Open Submission: Industrial Wind Turbines can Harm Humans
Health and Social-economic impacts from Ontario
Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study
Health Impacts and Exposure to Wind Turbine Noise: Research Design and Noise Exposure Assessment
Submitted by Carmen Krogh, BScPharm November 24, 2012
Author’s Note: This submission is being made on request and on behalf of 8 families which includes 21 members including children and 4 members from time to time. Documentation regarding this submission has been verified by the families.
Open Submission: Industrial Wind Turbines can Harm Humans Health and Social-economic impacts
Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study
Health Impacts and Exposure to Wind Turbine Noise: Research Design and Noise Exposure Assessment
Submitted by Carmen Krogh, BScPharm November 24, 2012
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health Health Canada firstname.lastname@example.org
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada email@example.com
David S. Michaud, PhD Principal Investigator firstname.lastname@example.org
November 24, 2012 Dear Minister Aglukkaq,
Re: Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study
This submission is being made on behalf of 8 families (21 members including children and 4 members from time to time) from Ontario.
This submission relates to a recent project which is operational. The families are reporting sleep disturbance, stress, anxiety and socio-economic issues including the lack of acknowledgement of proponents and authorities regarding risks to health and quality of life.
The purpose of this submission is to inform Health Canada, the study team and others about the health and socio-economic issues which have caused reports of sleep disturbance, annoyance, mood disorders, such as stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, financial burdens, and social impacts within the community and other health related issues.
I have provided a copy of my comments to The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Dr. David Michaud, Principle Investigator.
This submission is intended to contribute to study design for the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study and to request an inquiry-investigation prior to finalizing the study design and to request that emergency funding be provided to relocate the families to restore their physical, mental and social well-being. Based on the elements of the Auditor General’s Report, 2012, there may be an opportunity to obtain funding to take remedial action 1 regarding affected sites.
The contents of this submission should not be used to infer any bias for or against wind energy.
This submission is not to be associated with and/or used to characterize any individual and/or organization.
I have received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this submission.
You are aware that I am frequently in contact with those reporting the serious health and social-economic consequences that are occurring which the start-up of an industrial wind facility in a quiet rural area and in close proximity to residents.
This information is being provided at the request of the families. The information used to compile this submission has been verified and confirmed by the families.
The families report it has undertaken significant effort to obtain resolution through various mechanisms and have been unsuccessful. The lack of resolution associated with the start up of operations of an industrial wind energy facility has led to family members experiencing a degradation of health, social-economic and altered quality of life.
The harm reported is in conflict with the World Health Organisation’s definition of health:
“: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” 2
Many jurisdictions, including the Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial governments and health officials have accepted WHO’s definition of health (Health Canada, 2004, vol. 1, p. 1-1).” 3
The families report: 4
“The families live in the region of southern Grey Highlands, Grey County in the areas of Maxwell and Hatherton. The area is comprised mostly of farm land and small residential enclaves. . There is also a wind generating project owned By Plateau Wind Inc, a subsidiary of IPC/GDF Suez which consists of 18 GE 1.5xle, 1.5MW IWTs, 11 of which are in this area. 7 of the IWT are located in Melanchton, Dufferin County.
Included in this report is a family who resides just south of the Melancthon – Artemesia Town Line in Melancthon, Duffrin County. The reason for this inclusion is their complaints were referred by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) district office in Guelph to the MOE Owen Sound District office.
Around the early part of 2012, people in the area began to notice certain symptoms that were affecting their health. It soon became apparent that we were indicating common problems, such as interrupted sleep, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, headaches, nausea, ringing in the ears, pressure in the head and ears, a tingling or vibrating feeling in the limbs and torso, dizziness, nose bleeds, lack of energy, depression, irritability, and anger.
While we do not claim to understand the nature or cause of these symptoms, the common denominator for us all is that we reside less than 1,500 meters of the Plateau Wind Project turbines which began operation in February 2012. In some cases the noise levels are so extreme as to cause the sufferers sleep disruption and/or sleeplessness.
We are looking to you, the experts and professionals charged with the protection of our health to determine what the cause or causes are of the symptoms we are presenting and to eliminate and prevent any further harm.
Several people have filed complaints to the Ministry of the Environment Spills Action Hot Line and to the MOE Owen Sound Office. In addition some have contacted the Plateau Wind Inc. Company with the encouragement of the MOE. The MOE’s role is one of ensuring compliance with the wind company’s Certificate of Approval.
Any information given to the MOE is then logged into the Ministry’s data system, an incident report number is provided only when requested and the company is notified of the location and nature of the complaint. It is the responsibility of the company to abate impacts relating to wind turbines that generate complaints.
