Category Archives: Zephyr Project
There may be people who still believe in filing comments with the Ministry of the Environment about the wind project proposed in their area – the government might actually listen to you and take your concerns into consideration- at least that’s what they say they will do.
Do you ever wonder why the government and wind company push for you to fill out those forms at Wind Company public meetings? Why they insist you follow public process? “Submit Comments!!!”, they seem to scream everywhere. Well, when you’ve been to the end, the Environmental Review Tribunal as an appellant, you might be witness to where all those oh-so-harmless looking ‘comments’ that you provided to your government, in good faith, go: Directly to the MOE’s evidence to use against you in any way they can. See my name below for the Zephyr appeal…. Esther.
London Free Press, by Harvey Wrightman, Kerwood
I’m so sorry to hear that poor Minister Bentley is getting anxiety attacks about the rural backlash for his “wind follies” program. Perhaps he is anxious about the Zephyr wind project near Watford which is a case study in everything that can go wrong. It’s what you get when green evangelists team up with door-to-door salesmen. Nothing works.
Now relax Chris. Please sit down and answer these questions for us, the rural people who are so upset with this mess your government is making. Let’s identify the problems:
- The developer, Greenbreeze/Oneworld is bankrupt leaving four lawsuits filed by contractors and other parties for non-payment. The final “cost” was rumoured to be over $30,000,000 for 4 turbines, a tad high don’t you think?
Further, on the remnants of the Oneworld website, we find, “No funds are expected to be available for secured creditors, unsecured creditors or the shareholders of Oneworld.”
Where did the money go and who owns the project now? Oh well, who cares about the money part.
- One of the wind turbines (# 3) hardly ever operates. It is said to be “defective”. Apparently the foundation was poured over a rather large, fresh water spring. As a result the tower is floating on a “bubble”. Turning the blades causes it to shake and ultimately lean.
With all the stringent environmental controls that you have in place, how could they (the MOE) not know about this?
This turbine may tip over as one did in Fenner, NY in 2009. I imagine that must cause you some anxiety. Read the rest of this entry
“We regret to inform you that Oneworld Energy Inc. filed an assignment of bankruptcy on June 5, 2012 with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Estate 32-163280. All the remaining subsidiaries of Oneworld are dormant with no assets and/or also bankrupt.
As per Canadian bankruptcy law, creditors have been notified of the bankruptcy process. No funds are expected to be available for secured creditors, unsecured creditors or the shareholders of Oneworld. Shareholders are advised to contact their financial advisor regarding the tax treatment of their investments. Should you have any other queries, please email email@example.com.
The Zephyr project in Watford isn’t even fully operational and its just been sold. Flip flip flip and scram scram scram. Note that the the project is targeted to generate $60 million in revenue over 20 years while the community of Brooke-Alvinston receives nothing except for the noise and all the other negative affects. What a disgusting scam.
April 25, 2012, Market Watch
Quantum’s Schneider Power Subsidiary Acquires 10 MW Wind Farm in Ontario – Targeted to Produce $60 Million in Revenues Over 20 Years
IRVINE, Calif., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. /quotes/zigman/3949076/quotes/nls/qtww QTWW +8.18% today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Schneider Power Inc. (“Schneider”), a leading developer and owner of renewable energy power plants, backed by the Schneider family’s 120 years of experience in renewable energy has acquired a newly constructed 10 megawatt utility-scale wind farm in Ontario, Canada.
The Zephyr wind farm (“Zephyr”) generation facility will supply electricity to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20-year renewable energy purchase contract, generating in excess of $3 million in estimated annual revenues. The project commenced power generation testing at 25% capacity on April 20th 2012, and is projected to go into full production on or about May 5th, producing more than 26.7 Giga watt-hours of clean electricity per year, enough to meet the needs of 3,000 Canadian households. The project is financed by Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea.
“This acquisition is part of our long-term strategy to evolve into a leading independent power producer in North America,” said Alan P. Niedzwiecki, the President and CEO of Quantum. “We seek to increase our revenues and nameplate capacity under 100% ownership, leveraging our experience in the fast-track development of profitable renewable energy projects.”
