Articles filed under Impact on People from Canada
A city councillor's push to have the provincial government halt any new wind farms for 18 months until potential health problems caused by the renewable energy projects can be studied is expected to die next month at city council.
Members of Grey Highlands council did their best to clear up some confusion about a wind tower planning application the is currently before the municipality. The public galleries at Monday morning's meeting were once again full of opponents of the AIM Power Generation planning proposal to install a number of wind towers in the southern part of Grey Highlands.
A Ripley woman, who lives near her area's wind turbine project and has been fighting to have her community's health problems acknowledged by the provincial government, congratulated the residents of St. Columban for questioning two proposed wind projects before they're built. "We've suffered extreme health problems and we're so proud of you as a community that you're coming together to find out the truth."
Ontario officials aren't receptive to a councillor's call for the province to halt new wind farms for 18 months until a study can assess whether the green-energy installations pose health risks. Rideau-Goulbourn Councillor Glenn Brooks was going to ask council to direct the city's chief medical officer of health to do the study, but the officer says it would be too expensive and time-consuming for his office.
Some might suggest council erred on the side of caution Monday night, by deferring wind turbine projects until provincial legislation is updated. But when council takes action to potentially protect the health of Chatham-Kent citizens, while also waiting to ensure future wind projects are up to provincial snuff, it is a wise move indeed.
It's a sad day when Ontario's Environment Minister trivializes the preservation of landscapes by declaring that renewable energy development won't slow down "just to preserve scenic views"
Under the proposed regulations, noise levels also would need to fall to 40 decibels at receptors, such as dwellings or businesses. The ministry said a turbine with a sound power level of 106 decibels would have to meet a setback of 950 meters, or about 3,100 feet, from the nearest house or business.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Three Alberta families near Three Hills have taken their fight against a proposal to build wind turbines near their homes to a local appeal board. FPLE Canadian Wind plans to construct 54 wind turbines in Knee Hill County northeast of Calgary for a project called the Ghost Pine wind farm.
Noise was one of the possible side-effects that most concerned Wolfe Islanders prior to construction of the $475-million project. Health surveys conducted on people living near wind farms in Europe and the U. S. have registered a number of medical disorders they blame on the machines -- sleeplessness, depression, anxiety and even tinitis, a ringing in the ears possibly related to turbine noise. By the end of next month, all 86 turbines will be turning.
P.E.I.'s environment minister says he plans to eventually introduce new laws to limit nuisance noise. The move comes after the provincial department received complaints from people who live near wind turbines and a motocross park. Environment Minister Richard Brown said he's a strong believer in people being able to enjoy the peace and quiet of their homes.
I am compelled to respond to Kevin O'Kane's letter to the editor that appeared in a recent issue of this paper.
I didn't ask to have wind turbine complexes placed near me and my neighbours. I've lived here for 20 years and some neighbours, for a lifetime. We do not deserve to have our families and homes exposed to this for ANY reason. The fact that these wind turbines are so ineffective is only insult to injury, literally. The government needs to decommission the turbines that are causing such problems instead of adding more to the problem.
But as wind farms proliferate, so do complaints about them. While some people experience no negative effects whatsoever, others have even resorted to leaving their homes to get away from the windmills they claim are making them sick. While research into the problem is lacking, some who live near the big turbines cite a raft of adverse health effects, including severe headaches, insomnia, dizziness, ringing in the ears, exhaustion, and even blood pressure and heart problems.
High-school teacher Sandy MacLeod is near tears as she reaches into her coat pocket and pulls out a plastic bag filled with a dozen or so orange earplugs. "I wear these every single night," she says, though occasionally she'll "switch to headphones" to muffle the sound of the wind turbine near her home. "But it doesn't matter. The noise still gets into your ears." And, she insists, it's making her sick.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health directors are asking the recently launched Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion to investigate the effects of wind turbines. "We have written our letter specifically recommending that they consider large population-based health studies," medical officer of health Dr. Nicola Mercer said yesterday. ...Increasingly, municipalities want higher levels of government to set standards and probe health concerns like noise and electromagnetic disturbances.