In order to be able to verify that our complaints are recorded properly or that the company has been notified or what action is being taken we are required to file a freedom of information request (FOI). [Author’s note: see appendix] After enlisting the aid of a legal advisor one family member was able to obtain the MOE officer’s notes taken during her visit to the family home but with the caveat that any further requests for family member’s own statements would necessitate an FOI.
The MOE Protocol Compliance for wind turbine Noise: Part A: A2 states “Complaints about wind turbine noise in the infrasound or ultrasound ranges (i.e. outside the normal audio range), transformer substation noise, and other issues such as shadow flicker or health effects are beyond the scope of this document.”
Part C: C2.3.2 of the MOE Protocol for Wind Turbine Noise recommends that measurements be performed during lowest background noise conditions. This period of time is normally in the late evening or night time (the emphasis is mine). C3 speaks to acoustic recordings made by the resident/complainant: This approach may be utilized when it is not possible for ministry staff to make attended observations or measurements at a resident’s home during periods when a resident deems wind turbine noise disturbing. The procedure involves installing a special sound recording system/device at a resident’s home to collect between three to nine, 10 minute recordings of the offending noise at the exact time of the occurrence.
The above information is relevant to the experience we have had with the MOE and the developer. Our complaints either fall outside the scope of the MOE’s protocol, or they are not being addressed according to the MOE’s protocol. Many of us have witnessed the MOE officer from the Owen Sound District office taking noise measurements near our homes in the middle of the day when the turbines are not turning and the wind is not blowing.
Statements from affected individuals and families are summarized below. We urge the Ministry of Health familiarize itself with the struggles of our plight. There are others who have shared the stories of their suffering but choose to remain silent for fear of further humiliation and frustration over the lack of response or mitigation to their complaints. To date not one person who has filed a complaint has been contacted by the developer. The MOE has done nothing to investigate. Some have given up reporting and recording the effects of their complaints because it “doesn’t do any good”; they barely have the energy or will to do so anymore.”
Examples of issues include 5
ß A young man in our community who was vibrant and active, dynamic in his job, now he misses days from work because he cannot bring himself to get out of bed in the morning after a restless night to make the long commute required to get to his place of employment.
ß A young father who suffers from vertigo which has now become more pronounced since the turbines began to operate , is now having what he describes as heart problems and his doctor is now recommending a pace maker,
The man is 35 years old. This family feels they have no choice and are making plans to leave their home.
ß A mother and daughter in another family have begun suffering from migraine headaches and nose bleeds. A woman suffers from sharp pains in her head, pressure and ringing in her ears. She does not hear any turbine noise in her home. A two year old child holds her hands to her ears and say’s “my ears hurt” when she comes to visit her grandparents, this does not occur when she is at home in Collingwood.
ß A family who is so desperate to regain their health that they have made the decision to leave their home. This is not a decision that was made lightly but with the excruciating realization that their health means more to them that the home and community they have loved and lived in since 1989.
We are all familiar with the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Report. We are also aware of the University of Waterloo research in renewable energy technologies and health which will be concluded in five years. The Health Canada study recently announced will be completed in two years.
We cannot continue to suffer for two years or five years waiting to get a diagnosis for our symptoms. Each day is an eternity when our health is impacted, when we have little sleep, when our livelihoods and our way of life have deteriorated. Something is causing us to have the symptoms that are described in this submission.
We are looking to Health Canada charged with the responsibility to protect the health of the citizens of Canada to determine the cause of our suffering and to prescribe a remedy for us to follow. We are requesting that you launch an investigation into the possibility that a health hazard exists in Grey Highlands and follow up on your findings and restore our health to us.”
6. Case Reports 6
“The following is the report of another family who has made the decision to leave their home. This is not a decision that was made lightly but with the excruciating realization that their health means more to them that the home and community they have loved and lived in since 1989.” 7
6.1 Family One (2 members + a grandson who stays once or twice a week)
“My name is Freeman Ashton I live in the township of Melancthon, near the Melancthon – Artemesea Town Line. This is an official complaint and I would like it to be public record.
Shortly after the turbines started my wife and I began to experience dizziness, depression, high blood pressure, ringing in the ears, and sleep disruption. Our grandson, who is 2 years old stays overnight once or twice a week, has experienced a severe nose bleed which covered his pillow and blankets in blood. He does not have a history of nose bleeds. He has always been a good sleeper, but recently when he stays the night he wakes up crying. He does not do this at home. His bedroom in our home is closest to the wind turbines.
