Impact on People
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
The public will have its say on the town’s wind turbines at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 – when the Falmouth Board of Selectmen will solicit public comments before it decides how to proceed with Falmouth’s two turbines, Wind 1 and Wind 2, located at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility.
"The role we've been involved in is the wildlife effects in this region," said Mark Shieldcastle, research director for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Carroll Township.
He called land within three miles of the Lake Erie shore in Ottawa County some of the richest concentration sites of migratory birds in the nation.
The Environment and Public Health (Wind Turbines) Bill 2012 would set minimum separation distances of up to 2km between wind turbines and residential property depending on the size of turbines. But the wind energy association said even a 1km "buffer zone" would leave only 9.4 per cent of the land area available for new development.
More than a dozen residents of Schoolfield Street and the surrounding area attended the Jan. 14 meeting of the mayor and council seeking more information about the wind turbine proposed for the electric substation in the neighborhood.
The collective frustration of the residents, after months of complaining about health issues related to the turbines, was voiced by one audience member who shouted at the board after the vote: "Shame on you."
The neighbors want operations ceased at the Independence turbine, a privately owned machine running since May on the town's landfill, and three turbines owned by local businesswoman Mary O'Donnell.
Armed with this understanding, a retired dairy farmer now working as a stray-voltage dairy consultant - who once leased some of his own land to a wind-power developer several years ago - is drawing attention to another kind of unwanted electrical interference he attributes to the "cheap" DC-to-AC power inverters employed by wind- and solar-farm installations.
Curtailing operation between 10:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. could alleviate some neighbors' concerns about sleep loss they blame on the turbines, while still avoiding a net financial loss for the town, the report said. However, a continuation of the current policy of shutting the turbines off between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. could cause a five-year revenue loss of between $672,000 and $1.3 million.
On Wednesday, more than 200 Miaoli residents led by County Representative Liu Bao-ling protested outside the Ministry of Economic Affairs to demand that the bureau end TWP's wind turbine installations amid concerns the project would damage the county's landscape, make low-frequency noise and affect drivers' safety.
Local councillors in the city of Hvidovre are fuming that neighbouring Copenhagen plans to erect four wind turbines in a waterfront area on the border between the two cities.
Hvidovre oppose the construction of the 148 metre wind turbines, four times the height of Copenhagen's Round Tower, arguing they will spoil the view from their new beach near Kalvebod Syd, while compromising an adjacent nature reserve.
As many as 30 natives in a convoy - some wearing traditional garb and waving native flags - interrupted work at several turbine and substation construction sites. ...Josie Hernandez, spokesperson for NextEra, confirmed that the protest was motivated in part by her company's removal of an eagle's nest near Fisherville two weeks ago.
"There wasn't much evidence around but I was struck by the countryside. The more we drove around on inspection the more convinced I was the turbines would have an impact.
"I went past some time later when they were under construction and I was absolutely horrified to see the towers going up. They didn't have their nacelles (hubs) or blades on at that stage but I thought ‘what have I done to these people.'"
Iberdrola, developer of Tule Wind, successfully fought to remove significant protections in Boulevard's Community Plan during the County's General Plan Update--changes that made it easier to build massive energy projects. Supervisors approved those changes in August 2011, tossing out years of planning by Boulevard residents. Those changes appall the vast majority of those who live in this quiet rural community.
In a statement, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says the project will become a "white elephant that will be embroiled in litigation."
Senator Xenophon currently has a Bill before Parliament to introduce national standards on the level of noise created by wind turbines.
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show that officials from the Ministry of Environment were aware of adverse health effects caused by wind turbines in 2009. These documents also show that one wind power company encouraged the Ministry to take a "consistent position" with their company to support the Green Energy.
Planning minister Nick Boles has reportedly told energy minister John Hayes that "local people have genuine concerns" and that "wind farms are not appropriate in all settings".
He has furthermore warned his colleague that people "bitterly resent" having onshore wind farm developments imposed on them by planners after an inquiry.
After reviewing the Planning Board's latest draft of a bylaw that would halve the size and quadruple the setbacks for future turbine projects, Espindola is advocating that the town first deal with complaints it has received regarding the existing turbines.
Further research is needed to figure out safe distances for wind turbines, said Michael Nissenbaum, a radiologist at the Northern Maine Medical Center who conducted a study of residents living near wind turbines in Mars Hill, Maine. His study found that noise from the turbines disrupted the sleep and impaired the mental health of residents living within 1.4 kilometers of the machines and had "the potential to harm human health."
"It is possible that cognitive and mood complaints and other medical or psychological issues associated with sleep loss can stem from living in immediate proximity to wind turbines, if the turbines disrupt sleep."
If the Ministry bureaucrats-or the forces behind them-were hoping to catch residents, local government and other groups flat-footed, they failed. Council will decide later today whether it will take up the fight. Meanwhile, Prince Edward County Field Naturalists have stepped up to appeal the decision.
Two-and-a-half years after the Dennis Old Kings Highway Historic District Committee approved Aquacultural Research Corporation's application to construct a 600 kilowatt wind turbine on its 39-acre property adjacent to Chapin Beach in Dennis, an Orleans District Court judge will decide the fate of ARC's application. The trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14.