Wind Concerns Ontario has obtained what appears to be an internal Ministry of Environment memorandum confirming noise problems with the Melancthon wind farm, and is calling for a public inquiry.
Dated June 2009, the memo alleges, among other things, that a low frequency hum from the last 88 of the farm’s 133 structures is inaudible outside receptor homes but causes a vibration and is audible inside.
Two factors cited by the writer with respect to the noise and vibration are proximity to the turbines and “susceptibility to sympathetic vibrations.”
The memo, which does not identify the complainants or TransAlta but does have names blacked out, predates TransAlta’s noise abatement program for at least five of the turbines in the wind farm.
But it notes that two Amaranth families had made “financial arrangements” with (Canadian Hydro Developers or TransAlta) and had moved out of their former homes.
The memo also goes into some detail about complaints of residents close to the transformer substation, where Paul Thompson is suing the company and has won a 50% reduction in his property assessment from the Assessment Review Board.
The memo writer also says staff at MOE’s district offices have not been able to confirm compliance with guidelines.
Wind Concerns says the most telling is one excerpt from the memo that reads: “In short, the most pressing and immediate issue is that Certificates of Approval (AIR) have been issued for wind turbines with noise emission compliance limits specified in the approval.
“MOE currently has NO approval methodology for field measurement of the noise emissions from multiple noise sources. As such there is no way for MOE Field Staff, (and I would submit anyone else), to confirm compliance or lack thereof with the noise limits set in the approvals.” Wind Concerns president John Laforet says in a news release, “Whatever the Liberal Government of Ontario is hiding is now surfacing.
“Name calling and bullying cannot change the fact that they have no idea what they are doing. (Premier Dalton) McGuinty referred to people suffering as NIMBY’s which was clearly NOT the case. Their 2008 Noise Guidelines for Windfarms were incomplete and unenforceable then and still are today and need to be rewritten.”
In the meantime, says Mr. Laforet, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr.Arlene King “was reviewing literature on health and turbine issues from other parts of the world and recognized the issues elsewhere while just down the hall the Ministry of Environment was discussing sick families, lawsuits and buyouts in her backyard.
“Is it possible that this information was not disclosed to her by the very government who asked her to research the issue?”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding