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“Alarming pattern from Liberals” responding to WindyLeaks wind concerns

Ontario Liberals React to launch of WindyLeaks.com

WindyLeaks.com UPDATE: Aug. 18,2011 –
“We’ve seen an alarming pattern from the Ontario Liberals in responding to concerns about industrial wind development in Ontario” said John Laforet, President of Wind Concerns Ontario. “Liberal MPPs and staff are treating these concerns like a communications problem they can spin away with half truths and an have undertaken an effort to suppress the truth while Ontarians suffer. Wind Concerns Ontario is putting the Ontario Liberals on notice that we intend to use their own internal documents to demonstrate they are lying.”

Earlier this week WindyLeaks.com released a memo from Cameron Hall, Senior Environmental Planner from the Ministry of the Environment, who criticized the 550 meter setback and the allowable noise discharge of 40 decibels.
In his memo Hall cites field work undertaken that demonstrates wind turbine noise discharge is different than typical noise, resulting in adverse effects at lower decibel levels than other noise and states turbines should not be allowed to cause more than 32 decibels of noise at the point of receptor (thus calling for a greater setback).

“The Ontario Liberals shameful lack of commitment to the truth appears to be deeply entrenched,” WindyLeaks posts. “In response to this first release, Guelph MPP Liz Sandals stated incorrectly that the Ontario Liberals Green Energy Act regulations comply with the World Health Organization’s noise guidelines, while Jonathan Rose, an aide to Environment Minister John Wilkinson stated incorrectly that an Environmental Review Tribunal reviewed the noise limits and determined Ontario’s wind energy regulations to be safe.”

“In the midst of being caught with clear evidence that Ontario’s setback regulations don’t protect human health in a memo drafted over a year ago by Ontario’s civil service, Ontario Liberal officials chose to lie about lying instead of using the opportunity to come clean and begin cleaning up their mess” Laforet said. “We will continue releasing documents that prove unequivocally this government knows there is a problem, but Ontario Liberal MPPs and staff have chosen to suppress information, instead of dealing with it.”

WindyLeaks.com has scheduled another release for Monday Aug. 22nd at 8 am “and will continue daily postings of victims ignored pleas for help to the Ministry.”

Windyleaks reports McGunity Liberals hiding wind turbine truth

AUG: 15 – A government memorandum on wind turbines obtained through the Freedom of Information Act was released today by Wind Concerns Ontario’s “windyleaks.com” campaign. The document, says Henri Garand, of the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, was written in April 2010 and shows the McGuinty Liberals were well aware that noise from industrial wind turbines operating, even in compliance with Ontario’s wind turbine regulations, were causing adverse effects on communities.

Windyleaks.com reports:
The damaging report by Cameron Hall, a Senior Environmental Officer with the Ministry of Environment in the Guelph District Office, exposes several serious deficiencies in Ontario’s legislated noise limits for wind turbines at 40 decibels. Hall describes the noise from wind turbines as ‘sound contamination discharged into the natural environment…’

In the document released today Hall indicates that there are many characteristics of wind turbine noise not addressed in the regulations. These characteristics must be factored into the equation when assessing tolerable turbine noise levels in quiet rural settings especially at night.

Hall comments that wind turbines create an audible ‘swish’ or cyclical sound as the gigantic turbine blades pass the towers at speeds of over 200km/hr. Any other industrial noise with this quality receives a 5 decibel penalty. Currently the Minister of Environment says 40 decibels is the acceptable level for wind turbine noise. However with just that 5decibel penalty the noise limit should be lowered to 35decibels.

“For almost four years residents in rural Ontario have played by the book,” says John Laforet, president, Wind Concerns Ontario. “They have complained about the unbearable noise to the field officers in their region believing that the field officers would communicate the issues to the minister and his advisers. If this is how the government process works, by burying evidence, then the system is either broken or corrupt.”

The FOI document shows in statement after statement that the field officers do not support the ministry guidelines. E.g. “The assumption…is not supported by our field observations”, “is not supported in the report”, “…this conclusion is not supported by our field officers” , and ” …it appears reasonable to suggest the setback distances should be calculated using a sound level limit of 30 to 32 dBA at the receptor [home], instead of the 40dBA sound level limit.”

An increase of 10 decibels to a noise is perceived by the human ear as a doubling of that sound. The fact is wind turbine developments in Ontario are permitted to go to 51 decibels even at night – a full 20 decibels over the tolerable threshold for human perception.

“What is really disturbing,” said Laforet, “is that it appears this Liberal government is operating in a culture of Willful Blindness at the most senior level including the Ministers of Environment, Health and inside the Premier’s office.”

Download the memorandum obtained through the FOI act by clicking here http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/

windyleaks.com was launched this week by Wind Concerns Ontario with an aim “to regularly release and feature revealing documents through Ontario’s fall election campaign to educate voters on the Ontario Liberal’s dishonesty on the impacts of industrial wind turbines.”

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  1. John says:

    Having read Cameron Hall’s report -see Paula Peel’s post- and having found holes in it big enough to drive a truck through, I will respond only by repeating his conclusion: “While the minimum set back of 550m must be met in all cases, proponents are given the option of conducting a noise study proving that siting turbines closer than the setbacks in Table 1 will not cause exceedences of the applicable sound level limits.”

    So Hall in his conclusion did not recommend a distance greater than 550 metres; he actually recommended the 550 metres the province adopted.

    Once again, the anti-wind do their best to distort.

  2. John Thompson says:

    Beth, I think that solar pv is being adequately incented through Micro Fit and small wind is discouraged as it should. Solar thermal for the pre heating of domestic hot water is something which could be more heavily subsidezed to a broader base. This pre heat reduces electrical demand rather than adding to supply. It does not need a grid connection of course and needs only a small amount of south facing roof, enough for a panel or two.

  3. John says:

    The Green Alternative Energy Plan is a joke. It doesn’t stand up to simple arithmatic. I worked it out and posted it in a letter to the editor over a year ago. The worst part of it is that it promotes small wind – the 90 decibal wind turbines. It is hard to believe someone could be so anti-wind and still promote small wind as an alternative.

    Mr. Garand maybe you should ask those opposed, “Who has had turbines proposed for within a mile of their properties?” I know of at least three of them as well.

    I have two microfit projects because I know a good investment when I see one. That has nothing to do with my support for wind. That position is more reflected by my two non-microfit solar projects which receive no subsidies.

  4. Henri Garand says:

    Maybe the Green Energy Act profiteers who are participating in this blog should identify themselves. I know at least three but will give them the chance to make their own full disclosures.

    The Green Alternative Plan, by contrast, is a not-for-profit approach to electricity generation that allows all concerned citizens to help address Ontario’s energy needs. It’s not perfect, but neither is industrial wind energy, which has huge financial rewards for international companies, like wpd Canada (with German ownership), while harming the natural environment and human health.

  5. Ernest Horvath says:

    Beth..there is 28 billions dollars going out of your pocket so wind and solar can be sold to you…
    I think there is enough money there, which is your money anyway that should be provided for grants etc for all people to adopt alternate energy.
    This direction is IGNORED.. I think we all know why.

    When this is suggested , the issue gets spun.

    It’s about entrenching business…which is why I am fighting so hard to get people to understand the agenda here.
    We don’t need to pay wind 3 times the rate for power. just as we don’t need to pay solar 12 to 15 times the rate.
    The entire focus is profit based..set up using YOUR money of course.
    Look at the constant redirect…these people don’t want you to notice…average power exec makes $300K a year. The real , the real money is selling FIT contracts….

  6. Beth says:

    There are incentives for people to buy into the Micro FIT program and there are grants to help install green energy technology. However there are far too many people whose homes would qualify that just simply cannot get a loan to install a system.

    I am talking about a broader base something available to all home owners, regardless of their economic state. We do need to think beyond the home, but home is a good place to start.

  7. Ernest Horvath says:

    Gary we have been at McGuinty since 2009 to provide meaningful subsidies for people to adopt solar and geothermal.
    These guys want to entrench for profit energy businesses.
    We pay for it all be it the old Ontario Hydro system that was for the people by the people ,as well as the for profit direction McGuinty has taken us on.
    The difference being we would not be paying the massive profits these people and companies make….
    So , the few benefit on the backs of us all.
    The profits and subsidies are enormous. Enormous.
    No one can blame these people fighting tooth and nail to stay on this course.
    We lose , lose. So a few can make big money.
    Don’t let the spin fool you.

  8. Ernest Horvath says:

    That’s right , lets pay profits to energy producer when once we did not.
    Lets pay 3 times more for wind and 12 to 15 times more for solar.
    It is a far better system to overpay for power so people can rake in huge profits.
    It is about the environment don’t you know?
    Afterall Canada which contributes 2% of the entire globes emissions will lead the way in reducing the Entire Globes GHG emissions.
    You bet..a population of 34 Million up against 1.5 Billion in India and 1.3 Billion in China.
    Afterall producing power is the only issues we all have and once we adopt Wind and Solar..we have saved the world.

  9. Chris Keen says:

    “This was acknowledged by Energy Minister Duguid when he cancelled the 900 MW gas turbine plant in Oakville, saying that the government had over-estimated generation needs. That was the equivalent of cancelling 1,600 industrial wind turbines. Given that there is no generation emergency, the Liberals were completely unjustified in suspending local zoning for industrial-scale wind farms, zoning rights which should be restored before there is any further development of industrial wind.”

    Mr. Hull – it would be nice to think that this project was cancelled because it was not required. But, my guess is that there were a lot of heavy breathers (Liberal contributors) living in Oakville who put the screws to McGuinty. NIOBY!

    You are completely right that local zoning rights should be restored. Instead of saying “there’s nothing we can do about wind turbines”, Mayor Mertens should be banding together with the mayors of other affected municipalities and demanding that the Province reinstate this basic right.

  10. John Thompson says:

    Beth, the incentive for home owners and business to install up to 10kw nameplate solar is available through the Micro Fit program which pays enough of a premium price that projects can be financed and debt can be serviced. This is a much better system than a grant system because we are talking about equipment which needs to be monitored and maintained in order to stay productive. Those needing to get a return on investment will do that but if one got a system through grants, the incentive would not be there and it would probably be costing the power consumer at least a much for less productivity as the systems fall into disrepair. Additionally, the Micro Fit program has been sucessfull and exisiting available line capacity is now becoming unavailable in parts of rural Ontario.

    Also, most existing roofs will not accomodate a significant number of solar panels because of the requirements of south facing, no shade, adequate structural support for the extra snow load etc. So, a successfull program is running it’s course in a more efficient way than any alternative scenarios.