“We are pleased and honored to be working with Samsung for financing this project,” said Thomas Schneider, the President of Schneider Power. “Quantum and Schneider Power are active in several renewable energy projects in various stages of development, and we are actively pursuing additional opportunities in Ontario with its attractive feed in tariff programs.” Read the rest of this entry
By PAUL MORDEN The Observer
Wind farm opponents have withdrawn their appeal of Ontario’s approval of a four-turbine Zephyr Farms project near Watford.
Several weeks of hearings were scheduled to begin next week in Alvinston.
Esther Wrightman, with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, said it made the decision to withdraw its appeal Thursday following a recent pre-hearing decision by the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal.
That came after the Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment submitted “about 170 questions” about medical, real estate and other records the government wanted answered by 23 witnesses the wind group planned to call at the hearings.
Wrightman said the tribunal ruled, just six days before the start of the hearings, that it wanted to see the information the ministry requested.
“It’s like being tripped on the last lap of your race,” Wrightman said.
Gathering and compiling all of the information being sought before the hearing date wasn’t possible, Wrightman said.
“As much as we’d like to, it would have been a shoddy job,” she said. “You have to do it right.”
Going ahead with the hearings, in light of what the tribunal said, wouldn’t have been fair to the group’s witnesses, Wrightman said.
They included people living in communities around Ontario where wind farms are already up and operating.
A lack of clear rules at the tribunal make it a challenge for group’s filing appeals, Wrightman said.
“They’re not specific in the way they run it and they clearly say when you’re there, “Well, you know what, we’re just learning as we go here.’”
But, Wrightman said the lessons learned this time can be used by the group’s lawyer, and other wind opponents, in future appeals of other wind energy projects.
“At least we have a clearer vision of what they want to see,” she said.
If the tribunal rules a renewable energy project will cause serious harm to human health, or the environment, it can revoke or alter the approval given by the province. Read the rest of this entry
Important Message from Harvey Wrightman: The upcoming ERT hearing (Zephyr Wind project) is focused on residents from all over Ontario who have been experiencing the negative effects of living in close quarters with large, powerful wind turbines. It is important to know what kind of evidence we would need at the hearing. Wednesday, February 29, the ERT released a decision that has been very helpful for understanding what appellants need to bring before the Tribunal in order to be successful.
1) The Tribunal confirmed that the testimony of residents is important and will be accepted.
2) The Tribunal has indicated that certain additional documentation will assist them in making their decision. It is much better to have a clear directive from the Tribunal before the hearing rather than at, or after the full hearing has taken place.
It is clear that it will not be possible to obtain and organize documents for witnesses prior to the start date of the Zephyr appeal, which is currently scheduled for March 7th. While we have an impressive staff, they cannot perform a Biblical miracle – i.e., produce in 6 days all the 23 witnesses’ medical records for the past 10 years.
As a result, after consulting with the research team and counsel, the appellant, Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group Inc. has decided to withdraw the current Zephyr appeal. This was done Thursday morning.
The case for wind turbine victims is not finished, only suspended for the moment. SW Ontario has been the most heavily targeted area and so this is likely where the battle will be fought. It is important that we put forward the best case possible. We are very fortunate that people who have suffered from living in wind projects are now volunteering to testify in court. This they are doing this for us. There are volunteer researchers who work behind the scenes for no glory and no pay, again, for us. The same can be said for the many “experts” who donate their time and assessment skills. The MOE and the wind companies have no volunteers. They cannot buy what our volunteers provide.
There are base costs that we must assume, and since everyone benefits from the case being developed, we all own it. It’s not just about Alvinston or Mapleton or Highgate, It’s about every place in Ontario, and beyond. Together we can push forward this action. The relevant information will be collected and the victims of wind projects will have their day to speak, and be heard.
Harvey Wrightman, Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group
The upcoming Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeal hearing into the Zephyr wind project in Brooke/Alvinston will have testimony from 2 well qualified acoustical experts, Dr. Robert Thorne, an environmental noise consultant to the NZ Ministry of Health, and Steve Ambrose, P.Eng. and a member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE).
While the expert testimony provides the scientific basis to challenge the current MOE siting rules, it can only describe the human effects in a very cold, impersonal way. To the Ministry of Environment (MOE), residents are not “humans”, they are “receptors.” Our houses are called “receptor locations”. Setback distances are measured to the centre of the receptor location. Excess noise can intrude and take over most of your property as long as the centre of the house is “safe”. You no longer have a house and property; you are left with a “bunker.” If you sign any sort of agreement with the wind company, you waive all rights to even these inadequate standards. The farmer who signs a wind lease is no longer a farmer; he is now a landlord with one very nasty tenant who dictates all the rules for 50 years. These are the things that expert testimony cannot describe; but, ordinary people can.