My wife now has high blood pressure and dizziness and depression, which subsided when she left for a couple of weeks. When the noise is extreme I find myself in a position that I can not think or function. I’ve also been having rapid pulse shortly after the turbine started. I lack energy and I am depressed and I do not even want to go home any more to my home which I’ve resided at since 1989. I can not sleep any more; it is effecting how I perform at work as I am tired from lack off sleep. I have lost my will to be an outdoors person; we just don’t go outside anymore.
I have had the MOE at my home 3 times to monitor noise from turbines. The first MOE officer that did the monitoring told me I live between a rock and a hard place because of my location on Hwy 10 and turbine noise coming from an area out of their jurisdiction.
I was also told that the turbine could be as loud as any background noise no matter how loud this might be. I have since had MOE from Owen Sound come out and monitor turbine noise at times of very low winds. I was told by the responding MOE officer that she would just be monitoring traffic noise at 6:00 pm and 8:30pm. I tried to make her aware that traffic noise stops during the night and the turbines don’t. She informed me that she doesn’t work at these hours even though the protocol recommends measurements are performed late in the evening or night time. If I were to make this kind of noise all night long I would be arrested. Winds from north or south are when noise is unbearable. I live in an area of a lot of trees and noise is trapped in here and not filtered out as we are lead to believe.
We are so desperate to regain our health that we are close to walking away from our home. How could we possibly sell this house to another family knowing that we are becoming ill from turbines?”
Freeman Ashton & Madonna Samms
6.2 Family Two (1 member)
“I moved to grey bruce to get away from noise that was not letting me sleep through the night-cars racing down the nearby (30M) main street in Brampton. When I moved into my current house, I noticed a huge improvement in my sleep and therefore my energy during the day.
When the IWT were put online, I noticed a decline in my sleep and therefore my daytime energy.
My boss has noticed a huge difference in me since about march when the IWTs had been running for weeks on end.
I have taken sick days to sleep, I am late once or more a week. I have fallen asleep at my desk, or in the washroom.
I yawn throughout the day. I am moody, short tempered, and lethargic. My boss knows what the cause is, since this all magically happened about the time the IWTs were put online.
I have called the MOE to complain the few times I could hear them through my pillow.
I stayed at my parents over the long weekend, I was in a single bed that is at least 25 years old. I had a sore back, I know I woke up many times during the night to get comfortable. The thing is, I felt like a million dollars the next day…even with a sore back….because I got a proper restful sleep…of some sort….which I am currently not used to. The day following that, I stayed in a room at my grandpas. This bed is 50+ years old, I slept amazing, I was astonished. I had 6 hours of driving after that and did not feel tired at all.
I really wish…if i could only make one wish….that the IWTs near my home were turned off at night, when they cause the most harm to the people trying to sleep.
6.3 Family Three (4 members)
“My family and I are extremely disappointed that the Ontario Government failed to conduct a community health study prior to the installation of the wind turbines near my home.
My wife and daughter are experiencing migraine headaches, insomnia, and nosebleeds. We believe these ailments are related to the wind turbines near my home.
These ailments did not occur prior to the turbine installation.” J.D. 6.4.a Family Four (1 member)
“This used to be a great place to live! Peaceful and quiet. Now it seems like living in a WASHING MACHINE! You can’t sit outside after dark due to the constant noise on breezy nights. I have six wind turbines all around my house. The noise even comes through your pillows at night! Can’t sleep due to the constant noise, and this is affecting my job performance! I have to close all my windows on nice summer nights to try to STOP the DARN NOISE! I have buzzing in my ears and lots of sleepless nights. Also the flicker effect, in the early evening bombards my house.
These windmills are bothering my whole family. People who say that these are great should stop and try to get an understanding of what we are going through. HELL!!!!!
We have had people from down south ( Brampton/ Toronto) who ask ” How the Hell can you live here?”
Well, we can’t move /sell our house because, who in their right mind would buy around this area? This home was my retirement place to live, now I’m out property value. Thanks a lot!
People who write in the papers that there are NO problems with the windmills, should stop by and stay a while. NOT JUST INTERVIEW FOR TEN MINUTES!!
It’s disgusting how the people, who have these wind turbines on their land say they have no problem with them, when they are closer than us! It’s a GAG order!
I know of people who have these and wish they never installed them! They have lost friends, neighbors and use of other farms, because of their money-hungry ways! The pay-off is a complete joke!
In closing SHUT THESE OFF, UNTIL A STUDY IS DONE! Let us get back to the way country living is supposed to be. QUIET and PEACEFUL!”
6.4.b Family Four (1 member)
“This letter is concerning the health effects and noise of the wind turbines, or the non-existing health effects, according to the experts doing the so called “studies.” I have lived in this area for many years enjoying the peaceful country life and when I heard of the wind turbines coming into my backyard, I was very upset. We tried stopping this project but, of course, did not succeed. It was apparent that big business and money meant more than the concerns of the area residents. So in come the turbines.
I have six turbines around me, ranging from 700 metres to 1500 metres away from my house. Oh, and to mention they were all up before the election last October. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The turbines started running in February of this year. In my mind I thought, okay, they are here, but they probably won’t bother me health wise, even though I had read about the health issues concerning the wind turbines.
I was fine for the first two to three weeks. I thought, hey I’m one of the lucky ones, but things then changed. In March of this year I started to experience sleepless nights, ringing and pressure in my ears as well as pressure in my temples. This continued on non-stop and if this is living Hell, well then welcome. The noise from these giant windmills is horrific.
With them, brings a flicker effect through the house every night when the sun is going down. We have to close our windows and blinds to keep that flicker effect as well as the noise down. Nice way to have to live, huh?
In the evenings, to sit outside is NOT enjoyable. Instead of listening to the peacefulness we once had, we now have to endure what sounds like a 400 series highway in our back yard.
The people doing these so-called health studies for wind turbines obviously do NOT have to live near them. The wind turbines are effecting my health as well as my livelihood. Thanks, thank you very much.
Anyone who believes that the wind turbines do not have any ill-effects, come and live in my world, that way you can really experience what it is like, and let me reassure you that it is NOT pleasant, and should NOT have to be bared by the people in this community.”
6.5 Family Five (1 member)
“1. Health– I have been having intense pressure in the head and ears, as if someone were forcing air into my ears beyond the volume-capacity of the inner ear.
Additionally, I have experienced extreme heart palpitations, whereby it feels like one might not be able to breathe.
I was not impacted by these symptoms prior to the date the turbines started operating.
2. Noise– The pounding and shrieking noise of the 9 turbines behind my house make walking and kayaking on the property (186 Acres) a distinct Non-pleasure.
3. Symptoms began after Feb. 2012.
It is undemocratic and legally questionable that I cannot enjoy my property nor have normal good health because these turbines have been forced on me, for the benefit of foreign countries’ corporations.”
6.6 Family Six (4 members plus 3 from time to time)
“I have been experiencing dizziness, headaches, once even shooting pains in my head as if something were piercing my scull, head and ear pressure as though I am descending rapidly in an airplane, and ringing in my ears. I have loose bowls, pounding in my chest and on occasion I have had vibrations within my body while lying in bed which become difficult to tolerate. I am awoken in the middle of the night experiencing one or more of these symptoms. Many times I feel some of these effects in the day time.
I began to notice some of these symptoms while on my daily walk towards the end of February 2012 after an array of industrial wind turbines began operation. As I experienced more events I began to record them along with the Environment Canada weather conditions of the day in a day planner. Soon it was evident that there was something amiss. I placed my first call to the MOE spills action hotline on Tuesday April 17th. This was the beginning of many complaints filed to either the Spills Action Center or to the Owen Sound District Office in Owen Sound. On April 27th we had a visit from the MOE Owen Sound district Office. I have included my recap of the meeting with this document. [Author’s note: see appendix]
I had to enlist the aid of a legal advisor to attain my own statement to the Owen Sound District Officer’s report without a freedom of information request. The District Manager’s response to my request was demining and condescending, full of platitudes as to how there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates that I am being impacted by low frequency noise or vibration from industrial wind turbines. He encourages me however to continue to call Spills Action Center when I feel I am experiencing noise impacts so that the ministry can respond appropriately. In all the time I have reported my complaints I have never felt that the MOE has responded at all. For that matter neither has the Plateau Wind Farm Company. [Author’s note: see appendix]
I am aware of one other occasion that the MOE officer came to my area. She informed me that she was here to take noise measurements. She set up across the road from our home on a day that was not windy and the turbines were not turning.
My Daughter who has been home from University began to experience ear pain and sleeplessness shortly after her arrival. When she said to me that she thought that she might have caught her dog’s ear infection, I became alarmed.
My two year old granddaughter has complained of her ears hurting as she puts her hands to the side of her head. She does no such thing when she is at home in Collingwood.
Our family dog of has shown behaviour changes that have required multiple visits to the veterinarian. Our dog shakes his head resulting in hematomas that required draining. This behaviour is new and was not present during the 4 years of owning our dog.