    There are no incentives offered for small home based wind. It is not efficient because those units don’t have the structural stength to be place high enough for sufficient wind, are negatively affected by turbulence and cause huge noise complaint issues. Efficiency in wind generation requires size as the energy available for harvest depends on the swept area of the blades. This increases exponentially with blade length, which also requires height. As stated above, solar projects are using the line space that would be needed anyway.

    About 1/3 of the electicity required by the public is direct consumtpion at the home and 2/3 is to power the supplies and services which we all purchase. So, we need to think beyond the home. Electricity consumption will increase in the future as some greener solutions in space heating and transportion save energy but require more electicity. (eg heat pumps, electric cars, hydrogen production)

  11. John Thompson says:

    Treat, the quote that you use must have come from another John as I don’t recall writing that. It’s not that I disagree though.

    I see part of the need for renewables as coming from the fact that much of the Ont generation system is coming to the end of it’s usefull life and needs to be replaced with more sustainable systems. The best Hydro sites are long gone and new flooding releases GHG and other emmissions. Major increase of imports from Quebec would require more transmission capacity. That too would have cost and environmental impacts and do less for Ontario jobs and tax revenue. Additionally, more imports from Quebec so they would be selling less to the US NE does nothing to reduce the worlds GHG emmissions.

    Communities which are happy to live off of the provincial grid and have a productive wind resource need to be part of the solution and I see net benefits for a more sustainable future.

  12. Gary Mooney says:

    The Green Alternative Plan would provide financing to homeowners to build their own energy generation capability and then use it themselves, thereby reducing the need for expanding large-scale power and the transmission / distribution grid. The idea is producing energy where it is used.

    Instead we’re paying people 80.2 cents per KWH, about 10 times what the residential user is now paying, to produce and send power to the grid. I’m pretty good at arithmetic, but I can’t figure out how this makes sense.

  13. Renee says:

    Treat, Beth and Henry – that’s the kind of initiative I’d like to hear about. Forget about lining the pockets of wind companies and pitting neighbour against neighbour.

    Cancel the GEA and let’s look at things on a more human scale.

  14. Henri Garand says:

    Beth,

    Please read all about the Green Alternative Plan at http://tgap.wordpress.com.

    It’s a proposal to have Ontarians contribute to electricity production, not profit from it.

  15. Beth says:

    Treat:

    Although Ontario may currently be producing an excess of energy, the demands on the overall system are increasing. Environmental responsibility is something all Canadians must be involved in. I personally have a concept that may or may not work that would not involve new gas plants or IWT’s but would possibly contribute to the overall energy demands of the area surrounding Ontario and could potentially reduce demands on the energy system of our little corner of North America.

    Is it feasible to have the option of solar and wind generation installed on all homes and businesses in rural / suburban Ontario that would supply the energy needs of those places? Too many of Ontario residents cannot afford to install green energy technology but would love to opportunity to do so. By eliminating or reducing the energy needs of rural Ontario, we could then possibly contribute to the energy needs of our entire energy area reducing emissions and additionally contribution to a greener Ontario. If IWT’s are not the answer, is smaller scale production a help? I for one would prefer to generate my own requirements than to depend on larger industrial production.

    It is our job as responsible people to help make the world a better place.

    Can someone tell me, would this idea work?

  16. Treat Hull says:

    I take issue with John Thompson’s conclusion earlier in this thread when he said “for one of the few times in my lifetime we have a government that is reacting to a crisis before being forced to do so. We are also seeing a government that has a vision beyond the next election.”

    I think John and I would both agree that reducing our carbon footprint is urgent. Where we appear to disagree is on the best way to get there.

    There is no short-term generation shortage in the province, in fact, there is a surplus. This was acknowledged by Energy Minister Duguid when he cancelled the 900 MW gas turbine plant in Oakville, saying that the government had over-estimated generation needs. That was the equivalent of cancelling 1,600 industrial wind turbines. Given that there is no generation emergency, the Liberals were completely unjustified in suspending local zoning for industrial-scale wind farms, zoning rights which should be restored before there is any further development of industrial wind.

    In order to have the maximum possible impact on the province’s carbon footprint, it is very important to spend our (ratepayers) money wisely. Industrial wind currently costs 13.1 cents per kilowatt hour. Conservation costs about one-quarter of that. “Old fashioned” hydro is a renewable source of energy and can be developed or purchased from Quebec for 7 cents a kilowatt hour. If fighting global warming is our objective, we should make full use of these lower cost options before massive investment in higher cost options.

    Given that industrial wind currently offers a poor rate of return on investment when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, I do not believe that the Liberal’s motive in promoting industrial scale wind energy is really driven by CO2. How often have you seen the government tout the number of tonnes of carbon saved by wind energy? In reality, I think it’s a case of the Liberals trying to create jobs in south-western Ontario. Certainly every government press release touts the alleged number of jobs created by the Green Energy Act, not the carbon savings.

    In the past, job creation programs were run through one of the government ministries and showed up on the government’s financial statements. The McGuinty government has nearly doubled the provincial long-term deficit which now stands at a record level. As a consequence, there is no room for an interventionist government to fund a job creation program through Ministry direct spending because it would push the deficit further in to dangerous territory.

