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Resource Documents: Health (431 items)

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Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.


Date added:  August 12, 2017
Australia, Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Speaking Notes for Ryan’s Hill Planning Panel

Author:  Coffey, Jacinta

My name is Jacinta Coffey, and I live, with my family, on a multigenerational farm that has been in my husband’s family for over 160 years. Our home, which is also our workplace, is 4 km from the proposed wind farm.

I am very concerned about the implications the proposed amendments to the planning permit being considered by this hearing will have on our health if any of our family or workers are affected by wind turbine noise. We choose to live here because of the peace and tranquillity our area provides, visitors to our home always comment on how quiet and peaceful it is.

On the basis of the well documented individual experiences of other Australian farming families living out to 10km from existing wind farms with smaller less powerful wind turbines, I have good reason to believe this amenity, specifically our ability to obtain a good night’s sleep will be more likely to be taken away from us if these amendments for larger more powerful wind turbines are approved.

Recent first hand reports from Finnish residents exposed to much larger wind turbines support my concerns. There are currently no wind turbines 180 metres tall in Australia. No studies, let alone long term studies have yet been done with turbines this size, so the distance of acoustic impact is currently unknown, but likely on the basis of current limited population noise impact evidence to be greater than 10km.

I am also concerned as to the detrimental effect the proposed turbines of 180m will have on our “worlds most liveable town” Port Fairy. Our beautiful town is commonly known as the “Jewel in the Crown of the South West” and attracts large numbers of visitors year round who come here to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquillity of the area, and to escape the industrialisation and cacophony of the cities. We own and operate accommodation in Port Fairy, so I have direct first hand knowledge of the reasons why people visit our town.

My own observation when visiting the UK and Europe some years ago is that when driving in the countryside and spotting Wind Turbines in the distance we always headed in a different direction as we wanted to experience the quiet scenic beauty of the countryside, not the industrialisation of it. I have no doubt that in time, some visitors will take the same approach when seeing these monstrosities in the distance, which will be further damaged if noise pollution from larger wind turbines also affects Port Fairy ie the visitors will turn away and in turn destroy our town’s main industry, and a significant local employer – being tourism.

For some years I have been following the growing scientific evidence about the adverse health effects from wind turbines, as well as the increasing number of people speaking out about the serious health problems they have endured, living near Australian Wind Farms. In particular the regular and worsening sleep disturbance, and the repeated physiological stress symptoms including repeated examples of the fight flight response, or startle reflex – eg the common description of “repeatedly waking up at night in an anxious frightened panicked state” are a concern. These sleep and stress problems are in addition to the symptoms of a seasickness like illness affecting balance in people who are prone to motion sickness, and worsening migraines in people who suffer that affliction. These problems and others were described by Dr Nina Pierpont in her study, published in 2009.

I note that in 2008, staff from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences writing an editorial for the journal Perspectives in Environmental Health stated the following:

“Even seemingly clean sources of energy can have implications on human health. Wind energy will undoubtedly create noise, which increases stress, which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer”

I also note that Victorian GP, Dr David Iser, conducted his study at Toora in 2004, after the turbines had only been operating for a year, which illustrated that sleep disturbance and stress were the main problems for those people who reported adverse effects. He tried to warn Victorian government authorities back in 2004, but was ignored.

More recently Dr Wayne Spring, who was a sleep physician for over thirty years based in Ballarat, gave an interview to the Hamilton Spectator and was quoted on 29 April, 2017 as saying that “as a sleep specialist he only saw patients who were referred to him by their GPs and therefore the actual number of patients who were suffering from wind turbine health impacts was probably far greater”. Dr Spring noted that “some affected people go to other locations to sleep in an effort to cope and some people have just sold up and moved away”.

I have also talked directly to residents who have been seriously adversely affected by the noise and vibrations – including people forced to leave their homes regularly, and sometimes permanently, because of that damage to their health. These people are now reporting that they become unwell when exposed to other noise sources – in other words they have now become noise sensitised. They are people just like me, and my family. I do not want this to happen to me, or to any member of my family, or indeed, any member of my community.

Sometimes animals, including working dogs, have also been affected, and in some instances, including in Victoria, this has been confirmed by their veterinarians.

This observational evidence from animals, backed up by scientific research in animals (badgers and geese) that shows objective biological evidence of increased physiological stress in animals exposed to wind turbine noise puts a lie to the excuse used by the wind industry and its lawyers and medical experts that the symptoms in humans are all due to a nocebo effect.