Our family and our home has always been the center of our lives. It is our sanctuary and the place where we all come together. I fear for the well being of my children, their spouses, my grandchildren, and anyone else who comes to stay for an extended visit. I cannot abide that they would experience for one moment what I am suffering.
I have become disillusioned and less ridged in my reports (ie. time and weather conditions etc.) and make them via email so as to have a written document of my complaints. Life has become exhausting. I find myself being forgetful about plans or obligations that have been made and even the loss of my words. I no longer take daily walks as I am fearful of walking to close to the turbines. This is no way to live.”
Virginia Stewart Love
6.7 Family Seven (2 members)
“We live on a (productive) 100 acre farm within the Maxwell-Hatherton wind project.
We are supporters of renewable energy and initially supported wind development. The manner in which Industrial Wind Turbines (I.W.T) are being sited and forced into rural Ontario (eg. Plateau -Grey Highlands) has changed our perspective. We do not support I.W.T. being sited 550 metres from the centre of homes. This has resulted in the health of some receptors being negatively impacted. Renewable energy must be implemented in a safe and socially acceptable manner.
It is wrong to saturate areas of rural Ontario (where families are living). The accumulative (noise) effect increases as the number,size and density of turbines increases.
This letter will focus on health impacts and reasons for a request for assistance from Health Canada.
I was born in Toronto and have lived on South Kingsway and in Willowdale, Agincourt, Scarborough and Brampton. My husband has lived near and in Brampton before moving to Grey Highlands.
We have experienced all the noise (traffic, neighbors, sirens etc.) that living in an urban centre entails. It is very different from living in an almost, quiet rural setting.
It is totally different from living near or in an industrial turbine array! Do not call a turbine array a wind farm. Call it– what it is –an INDUSTRIAL SITE!.
The extent to which I.W.T. permeates your life, has to be personally experienced (over a period of time) to fully understand it. The best descriptive word to apply to audible wind turbine noise is “INCONSISTANT”.
Stress is part of everyday life– but prolonged stress can compromise the status of one’s health!
We consider ourselves to be negatively impacted by I.W.T. in the following ways:
1. Social Fabric of the Community: -anger/stress is percolating within the community. – the health of a rural community depends on consideration and support for neighbours.
2. Audible Noise: -we have never used air-conditioning (to conserve energy-cost )– but would open windows to cross- ventilate. During hot,humid nights (with the turbines running) we kept our windows closed.
There are three types of audible “cyclic” noise. a. a jet flying constantly overhead. b. a mechanical screech c. whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh etc.
This noise is definitely different from a running refrigator or a vacuum cleaner— especially when you can’t turn them off!
Computer modeling cannot adequately calibrate the impact experience of this audible noise.
Can levels and variations in low-frequency noise be measured and monitored? This is important!
What will be the long-term affects of audible and inaudible noise ? 3. Decrease in the enjoyment of our property.
4. Some neighbors are suffering health effects– that were not present before the turbines started generating.
We repeat the request for an investigation into the health impacts of constituents living within the Maxwell- Hatherton wind project. Residents are being impacted ( some more so than others).
Please place this letter in the Public Record. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this letter.”
Roger & Pat Foster. “what one permits —- one condones”
6.8 Family Eight (5 members) “Who We Are: Plateau Wind Project Victims
We are being impacted by Industrial Wind Turbines in the following ways which are not in any specific order:
1. One of the children has a heart condition will this or can this lead to more problems
2. An adult has developed heart problems, suffered from Vertigo like systems and endured months of testing
3. Sleeping problems are even more evident 4. There has been an increased levels of stress throughout the entire family
5. The noise with them spinning and stopping and them turning directions with different wind conditions
6. Wild life has seem to have disappeared to known existent (deer, Canadian Geese, ducks)
7. It is now to unsafe for me to fly my hobby airplanes as no one can seem to let me know all the frequency changes that might be taking place this be threw the many lines buried just meters away from the property line or from the units them selves
8. My property value has decreased by more than 20% 9. There is many different reflections you, inside the house reflecting off the windows to reflecting off the windows outside of the house
10. The substation hums all day and night there was a light on the container that shined a city block
These are only some of the ways we have been impacted Please place this letter in the public record” B.C
The families summarize their reports:
“Others describe their living conditions as “living in hell”. Nonetheless we are all living day to day trying to cope with the impact on our health, that of the children’s and worrying about how to escape an intolerable nightmare.”