    Instead, the Liberal have adopted the same kind of risky and misleading financial manoeuvre that help to bring about the sudden collapse of companies including Enron and Lehman Bros., namely, off the balance sheet transactions. In this case, the job creation program (industrial-scale wind) is not being reported on the government’s books because it’s being financed by commitments to giant wind companies like TransAlta and Syncrude which will be paid by electrical ratepayers over the next 20 years.

    I should add that while the Liberals propose significant (and premature) spending on industrial-scale wind over the objections of rural communities, they are proposing to spend far more –over $30 billion– on new nuclear reactors.

    Far from visionary, the McGuinty government is pursuing a tired, old formula which is a throwback to the 1970’s: massive spending on nuclear… plus government intervention in the economy to subsidize wind energy in the name of job creation.

    Treat Hull
    Candidate, Prince Edward Hastings
    Green Party of Ontario

  17. Ernset Horvath says:

    Apparently the MOE has never been able to measure the sound levels with their equipment all this time.

    Henri….it’s redirect , confuse and mislead,

    The story as you have pointed out is about the MOE not telling people the truth for years…..now it seems there is more.
    How can the MOE tell you IWTs are at safe levels when they have no way to measure them?
    Yes…………

  18. Paul says:

    I heard a couple Windy Leaks this morning that were well above the 40 decibel level should I call the Ministry of Enviroment, or will they just blame it on the dog..Humor

  19. Paula Peel says:

    There are some glaring discrepancies between some of the comments on this blog site and statements in Hall’s memo.
    Here are a few examples:

    “Donna” says: “Wind turbines do not interfere with speech, sleep, or learning. . .”
    Hall memo: It appears compliance with. . .the noise study approach currently being used to approve the siting of WTGs will result or likely result in adverse effects contrary to subsection 14(1) of the EPA.

    “Donna” says: “Wind turbines. . .could possibly cause annoyance in some people who feel negatively about their presence.”
    Hall memo: The Ministry 2007 Acoustic Consulting Report referred to a study which produced an “annoyance table”. The annoyance table reportedly provides an estimated community response to the actual wind turbine generator sound levels measured at a receptor compared to the background sound level. . . the annoyance table suggests a 10 dB increase in sound level above background would result in estimated “widespread complaints”; a 15 dB increase in sound level above background would result in estimated threats of “community action”; and a 20 dB increase in sound level above background would result in estimated “vigorous community action”.

    “Donna” says: “Wind turbines located in rural or remote areas have much of their sound masked by ambient noise or the background sounds of the wind itself.”
    Hall memo: The sound level limits used to establish the setbacks fail to recognize the potential quietness of some rural areas. As a consequence, meeting the minimum sound level limits may still result in significant sound contamination levels intruding into the rural environment.

    “Donna” says: “It’s a well known fact that the sound produced by wind turbines has diminished as the technology has improved. As blade airfoils have become more efficient, more of the wind energy is converted into rotational energy and less into acoustic energy. Vibration damping and improved mechanical design have also significantly reduced noise from mechanical sources.”
    Hall memo: Our field observations at the Melancthon Ecopower Centre wind plant suggest there are many occasions where . . .the nearby WTGs are producing electricity and discharging sound contamination at unacceptable levels.

    John Legate says: “40decibels is also the noise level of a refrigerator and a wind turbine at 400 metres. So you need be concerned about wind turbine noise if on a windy night you are awakened by your refrigerator turning on. That is what a turbine is at 400 metres – in Ontario they will be 37% farther away.”
    Hall memo: Most of the complainants who have contacted the Ministry about sound contamination from the Melancthon Ecopower Centre WTGs identify the characteristic “blade swoosh” or “swishing” sound contamination discharged into the natural environment from the WTGs as a quality of the WTG sound contamination which they find offensive. Provincial Officers have confirmed the “blade swoosh” quality of the sound contamination discharged into the natural environment from the WTGs throughout the Melancthon Ecopower Centre wind plant.

    The Ministry 2007 Acoustic Consulting Report discusses the sound contamination characteristics of WTGs and includes discussing “the swishing (thumping) sound normally termed as the amplitude modulation phenomenon”. The Ministry 2007 Acoustic Consulting Report includes the following: “Due to the nature of the amplitude modulation phenomenon, the swishing or thumping exists all the time.”

    “John” says: “Just so we have a reference: 40dBA is the allowed sound outside of a house. A refrigerator makes 40dBA of sound inside of a house. So all of you who are kept awake by your refrigerator, or have had to take special steps to make it quieter, you have need for concern about turbine noise. For the rest of us: What’s the issue?”
    Hall memo: In the Melancthon Ecopower Centre case, an approval was issued where the predicted sound levels at most of the receptors was 40 dBA (rounded-off). If a 5 dB error is applied, then the predicted sound level at the receptor could actually be as low as 35 dBA or as high as 45 dBA. Given the errors involved in the computer modelling it appears reasonable to suggest that a conservative approach might be to only establish setbacks and approve locating WTGs where the predicted sound levels at the receptors are 35 to 37 dBA.

    Observations by several Provincial Officers at the Melancthon Ecopower Wind Plant indicate sound levels at the receptors below 35 dBA and in the range of 30 to 32 dBA would not cause or be likely to cause adverse effects in the opinion of the Provincial Officers. As such, it appears reasonable to suggest the setback distances should be calculated using a sound level limit of 30 to 32 dBA at the receptor, instead of the 40 dBA sound level limit.

