1,000 pages of internal government emails, reports and memos released under Ontario’s Freedom of Information Act, the government scrambled to figure out how to monitor and control noise pollution.

The documents were released after a lengthy and costly battle waged by Barb Ashbee. Ashbee and her husband Dennis Lormand say they suffered a series of ailments after wind turbines began operating near their home in Amaranth, near Shelburne, northwest of Toronto. The area is now home to 133 wind turbines — the largest industrial wind farm in the province.

After being told theirs was the only complaint in the area, Ashbee and Lormond learned that MOE officials at the Guelph District Office had been tracking more than 200 complaints dating back to 2006 when the wind farm first started operating, although the bulk of those complaints were related to the wind farm’s transformer station.

Their home was bought out by Canadian Hydro Developers (now Transalta) in June 2009, one of six homeowners who sold their houses to the utility company.

Each seller had to sign confidentiality agreements. But the Lormands have risked legal repercussions by breaking their silence and speaking exclusively to CBC News this week. They said they want to warn the public about what they claim are the dangers of living near wind turbines and the supposed breakdowns in government monitoring.

“We were silent. I wouldn’t say boo to anybody. But the longer this goes on, nobody’s doing anything! And now we have an (Ontario) election two weeks away. Nobody understands what’s going on out here.”
Read more: Ont. wind farm health risks downplayed: documents

Health Canada data shows Ontario wind farm regulations not adequate

WCO turbine and house to close

Detailed data in Health Canada study contradicts Ontario government claim 550-metre wind turbine setback is safe.

The results of a Health Canada study released November 6 show that Ontario is not protecting the health of residents living near wind turbines, and that longer setbacks between the wind turbines and homes are required.

Health Canada’s summary of its Wind Turbine Noise and Health study results included the fact that responses to the study’s questionnaire show participants reporting experiencing distress or annoyance when wind turbine noise was at 35 decibels/dBA. Current Ontario regulations are based on the World Health Organization Night Noise limit of 40 dBA but that limit was designed solely for traffic and airport noise.

The results of the Health Canada study confirm that wind turbine noise was different than road and airport noise, with issues beginning at 35 dBA. The study also reported that the number of people experiencing disturbance or high annoyance from wind turbine noise was statistically related to several , self-reported health effects such as changes in blood pressure, migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, and perceived stress.

Read more: Health Canada data shows Ontario wind farm regulations not adequate

Wind Concerns Ontario Evaluating Ontario Regulations for Siting Turbines in Context of Findings from the Health Canada Study

Ontario Needs New Wind Turbine Noise Regulations: WCO to MOECC

Wind Concerns Ontario Time For Truth Ontario

Wind turbine noise testing needs total overhaul, Wind Concerns Ontario says

NEWS RELEASE

June 27, 2016, OTTAWA – Ontario needs to do a complete revision of procedures for wind turbine noise testing, Wind Concerns Ontario has informed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) in a review of proposed regulatory changes.

According to WCO, the growing scientific research on wind turbine noise emissions and the escalating number of unresolved complaints confirm that proposed changes to the government’s old protocol are insufficient to address the problems faced by people living among wind turbine projects.

“The changes the Ministry has proposed to its existing procedures are nothing more than minor tweaks,” says president Jane Wilson. “The government is ignoring the need for real change to keep up with science, and to protect health from noise emissions.”

By 2015, the MOECC had received more than 2,700 complaints about problems with wind turbine noise, WCO learned. Though more recent data are not available, monitoring by WCO suggests that this number has continued to grow with the number of larger new turbines that have become operational since then.

Proposed new testing procedures are inadequate as they limit testing to audible noise outside of the home, while many citizen complaints relate to turbine noise emissions that people cannot hear, but rather, are vibrations or sensations that they feel, says WCO. And, while many complaints are about the noise and sensation experienced inside buildings, the MOECC only tests outside noise.

“The MOECC persists in the standard of using one form of noise measurement, the dBA, while the acoustics industry and even the Government of Canada has said this is providing only part of the picture on noise emissions,” Wilson says.

The process of confirming turbine compliance with regulations is convoluted and complex — people have lost trust in the Ontario government, WCO says. For example, the Enbridge project near Kincardine began operation in late 2008 but there is still no report that confirms the turbines are compliant.

The MOECC also relies on information from the power developers, and predicted modelling — not actual noise testing. This has resulted in a loss of faith in the Wynne government as a protector of public health.

