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An open letter recommending immediate moratorium on IWTs

January 2, 2012

The Honourable James Bradley
Minister of the Environment
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2T5

Dear Mr. Bradley;
As per the e-mail at the very end below, I understand you have the task of reviewing my recent letter (attached) recommending an immediate moratorium on Industrial Wind Turbines.
First of all, thank you for the opportunity to review this issue, and secondly I want to make it known that I am available for face-to-face discussion of this matter.
I will summarize the salient points and perhaps make some new points.

The CMOH report is no longer relevant, (in fact it never was relevant) due to the emerging health, noise and vibration issues that were known about even prior to the CMOH report being issued.

And, these health issues are gaining in further importance to all stakeholders as the number of “victims” increases in proportion to the number of industrial wind turbines being installed.

The optics now are such that the purpose of the CMOH report was an attempt to backstop the GEA in the face of perceived NIMBY’s when in fact the CMOH and the wind industry constantly pointing to this document suggests that everybody on the inside may use this instrument to justify ignoring the emergent health issues.

A review of documents from various sources including MOE Field Officers that may be found here;  http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2011/09/22/ontario-wind-farm-health-risks-downplayed-documents/  suggests a damning disconnection between the management of the MOE, MOE staff in the field, the wind turbine developers, and the affected residents.

The basis for ensuring industrial wind turbines comply with requirements; ie. the compliance-protocol-aug-2011[1] copy attached, is severely lacking in that this report assumes the only “noise” of interest is between 20Hz and 20,000Hz; when typical large wind turbines may operate between about 10 to 15 revolutions per minute, and with three blades, have a blade passing frequency generating noise at 0.5 to 1.5Hz This “compliance protocol specifically states that infrasound or ultrasound, noise outside the range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz “…or health effects are beyond the scope of this document”. This is absurd for the MOE to be thinking this way.

Another report was recently completed by engineering consultants under contract to the MOE, and that report has been accepted by the MOE. This report ignores and fails to address the issue of low frequency noise as it states that; “…the dominant frequency range [of wind turbines] is not in the low frequency or infrasonic ranges”. Then it goes on to say there may be aerodynamic noise that you may not be able to hear, and if you cannot hear it, it should not be of any concern. This is very absurd, and technically wrong. And, this MOE accepted report further discounts the primary evidence, ie. the many victims, not just in Ontario, but elsewhere, forced to abandon their homes. This MOE accepted report results in a state of willful blindness towards the evidence. While the “Conclusions” acknowledge there are issues to be “monitored” by the MOE, the “Recommendations” point to the MOE developing only “guidelines” for low frequency noise. As such, the report silently advocates the MOE continue the unjustified status quo under the guise of the GEA.

A look at the Canadian Wind Energy Association website; http://www.canwea.ca/about/membersdirectory_e.php?province=ON&searchprovince=Search   confirms that the consultant(s) who authored this report as HGC Engineering, is/are a members of CANWEA. The report makes no disclosure of this fact, and therefore the transparency is lacking, and makes the objectivity of the report very questionable.

The optics are that the purpose of this report authored by members of the proponent, CANWEA, was in hindsight to fill the gap due to the earlier less than adequate compliance-protocol-aug-2011[1] document, and that has become the Ontario Government’s incorrect response to rising concerns about health.  I contend that the compliance-protocol-aug-2011[1] document may be appropriate for a historical typical industrial factory where people may work 40 to 60 hours a week, but everybody involved in their haste to pursue green energy, fails to recognize the total range of involved frequencies emitted by a “factory” wind farm, where people are expected to live 24/7/365.

One of many reasons for a moratorium and an epidemiological study is stated in this report; Sources and Effects of Low Frequency Noise by Hassmen http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/8642114?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

And also the Affidavit of Dr. Michael M Nissenboum; http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/affidavit-of-dr-michael-m-nissenbaum-m-d/ speaks for itself.

Including the message from another medical doctor,
http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/no-safe-place/
No Safe Place by Dr. Robert McMurtry

Why are prominent medical doctors not being listened to?