So, in this hearing for the first time, residents who live in wind projects will provide the gritty details that models, maps, and calculations cannot display. They will tell what it’s like from a personal perspective to live with these machines day and night. They will tell what it feels like to be caught in these wind ghettos – the constant thumping noise, the sleep disturbance, the hopelessness of being trapped and unable to even sell a property they wish to escape – their own homes. Experts cannot give this kind of testimony. The wind companies deny the problems, dismiss and belittle the people affected. The government ignores their plight and facillitates whatever the wind companies want. Now, for the first time these residents/witnesses will be heard, all 25 of them – and there are many more willing to testify. Think about it. Why are these people testifying? They already live in wind projects; what gain is there for themselves? Would you put yourself out in public to be scrutinized? Read the rest of this entry
February 22, 2012 Scott Nixon– Exeter Times
Guest speakers presented information on the health concerns of humans living near wind turbines, the impact on the environment, real estate values and electrical pollution.
MLWAG is appealing the Zephyr Wind Development in the Watford area and member Muriel Allingham kicked off the meeting by noting that 422 industrial wind turbines are planned for Huron County, with 250 in Lambton Shores, including 48 in the Grand Bend area. She said the turbines are taller than a 50-storey building.
“These things are quite big monstrosities.”
Of the concerns some members of the public have about large wind farms is the potential of the harm the turbines will do to their health. On that note, the Michaud family of Thamesville spoke about how their health has been affected since turbines were erected near their hobby farm.
The family built their home in 2006, discovering in 2009 that turbines were planned for the area. Within two days of the new turbines going online, Lisa Michaud was in the emergency room with vertigo. She has experienced sleep deprivation from the constant sound of the turbines and has a constant ringing in her ears, along with pain. Read the rest of this entry
Don McGugan says a local group opposing a four-turbine wind-farm development in his municipality faces an uphill battle. The Brooke-Alvinston Mayor says the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group will have to make a strong argument to an Environmental Review Tribunal when a hearing begins next month.
The Wind Action Group says it will be calling 25 witnesses, including two experts, when the 10-session hearing begins March 7th at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre.
A motion to dismiss an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing against the developer of a four-turbine wind farm in Brooke-Alvinston has been denied. The tribunal will hear from the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group beginning in March. The province’s Environment Ministry had been trying to get the hearing thrown out, claiming the appellant’s arguments are repeats of what has been heard in passed hearings. The Wind Action Group’s Esther Wrightman says it’s important hearings be held on a case-by-case basis.
Wrightman says the Wind Action Group has 25 witnesses, including two experts lined up to speak at the hearing. The 10-session hearing begins March 7th at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre, with two days of video-conference scheduled for Toronto.
FYI: Dates have been moved back a tad for the Zephyr (Brooke-Alvisnton) Wind Appeal:
March 7, 8, 9, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 in Alvinston
Alvinston Location: Brooke-Alvinston Township Office MAP
March 19 & 20 in Toronto (video-conference link)
Toronto Location: Hearing Room 2, 16th Floor, ELTO, 655 Bay St., Suite 1500, MAP
So this is the Brooke-Alvisnton Zephyr project from the air yesterday. I’m just looking at al those tracks across the fields — were they crop touring , or what? Why even have roads and lanes if they don’t use them? Nice and gentle onthat land, eh?
Then imagine you are driving a tractor— you used to have a straight field to plow, but now you are wheeling around the lanes and towers; your field is all cut up into triangles and squares. Be sure to calculate in the extra time and fuel to plant, plough and harvest this field.
Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group Inc. v. Director, Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Review Tribunal panel has issued its decision on the Green Breeze’s motion to limit the evidence:- “Motion to Scope Evidence Dismissed“. This means that evidence need only meet the test of relevancy, and not be limited to what comments were submitted to the EBR. This is a significant victory and means future appellants will not be so severely restricted.
As for the company “RES” (Renewable Energy Systems), whos name is on the sign at the Zephyr entrance, and on the little green hybrid SUV “Escape” slipping around on the self inflicted muddy roads (hard to ‘escape’ the traffic jam)…
So this is what it’s got to be? Lay down in front of the semi.
