Articles filed under Impact on People from Canada
A Yarmouth County couple who claim they were driven from their home by one of their neighbours - in this case a giant electricity-generating wind turbine - are now out shopping for support. Daniel d'Entremont and his wife Carolyn spent about nine hours behind an information table they set up in the Yarmouth Mall one day last week in an effort to publicize their plight. ...Wind turbines produce a thumping, pulsating kind of noise that is more audible at night, Dr. Pierpont said in a study dated March 2, 2006. "The noise is louder at night because of the contrast between the still, cool air at ground level and the steady stream of wind at the level of the tur bine hubs," she wrote.
While not opposed to the expansion of a windfarm atop Higgins Mountain, Wentworth area residents are hoping project proponents, 3G Energy Corp., will adjust its plans to address community concerns. The Wentworth Community Development Council held a meeting at the fire hall earlier this week to discuss the plan to add 66 turbines to the three already on Higgins Mountain and to hear from part-time resident Peter Bigelow, who gave a presentation on the pros and cons of living near windfarms. ..."The province should be taking the lead on this, not leaving it up to municipalities," she said. "There have to be rules for everyone in the province to follow. This is bigger than setting land-use bylaws." - Amherst Daily News
In a hearing that ended at approximately 10 p.m. last Thursday, Ontario Municipal Board hearing officer Norm Jackson reserved his decision on Amaranth Township's 22- turbine share of the Melancthon II wind farm project. ...Although Mr. Jackson must rule on aerodrome setbacks as well as on all issues, including the underground transmission line, the most troublesome concern is with residential complaints of noise from the transformer substation. ...Whether or not the noise issues would go beyond the transformers was not clear. Joan and John Lever of Melancthon, parties to the Amaranth hearing, presented turbine noise/health issues from Nina Pierpont, PhD, who is doing research on infrasound. Dr. Pierpont posits that turbine noises, even if inaudible, can be injurious to health. Mrs. Lever's contention was essentially that there is a growing number of professionals in agreement, although there are other professionals in disagreement.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Council seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to settling on a minimum setback distance for wind turbines, and has deferred the matter until mid November when a final decision is expected. At the Oct. 16 meeting, Councillors Barry Millian and Carl Sloetjes presented a verbal report of the noise expert draft findings at the MOE focus group session in Toronto Oct. 15. The pair attended the meeting on behalf of the Township of ACW. "I'll get right to the bottom line here - which was the last chapter of the meeting, and that was, where do we go from here?" said Counc. Millian. "My bottom line is that I need to be put in a comfort zone before I move on this issue, and walking out of that meeting, that didn't happen."
County council will be spending approximately $10,000 more on its wind power study but not all members were pleased with that stance. The extra $10,000 will assist in predominantly helping to further study the migration patterns of birds and bats to ensure they aren't impacted by proposed wind energy projects, an issue which arose during public meetings ...Amherstburg Mayor Wayne Hurst believed the money would be well spent. He believed that the county has to ensure they are doing as much as they can to make sure that due diligence is being met. Essex Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche believed "our research is too important not to spend the additional money." ..."These turbines will be here for years to come and site planning is extremely important. ..."We strongly believe buffer zones must be determined for the sensitive wildlife areas such as Point Pelee, Hillman Marsh and Holiday Beach. There are important long-term environmental and tourism impacts to consider for Essex County."
In March 2007, the [Ministry of the Environment] MOE initiated a review of its noise policy for wind turbines. To support the review, the ministry retained a noise expert to review recent findings relating to noise impacts, including a 2006 dissertation by Van den Berg. Attendees at this first session on Oct. 15 in Toronto will hear the first draft findings, as well as ask questions and offer feedback on the draft.
... in the rush to set up giant wind-powered turbines to fight global warming, we shouldn't discount growing evidence that they can significantly harm the health of their neighbours if built too close to homes. ...Environmentalists don't seem worried about wind-turbine syndrome, either. The need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions has created an atmosphere where it's tantamount to sacrilege to raise concerns about turbines. Complaints are dismissed as NIMBYism.
There has been some opposition to large-scale wind projects in areas like Yarmouth County, where residents living near wind farms have complained about noise. To address that and other concerns, the province is partnering with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities on a call for proposals to do a $45,000 study to develop wind turbine bylaws and policies.
All along, Pictou County has said it is supportive of wind energy - it's written as much in the introduction its municipal planning strategy - but finding a compromise, one which will satisfy both the developer and anyone who lives near a wind energy installation, has been a fine line to walk. ...If successful, the municipality will be the second in northern Nova Scotia to enact bylaws to establish guidelines for wind energy. In May, Cumberland County established that 500 metres from a residence - or three times the height of a turbine was a compromise.
...despite meeting the international green guidelines established by the Kyoto Protocol, plans for the huge turbine have sparked dismay among residents in nearby Hebburn Village and ward councillors, who argue the structure will be a blot on the landscape. Coun Joe Abbott, for Hebburn North, said: "I have spoken to some residents and they are up in arms about the massive scale of this wind turbine. "In terms of size, you are talking about six Angels of the North on top of each other, or two Concordes placed nose to tail.
