Wind victim in Ontario says: Council of Canadian Academies should go further - an open letter

Virginia Stewart Love, a member of Victims of Wind in Ontario, published this open letter in response to the recently released literature review by the Canadian Council of Academies CCA which found that annoyance can be caused by wind turbine noise – a clear adverse health effect. Ms. Love's full letter is posted below and can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.

On April 9 2015 the Canadian Council of Academies CCA, funded by Industry Canada states annoyance can be caused by wind turbine noise – a clear adverse health effect. I am a member of Victims of Wind (VOW) and I agree with this statement. But I believe the CCA should have gone much further. Annoyance at the levels experienced by wind turbine victims day after day and night after night creates a devastating impact. Living with a wind project non-stop is called chronic exposure.

Sadly, many claims made in the CCA report that there is a “limited lack of evidence” continue to cast doubt on the true suffering and harm demonstrated in community after community exposed to the harmful emissions from industrial scale wind turbines. It continues to create an erroneous impression that wind turbines are benign. They are not.

What we have is a cooperative partnership between industry and the government creating an outrageous delay in taking actual steps such as a moratorium to eliminate chronic exposure to this industrial sound source that has led to families worldwide falling victim to suffering and despair. Projects are too close and the suppression of the evidence is stunning.

In July 2012 Health Canada announced a wind turbine noise and health study after which Health Canada requisitioned a literature review on wind turbine noise from the CCA. Part of that literature included the Health Canada preliminary findings November 6 2014.

The Chair of the CCA review states:

Health Canada’s preliminary findings were made publicly available in November 2014. The Panel reviewed those findings but, as they were preliminary, it could not integrate this research into the evidence considered in Chapter 6. However, the Panel observed that the findings from this study were mainly concordant with its own findings.

The Health Canada wind turbine noise and health study has not yet been peer reviewed and published and the raw data has not been released for corroboration. Nevertheless, both government agencies came to the same conclusions of not enough evidence.

But literature reviews do not equal an investigation of peoples’ complaints.

Literature reviews of literature reviews and pronouncements by so-called industry experts have left out the essential component in research- the people who are the real experts. How can reviewers say that wind turbines do not cause my symptoms? Who among them has lived inside an industrial wind project for a month or a year? Why didn’t the CCA wait until Health Canada had completed its final report on the wind turbine noise and health study?

The CCA states:

The evidence suggests a lack of causality between exposure to wind turbine noise and hearing loss.

As a result of my chronic exposure to wind turbines near my home my hearing has become increasingly impaired. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is now a permanent medical state for me and far worse at night when background noise is virtually non-existent. Having developed Tinnitus post wind turbines, my Audiologist said my Hyperacusis is an over sensitivity to certain frequency ranges of environmental sounds which I believe is caused by the frequencies radiated from the wind projects around me.

In a Q &A of Dr. Tee Guidotti, Chair of the CCA Expert Panel and founding member of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment CAPE responds:

Q: What do wind turbines sound like?

A: If you were to stand directly under one, you might hear a kind of thumping noise that varies in intensity as the rotor goes through its cycle. This sound is emitted at all frequencies, i.e. high and low pitch. If you were a bit further away, the higher-pitched sounds would be dampened by structures such as houses, trees and the ground, so you would only hear lower pitches.

At its peak, the noise is on the order of the background noise from wind, or similar to the traffic on a not-very-busy street. It goes down from there; within a kilometre, you probably would not hear it at all.

Has Dr. Guidotti lived inside a wind project? Where is the evidence from the people living with turbines to prove these claims? Where is the evidence that wind turbine noise is the equivalent of background rural nighttime noise or that of a quiet street?

The closest of many wind turbines to my home is 1400 metres. 550 metres is legislated by the Green Energy Act 2009 as a safe setback to protect human health. Dr Guidotti is not an expert on my health effects. None of the panelists are true experts in wind turbine noise emissions and serious harm until they have researched us.

I filed my first noise complaint on April 17 2012. Since then I have filed over 60 other complaints to the Ontario Ministry of Environment and the proponent Plateau Wind Inc. But I have received no mitigation or remedy. In fact I have been told consistently by the civil servants in the Ministry that there is no evidence of health risks and there is no indication that the turbines are operating out of compliance. I stopped complaining in September 2013 because like so many others, complaints go nowhere.

According to the CCA literature review:

No systematic review by independent parties of noise complaints across jurisdictions in Canada has been performed, likely because of the lack of consistency in reporting mechanisms for such complaints or health reports, the collection of complaint information, and whether complaints are even related to health

But they are wrong.

There is a reporting mechanism called the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA). For the purposes of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (Canada) REDA, “radiation is energy in the form of Electromagnetic waves or Acoustical waves”. Wind turbines produce both kinds of waves. Waves such as pulsing sound pressure waves, low frequency waves and infrasound are known emissions from wind turbines.

The REDA is a Federal law that predates the Green Energy Act and has authority over wind turbines according to Health Canada which states:

Health Canada has expertise in measuring noise and assessing the health impacts of noise because of its role in administering the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA). As defined under REDA, noise is a form of radiation.

The role of the REDA is to help Health Canada legally enforce incident reporting through the mechanisms prescribed therein. For example, if the manufacturer or importer/operator of a wind turbine becomes aware of complaints of impairment of health they must “forthwith notify the Minister” of Health Canada who can then have these concerns investigated. This is the reporting mechanism which should have been complied with for a decade but appears to have been ignored by wind turbine operators and manufacturers.

Health Canada must require compliance with this law. We urge the Government of Canada to take action by enforcing their own federal law - the Radiation Emitting Devices Act created to protect Canadians from emissions radiated from wind turbines.

All federal candidates running for office in rural Canada this year be advised:

We did not consent to chronic exposure from emissions radiating from industrial wind turbines.

If you want our vote you must earn it.

What is your position on the wind industry in breach of a Federal law?

No more endless reviews of reviews .No more people at risk .No more projects approved. No more health effects without remedy. Enforce the REDA

Vow April 2015 Letter Cca V8 Gsl

Download file (444 KB) pdf

APR 9 2015
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