Resource Documents: Nova Scotia (8 items)
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Author: d'Entremont, Daniel
July 30, 2007
To The People of Calumet County, The Calumet County Board of Supervisors, and The Town Board,
Life for the d’Entremont family since the Pubnico Point windfarm began operating has been filled with sorrow, illness, heartache and disbelief. How could a company be permitted to enter our community and turn our pristine area into a noise ravaged battleground. Why did it happen to us? Not that we would wish it on anyone else.
First off, the community knew there was a windfarm being planned because two of the windfarm owners live in the community. They put up an anemometer tower and formed a company named Landco and proceeded to acquire the land necessary to construct their windfarm. Now they are leasing the land to their other company which owns the windfarm.
Through word of mouth and some public meetings which nearly nobody attended people understood that the windfarm would be inaudible by the neighbors and would have no negative impact on the community. The residents of Pubnico could not visualize a 400ft wind turbine on Pubnico point or had any idea of the impact they would have nor did anyone research anything about it, including me. Since two of the owners were local residents and were related to most of the community everyone wished them well.
The company kept everyone in the dark about the negative effects and the few who asked any questions were lied to.
The first 2 turbines were operating in may 2004. One was 4000ft from our home, the second 4700ft. A 120 day trial period was required to monitor their productivity. We could hear them well and Carolyn, my wife was experiencing ringing in her ears. Visitors would comment that the one 4000ft away seemed really close. Some neighbors were complaining they were bothered by them at night.
Three months later construction began again. People were complaining about the speeding gravel trucks and feared accidents. An older woman was rearended by a truck. She wasn’t hurt; but the company quickly gave her a car to drive until they returned her car repaired. Nothing more said. The heavy trucks damaged the roads. It was easy to tolerate the noise and construction dust because we knew it was only temporary.
February, 2005 the windfarm was fully operational, 17 wind turbines. The windmill 4000ft away seemed far off compared to the one 1000ft from our home. They are loud. They’ve been compared to jet engines, a plane that will not take off. There is no gentle swoosh, it is a whoosh noise. They grind, they bang, they creak. The noise is like surround sound, it’s omnidirectional. It feels like there’s this evil thing hovering above you and it follows you everywhere, it will not leave you alone. This noise will not allow you to have your own thoughts, the body cannot adapt, it’s a violation of your body. It is a noise that the human body cannot adapt to even after more than a year of exposure. As time progresses the noise becomes even more unbearable.
Our 5 year old son Elias was afraid and unable to sleep in his own bed for more than one year. He would get in our bed or in his brother’s bed. We would put him to bed at 8:30 and many nights at 11:00 he would still be awake. Finally he would fall asleep wrapped up in the blankets in the fetal position with his head covered and with a fan at his head. we had to create more noise to mitigate the windfarm noise. The body can adapt to the fan noise. In the morning he would get up tired and cranky. In september 2005 he started school and he was not getting enough rest. He began getting more and more aggressive with his friends. He was very defiant We knew he was suffering terribly. He’s had throat infections and often had a fever and not feeling well.
In january 2006 we had our house tested by a naturopathic doctor and she and her colleagues found the house so toxic that they advised us to move. These people were on our property for only 1. 5 hours and they became so weak that they had to leave. The doctor said she couldn’t think, she couldn’t concentrate anymore.
In february 2006 we brought Elias and Samuel (9) to another naturopathic doctor and she also recommended that we leave our home.
Our family doctor says he cannot prove that a wind farm causes medical problems but he would not want to live or raise children where we are. We have contacted a scientist from portugal who has studied the effects of infrasound on the human body and she also told us to leave for our sake.
We abandoned our home February 21st, 2006.
Since the move Elias has been doing much better. He sleeps in his own bed every night. He sleeps partially covered with his arms and legs spread everywhere. It was only ten days after the move while he was having his back rubbed in bed he said “it’s nice to be able to go to bed and sleep”. He is much less defiant. He has become the kind gentle little boy he was before the windfarm nearly destroyed his life.
Knowing what we know now we should have moved a year before.