7 Actions taken:
The families report:
Between February-March of 2011 to the present date the MOE Owen Sound Office and/or the MOE Spills Action Hot Line has been contacted regularly by many of the affected families. Presentations have been made and emails have been sent to The Grey Highlands Municipal Council. A presentation was made to The Grey Bruce Health Unit Board and the Medical officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn. Letters have been sent to Prime Minister Harper and Members of Parliament including MP Larry Miller, as well as Provincial Members of Parliament including Premier Dalton McGuinty. A copy of the presentation to the Grey/Bruce Health Unit Board was hand delivered in the legislature through MPP Bill Walker to Minister Bradley of the MOE in September. The Developer Plateau Wind Inc. has been notified by MOE and in emails from affected families.”
8 The families conclude
“The number of people impacted living within the shadow of the Plateau wind Project in Grey Highlands exceeds the 8 families which includes 21 members including children and 4 members from time to time who have reported degraded health, social-economic and quality of life since the start up of the wind facility.
There are others who choose to remain silent for reasons which would severely impact them if they were to come forward. The public denial of the impacts of IWTs on the lives of those affected is detrimental.”
9 Role of New Experts
The Krogh-Harrington October 31, 2012 submission to Health Canada discusses the role of New Experts: 8
““Soundscaping, an acoustic discipline is scientifically established and is becoming standardized under ISO 12913 through the work of ISO TC43/SC1/WG54. Of interest is that the science of Soundscaping development stems from work initiated in the 1960s and subsequently acknowledged in 1977 by the Canadian researcher, musician, and environmentalist, professor Raymond Murray Schafer from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. 9
Soundscaping combines physical and psycho- acoustical measurements with scientific evaluation of perceptual responses to environmental noise. 10 An ISO working group proposes to define Soundscaping as ‘’perception of the acoustic environment as perceived by people in that place, in context’’. 11
The concept of Soundscaping, has gained recognition. 12, 13,14,15,16 It is considered to be different from noise control engineering. 17 Soundscaping considers the people living in the environment as local experts, 18 an essential component of the evaluation, 19 and that perception of the soundscape “ can provide comfort, tranquility, and needed information to the person concerned or may be a source of annoyance.” 20
With respect to very low frequency noise which may not be audible, humans are being considered as “objective measuring instruments (New Experts), whose reports and descriptions must be taken seriously and quantified by technical measurements.” 21
In a recent conference paper, presented to the Acoustical Society of America regarding very low frequency noise measurement, Bray (2012) states:
“A central tenet of the Soundscape concept is that humans immersed in sonic environments are objective measuring instruments (New Experts), whose reports and descriptions must be taken seriously and quantified by technical measurements.
The Soundscape concept centering on human responses, New Experts, is as important and applicable to responses to effects from sound as it is to responses to directly audible sound. In a wider sense, this is a new sound quality and psychoacoustic issue.” 22
Bray (2012) elaborates:
“Soundscaping integrates two relationships of sound and people: that people are the ultimate analysts or data sources about their responses to sound because it is they who are immersed in it or make it, and that sounds (receptions by people) are always part of human contexts; panoramas involving other senses, the environments in which people live or work, and the people’s cognitive as well as sensory circumstances.
Sounds must be “taken out from under the microphone” where they have historically been studied in isolation, and put into the “big and anthropocentric sound field” – the soundscape.
At present a growing number of people are reporting sleep deprivation, unease and even illness which they most often ascribe to low‐frequency sound either near the hearing threshold or, more frequently, sub‐audible. Such reports are most frequent in rural or quiet suburban areas following the installation of large wind turbines, a new sound source without historic acoustic reference. ” 23
Ambrose et al (2012) state:
“The best acoustic analyzer for determining human response is the human listening. This research shows it is not appropriate to use unattended sound measurement instruments.” 24
Krogh et al reports on human perception to noise:
“Reviewed literature, case reports, freedom of information documents and expert testimony are presented which support the conclusion sound that is perceived and considered “unwanted” can result in serious negative effects.
Perception can be defined as: “… awareness of one’s environment thorough physical sensation…”. Human perception of sound can result in a number of responses which can be positive (music), negative (noise) or neutral. Presence of sound does not necessarily signify the presence of noise. “Physically, there is no distinction between sound and noise. Sound is a sensory perception and the complex pattern of sound waves is labeled noise, music, speech etc. Noise is thus defined as unwanted sound.” Sound meters can assess sound; however, humans assess “noise”. Sound becomes a risk to human health when it is considered to be noise.”” 25
10 Closing statements 26
Research indicates New Experts i.e. humans, “are objective measuring instruments…”.
Currently, Canada lacks vigilance or long term surveillance systems to report health and social economic impacts.