PS- tell your special unit undercover cops to wear proper clothing next time. That would be rubber boots (your precious turbines have destroyed our local roads – they are one way mud strips with no shoulders), winter jackets and maybe even some mitts and hats (don’t worry, we don’t care about shiny shoes and combed hair appearance out here). This is just so that they don’t stay huddled in the car 95% of the time. It’s a protest, not a church picnic. I mean frankly if you aren’t going to hang out with us, just leave it up to the local OPP- they were tough enough to take the cold.
When we arrived, and were starting to pull out our signs, a large flock of tundra swans flew over us- it’s a month early for their migration. The wind company rep Brent Hull says the, “The migratory path is several kilometres away from the site”. Well today it was directly over the site, Brent. Watcha going to do about that? Put a sign up there directing them to some place different??? Just like you do to the residents?
Blackburn Radio News February 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
The Lambton-Middlesex Wind Action Group is lashing out against construction of 4 wind turbines at the Zephyr wind farm just southwest of Watford.
Some 40 protesters held a peaceful demonstration at the site this afternoon, slowing down activity by getting in front of gravel hauling trucks.
This led to warnings from Police but no arrests had been made.
Protester Blair Allin calls the industrialization of Ontario “unacceptable”.
The group has protested against a number of local wind farm developments, and is currently preparing for an environmental review tribunal hearing against the Zephyr project.
By Cathy Dobson The Observer Feb 7th 2012
BROOKE-ALVINSTON — About 40 protesters rallied along a muddy rural road Tuesday where four wind turbines are under construction in an open farm field.
“This is our community, this is our home. We will push it as far as we can push it,” said organizer Marcelle Brooks, holding a sign saying “McGuinty is not listening.”
“If that means we will be standing in front of a bulldozer, that’s where we’ll be,” she said.
Members of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group (WAG) staged the protest to demonstrate against the $22-million, 10-MW project near Watford on Ebenezer Road and Churchill Line.
WAG has been a vocal opponent during the entire planning process and has appealed the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s approval of the project known as the Zephyr Wind Farm. A hearing is set for Feb. 21 in Alvinston.
“It’s an atrocity,” said Jill MacInnis, who lives about two kilometres west of the site.
She is concerned about the wind farm’s effects on human health, as well as its impact on birds and animals.
“This is a pre-staging ground for 300 to 400 tundra swans that come every year, and six different hawk species and bald eagles,” said MacInnis. Read the rest of this entry
The intersection of Ebenezer and Churchill was built up quite a bit to repair the road when the tower pieces couldn’t make th corner. But then they spent another whole day building it up even more for the blades that arrived and they had to store at the barn (in the pic)… the flatbed with the blades wouldn’t make the turn.
Thursday morning at 9:00ish, two small trucks with 4 way lights, cop car all lights, flatbed and blade, cop car all lights, then two more pickups with all lights flashing SPEED came down Churchill. You’d think it was the bloody Queen in town!! All three blades are now on site since the road was modified and widened at the intersection (for the 2nd time). The tower will go up quickly now, as soon as the weather is clear.
48.7 meter blades on site.
Tower going up and road beign repaired, agian.
The giant crane arrive 2 days ago, and the truck was promptly stuck when it couldn’t make the turn off Churchill Line to Ebenezer. Churchill Line was closed that afternoon. Dump loads of gravel upon mud should do the trick…. Sure hope there is a road agreement with the township on this.
As for the tower parts in the pictures below, yes those are tiny people beside them.
By Dan Reid January 15, 2012 The Sun Times
I am not a farmer, nor am I a member of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). For some, those two facts will negate any credibility that I have to offer an opinion on the organization. I accept that. However, before jumping to conclusions, let me assure you this editorial is not a public rant about the value of the organization or a call for it to be dismantled. Rather, it focuses only on their activity with respect to industrial wind projects.
In that regard, in spite of claims to the contrary, I would submit that the OFA has demonstrated no particular aptitude for protecting the health of rural Ontario. That would specifically apply to their membership, largely comprised of those who have opted to host wind turbines on their property. However, by extension it could also apply to rural Ontarians at large.