Our 9 year old son Samuel was sharing a room with Elias. He was also very sleep deprived. He would get up in the morning very tired. We would send him to school tired. He was tired and unable to concentrate and his school work suffered. He was also unable to concentrate on his homework. He began to withdraw within himself. He also began getting aggressive. Samuel seemed to be always angry. His teacher asked us what was the problem with Samuel because his change in behavior was something she would never have expected from him. Samuel’s ear drum burst while we were there in 2005. He’s had many throat infections and many headaches. He has developed allergies. He’s the only one of 6 children that has allergies.
Since the move Samuel has improved so much in his school work and his behavior and participation in class that the teacher says she cannot believe that he’s the same child. He has not been aggressive with his friends. He’s so kind and caring for everyone. His headaches are less frequent and less severe.
Our 13 year old daughter Emanuelle had dramatic behavioral changes. She became withdrawn and was spending too much time alone in her room. She dropped her friends and lost interest in school work. She was also angry. She dropped all sports (basketball, volleyball. soccer, badminton). Emanuelle always had headaches. She became very defiant.
Since the move Emanuelle is doing better in school. Her behavior is steadily improving. Her health is improving and she is socializing. She is feeling better about herself.
Our 15 year old daughter Deminica was having a lot of difficulty sleeping. She was being awakened at all hours of the night. She was asking for sleeping aids. She had numerous headaches and some throat infections. She was very moody. She slept sound at friends homes. She had frequent severe abdominal pain.
Since the move Deminica is sleeping well. She has not had any abdominal pain. Her headaches are rare. Her mood has improved.
Our 19 year old son Nathaniel was sleeping in the basement. He was anxious and angry and was not sleeping well. His hands were peeling often. Nathaniel also developed vision problems. He loses sight completely in one eye or the other for a few minutes at a time. Many mornings Nathaniel had to grab his legs and put them off the bed and lift himself up with his arms. after some time he gets mobile. He has seen a number of eye specialists and undergone many tests and the doctors could find nothing wrong with him.
There was a stair master machine at his high school which would measure how many stories a person could climb. Whatever the record was the teacher felt it would be difficult to break. Nathaniel more than doubled the record and he could carry his 540lb friend on his back. One year near that windfarm he was nearly blind and crippled.
Since the move Nathaniel is not as anxious or angry. He is relaxed and easy going. His hands are not peeling anymore. It took one year away from the windfarm to regain his vigor his eyes are almost entirely healed.
Our 21 year old son Nehemiah was extremely angry and anxious. Nothing was ever satisfactory. He was yelling and screaming. He had headaches
Since the move Nehemiah is much calmer, not anxious and his anger almost gone. He is smiling and laughing a lot and is content.
My wife Carolyn was anxious and she had numerous headaches. She was getting up frequently throughout the night to urinate and she was having pain with that. She could not get the sleep required to be rested. She was feeling her heart racing. She had shoulder joint pain which required cortisone injections. Her hearing was affected on the right side. Her glands on her neck were always swollen and painful. She was feeling a vibration in her lower legs on occasion when she was outside. Carolyn’s vision is blurred and the doctors cannot find any problem with them (seems like there is a film on the eye balls). She also has high blood pressure. Carolyn spent more time in our house than any other member of the family.
Since the move Carolyn is not anxious and her headaches are fewer. She hasn’t felt the vibration in her legs. Her eyes and shoulder have not fully recovered yet. S he is sleeping much better. Carolyn is trying to find help to restore her vision.
As for myself I always felt a sensation in my chest which was very discomforting. On extremely rare occasions when the windfarm was off I could sense they were off without seeing them. The noise was just a relentless attack on our bodies. Every time the blades passed the towers I could feel it within my body. I was unable to concentrate well enough to read in my bed.
Since the move I don’t have that sensation in my chest but it returns when I spend a few hours at our house.
These physical and psychological effects develop gradually and sometimes it seems silly to associate them with a windfarm until you learn that others experience the same thing under similar conditions.
If we would have had absolutely nowhere to go, if we would have been forced to stay in our home, I hate to think what kind of physical and mental state we would be in now.
During the months that the sun is low in the sky we get a flickering in the morning and late afternoon as the sun passes behind the turbines. This induces headaches quickly to those who are more susceptible to them. When the full moon rises and passes behind the turbines the flickering is intense.
We are devastated, we are broken because we have lost the home we built with our own hands and we have lost the land which has been in the family for generations.
Our house is now unsellable. There is nobody in the community that wants to live there because of the windfarm. Nearly everybody supports us privately nut they are afraid to speak out publicly.