The other excuse used is that the reported problems are all due to pre existing conditions, and “never” the noise. This atrocious lie is exposed when people describe what happens when the wind turbines are not operating – they sleep well, and do not have the distressing symptoms they experience when the turbines are operating. Community based researcher Mary Morris has formally documented this cross over comparision between “operating”, and “not operating” states in individuals at Waterloo, in South Australia.

Recent field research conducted in Australia by Dr Bruce Rapley, Dr Huub Bakker, Ms Rachel Summers, reported by Steven Cooper in June 2017 at the International Conference into the Biological Effects of Noise in Zurich, and then in Boston at the American Acoustical Society meeting, has provided scientific evidence suggesting that dynamically pulsed amplitude modulation with a high peak to trough ratio (known as “strong AM) is triggering what is known to science as the “startle reflex”. This is an example of the direct causal relationship between an acoustic trigger, and the consequent physiological stress response.

The scientific data confirming the “startle reflex” event at the Taralga Wind Farm is consistent with the observed devastating and rapid effects of wind turbine noise on children with autism, and adults with post traumatic stress disorder. There is already scientific research showing that children with autism, and adults with PTSD have an enhanced startle reflex reaction to some sounds. I, and so should you, be concerned for the more vulnerable members of our communities who have autism or PTSD and will no doubt have their quality of life affected by these massive wind turbines, because of their increased vulnerability via the startle reflex response to the physiological stress effects of the noise the wind turbines emit.

Previous Swedish research, reported in Buenos Aires last year, showed that “strong AM” caused sleep disturbance, even in young fit healthy people. This is yet more evidence of a direct causal relationship between an acoustic trigger from a wind turbine, and physiological effects, which if repeated and prolonged, will cause damage to health from sleep deprivation alone. Sufficient good quality sleep is well accepted by health authorities and the medical profession to be a biological necessity for everyone – that is why noise pollution regulations and standards exist. Rural residents living near wind turbines or any other industrial noise source should not have their sleep quality and health sacrificed.

Steven Cooper also demonstrated in Boston, using the actual acoustic recordings from his Pacific Hydro funded Cape Bridgewater study, that the precise times that were independently reported by the residents to be so bad that they had to leave their homes (called “sensation level 5”) showed this “strong” dynamically pulsed amplitude modulation. As the immediate past Director of Acoustic Standards of America Dr Paul Schomer told the June Boston meeting in his presentation, Cooper has demonstrated evidence of a direct causal relationship between symptoms and turbine operation.

So, in summary, the reported adverse health effects from operating wind turbines, including sleep disturbance and progressive noise sensitisation, are real and have been known to Victorian authorities for 13 years.

Independent scientific evidence is now confirming the longstanding reports of harm from residents and Victorian Medical Practitioners, and is identifying the acoustic triggers.

The physiological mechanism of the startle reflex is already well known to science, as is the fact that repeated activation of the startle reflex in mammals leads to sensitisation.

These adverse health effects are being increasingly recognised in courts internationally – with noise nuisance cases being run, and then settled with gag agreements, in jurisdictions such the High Courts in the United Kingdom, and Ireland, and in the United States of America. In the most recent Irish High Court case, the developer admitted liability for noise nuisance prior to the cases brought by seven Irish families being settled, with gag agreements.

I should add that these gag agreements, also known as “nondisclosure” clauses have also been used in Victoria since 2004 – to silence sick people forced out of their homes because of the effects of wind turbine noise – for example at Toora, (publicly confirmed by their law firm, Slater & Gordon) and at Waubra. Increasingly these non disclosure clauses are also being used pre emptively by wind power operators in so called “community benefit agreements” or “good neighbour agreements” to silence people for the lifetime of the project, before they have any idea what the adverse impacts will be for themselves and their families.

So, what happens when wind turbine planning panels agree to change planning permits to increase the size and power generating capacity? Industry independent medical and acoustical experts at previous Victorian panel hearings have advised previous panels that the known and admitted adverse health effects from wind turbine noise including sleep deprivation will worsen if these changes are made. This opinion is partly based on research by Danish expert Acousticians Professors Moller and Pedersen, published in 2011, that found that the low frequency noise will predictably increase as a proportion of the total sound emitted, and so too the already known adverse effects for neighbours – which acousticians call “annoyance”. This expert opinion is also based on the observed, reported, and partially documented effects on residents’ sleep of larger wind turbines at Waterloo, and Macarthur.