The predicament that the OFA is in may be attributable to a rather limited understanding of some of the key issues that actually impact the health and well being of those in proximity to turbines. In view of this, they are not blameless for their situation. But, by the same token, they are not entirely at fault. The rules established by the Ontario Government to roll out wind projects are stacked against the OFA. Also, some OFA members adamantly fight to place their property rights over their own health. Let’s consider these one at a time.
The primary example often quoted by the OFA as substantiation for how they are protecting health, is their successful lobbying to move turbines from 420 meter setbacks to 550 meters for participating land owners. Although well intended, this move could best be characterized as tinkering. It will do very little to alleviate the potential ill effects of turbines. One only need look at a couple of current examples.
At this time there is a Renewable Energy Application in front of the Ministry of the Environment for the McLeans Mountain industrial wind project on Manitoulin Island. This application is for the construction of 24 turbines each with 2.5 megawatts in power output and a maximum sound power level (noise level) of 104 decibels per turbine. As with most projects like this, there is a requirement for a detailed Noise Impact Assessment.
In the Mcleans Mountain noise assessment you will find a map that illustrates four distinct ‘noise envelopes’ drawn around clusters of turbines. The perimeter of each envelope indicates where noise levels are predicted to be 40 decibels. That noise level is the benchmark for compliance for the MOE. That means beyond that boundary, further from the turbines, noise levels are deemed acceptable. In this project that border physically occurs at approximately 650 metres in a 360 degree direction around each turbine cluster.
In a similar example, the Watford Wind Farm project recently approved by the MOE has 4 turbines each with 2.5 megawatts of power output but with almost 108 decibels (107.9) as a maximum sound power level (noise level). The 40 decibel boundary for the ‘noise envelope’ in this case occurs about 700 meters in a 360 degree direction around the group of 4 turbines.
To clarify, inside the boundary of each of the ‘noise envelopes’ in the above examples the predicted noise levels start at greater than 40 decibels and increase to over 70 decibels as you get closer to the turbines. Ironically, inside the noise envelope is also the homesteads and workplaces of farmers. Most of who are the constituents of the OFA. Read the rest of this entry
By PAUL MORDEN, The Observer Jan 12 2012
Muddy conditions caused by rain and mild winter temperatures have been a challenge for crews at the Zephyr Farms four-turbine wind project under construction near Watford.
Mississauga-based Green Breeze Energy Inc., began work on the $22-million, 10-MW energy generation project in late 2011 after receiving approval from Ontario’s Environment Ministry.
Brent Hull, vice-president with Green Breeze Energy, said the work has stayed mostly on schedule, even through the wet weather.
“In the beginning, when we were digging the holes for the foundations, they just kept filling up with water because it was raining so much,” he said.
Access roads have been built to the site on Churchill Line, between Ebenezer and Old Walnut Lines in Brooke-Alvinston Township, plus the foundations are now in place and underground wiring for the electricity collector system is nearly complete.
The turbines, made by Samsung of South Korea, are sitting dockside in Windsor waiting to be trucked to the site, Hall said.
“We should begin erecting the week of Jan. 23.”
The 100-metre blades will be trucked to the site from the manufacturer in Arkansas.
“The turbines should be all up and ready to produce power by the end of February,” Hall said.
Some time made be needed after that to test the equipment before it begins generating power, he added.
The ministry’s approval of the wind project has been appealed by the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group. Hearings are set to begin in February but the appeal hasn’t impacted the construction schedule, Hall said.
By PAUL MORDEN, The Observer Jan 12 2012
The fate of the Ontario Environment Ministry’s latest attempt to scuttle a challenge of its approval of a Brooke-Alvinston Township wind farm project could be known soon.
Following a Jan. 6 hearing in Toronto, Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal reserved its decision on the province’s motion to dismiss the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group’s appeal of the provincial approval of the four-turbine Zephyr Farms wind project under construction near Watford.
“They have now indicated that they hope to get a decision released sometime next week,” said Eric Gillespie, a lawyer for the wind action group.
The ministry’s first motion to dismiss the appeal was denied by the tribunal in December.
Gillespie said he and the wind action group have provided additional information to the tribunal since then.
