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New rules proposed by the Ontario government would forbid the placement of large wind turbines closer than 550 metres to a residence, a distance that could affect the economic viability of many wind projects across the province. The province-wide regulation would create for the first time a minimum setback distance for wind turbines from dwellings, roads, railway lines, wetlands and other environmentally sensitive lands or airspace.
The big blades have been welcomed by many, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, as they've gone up in the farm fields of Huron County in recent years. But a handful of people who live near some of the 46 turbines at a wind park in Bingham and Sheridan townships are now complaining about ongoing noise and rumble from the 300-foot-tall renewable energy generators.
People from across Ontario who welcomed wind turbines into their community are now coming forward with questions and concerns about disturbed living conditions and health concerns and don't know where to turn. Some have been driven from their homes. Some can't afford to leave and just try to cope. Many of these people are re-victimized by the denial of any adverse health effects from wind companies.
The Ontario government is proposing new regulations that would keep wind turbines at least 550 metres away from any house. The province wants that minimum distance, or "setback," to be mandatory for wind developers who install one to five turbines emitting the lowest allowable noise level.
After receiving several letters of complaints from Huron County residents over the last several months regarding the effects wind turbines are having on their lives, the county is taking steps to properly address the issues. Advertisement At last week's Huron County Planning Commission meeting it was announced that a committee will be formed that will include commissioners David Peruski and Kurt Damrow, as well as three members from the Planning Commission.
The winds of dissent are blowing across southern Ontario, buffeting the dreams of entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on elevated support for renewable energy. "There's a lot of controversy about it coming out now," said Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture president Dave Riddell in a recent edition of the Alliston Herald newspaper, when asked to comment about prospective wind energy projects.
Plans for one of Britain's biggest on-shore wind turbines at the Dewlay factory near Garstang have hit a hitch. The Kirkland-based cheese firm hopes to start work on the 127 metres high turbine later this year and have it operational by Spring 2010.
More than 150 people gathered tonight in Georgia to debate a proposed five-turbine wind farm on Georgia Mountain. Some 30 speakers and the broader audience seemed split on the project as they participated in a hearing before the state Public Service Board, which would have to approve the development for it to proceed.
Nine landowners concerned about OG&E putting transmission lines in bar ditches along their land voiced complaints to the Woodward County Commission Monday, saying the county needed to hold the energy company accountable. ...According to another land owner, concrete bases 20 feet deep are being constructed to hold the poles for the transmission lines. Klick said, "These poles are 80 feet tall. They have a detrimental value to everybody's land."
The condition has been given a name: "Wind Turbine Syndrome", coined by Dr. Nina Pierpont, the subject of her recently published 150-page book. Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of 32 individual anti-wind citizens' groups that have joined together from across the province of Ontario; they have named Wind Turbine Syndrome as one of their key focus areas.
The company has a detailed complaint resolution process which it made available Thursday to The Daily News. It also has a 24-hour telephone hotline for reporting turbine issues. "We encourage people if they have a concern that they should call that number, and we check it daily," said Project Manager Eric Miller. "We keep a log of who calls."
"Since we've owned this home, I had no health problems previously," says a somewhat sleepless Jessica Nuhn. "I'm a registered nurse -- a critical care nurse. I've got my bachelor's degree and I know about health. "Since the turbines have been spinning, I've had headaches ... The noise has kept me up at night, the noise gives me headaches, the noise crushes my sinuses." Nuhn says she's never had sinus problems before, and now she sees floating spots, for which she's seeing a doctor.
There was standing room only at Wednesday's Huron County Planning Commission meeting, where officials discussed plans to address a series of noise complaints the county has received in recent months regarding the Michigan Wind 1 development in Ubly. Huron County Building and Zoning Director Russ Lundberg said the county has received a total of four complaints that cite problems residents have experienced as a result of the Michigan Wind 1 development in Ubly.
After receiving another letter from residents who say wind turbines near their Ubly-area home are creating noise disturbances, county officials said they still are in the process of developing a way to respond to complaints received following a wind park's construction. "We thought it would be, as we were told from the beginning of the turbine project, 'no louder than a clothes dryer. ...Now we realize that no one wants to stand right next to a running clothes dryer 24 hours a day. This is the reality of it."
Aldridge Electric's new wind turbine has stopped spinning, while the company attempts to strike a compromise over what neighbors are calling excessive noise. On Tuesday, a group of nine residents who live near the Libertyville company, 844 E. Rockland Road, obtained a restraining order signed by a judge asking Aldridge to temporarily stop the turbine from spinning.
Ontario could become a North American environmental leader, but municipalities can't stand in the way of wind power. That was the message Tuesday from Ontario Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman as he toured a hydroelectric plant here. Smitherman, also Ontario's deputy premier, praised Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. for its operation of the eight-megawatt plant.
We, the people who love Orangeville do not choose to have our homes and recreational areas turned into an industrial zone for any amount of money! We do not choose to suffer from effects of high unbearable amounts of noise and turn our quiet countryside into an unsuitable place to raise our families as a result of now, introducing an industrial park that will intrude into our midst. ...It would seem that no stone should be left unturned in comprehensively examining the likely adverse impacts of large-scale wind facilities. Industrial-scale projects must be safely sited.
Wind turbines in Juniata Township sometimes make annoying and atypical noise, but not enough to violate the township's ordinance, a Vermont company has concluded. RSG Inc., which specializes in environment, energy and acoustics studies, has issued a 36-page report determining that noise made by Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines in Juniata Township is less than 45 decibels, the maximum level allowed by ordinance.
Now the Public Service Commission requires at least 1,400 feet between a tower and an occupied dwelling. It's meant to protect the property owner from noise and shadows, and a possible tower collapse. Commission President Kevin Cramer says the minimum distance is not formally spelled out in state rules.
This report centers on the effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep as this is the particular area of expertise of the author. It was prepared by Dr. Christopher Hanning who founded, and until retirement, ran the Leicester Sleep Disorders Service, one of the longest standing and largest services in the United Kingdom.