    “Beth” says: “I do not consider 40db loud, the white noise in my home is often that level through my use of computers and other noise generating items in my home.”
    Hall memo: According to the report referenced in the Ministry 2007 Acoustic Consulting Report, the estimated community response would be “threats of community action” to “vigorous community action” where the sound contamination from wind turbine generators intrudes 15 to 20 dB above background levels.

    Observations at the Melancthon Ecopower Wind Plant and at Clear Creek in Hamilton District indicate the sound contamination discharged into the natural environment from WTGs is directional. This directional nature of the sound contamination from WTGs is also reported in the scientific literature. EAAB was advised about our observations that the sound contamination was directional, but has not replied. It is not clear if the directional nature of the sound contamination discharged into the natural environment from WTGs has been considered in the development of the setbacks.
    . . .

    The real topic, as has been pointed out more than a few times, is that MOE is working on behalf of the wind industry, not protecting citizens, and that MOE is covering up the truth. If you feel that you can comment on this topic, and would like to do so, please read Cameron Hall’s memo first. If after reading the memo you still think that MOE has been listening to citizens, then at least you will have a sense as to why citizens in Melancthon would see it differently.

  20. John Thompson says:

    I was able to talk to one such person who, according to a deputation to County Council, had been bought out by the developer in exchange for future silence. He confirmed that this story was a fabrication so I am less sure about the other such stories. As the commercial says, “dressing it up doesn’t make it real; truth matters.”

  21. Henri Garand says:

    Do any of the other countylive posters know people who have had the courage to declare they are victims of wind development? I say COURAGE because that’s what it takes when the likes of John Q. Public (who apparently has a refrigerator in his bedroom) will ridicule them and when their homes may become unsalable.

    Has anyone met the former residents of the Melancthon and Ripley wind projects whose homes were bought by developers in exchange for their future silence? Were these simply acts of charity on the part of the wind industry?

    Whether the problem is due to audible noise, low-frequency sound, or infrasound, wind turbines around the world are harming people.

    In Ontario the MOE is complicit because it dismisses or ignores complaints even when they are validated by field officers.

  22. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    I have a suggestion for all who’ve commented here…
    With permission of course, set up camp at the setback limits; be sure to stay multiple nights covering all points of the compass, weather conditions, seasons and wind shift. Oh, and make sure to have representatives from all political parties present as well. Go and sleep with the turbines: no computer or refrigerator, air conditioning or other white noise…. Then and only then will you be in a position to knowledgeably have this discussion. I would be very interested to hear your conclusions.

  23. John Thompson says:

    It doesn’t matter if wind tubines only average 25-30% of their rated capacity maximum. That is allowed for and efficiency has nothing to do with those numbers as the wind itself is free and renewable.

  24. John Thompson says:

    I fully agree with John that the MOE is doing a very credible job. Otherwise, they could not have won a judicial review and a couple of ERT appeals.

  25. Ernest Horvath says:

    And now we find the MOE cannot measure and know if these developments are in fact within the guidelines …keep in mind Wilkinson stated they were, when in fact their equipment cannot measure the sound to ensure they are at safe levels.
    http://windconcernsontario.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/windyleak_mon_aug_22.pdf

    Please don’t play the environment card with me.
    I think we both know that is nonsense.
    If so where do you want to start ?
    But only after we discuss the fact that Wilkinson had no way of measuring the safe sound levels yet continued to claim they were under acceptable levels and of course the claim that there were know known health concerns even though every country that has foolishly adopted this energu has been dealing with it.
    Why is spin necessary if the claims are true?
    Today wind is producing 210 MW…..all 1200 of them.

  26. John says:

    Mr. Horvath for one of the few times in my lifetime we have a government that is reacting to a crisis before being forced to do so. We are also seeing a government that has a vision beyond the next election.
    The conservative party whether federal or provincial has its collective heads in the sand when it comes to the need to take action on global warming. Actually it is worse than that as they are obstructing the progress that could be made.
    It is clear to anyone paying attention and not blinded by their own personal wants that gas plants are a stop gap solution to get us off coal and oil as quickly as possible. The ratios for equivalent energy are: gas/oil/coal – 117/164/208
    That gas can act as a buffer for renewables is also a stop gap. Whether it be large scale chemical -batteries or hydrogen – or mechanical energy storage for renewables id on the way. Hydrogen is the most promising solution. Eventually renewables will replace coal, oil and gas with all surplus generation going into say hydrogen production, for later use in gas plants or our buildings. The new Bake building in downtown Picton is fitted with a hydrogen ready furnce. it is also expected hydrogen will become the transportation fuel of the fiture. Some peolple see the future.

    The other aspect of the future is we cannot expect energy to continue to cost what it does today. All the cheap energy has been tapped. The price at the gas pumps should tell you that. Solar and wind however have low if cost factors associated with them once built. They bring price stability.

    The final aspect of the future is we will need much more electricity. whether it be heat pumps, electric vehicles or hydrogen they all require vast amounts of electricity. Wind and solar are far and away the fastest methods for quickly increasing capacity.

    That is our future.

    When the Mike Harris conservatives ran the province the cost of electricity doubled within 6 months of their putting their solution in place. We currently pay less for electricity (not delivery but that is another discussion) than we did under that plan. Make no mistake Tim hudak is Mike harris’ man.
    And like Harris he is a man of the past not the future.