To date, the voices of those adversely affected by operating and proposed wind turbine facilities in rural Canada have not been heard. An inquiry to investigate wind turbines and the health and social-economic issues would provide the opportunity to obtain first hand knowledge from the “New Experts” who are currently exposed, who have been exposed in the past, or will be exposed in the future to wind energy facilities.
As the result of the anticipated proliferation in the future 27 of industrial wind turbine facilities in Canada, it is expected more Canadians will be at risk of harm.
Indications are that more than 12 wind energy projects in Ontario are supported with ecoENERGY contracts from NRCan. Indications are EcoENERGY funding has been provided in other provinces. The lack of disclosure by Health Canada of this information is of concern. An issue regarding the Health Canada study design includes perceived conflict of interest.
The Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the House of Commons 2012 states that regarding federally funded initiatives:
“Some of the thousands of contaminated sites are a testament to poor planning, the failure of initial assessments to anticipate and avoid future environmental and human health problems, and a lack of ongoing mitigation to lower the environmental risks during operations.” 28
This submission and those made on behalf of other families that were provided in confidence to Health Canada are examples of an urgent requirement to convene an inquiry- investigation and to assist resolving the issues reported to Health Canada.
Other jurisdictions have conducted a public inquiry-investigation to better understand the health and socio-economic impact of wind energy development. 29,30,31,32,33
In addition to the advantages of a public inquiry-investigation described in the Krogh and Harrington submissions of September 5, 2012 and October 31, 2012, “New Expert” testimony would provide expert advice regarding health, social well-being and social- economic impacts and would assist with the study design.
Until guidelines are established that protect human health and social-economic viability, no further development of wind energy facilities should occur and existing sites reporting health issues should be resolved to the satisfaction of the New Experts.
Action by Health Canada would support its “Mission and Vision”:
“Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health.
Health Canada is committed to improving the lives of all of Canada ‘s people and to making this country’s population among the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.” 34
And Health Canada’s “Objectives”:
“By working with others in a manner that fosters the trust of Canadians, Health Canada strives to: • Prevent and reduce risks to individual health and the overall environment; • Promote healthier lifestyles;
• Ensure high quality health services that are efficient and accessible; • Integrate renewal of the health care system with longer term plans in the areas of prevention, health promotion and protection; • Reduce health inequalities in Canadian society; and • Provide health information to help Canadians make informed decisions.” 35
Based on the elements of the Auditor General’s Report, 2012, there may be an opportunity to obtain funding to take remedial action 36 regarding affected sites.
I would appreciate any assistance that Health Canada could offer to many of those reporting health effects associated with the start up of operations of industrial wind energy facilities.
Resolution would include pausing before constructing wind energy facilities until siting guidelines are protective of human health to ensure physical, mental and social well being.
In the meantime, due to my concern for the health and well being of those exposed to wind turbine facilities, I am requesting that emergency funding be provided to relocate those families that agree to come forward, to an area in order to restore their physical, mental and social well-being until resolution is achieved to their satisfaction.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of eight families (21 members including children and 4 members from time to time),
Carmen Krogh, BScPharm Ontario, Canada Cell 613 312 9663 email@example.com
2. Communication with Ontario Ministry of Environment April 27, 2012 37
The following is a review of our meeting this morning as my husband and I understand it.
You arrived at my home about 10:30 am on Friday April 27. We clarified that my receptor number is R62 and not R263.You asked for my address and phone number and if you could provide my information to the developer Plateau Wind Inc. You also asked if I had contacted the developer and I told you that I had Cc’d Carolyn Bultena at Carolyn.Bultena@gdfsuezna.com on April 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm when I emailed the council, MP Larry Miller, and MPP Bill Walker. You stated that the MOE and Plateau Wind Inc. will be meeting on Friday May 4th to look at ways to solve the problem and that you would contact me about the outcome of the meeting. I requested that I attend the meeting and you said that was not possible, I asked you to notify your superiors of my request and to write that information down.
We discussed the MOE procedures and guidelines for acoustic assessment and measurements and that complaints about infrasound or ultra sound were not within the scope of your ability to measure. That the MOE only measures and deals with audible noise. We both agreed that the symptoms that I am experiencing are likely the result of LFS or IFS. I asked you how the MOE was going to help me and you said that you could only work with the tools given to you. You also stated that it was too windy to take any measurements today. My husband and I pointed out the turbines to you that we see from our home. I took you into our bedroom to show you the 2 turbines that are to the south of us. We determined that T2 was about 1 1/4 miles away. You took pictures of the turbines from our property with our consent.