So far, the decisions by other Victorian planning panels about upsizing existing permits have not protected the health and amenity of residents, ever. Unfortunately, I have no reason to think that this panel will behave any differently.

So, let me tell you all what I am going to do to protect my family from noise nuisance. I am going to do what other Australian residents are starting to do – which is to learn how to conduct environmental noise monitoring via registered training courses now available, as well as to install good quality acoustic recording systems and sound level meters which will accurately collect full spectrum acoustic data inside and outside my home, and my family’s workplace. This will give us hard objective, legally admissible evidence of acoustic exposures, pre and post construction, and will also demonstrate just how quiet our existing background noise environment is. As we will collect WAV file recordings, they will be able to be played back in court.

When the wind turbines are built, and start operating, our full spectrum acoustic monitoring will continue.

We will also all be getting thorough health checks done, prior to construction, and we will be keeping detailed diaries, and collecting objective physiological data to supplement the diary evidence.

If my family is harmed by your decision, it is our intention to protect our common law legal rights, and that all those involved in causing and enabling that predictable harm from noise nuisance will be held legally liable.

Mrs Jacinta Coffey
Monday, 7th August, 2017

[34 references, with links, are included in the original PDF (download).]

[Attached:]
1. Article – Hamilton Spectator April 29, 2017 [link to original press release]
2. Article – National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – North Carolina June 2008 [link | download]
3. Report – Waterloo Case – Mary Morris September 2013 [link]
4. Letter from Dr Sarah Laurie MBBS CEO Waubra Foundation [download]

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Date added:  July 31, 2017
Environment, Health, New York, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Appeal to North Country Public Radio

Author:  Pease, Janice

I want to start off by saying I support green energy and the move towards ending our dependence on fossil fuels as well as nuclear.

Clearly we need clean energy, as quickly as possible.

However, something needs to change in how we think about these goals and the routes we take to achieve them.

In rural areas around the country, industrial wind farms are cropping up, seemingly over night, invading the skyline of our most pristine and beautiful locations. These turbines are now tending toward the heights of 500 to 600 feet from base to the blade tip.

Locally, in Hopkinton and Parishville we are being threatened with 40 industrial turbines, 500 feet tall potentially within 2,500 feet of home.

There is a lack of ethics in how the companies operate and approach the communities. In 2009 the first lease was signed in Hopkinton, but many of us did not find out about this project until about 2 years ago. There was no notification through our local government, the secrecy was in part achieved through agreements that the company made within the project zone.

Because of this lack of community awareness, our town was not properly prepared as far as zoning including a wind law. Over the past couple of years our towns have been working to build up the wind laws to protect ourselves. However, there has been great pushback by Avangrid/Iberdrola and leaseholders.

Because of the lack of transparency and scientific knowledge, our wind laws may still not protect the towns from what could happen if the turbines come in.

In their relatively short life spans, the turbines damage things that aren’t replaceable, such as water quality. In Scotland at the Whitelee Wind Farm, Scottish Power (a subsidiary of Iberdrola) knew of contamination in private water supplies to homes. This contamination included E. Coli and other coliform bacteria which resulted in illness. Test results obtained by Dr. Rachel Connor showed high levels of trihalomethane, which research has linked to cancers, stillbirths, and miscarriages. Scottish Power Renewables admitted not notifying the appropriate authorities of the water contamination for 7 years, until it came to light following investigation by local residents. During the pile driving, other chemicals from manufacturing contaminate water supplies.

This is just one aspect of the health issues relating to industrial turbine farms.

A more controversial issue is the noise output of industrial-scale turbines, which produce not only audible noise but the more concerning inaudible low frequencies and infrasound.

Over the past year and a half I have read everything I could about wind turbines and their relationship to sound. It is more complex than the industry would have you believe. The sound produced by turbines is defined as the amplitude modulation of broadband aerodynamic noise created by the blades at the blade-passing frequency. This acoustic signal has both a high-frequency broadband character and low-frequency amplitude modulation. This is in part why the sound character overshadows the existing noise profile of these rural areas.

Being that most noise standards are set using the dBA scale (which deals mainly with human conscious threshold of hearing), sounds that are inaudible but otherwise sensed are not being measured or acknowledged.