  27. Beth says:

    Windyleaks is operated by Wind Concerns Ontario. This organization is dedicated as I understand Preventing the installation of IWT’s. As a result I view any articles released by this organization to be oriented to its viewpoint. As I expect comments or articles issues by the pro side to be oriented in that direction. I do not consider 40db loud, the white noise in my home is often that level through my use of computers and other noise generating items in my home.

    We all want a greener environment, there just happen to be varying opinions on how to get there, I think many of you have figured out mine.

  28. Ernest Horvath says:

    Total demand: 12595 MW (2:00 a.m. EDT – Aug. 22, 2011) Total generation: 14901 MW (Aug. 22 – 0:00-1:00)
    Excess generation: 2306 MW
    WIND: 549 MW

    Would you accept a furnace that was only 10% efficient ?

    Wind and solar are business ventures.
    Sold and spun for the benefit of the Environment.

    1200 IWTs with a capacity of 5000 MW…..
    We are just pointing out the realities globally.
    We are the ones being misled. And paying .

    Of course we are against large scale alternate energy.
    Not only does it not do what industry claims we are being charged 3 times more for wind an 12 to 15 times more for solar.
    Plus we will pay to build the power plants needed that alternate energy cannot supply , Gas generating plants.

    Ontarians are intelligent people that have been misled on the efficiency and benefits. It has been done by taking advantage of the goodness , concern and caring of people .

    So a few can make a dollar.

    And Henri is out of line here ?

    The MOE is supposed to work for Ontarians , it is supposed to protect them.
    There is too much information out there , enough redirect and spin.

  29. Paul says:

    Well Mr.Garand is this really about the Ministry of Enviroment misleading the public ? or a ploy to lead people to believe that wind turbines are bad ?

  30. Henri Garand says:

    Of course the situation at the Ministry of Environment is inherently political.

    The MOE’s mandate has been perverted, and it functions like a branch of the Ministry of Energy instead of focusing on human health and the natural environment.

    Ontario citizens must demand the MOE be reformed by whichever party comes to power after the fall election.

  31. Donna says:

    It says that this was posted by the ‘administrator’; nevertheless, people have the right to comment as they see fit without reprimand as to what is an appropriate response.

    The article is political and my reaction to it is that the anti-winds are gearing up for the provincial election.

  32. John says:

    Perhaps the anti-winders should take legal action if they think the MOE isn’t fulfilling its mandate. But then again I think they did – and lost.

  33. John says:

    Just so we have a reference: 40dBA is the allowed sound outside of a house. A refrigerator makes 40dBA of sound inside of a house. So all of you who are kept awake by your refrigerator, or have had to take special steps to make it quieter, you have need for concern about turbine noise. For the rest of us: What’s the issue?

  34. Henri Garand says:

    Donna Anonymous,

    Since I was responsible for providing the original article, I am trying to serve as an unofficial moderator of the comments. Frankly, I’d like to hear from readers willing to address the central issue.

    County residents have had plenty of opportunity on countylive to voice their general opinions on wind development.

    This story is about the Ministry of Environment’s incapability and unwillingness to enforce its own regulations. Any governing political party—whether Liberal, Conservative, NDP or Green—should take responsibility for the effective operation of its ministries.

    Why have NONE of your postings dealt with the real story?

  35. Donna says:

    Henri, you made you proctor?

    I am a resident of Prince Edward County who cares about climate change and the environment. I take seriously our responsibility to clean up our mess for future generations. It’s not about me and my ‘views’; it’s about critical global environmental issues. Prince Edward County should share the resources available here, produce some of its own energy, and be part of the solution. Just because my opinion differs from yours and the other anti-winds doesn’t mean it’s not valid.

    Windyleaks is definitely political and obviously geared to the upcoming provincial election. So…tell me again why we should trust the Conservatives who have so recently proven themselves dishonest?

  36. John says:

    The real situation at Ostrander point is that there are no reasonable environmental grounds for it to be cancelled. The other reality is that the antis in the county have chosen to try and stop all wind development in the county by stopping Gilead. They’ll use anything they can grasp on to and twist to their goal.

