Articles filed under Noise from Ontario
“We had no choice” : Wind Concerns Ontario on taking legal action regarding wind turbine noise reports
A Notice of Application for Judicial Review was filed by DDOWT in the Divisional Court in Toronto on Tuesday against the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change alleging the ministry has allowed companies promoting at least five large-scale wind projects to ignore new government guidelines with respect to limiting the amount of noise any residence in the area should have to tolerate.
The application was being sought to allow construction on the 34-wind turbine project in the former Chatham Township area to occur all night as well as on Sundays and holidays from Dec. 1 to March 31, 2018. ...Chatham-Kent's director of building services Paul Lacina said the request was denied to due to objections received from the public and inconsistency with the principles established by council within the bylaw.
In several records, staff noted that wind turbine noise exceeded regulations: ““Staff have attended at the complainants homes on multiple occasions … noise measurements were obtained…subjective observations were made by Provincial Officers…the conclusion of the POs were that the noise emissions from the wind turbines were causing an adverse effect contrary to S. 14 (1) of the EPA at the complainants locations…”
Of the nearly 3,200 reports, 1,730 didn’t get site visit from ministry staff. Action on another 1,424 incidents was listed as deferred or planned. Only 24 public complaints on wind turbine operations between 2006 and 2014 were given priority status, according to ministry records obtained by Wind Concerns Ontario. Wilson said noise issues were the most common complaint.
This powerful document identifies and explains how the Ontario Government through its Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change dismissed, ignored, and otherwise failed to address thousands of wind turbine noise complaints in the period from 2006 to 2014. Nearly 3,200 reports of noise complaints were made during that time and in more than half the cases, the government took no action. The wind power industry was virtually self-regulating as the Ministry relied on predicted noise modeling to determine compliance rather than actual measurements. An excerpt of the report released by Wind Concerns Ontario is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Village residents were surprised when one of the property owners who agreed to host a turbine said his neighbours aren’t imagining things. “I’m surprised I can hear them as loud as I do, and I wear an earpiece,” said Wally Faulkner. “They’re louder than I expected.”
Ashbee wrote: “Many in Ontario and elsewhere have logged serious health complaints with proponents/operators of wind turbine projects, provincial and federal government ministries as well as wind turbine manufacturers ... As previous ministers and current Minister Philpott have been informed, the adverse effects of wind turbines are not trivial.”
The first phase of a Huron County Health Unit investigation on the perceived adverse health effects of wind turbines is about to get under way.
Unifor's turbine is now in its fourth year of operation without the required tests showing proof of compliance. Nearby residents have even tried to conduct their own professional tests. But their efforts have been thwarted by MOE guidelines that require Unifor's participation. So, the families continue to suffer from the turbine's noise. And both Unifor and MOE are well aware.
Testing by Swallow generated acoustic sound levels of between 37 and 57 decibels outdoors and 20 to 40 decibels indoors. Infrasound levels measured between 57 and 88 decibels outdoors and 53 to 72 decibels indoors. He said the increase in sound from wind alone is staggering and should be explored further.
Dr. Schomer, a former Standards Director of the Acoustical Society of America with 48 years’ experience in noise measurement, was qualified by the ERT as an expert in acoustics. He told the Tribunal that all residents in the White Pines project area will be affected by audible and inaudible sound and a number of residents will be seriously affected.
Suncor Energy and the Town of Plympton-Wyoming are at odds again over a wind turbine bylaw. Jody Hood, a manager of development and engineering with Suncor Energy, raised concerns at a recent town council meeting over a bylaw passed in 2014 to regulate wind turbine noise.
Frayne said the widely publicized Health Canada study was only a preliminary analysis of the data and it hasn’t been peer reviewed. “It doesn’t provide any definitive answers on its own. I think the real question is, why did they even decide to release this at this point?” she said.
Dr. Hazel Lynn says an important segment of the population has been left out of a Health Canada study into the impact of industrial wind turbines on peoples' health. The Health Canada study, released Thursday, found no link between wind turbine noise and negative health effects in people. But Lynn, the medical officer of health for Grey-Bruce who has done a review of such studies, said some of the best survey findings are from the people who have moved away because they simply couldn't live near turbines.
No evidence was found to support a link between exposure to wind turbine noise and any of the self-reported or measured health endpoints examined. However, the study did demonstrate a relationship between increasing levels of wind turbine noise and annoyance towards several features (including noise, vibration, shadow flicker, and the aircraft warning lights on top of the turbines) associated with wind turbines.
Under the bylaw, if a resident complains about infra sound, the municipality would hire an engineer qualified to take the measurements before laying a charge. Under the proposed bylaw, fines – if a company is found guilty – can range from $500 to $10,000 per offence and could exceed $100,000 if the offense continues. The municipality could also recoup the cost of the specialized testing under the bylaw.
EDP Renewables Ken Little says the study will continue "until all components are complete per the REA requirements. ...Still, the ministry has since conducted its own recordings of the Brinston-area turbines after an official complaint submitted by nearby residents Leslie Disheau and Glen Baldwin last month.
Council initially enacted a wind turbine development bylaw in 2009 and then updated it last fall to address concerns expressed by residents. The updated version changed the setback distance of a turbine to the nearest residence from 750 metres to 1,000 metres (one kilometre) and also included a maximum sound tolerance of 36 decibels for any turbine operating within the county.
After raising funds and attaining legal advice, the coalition is confident it has come up with a strategy to regulate noise produced by turbines. Currently, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is allowing 40 to 51 dBA and in a rural area it's 20 to 25 dBA for ambient noise at night time.