Rather than dismissing resident complaints, WCO told the Ministry in a comment document in response to proposed regulatory changes, the government should view these contacts as an opportunity to learn and show leadership in responsible renewable energy implementation.

Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of community groups and citizens concerned about the impact of industrial-scale wind power projects on the economy, the environment, and health.

Contact Jane Wilson at president@windconcernsontario.ca

Additional quotes:
“If government and the wind power development industry is using only A-weighted noise measurement or dBA, they are only getting part of the picture.”

“Wind turbines have been found out of compliance via third-party measurements, yet the MOECC does not act on these findings. The MOECC also does not report publicly on complaints or actions taken as it does for other complaints made to the ministry ‘Spills Line’. ”

“Using only computer-generated predictive noise models does not reflect the reality of wind turbine noise emission experiences in Ontario. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change needs to do actual, on-site testing in conditions similar to or the same as those that spurred a citizen complaint to assure Ontarians it is fulfilling its mandate to protect people.”

Read more: Ontario needs new wind turbine noise regulations: WCO to MOECC

Group Wants Provincial Noise Testing

Bayshore broadcasting Wind Turbines

Advocacy group unhappy that turbine noise tests are done by developers

Wind Concerns Ontario wants more from the province when it comes to testing wind turbine noise.

Group President Jane Wilson says the Ontario government is proposing only minor changes to measures for testing noise.

And she adds that measuring only audible noise from the turbines is not enough.

The group has sent a 22-page document to the government, detailed improvements it would like to see.

Jane Wilson says currently the government doesn’t do noise testing, instead it leaves that up to the company building the turbine developments.

She says that’s not right, and Wind Concerns Ontario is urging the government to take up this practice on it’s own.

She adds that there have been thousands of complaints about the affects of low level noise.

Wilson says she has also been following the appeal of the WPD Canada proposal for 8 wind turbines near the Collingwood Regional Airport.

She says it’s not a matter of if — but when — there will be an accident because of the close proximity of some of the turbines to the airport, affecting the flight path.

Read more: Group Wants Provincial Noise Testing

Ontario Mayor To Wynne Government: Take Action To Protect Residents From Turbine Noise Now.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has failed to regulate wind turbines for safety, mayor says. A full investigation is necessary.

WCO Unifor Turbine

It’s been years since the Canadian Auto Workers union, now UNIFOR, allowed a wind turbine to be built at its education and recreation centre in Port Stanley — and it’s been years of complaints from local residents about the noise and vibration from the wind turbine.

What’s been done? Nothing.

More than 300 complaints have been lodged with the Ontario government and UNIFORS, to no avail. Promises to investigate and follow up have not been fulfilled.

The Mayor of the Town of Saugeen Shores says enough is enough; the government must do its duty and take action on this situation, now.

Last week, he wrote a letter to the Office of the Ombudsman, with a formal complaint about the government inaction in this matter, detailing all the broken promises and the failure to meet its mandate to the people of Ontario. Read the letter here.

Absolutely unreasonable

Mayor Mike Smith wrote, it is “absolutely unreasonable for our community to have to continue to wait until spring of next year in hope that an audit of this turbine’s operation will finally be undertaken voluntarily by the proponent. At the time of writing we are advised that as many as 328 complaints have been filed relating to the operation of this turbine. If this audit is not done until June 2017, it will come four years and three months after the earliest potentially non-compliant test result …”

How many complaints must be filed? Smith asks, and how many more questionable test results filed before the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change finally takes action?

Read more: Ontario mayor to Wynne government: take action to protect residents from turbine noise now

Wind Concerns Ontario addresses Huron health board on wind turbine noise study

windconcernsontario Jane Wilson

Wind Concerns Ontario was invited to make a presentation to the Huron County Board of Health in Clinton last week, to discuss partnership opportunities to advance a study of wind turbine noise emissions, building on the County’s own investigation process.

“This is the first research project, to our knowledge, that involves community groups, a public health unit, and a university,” said Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson.

Details of the project, which involves an association as well with the University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems, have been made available to members.

See Blackburn News story

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

Read more: Wind Concerns Ontario addresses Huron health board on wind turbine noise study

New Noise Audits Recommended For K2 Wind Farm Neighbours

Wind Concerns Ontario Tough on Nature

MOECC admission of ‘tonality’ a step forward but more action needed

Residents living near the K2 wind power project in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh have received a report from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change following noise testing done at their property, Wind Concerns Ontario has learned.

WCO received a copy of the MOECC report and other correspondence from the residents, who are members of the coalition of Ontario community groups and individuals in Ontario concerned about the impact of wind turbines on the economy, natural environment, and human health.