Many scientists and experts, including Dr. Nina Pierpont, the author of Wind Turbine Syndrome, A Report on a Natural Experiment, has documented case reports of patients suffering from what has now been coined wind turbine syndrome. This syndrome produces several symptoms related to the vestibular system’s organs – such as disturbed sleep, headaches, tinnitus, a sense of quivering or vibration, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, difficulty with concentration, memory loss, and irritability.

During my research, I have come to a deeper understanding of the complexity of these health affects and the connection between wind turbine syndrome and vibroaccoustic disease. I have been in contact with Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira in Portugal, who holds degrees in physics, biomedical engineering, and environmental science. She and her team have been researching vibroacoustic disease since 1980.

Quoting from The Clinical Stages of Vibroacoustic Disease, by Nuno Castelo Branco:

This disease is an effect of exposure to low-frequency noise and infrasound.

  • Stage I, mild signs (behavioral and mood associated with repeated infections of the respiratory tract, example – bronchitis
  • Stage II, moderate signs (depression and aggressiveness, pericardial thickening and other extra-cellular matrix changes, light to moderate hearing impairment, and discrete neurovascular disorders)
  • Stage III, severe signs (myocardial infarction, stroke, malignancy, epilepsy, and suicide).

Now, in the Guidelines for Community Noise, the World Health Organization includes advice on noise levels in hospitals and suggests that, because patients are less able to cope with the increased stress levels generated by excess environmental noise, the sound level in hospitals should not exceed 35 dBA for areas where patients are treated or observed, with a corresponding max of 40 dBA [4]. The WHO guidelines for community noise recommend less than 30 A-weighted decibels (dBA) in bedrooms during the night for sleep quality and less than 35 dB(A) in classrooms to allow good teaching and learning conditions.

The background rural ambient noise is around 20-25 dBA. An increase of 3 dBA is noticeable and an increase of 10 dBA is perceived as a doubling in loudness.

To put this in context: Currently our town is reviewing the Wind Advisory Board’s recommendations of 35-40 dBA at night.

Some of our town board members have pushed for 45 dBA night and day. With the knowledge that 25 to 45 dBA is a quadrupling of our ambient nightime noise we can conclude that 45 dBA will lead to lack of seep and potentially adverse health affects.

People in other towns have had to abandon their homes to escape these noise effects of turbines.

Earlier this year, I heard testimony from Kevin Segourney, a science teacher from Chateaugay. He lived 1,800 to 2,600 feet from 482-foot turbines in the Jericho Wind Farm. He was living with sound levels above the allowable 50 dBA (which the town of Chateaugay had deemed to be acceptable and legal). However, the low frequencies and infrasound were not taken into account.

In 2014 Steve and Luann Therrien abandoned their home of two decades because of the sound and vibrations from the power plant in Sheffield, Vt. The whole family developed problems sleeping and other health ailments.

After the property went up for tax sale, Energize Vermont payed off the family’s back taxes with an agreement to use the property as the Vermont Center for Turbine Impact Studies. They will be conducting research on the effects that the wind turbines have on the environment, wildlife, and the residents. The research teams will also assess the performance of state regulators in their efforts to monitor and enforce wind turbine standards.

In 2014, the Board of Health in Brown County, Wisconsin declared a local industrial wind plant to be a health hazard in a unanimous vote. This ruling was based on a year-long survey with documented health complaints and demonstrated that low-frequency noise and infrasound were emanating from the turbines and detectable inside homes within a 6.2-mile radius of the industrial wind plant.

Industrial wind turbines are causing complaints worldwide, and the documentation is growing. Part of the reason for the lag in recognition is due to the lax monitoring. Basically the companies monitor themselves. There is no real way to ensure they are in compliance with the wind laws and sound limits. There is no entity to protect us when the company is out of compliance, as they have been in many other wind farms across the country.

The companies would like you to believe this is all debatable, but as someone who has read hundreds of papers, articles, peer-reviewed scientific data, and reports on the effects of wind turbines on human and animal health, I can say that this needs to be acknowledged by government agencies and reported on by the media.

Clearly there is an issue here, yet it is not being discussed openly. There is a NIMBY (not in back yard) stigma attached to anyone who dares reject the idea of a having a power plant in their back yard. When discussing this with people in the communities surrounding the project, there is a disbelief and skepticism that is coupled with judgment.

Our communities need the help of surrounding towns to support them through this project to ensure the right thing happens.