    The antis are implying that the wind turbine installation would be a great affront to the ‘natural’ environment that exists there. Since the coming of the Europeans the south shore has been by used by man for various enterprises including forestry, shipbuilding, farming, fishing, military operations, off-roading, cottaging, and abandonment. This area contains 2 threatened species, the Blanding’s Turtle and the Whip-poor-will. Neither was here 10,000 years ago when the area was covered by glaciers. The Blanding’s Turtle was probably here when Europeans arrived but the Whip-poor-will probably arrived after significant man-made openings in the forest occurred. The Blanding’s Turtle is threatened because of nest predation by skunks, fox and coyote, as well as being the victim of road kills. It prefers gravel as a nest site which makes gravel roads a boon and a danger. The Whip-poor-will is threatened by succession (land returning to its natural state as before man) as well as being the victim of road kill. It likes to sit on gravel roads at night. The road way is often the opening in the forest it needs to hunt the insects it eats. Turbines require a restricted access road for their construction and maintenance. They also require the area around them be kept clear of trees to prevent turbulence. It is quite reasonable to conclude both species will adapt and even benefit from the restricted access gravel road and the bird from the cessation of succession.
    What of the wetlands and existing forest? The turbine proposal calls for the maintenance of the wetland, as it should. Even though Blanding’s Turtle will range up to 5-6km per year from pond to pond, the wetland ecosystem should be maintained. We know how to build roads without compromising wetlands and that can be ensured during construction. The turbines themselves will not be in a wetland area. Virtually 100% of the area where the turbines are to be located is land once cleared by man and that has since been left for nature to take its course. It is called succession because over time species after species become established and are succeeded by other species. The earlier flora and fauna become insignificant or disappear. What is there today is just a brief snapshot in time as to what has been and what will be there. It is not a pristine wilderness.
    A bigger picture involves Ostrander Point being part of the Important Bird Area. There are international criteria established for the creation of important bird areas. Prince Edward Point meets criteria A4i and A4iii. These criteria relate to waterfowl, specifically the large numbers of Scaup, Long-tailed Ducks, Mergansers and Scoters that winter in the waters around the south shore. It does not meet any internationally recognized standards for land birds. Regardless, the Prince Edward Point Observatory counts 750,000 birds migrating through in a year. Bird kills from 9 turbines, even using the inflated rate of 10 birds per turbine, would make no difference in the number of birds passing through the area. In fact even 200 turbines in the south of the county would make no difference. There is also the question no anti-turbine person chooses to answer – what difference will the turbines make to bird populations? The reason is the answer is zero. Not one bit. To understand why there will be no impact is rather simple and relates to reproductive success. To be successful at reproducing, birds need favourable nest sites and food. If fewer birds reach their nesting grounds they will be able to occupy the very best nest sites. With less competition for food the birds that nest will produce larger broods. They may also produce more than one brood per year. Birds maximize the resources available to maximize their populations. In good years most species can more than double their populations. In poor years the opposite can happen.
    The US Wildlife Service has actually attempted to put numbers to this ability of birds to reproduce. They estimate 22billion birds migrate south each year. Of those 22billion birds only about 10billion birds return to their nesting grounds in the spring. More than half the birds die along the way. That number equates to over 1000 bird kills per square mile in the migration areas of Central and North America. It gives one pause to think when 600 bird kills are attributed to all the turbines on Wolfe Island.

  37. Paul says:

    “This story is about Government claiming one thing and now being found to not have told you the truth.”

    Im sure there s bullsheet on both sides of the fence, Don’t be fooled by either. Theres one side and then the other and somewhere in the middle is the truth..

  38. Henri Garand says:

    Donna (whoever you are),

    This story is about an Ontario Liberal government scandal involving the Ministry of Environment. It is not about the federal Conservative government.

    What’s so hard about sticking to the topic? Do you think it’s okay for an Ontario government ministry to set up weak regulations and then try to cover it up when field officers report the problems?

  39. Donna says:

    So you’re saying that the Conservatives are transparent and trustworthy?! The same Conservatives that misled Canadian parliament on $1 billion in G8 summit expenses?! The same Conservatives like Tony Clement, the former Industry Minister who is now in charge of enforcing federal spending rules, and hid $50 million spending from the Auditor General?! Oh yes, let’s trust them with our environment and our future!!!!

  40. Ernest Horvath says:

    Readers may not be aware but there are people that participate in these kinds of discussions whose job it is to redirect , misinform and spin information at you.

    Give you an example , it is alright to use WHO acceptable levels for say sound..blah , blah , blah.
    Yet when it comes to WHO safe distances for IWTS of 1900 meters from people…that is not mentioned but intentionally ignored.

    Another is Donna’s last post:

    “I t’s a well known fact that the sound produced by wind turbines has diminished as the technology has improved. As blade airfoils have become more efficient, more of the wind energy is converted into rotational energy and less into acoustic energy. Vibration damping and improved mechanical design have also significantly reduced noise from mechanical sources.

    Donna refers to the WHO on sound blah blah blah , and we are to embrace her claims because it is from the WHO.
    And the safe distance from homes with regard to IWTs?
    1900 meters…not the Ontario Liberal Party 550 meters.

    They cost too much , don’t work reliably , do nothing to lower emissions and destroy the natural beauty of rural Ontario.

    Total demand: 13911 MW (3:00 a.m. EDT – Aug. 20, 2011) Total generation: 14318 MW (Aug. 20 – 2:00-3:00)
    Excess generation: 407 MW
    WIND: 202 MW

    1200 IWTs with a stated capacity of 5,000 MW is producing 202 MW of power.
    And the Liberals and NDP want to get us in even deeper.
    28 Billion dollars on IWT development so GAS can power Ontario. IWTs can’t.
    Insanity…..absolute insanity.

    Henri Garand has made an attempt to keep this issue on track on where it should be.

    This story is about Government claiming one thing and now being found to not have told you the truth.

  41. John Legate says:

    From Outdoor Noise and the Metropilitan Environment by M.C. Branch, et al. Los Angeles California: Department of City Planning, City of Los Angeles, 1970
    conversation 60 decibels
    bird calls 44 decibels
    lowest level of urban ambient sound 40 decibels

    40decibels is also the noise level of a refridgerator and a wind turbine at 400 metres.
    So you need be concerned about wind turbine noise if on a windy night you are awakened by your refridgerator turning on. That is what a turbine is at 400 metres – in Ontario they will be 37% farther away.

    Go to Wolfe Island and drive 1/2 a km from a turbine. I did and there is no way I could hear it.