Questions and concerns about a proposed wind farm in Rural Municipality of Cartier continue to stall a council vote on a zoning bylaw for the project. ... The bylaw passed first reading by a 5-1 council vote in June. Since then, set back guidelines for erecting the turbines changed from 500 metres from neighbouring property lines to 2,000 metres.
Aesthetic factors are a big concern as well. Norman Schmidt, also a St. Joseph area artist, says he was initially intrigued by the idea of wind energy because he thought it would be a way to become less dependent on the grid. But upon further investigation, he too became convinced that the giant structures would mar the beauty and tranquility of the landscape. "We do not want to see our beloved prairie destroyed for the sake of monetary gain," Schmidt says. He proposes that the government encourage the use of small-scale wind turbines on farmsteads with tax incentives so that people could decrease dependency on the grid and free up energy for others.
Forced from home after noise from wind farm turbines made family sick, d'Entremont telling others his story
Some say opponents are uninformed, anti-green, against everything that is good for business, for people, for communities, for the country -- in fact, good for the planet. The industrial wind turbine has become a green icon. Saying you are "against wind" frequently leads to puzzled looks, disbelief or even anger.
PUGWASH - Opponents of a proposed wind farm on the Gulf Shore got more fuel for the fire Friday night. Mark Harris, a pastor from Bridgewater, Maine, spoke Friday night at the Ground Search and Rescue in Pugwash about how a wind farm in Mars Hill, Maine has terrorized locals. He bought property in Mars Hill roughly 1200 feet away from the turbines, but hasn't done anything with it because of how unbearable the sound and strobing from them is. "Many of the mills we have, on certain days when the wind comes from a certain direction and the humidity is such and such, it will be all but silent at 1200 feet away where my home site would be. But come back the next day and it'll pound until you can't tolerate being there and there's no predicting when that will happen," he said. He said the wind farm has wreaked havoc on the town, with many people now dealing with health complications allegedly caused by the turbines' sounds and shadows.
In the last several months my neighbours and I have directly spoken to many people whose lives have been affected by wind energy projects. It seems like there is not a project out there, large or small, that leaves a community unaffected. We have most recently heard from Pastor Mark Harris of Mars Hill, Maine. Pastor Harris was here at the Seventh Day Adventist camp on the Gulf Shore this week. This camp sees an average of 1000 people per week through the summer season. There is only one wind farm in Maine, and it is on Mars Hill. There are 20 families whose lives have been seriously and detrimentally affected by this project, built by UPC. Some turbines are extremely close to families. Complaints have been made from people living as far away as three miles.
Projects are picking up the most speed in Ontario, where the provincial government has embraced wind energy as a symbol of its green friendliness, and municipalities are signing on with a fervour because the province's above-market prices mean they can reap cash in land sales and tax revenues. But as Canada experiences a rapid rise in these developments, there is a growing opposition to wind power as a clean energy alternative, with complaints that it is high-cost, energy-inefficient, causes noise pollution and even wreaks havoc on birds' migratory patterns. After raising many of these concerns with the Ontario Municipal Board, residents of Wolfe Island, Ont., celebrated a victory this week when plans for an 86-turbine megaproject by Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. was modified to place the turbines farther away from residential areas and wetlands.
Shouldn't eco-friendly Townshippers want in on this kind of technology? "It's not the technology we're opposed to, and it's not because we have a 'not-in-my-backyard' mentality," said Fabien Poirier, a fourth-generation resident who restores old houses and furniture, has a head for statistics and history, and is a member of the 'No' committee. "It's just that we don't think these wind towers should ever be put up in an inhabited area, so close to where people live. They're totally out of proportion to everything around them." The residents fear a variety of ills documented from turbine use in other countries: the shadows of the blades at sunrise and sunset, creating a strobe effect that catches the eye and makes people nauseous; interference with analog TV reception, making channels hazy; blinking lights atop the towers that distract and annoy at night; falling house prices caused by the towers being so close; the constant noise of the rotating blades (generally under 40 decibels), likened to the uneven pitch of an overhead fan, the hum of a beehive or the sound of a school bus approaching from a distance; the effect on bird and bat migration; and disruption of drainage caused by a soil structure that gets degraded by the foundations of the towers, each one with a footprint that is wide and deep and hard: 600 cubic litres of poured concrete.
Agriculture Canada says it has yet to decide what to do with a noisy wind turbine in P.E.I. that was shut down less than three days after its blades started spinning because a nearby resident claimed it was making her sick. The turbine, set up to provide power to an Agriculture Canada research station north of Charlottetown, started operating in January. Department spokesman Mike Hennigar confirmed the $200,000, 30-metre turbine in Harrington was shut down less than three days later, after a woman living a few hundred metres away complained of migraine headaches.
The acceptance of Ministry of Environment (MOE) noise regulations by an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) panel in Kincardine will not deter Amaranth resident Paul Thompson in his fight against a second transformer at the Canadian Hydro Developers substation. Mr. Thompson, one of a handful of residents living near the substation, is a party to the scheduled Sept. 11 Amaranth OMB hearing.