We are a community of 2000 people and I did a survey of 216 people and 96% said the windfarm was too close to our house. Also 89% said the windfarm was too loud at our house and 78% said that they felt they were not properly notified of the impact this windfarm would have on the community. Many people will randomly tell me that they sense that the community would not have allowed the construction of this windfarm if they had known or realized the impact it has had. Our local politicians were all in on the great deception. Our provincial legislator said they had made a mistake but we would have to pay for it and put up with it. He also told me to shut up about it.
Other neighbors are experiencing more and more difficulty in coping with the windfarm. Instead of adapting to the windfarm it is getting more intrusive. The neighbors are having more difficulty sleeping and the problems associated with that. One neighbor had to sleep with ear plugs in the summer. Our neighbors are like us they love the area and the land they are on and they don’t want to move. Our children were suffering so much the decision to abandon our home was made for us by the wind company.
There has been some noise studies done at our home. They clearly prove excessive noise even with the outdated guidelines they are using but the windfarm is still permitted to operate full time.
The turbines this company used are Vestas, V-80, 1.8 Megawatt. The Vestas workers who had experience in a number of areas erecting wind turbines told some community members if anyone complains, give them one year and they’ll shut up. In this case they were wrong.
It’s still difficult to believe or accept what has happened to us. It didn’t have to be that way. With proper planning and setbacks these problems don’t need to arise again for anyone.
Europe, France, Germany, Health, Human rights, New Zealand, Noise, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Property values, Regulations, Safety, Scotland, Sweden, U.K. •
Author: Palmer, William
Note that Setbacks can have both physical safety rationale – for reasons of potential injury – and noise rationale – for reasons of annoyance and health effects
Derek Taylor, 1991, “How to Plan the Nuisance Out of Wind Energy”, suggested setback from wind turbines with a 30 metre rotor to roadways and lot lines, of 50 metres adequate to a lightly traveled road, 100 metres to a heavily traveled road, and 120 to 170 metres to a home [4-5.7 times rotor diameter].
UK Noise Association, 2006, states, “It would be prudent that no wind turbine should be sited closer than 1 mile (1600 metres) from the nearest dwellings … Wind farms should only be located in areas where the “swish, swish, swish” of the turbines will not cause noise problems for people.”
United Kingdom – Scotland
From the limits identified above …
Scottish Planning Policy SPP6 – Renewable Energy (2007)
From no limits for safety setbacks …
Original setbacks were that noise at night should not exceed 3 dBA above background sound at night (background may be 25 to 30 dBA at night in rural areas)
Administrative Court of Appeal, Lyon, April 2006, determined a “zone of protection of 500 metres” from wind turbines to areas where people can be.
Academy of Medicine, March 2006, recommended a setback of 1500 metres from wind turbines to homes until an epidemiological study could be carried out to determine health effects.
Pubnico Point Wind Farm – No standard resulted in setback from turbine to home of 370 metres, and sound up to 13 dbA above the Ontario limit of 40 dBA.
Glen Dhu Wind Farm, October 2008, established setbacks of 1200 metres from homes of participating residents, and 1440 metres from non-participating residences.
Safe setbacks: How far should wind turbines be from homes?
In 2000 used sound limits with a rising limit as ground level wind speed rose. Limit was 40 dBA at 1 m/s and increased to 50 dBA at 12m/s.
(Ontario used this as a model to develop its sound limits, although Ontario limits allowed 53 dBA at 12 m/s, and continue to allow 51 dBA at 11 m/s even after revision).
In 2007, the Netherlands changed to a fixed upper limit for wind turbine sound of 40 dBA – recognizing the change in wind profile at night. The Netherlands is currently investigating a new monitoring method based on Lden. This is a rating of community noise exposure that differentiates between daytime, evening and nighttime noise exposure, and penalizes nighttime noise.
Rural noise from wind turbines is limited to 35 dBA at night.
Compare Ontario’s 51 dBA nighttime limit and Germany’s 35 dBA limit -note that every 6 dBA (e.g. 35 vs 41 dBA) difference means the turbines in Germany will be twice as far away as in Ontario – a 12 dBA difference (e,g, 35 vs 47 dBA) means they are 4 times further away in Germany than Ontario.