Overall, there is some general acknowledgement in the literature that information about the exact relationship between noise, especially low frequency noise and health is thin. This statement is made by consultants working in the wind industry. http://www.ehjournal.net/content/10/1/78,

“Assessing the effects of wind turbines on human health is an emerging field, as demonstrated by the limited number of peer-reviewed articles published since 2003.”

While suggesting some of the health effects are make believe, [incredible that people would think that large numbers of people would make this up], the final paragraph reads:

“We believe that research of this nature should be undertaken by multi-disciplinary teams involving, for example, acoustical engineers, health scientists, epidemiologists, social scientists and public health physicians. Ideally developers, government agencies, consulting professionals and non-government organizations would form collaborations in attempt to address these issues.”

One of the most poignant and damning reports about health effects comes from the Washington University; http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/wind.html and also The Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study, Dec 14, 2011; http://ontariowindresistance.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/bruce-mcpherson-infrasound-and-low-frequency-noise-study.pdf

If you still do not believe me, consider that private citizens do not abandon their homes without good reason such as to escape from industrial wind turbines. Private citizens are spending hard earned money and their own time to do research into health issues, eg. the report by Bruce McPherson.

As I mentioned earlier, the government of Ontario is focused on noise above 20Hz, when the noise of concern should be including noise at around one to two hertz. Little wonder the government has failed.

Minister Bradley, simply increasing the setbacks from 550 metres to say 2Km might be a stop gap, however we may not know if 2Km is the appropriate distance, and the overall setback distance may depend on many local factors such as the type of soil and terrain, wind turbine design and operation.

Minister Bradley, you have the opportunity to become a true leader by doing the only right thing; acknowledging this big mistake made by the Ontario government.

Please allow me to crystallize the mistake(s), and we need to be brutally honest about this:
–        Ignoring the emergent health issues, that are no longer hypothetical.
–        Incorrect procedures for noise measurement and compliance, ie. need to include the low frequencies.
–        Lacking objective independent reviews of critical matters, eg. health.
–        Mistrust, of and by, all stakeholders.

These mistakes are not unlike other major institutional/industrial mistakes that have caused loss of life, environmental damage and economic loss. If you were to analyze the scenario; you may conclude root causes include lobbyist pressures, group think, a sense of infallibility, and a “yes minister” decision making processes within cabinet.  There has been much anecdotal information in the media to allow us to speculate about cabinet decision procedures over the past several years.

The only proper solution is to acknowledge this mistake by implementing a moratorium, and sponsoring peer reviewed studies into the health effects of noise from industrial wind turbines.

And, one other thing that is part of the “right things to do list”, is to acknowledge the extreme futility as indicated by the Auditor General, and other experts, of using up to ten times the resource to obtain a megawatt of wind energy in eg. concrete and steel, transmission lines, new roads, the many dollars paid for a meagre few full time Ontario jobs, etc, for these wind farms, when there other alternatives that are more efficient.

I trust that you and your cabinet colleagues will give very careful consideration to all of this that myself, and others, are saying on this issue.

Yours truly,
Eric Jelinski M. Eng. P. Eng.
RR1 Stayner Ont

* * *
Subject: An e-mail from the Premier of Ontario
Thanks for your correspondence regarding industrial wind turbines. Your views are important to me, and I appreciate your taking the time to share them.

As my colleague the Honourable Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment, would also be interested in this issue, I have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to him for his information. I trust that he will also give your views his careful consideration.

Thanks again for contacting me. Please accept my best wishes.

Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario

c: The Honourable Jim Bradley

Letter:

Given everything that I have read and seen as this government is intent upon shoehorning many thousands of industrial wind turbines within 550 metres of homes, all the while wind turbine vibrations have been measured (and documented) up to 10 km distant from wind turbines.

There is world wide mounting information about the negative impacts on public health of those forced to live or evacuate the vicinity of industrial wind turbines.

In summary, I am therefore recommending an immediate moratorium under Section 77 of the Professional Engineer’s Act.  Details are in the attached letter.

Eric Jelinski  M. Eng. P. Eng.
RR1 Stayner Ont

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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