The noise testing was done at their request, connected to complaints made to the MOECC about excessive noise and sound pressure or vibration being emitted from industrial-scale wind turbines at the K2 power project.

The MOECC report’s Executive Summary states that

Based on the results of the analysis, it is acknowledged that sound from the wind turbines was audible during the measuring campaign at levels that appear to exceed the applicable sound level limits, and based on C3 measurements conducted at a nearby receptor (the distance is about 1250 m from R876; where the same turbine(s) within 1500 m distance impact both receptors) it was further concluded that there is a possibility that sound from the nearby turbines could be tonal. To confirm compliance, it is recommended that a tonal audibility assessment and detailed noise audit be undertaken in accordance with Part D of the draft Compliance Protocol for Wind Turbines Noise, NPC 350, 2017.

This is remarkable as it is the first time MOECC supervisory staff have admitted to “tonality” in wind turbine noise emissions. And also because, in previous noise testing by the MOECC, the Ministry claimed results were “inconclusive” due to other noises such as birds chirping and tree leaf movement.

A tonal audibility assessment is a step forward.

Is it enough?

No.

The Ministry needs to acknowledge that there is a problem with wind turbine noise emissions, and in the case of this particular report and recommendation, immediate action is required, including comprehensive testing including for infrasound which was excluded by the equipment used for these tests.

It is time for government to accept responsibility for its wind power program and the impacts on people who were given no choice but to live with them.

Wind Concerns Ontario

Read more: New noise audits recommended for K2 wind farm neighbours

Rebuttal To Wind Turbine Noise And Sleep Disturbance Paper Published

Wind Concerns Ontario Time For The Truth Ontario

“A careful reading of this paper shows that the conclusions are not supported by the data provided …”

A paper by Jalali et al was published in the journal Environmental Research last year, concluding that psychological factors contributed to distress and changes in sleep pattern, not the actual wind turbine noise emissions. Many people already living close to wind turbines were disappointed (not to say, astonished) by its conclusions, particularly those who trusted the research team and allowed them into their homes in the hopes of a meaningful and accurate research study.

Engineer and Ontario resident William Palmer did a detailed analysis of the Jalali paper; his comments have just been published by Environmental Research.

It remains a continuing disappointment that ideology (wind power is good and trumps all other concerns) seems to underlie research into the growing public health/environmental health issue associated with industrial-scale wind turbines and the noise emissions they produce. It is also disappointing that researchers continue to look for “psychological” factors instead of taking a public health approach to doing real-world investigation into a real-world health effect.

We say, BELIEVE the complaints from people. Then look for the cause of the problems.

Read more: Rebuttal to wind turbine noise and sleep disturbance paper published

The Huron County Health Unit has agreed to work with Wind Concerns Ontario and the University of Waterloo on a study of the impact of noise from wind turbines on people living near the turbines.

Wind Concerns President Jane Wilson says many people feel their complaints are not being heard, and the government isn’t following up on them. She adds much of the research that’s been done to date has been incomplete and only looked at part of the picture.

They are hoping to fill in those gaps with their study that will involve selecting sample families from the people that have already contacted the health unit, and recording things like their sleep patterns, measuring noise levels at several points in and around their homes, and then analyzing and publishing the results.

The Huron Board of Health passed a motion Thursday to be a partner in the study.

Wilson says in order to get accurate results, they have to test during all of the seasons. She says conservative estimates put the number of people who are sensitive to the noise at about 15%, and that can depend on weather conditions as well as pre-existing conditions like migraine headaches that could be irritated by noise from turbines.

Read more: Huron County Health Unit Partners For Wind Turbine Study

Wind Noise Report By MOECC Ontario

MOECC Ontario

Acoustic Recording Quantitative Screening Measurement Report Prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

Executive Summary

As requested by the resident, on February 23, 2017, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) staff from the Owen Sound District Office installed a resident-activated sound monitoring device for the purpose of conducting acoustic screening measurements at a private residence located at 36726 Hawkins Road, Goderich (R868). The property is adjacent to the K2 Wind Farm. The measurement and analysis, were performed in accordance with Part C of the Ministry’s Compliance Protocol for Wind Turbine Noise (Noise Protocol), 2011.

Address: 36726 Hawkins Road, Goderich, ON
Measurement Date: February 23 – March 1, 2017
Report Date: March 28, 2017

Read more: Wind Noise Report By MOECC Ontario