Limits noise to 35 dBA in recreational areas in evening and at night, and to 40 dBA in residential areas at night. The measurement must be done with 10 metre wind speeds of 8 m/s. Ontario regulations permit 45 dBA at 8 m/sec.
Within the European Union the Commission has made a proposal for common noise immission level descriptions and evaluation methods. It is primarily intended for traffic noise but can be expanded to include other areas, such as wind power noise. It suggests an equivalent annual average sound level (Lden) where the night level has a penalty of 10 dBA and the evening level of 5 dBA. The day is in this case is 12 hours, the evening 4 hours and the night 8 hours.
NTS6808:1998, “The Assessment and Measurement of Sound From Wind Turbines”, requires the calculation of a background noise level prior to construction of a wind farm. NTS68001:1991 limits sound from all activity except wind turbines to 35 dBA from 8:00 PM to 7:00 AM. NTS6808 limits sound from wind turbines to 40 dBA or 5dBA over background sound. Sounds with a “special audible characteristic” (clearly audible tones, impulses, or modulation of sound level) shall have a 5 dBA penalty.
The Environmental Court of New Zealand issued a decision July 20, 2007, that required that when the background sound conditions are at 25 dBA or less, the noise from a wind farm shall not exceed 35 dBA at any dwelling as an absolute limit.
Sound levels in rural Ontario are typically less than 35 dBA at night. Yet, Ontario continues to have guidelines that allow up to 51 dBA, and rejects applying a penalty for cyclic noise as New Zealand does.
Hydro One, System Networks
2005 to Dec 2007 – setback of overall height of turbine (tower plus blade radius) to edge of right of way. Dec 2007 to July 2008 – increased setback to greater of 150 metres or overall height of turbine.
As of July 2008 increased setbacks to edge of right of way for 500 kV assets (critical assets) of 500 metres, to 230 kV (redundant assets) of 250 metres, and to 115 kV assets (for which loss tends to be an inconvenience but not a significant one) of 150 metres.
CanWEA, Proposed By-Laws for Rural Municipalities in Ontario
Recommends setbacks to lot lines of non-participating property, road right of ways, or non residential buildings on a participating property need not exceed blade length plus 10 metres (typically 51 metres)
Recommends setbacks to residential buildings should not be less than 200 metres (or as required to meet MOE CofA requirements)
Interesting to compare the 51 metres that CanWEA reconnnds to protect the lives of people, compared to the 500 metre safety setback that Hydro One calls for to protect its critical assets.
From this should one conclude that the lives of people do not matter as much as a hydro line?
Download original document: “Changes in Wind Turbine Setbacks”
Author: Goodrich, Eugene
This letter explains the concerns about the cost and adverse impacts of large-scale wind energy development in the face of the limited ability of wind power to reduce greenhouse gases. It is provided as comment on the “Nova Scotia Wind Integration Study” commissioned by the N.S. Department of Energy, which Mr. Goodrich notices appears to have been written to justify the decision to erect hundreds of wind turbines, not to examine the wisdom and practicality of that decision.
Download original document: “Letter to Minister Hurlburt”
Author: Kriz, Kathy
October 6, 2006, report on the d’Entremont family of Pubnico Point, Nova Scotia, including photographs and links to videos.
The d’Entremonts left their home in February because of health problems caused by the 17 nearby turbines:
D’Entremont said everyone in his family had trouble sleeping once the turbines began operating. He said he’d sleep four hours, and then a “hum” or “vibration” feeling inside of him would wake him up.
D’Entremont also said low frequency noise from the turbines “ate away” at his family’s nerves, that they felt a constant vibration in their chests. During the year they lived next to the turbines, d’Entremont said his youngest two children, a five-year-old and a nine-year-old, “got more aggressive” and developed attention span issues.
D’Entremont said his 19-year-old son who slept in the basement was most exposed to the vibrations from the turbines, because they came up through the cellar. The teen started experiencing vision problems. He said his wife also reported blurry eyesight once the turbines moved in, as if there was a “film over her eyes.” …
Since they moved from their home, Daniel d’Entremont said his youngest children’s teachers commented on what a difference they saw in the students at school. He said his 13- and 15-year-old daughters’ grades also improved after the move. His five-year-old who “never could sleep” when they lived near the turbines, now sleeps on his own and is “more relaxed.”
Download original document: “Could Wind Turbines Be A Health Hazard?”