There are children who will live less than a half-mile from these turbines. Parents deserve the right to question the ethics and morality of this project.

These things are being diminished under the guise of the greater good. I argue that it is not for the greater good to implement projects that might harm the very nature and people we are trying to protect. There have been studies on the adverse health affects experienced by badgers, geese, minks, and other animals living within close proximity to turbines – who will protect them?

So is it ethical to keep covering every sacred space with these turbines for power production? Knowing they could actually set us back environmentally while simultaneous accumulating casualties.

I personally believe in the precautionary principle which is defined as:

When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm.

I think if we brought this principle into the planning process of every aspect of our economy, our environment would be in better shape. I am hoping to shed light on this local issue so people will demand protection for our towns and help us avoid the problems reported in other towns with industrial turbines.

I am asking North Country Public Radio to investigate this issue and help us prevent the loss of habitat, the loss of quiet spaces, and the slew of potential adverse health effects.

Thank you.

Janice Pease
July 28, 2017

[Pease presented a 5-minute version of this appeal in person at an NCPR Executive Session and provided this write-up to their investigative reporter.]

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Date added:  July 5, 2017
Australia, HealthPrint storyE-mail story

My 101st formal complaint to AGL

Author:  Hetherington, Jan

Dear AGL,

I am making my 101st formal complaint to AGL.

As you are aware, I relocated to Port Fairy at the beginning of January 2017, as I was forced to leave my home at Gerrigerrup, because of the constant exposure from the excessive pulsing infrasound, low frequency noise and vibration emitted from the 140 3MW turbines at the Macarthur wind farm. Because of that constant exposure over those 4 years from 2012 to 2016, I soon became and continue to be sensitised. This sensitisation will never go away.

My awareness of this sensitisation was when I spent 2 nights in the newly built Western Private hospital in Melbourne in 2015, where I experienced severe vibration in my body and bed, in my hospital room. They were the exact same symptoms that I experienced back on the farm. The CEO of the hospital investigated this problem, after receiving a formal complaint from me, and engaged an independent acoustician to test the room, and found there were high levels of infrasound and low frequency in my room.

Now, when I visit public places, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets etc. I am sometimes affected, experiencing heart palpitations, vibration, ice-pick headaches and have to quickly remove myself from that situation.

I even get affected by the fan on my new “gas log fire”. I can only run it on low, as when I run it on medium to high, I experience vibration and ice-pick headaches, and my body starts to “hum” leaving me extremely anxious and upset.

This should not be happening to me in my new home. It should not be happening at all, but I am sensitised and the damage was done between 2012 and 2016 while being exposed to the excessive pulsing infrasound, low frequency noise and vibration from the turbines at the Macarthur wind farm.

My life will never be the same and I would hate to think what the long term impact of this constant harmful sensory bombardment could possibly be.

Since I have left the farm I have made many entries into my diary of my sensitisation experiences.

Even though I have moved away from the Macarthur wind farm the sensitisation persists.

I’m not the only one, there are many others who have had their health damaged because of the constant barrage and exposure to the infrasound and low frequency from these turbines.

My life will never be the same because of the sensitisation, so my compensation claim against AGL still stands.

I feel I have lost 4 years of good health and wellbeing between 2012 and 2016, unwillingly being subjected to the impact of infrasound and low frequency from AGL’s 140 turbines

I would like a formal complaint number thank you.

Jan Hetherington.
July 4, 2017

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Date added:  June 10, 2017
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Seeking Damages from Wind Energy Project Owners/Operators

Author:  Mitchell, Peter

Disclaimer

Many people have had their lives adversely impacted by the deployment of wind turbines in their district. Many more will become impacted by permitted but yet to be built wind projects. Often the impacts are of a magnitude that justify compensation in various forms.

This document has been prepared as a general guide to help identify the elements and possible magnitude of claims against the owner and/or the operator of a wind turbine project. The author is not a lawyer and takes no responsibility whatsoever for any use of any of the numbers herein which are merely presented for orientation purposes.

Any person who wishes to make a claim needs to consider their own circumstances and to obtain legal advice and assistance in making a claim.

The Purpose of This Document

This document is intended to give some guidance to those neighbours of wind turbine projects (WTPs) seeking relief on the construction of a financial claim for damages.

It also answers some questions about making a claim, but does not instruct how the claim might be supported, i.e., the detail that needs to be documented to support an impacted person’s claim. That will require the help of an informed lawyer.