  42. Donna says:

    It’s a well known fact that the sound produced by wind turbines has diminished as the technology has improved. As blade airfoils have become more efficient, more of the wind energy is converted into rotational energy and less into acoustic energy. Vibration damping and improved mechanical design have also significantly reduced noise from mechanical sources.

    There are other factors that affect the measurement of noise. Noise is a very subjective disturbance, varying with each individual. Wind turbines do not interfere with speech, sleep, or learning but could possibly cause annoyance in some people who feel negatively about their presence.

    Wind turbines located in rural or remote areas have much of their sound masked by ambient noise or the background sounds of the wind itself. Wind direction and strength and its effect on surrounding trees or water, the shape of the land, the presence of buildings or trees, the presence of water noise like waves on the lake or a running stream, traffic noise, and so on, are all factors. Interior noises such as air conditioning, furnaces, heat pumps, music, and television all serve to mask noise too. It is not an open and shut case of measuring decibels.

    I believe that the World Health Organization has only made guidelines for nighttime noise levels, and that modern turbines fall within those guidelines of 40 dB. What then is the issue?

  43. Paula Peel says:

    Freda, You said that you are glad to learn there is internal debate and discussion within the government. I would be glad as well if I actually thought there was internal debate and discussion within the government about wind turbine noise. But on the matter of environmental effects from industrial wind turbines this government has shown itself to be anything but open to debate and discussion. Indeed MOE has been caught in the act of squashing memos written by field officers. Recall the memo that was leaked a few months ago. . .

    As far as feeling sorry for the poor guy doing his job: Given the details of this memo surely it would be more appropriate to express sympathy for the people and for the communities who have had the misfortune to live with industrial wind turbine noise than for salaried employees at MOE who only have to write memos about it.

  44. Henri Garand says:

    I notice that once again the blog responses on wind development have little relation to the initial story.

    These are the essential points to consider:
    •The Ministry of Environment has set a limit of 40 dBA at people’s homes for wind turbine noise
    •Wind developers use computer modelling to determine the setbacks
    •MOE field officers have found the modelling is unreliable
    •MOE field officers have proposed a lower noise limit, which senior MOE officials rejected
    •MOE has then dismissed the complaints of people suffering from higher noise than the regulations are supposed to allow
    •MOE disclosed these facts nearly a year after a request was made under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Even if you believe there are no health effects from wind turbines, the fact is that the MOE is not enforcing its own regulations. It is working on behalf of the wind industry, not protecting citizens. And it is covering up the truth.

    That’s the essential scandal.

  45. John Thompson says:

    Carol, I am a full time farmer, not a city dweller. I have made random visits and had discussions with dairy and crop farmers who are hosting wind turbines in New York State and Ontario. The reponses were positive. I have talked to an Ontario farmer who reportedly had to abandon the farm and found the report to be false. I have some qualifiation in science and have read a lot of what has been published with independent, scientific peer review. These experiences are have helped shape my perspective.

  46. carol says:

    John says,”lacking judgement and perspective as the organization seems to exist for that purpose.”
    Interesting take John,fortunately or unfortunately we are the people that have to live in these communities and deal with people like you who really have NO idea about what we are going through. Ya, I know it is all in our head, we are all NIMBY”S!! In case you did not know we are just people wanting to be listened to.WCO represent many Rural areas of Ontario and their councils. Our rights have been taken away from us, we have no say in the decision making. Rural Ontario is for sale using our money.The economic, health as well as environmental cost will be great.
    John,I would suggest that you leave the city get in your car and go see some of the places that have been abandoned and find some of the people and talk to them then perhaps you will understand what the lack of perspective truly is.

  47. Ernest Horvath says:

    This was memorandum released after the Kent Tribunal

    The tribunal worked on a narrow agenda.
    It did make it clear.

    This group did not lose the health issue battle.
    All one has to do is read the findings.

    We have a microbioligist speaking about noise on bahalf of IWT companies ?

    Simple fact there have been no proper health studies done in Ontario regarding the effects of IWTs on people.

    Even though Environment Canada requires this.

    If you want any product on the market a company has to prove it is safe for people.
    And does not do environmental damage.

    It doesn’t matter if there are studies showing it is safe in other countries, it has to be proven safe in Canada and Ontario..not claimed safe.

    Why does it not apply here ?
    Silly question , wasn’t it ?

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.ert.gov.on.ca/files/201107/00000300-AKT5757C7CO026-BGI54ED19RO026.pdf

  48. John Thompson says:

    Freda, I don’t think it should be a surprise that the article is one sided, lacking judgement and perspective as the organization seems to exist for that purpose. That would be why the court challenge and ERT appeals have been lost.

  49. Freda Wilson says:

    One document by one staff member does not constitute a conspiracy. I am glad to learn there is internal debate and discussion within the government; it means that people are doing their jobs well, I would be more worried if they all agreed, because in the real world that does not happen. People, and professionals, have different opinions and should be able to express them without fear of exposure in inflamatory articles like this that lack judgement and perspective. Singling out a hard working environment staff members views without also presenting opposing views within the government does nothing to help the valid cause of this organization but to make them look petty and one sided. Or, maybe it does accomlish something; muzzling staff members who’s opinions differ from the party line… I bet this poor guy has had better days…

  50. Ernest Horvath says:

    Thank you .

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