“Given that the first motion did not succeed,” he added, “logically, the second cannot succeed.” Read the rest of this entry
Let’s take a closer look at the signage around the Zephyr wind development:
Let me know if you see the project owner’s name anywhere (or any variation) on these signs. Do you see “Oneworld”, or “Greenbreeze”? Noooope. Hmmm. OK, how about “Stantec”? Huh. Geeze these reps were everywhere at the public meetings, and they are nowhere to be seen once the turbines are being constructed. Here’s one that HAS to be there- “ZEPHYR”. Nowhere to be seen. Well that’s confusing.
Hey- check out what they DO have: such as”RES”—I’ve never seen them associated with this project. And “Minten Hume Contractors Inc.”, another one you won’t find in the ‘project documents’. Or how about the project name: “Brooke Wind Project” – that’s not officially the name of this project (Brooke-Alvinston Wind Farm).
Imagine you are a passerby, or a nearby resident and you think you might like to know a bit more about this project that you are driving by. You scribble down the names, drive home, type them into the google search….and…..nada. Apparently this project doesn’t exist. It’s a whole pile of alias names. Do you think the company did this all by accident? Or maybe the intention is to confuse the public- make the info a tad more difficult to find – hope that people give up, don’t get educated, don’t get involved.
Plympton-Wyoming engineer out to prove province wrong
Sarnia This Week
PLYMPTON-WYOMING – Eric Erhard doesn’t like wind power. “If there was no other source of electricity in the universe, then maybe a wind turbine would be acceptable.” The professional engineer from Plympton-Wyoming first spoke up against them when Suncor tried to convince his municipality to host an industrial wind farm. Now, he will be one of the objectors when the Ontario government faces off against people opposed to the project February 21.
Erhard argues the wind energy industry isn’t sustainable without government funding. “It’s only sustainable when taxpayers are footing the bill. It’s really a welfare industry.”
And he says it is not environmentally friendly. Erhard says it needs other energy sources to back it up and the construction process for the turbine creates tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, not to mention the harm turbines do to wildlife. “They’re improperly called green; they do significant damage to birds, bats and to the environment in the production of turbines.
But it is the health effects of four wind turbines just outside of Watford which will be under scrutiny at an Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal.
The Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group filed the appeal after provincial government approved Green Breeze Energy’s four turbine 10 megawatt project worth about $22 million.
WAG’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, says the main focus of the hearing will be the “numerous indirect health effects associated with wind turbines such as sleep disturbance, vertigo, nausea, headaches.”
Erhard hopes to back the group up with information he’s found from the World Health Organization and studies done for the province of Ontario.
Erhard says a recently released study done for the province says a the placement of wind turbines 450 meters from homes will result in “non trivial numbers of people being highly annoyed” by the low frequency sound.
Erhard says government studies place the turbines at a distance which will “highly annoy” between 6.5 and 8 percent of the people nearby.
“They’re willing to accept that – that’s their standard…that’s okay,” says Erhard. “That to me is not okay …that 1 out of 12 …that’s not acceptable.” Read the rest of this entry
by J. Morris, Ingersoll Times
The Ontario government’s December 16 press release relates to a report commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment and written by HGC, an engineering firm. The timing of this press release is curious, as it appears the same report was in draft form in August 2010 then submitted as a Final Draft December 2010 by the MOE as evidence during the Environmental Review Tribunal and finally to the public in August 2011. Why would it suddenly warrant a press release in December 2011? Could it be an attempt to divert attention from the upcoming appeal hearing in the Watford area for the Zephyr wind project?
Statements about ‘no direct health effects’ are a red herring, because it is acknowledged by international experts (including experts called upon by the MOE and wind energy proponents) that wind turbines cause adverse health effects via the ‘indirect’ pathway. Even Mr. Howe (of HGC) acknowledged under oath at the 2011 Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) that indirect effects are still ‘something that can occur’.
The press release raises a number of questions:
– When it comes to health, why is the government commissioning reports and relying on information generated by an engineering firm, who is a member of the Canadian Wind Energy Association?
– Why are desk top literature reviews still the government’s method of choice to address concerns rather than properly designed independent field epidemiology studies performed by qualified epidemiology experts?
– Why was the press release issued now, when the referenced report was compiled in 2010?
The press release and report unfortunately do no justice to the families who have already been impacted and displace from their homes at projects throughout the province due to adverse health effects.
It is important to reiterate that, after weeks of testimony from experts around the world in 2011, the Environmental Review Tribunal for the Kent Breezes project concluded:
“This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the tribunal demonstrated that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.”
J. Morris, Woodstock