Note that this document has been written based mainly upon the Australian context but it is felt that it may be a useful starting point in other jurisdictions.

Cause of Damage

Wind turbines emit airborne (sound) and ground-borne (vibration) pressure waves. Much is known about sound waves (the audible portion of which is identified as noise). and their ability to harm and disturb neighbours up to 10 to 12 km from turbines. It is also known that vibration can also be a factor in disturbance, but at this point, it is low frequency sound and ultra-low frequency sound (infrasound) particularly where amplitude modulation is present that is understood to cause most damage.

Useful data for supporting a claim can be accessed from the extensive Waubra Foundation website (www.waubrafoundation.org.au/), e.g. under the tab Resources see Health and Legal; Friends Against Wind (www.friends-against-wind.org/) using the Justice tab; National Wind Watch (https://www.wind-watch.org) search for Litigation; and Stop These Things (https://stopthesethings.com) search for Litigation.

Form of Damage

The airborne pressure pulses which emanate from wind turbines cause physiological and psychological damage to individuals in different ways and at different intensities.

In time the body can become increasingly sensitised and ultimately permanently damaged. Homes become uninhabitable and very difficult to sell. People become trapped in unsafe locations.

A second form of damage is productivity of farm animals and the possibility that farm strategies and processes have to be changed.

However the principal matters of damage are family health and well-being, the habitability of the family residence and the safety of any associated workplace.

Constructing a Financial Claim

Here are the components of a claim and some indicative numbers.

  1. The major element is the sale of your house to the Wind Turbine Project (WTP) owner and/or operator as applicable. The price asked should not be a present valuation, i.e., with turbines in place; but the price that the property would be worth today if there was no WTP in the area. This will involve briefing a first class valuer.
  2. There should be an add-on for the disturbance of having to move, which might be a 10% to 20% addition to the property price.
  3. There should be a refund of all the property replacement expenses such as stamp duty, legal documentation and conveyancing, and direct moving expenses.
  4. Compensation for the damage and hurt caused by living in a dangerous and harmful environment for the period since the project was commissioned. It is suggested this compensation should be calculated by multiplying the number of persons living in the house by the number of years the damage has been endured by a dollar sum per person per year.

This dollar sum will depend on the severity of disturbance which generally will correlate with the separation between the house and the nearest turbines, and speculation on what courts might award then discounted for the risk and expense of going to court.

Here Is a Suggested Scale for Assessing Damage or Nuisance

Condition   $US/Person/Year
Forced to evacuate the home $150,000 to $200,000
Forced to live away as much as possible $100,000 to $150,000
Major discomfort $50,000 to $100,000

If you wish to make a claim then consider where your family fits in the above categories, and be sensible in that rating. Again take your lawyer’s advice.

Should You Engage a Lawyer?

Yes. A lawyer is required to draft your claim and to be present and lead discussions with the representative of the WTP owner and/or developer. (In the Australian context, discussions may initially involve the National Wind Farm Commissioner).

Should You Join with Others Affected by the Same Wind Project?

Yes, if you consider they are willing to pay their share of costs, will be rational, particularly not wanting to rank their claims at a higher level than is reasonable, and will act in concert with the group. The group arrangements should be drafted by a lawyer so that there is the best possible protection against the WTP owner trying to break up the group with side deals.

Combining with others will, of course, reduce the cost of hiring a lawyer to draft and present your claim and also to draft some agreement on group arrangements.

Beware of Inappropriate Confidentiality Agreements

In settling problems in the past the industry has used “gag “clauses in some largely property based settlements and those gag clauses effectively stopped people who had sold properties from saying just about anything.

However it is reasonable for owners/operators to require that financial terms offered or agreed not be disclosed. Equally you may be disclosing personal and health information that you may want to keep confidential. These objectives should be able to be achieved by a specific agreement.

What About Court Action?

It is in the interests of both parties to negotiate a settlement.

Court actions are expensive and there is a risk of losing and having to meet in some jurisdictions not only your own costs, but those of the other side.

On the other side there is much evidence that would be exposed in a court action by a skilled barrister that could be hugely damaging to the wind company and indeed the whole industry.

Thus it is better to see if a reasonable settlement can be reached and if it cannot, you will need to consider further options with your lawyers.

Prepared by: Peter R. Mitchell
3 May, 2017

Download original document: “Seeking Damages from Wind Energy Project Owners/Operators

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