I quoted to you from the Environmental Review Tribunal decision in Ontario July 18, 2011 “The 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 demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed to close to residents.The debate has now evolved to one of degree.” Expert witnesses for the MOE and Suncor Energy Services Inc. acknowledged that WT in Ontario “will” cause annoyance, which is expected to result in stress related impacts in some individuals. Further a witness testifying for Suncor provided evidence that wind turbine induced annoyance occur at sound pressure levels above and below 40 dBA. The impacts are a serious matter and are considered as adverse health effects. An MOE commissioned report states “The audible sound from wind turbines at levels experienced at typical receptor distances in Ontario, is nonetheless expected to result in a nontrivial percentage of persons being highly annoyed. As with sounds from many sources, research has shown that annoyance associated with sound from wind turbines can be expected to contribute to stress related health impacts in some persons.”
I asked you again how the MOE was going to help me and you did not have an answer for me. I used an odor and/or water issue to demonstrate that the MOE would act to protect citizens from non compliant developers and make sure the situation was resolved. You agreed that this was so. I asked you if the developer was compliant with the audible noise and I am being impacted by the LFS or IFS and feel the sound frequency rather than hear it, what would the MOE do to protect me? Again you did not have an answer for me. I asked what would happen if the developer were found to be non compliant with audible noise and you said that they would have to hire a professional acoustic consultant and do a more extensive noise study. I said that the proponent once again would be paying for their own study and the results will be what they determine them to be. So what will the Ministry do to insure that I am protected? Your reply was that there was nothing you could do and that I continue to report to the Spills Action Center and to you and to continue to record my experience in my journal.
You asked me when I first started to have difficulties and I shared with you the chronological dates and symptoms that I am experiencing. I also indicated to you that I was seeing my doctor in the afternoon regarding those symptoms. I asked to make a copy of your notes for my records and you told me that I had to make a Freedom of Information request. I stated that it was my own statement of information provided to you about myself and you responded that that was the regulation. I wish to verify that the information you have documented is an accurate account of the facts as I have stated them. I am requesting from you the act or regulation which states that an FOI request must be made in order to view or copy of a statement of account provided by an individual about said individual to an MOE officer.
I telephoned you in the afternoon to discuss my indignity over the matter of the necessity of an FOI request and told you that I was appalled that the MOE would provide my information to the developer and not to me. I withdrew my consent to have my information related to Plateau Wind Inc. You stated that there would be no way to deal with my situation without providing my information to the developer. I then said there appeared to be some collusion between the developer and the Ministry when a developer could have access to my information and I could not. You stated that you will speak to your superior on Monday re the FOI and get back to me. I agreed but maintained that my consent would be withdrawn pending the outcome of your conversation on Monday.
If you have any thing else to add, or disagree with please let me know. Sincerely, Roy Love and Virginia Stewart Love”
1 2012 Spring Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development
2 World Health Organization. (1948). Preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on7 April 1948. Cited Krogh, CME, (2011), Industrial Wind Turbine Development and Loss of Social Justice? Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 321, DOI: 10.1177/0270467611412550, http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/321
3 World Health Organization. (1948). Preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on7 April 1948. Cited Krogh, CME, (2011), Industrial Wind Turbine Development and Loss of Social Justice? Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 2011 31: 321, DOI: 10.1177/0270467611412550, http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/321
4 Provided in the families’ own words 5 Provided in the families’ own words 6 Case reports provided by the families 7 Case reports provided by the families 8 Open Submission, Update: Proposal for an Inquiry-Investigation into the Health including Socio-Economic Impacts of Industrial Wind Turbines in Rural Canada, Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study Health Impacts and Exposure to Wind Turbine Noise: Research Design and Noise Exposure Assessment, October 31, 2012, Submitted by Carmen Krogh, BScPharm and Beth Harrington, BMus
9 The World Soundscape Project (WSP), http://www.sfu.ca/~truax/wsp.html 10 Schulte-Fortkamp, Brigitte, Vehicle exterior noise from the view point of new experts. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 06/2008; 123(5):3134. 11 Weber, Miriam, Quiet Urban Areas: repositioning local noise policy approaches – questioning visitors on soundscape and environmental quality. DCMR Environmental Protection Agency, the Netherlands 12 Call for Papers on Soundscape in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) | The World Listening Project. Cited 29/10/2012 http://www.worldlisteningproject.org/cal-lfor-papers-on-soundscape-in-journal-of-the-acoustical-society-of- america-jasa/ 13 Hot topics in soundscapes, COST action TD0804: “Soundscape of European Cities and Landscapes” workshop, Edinburgh UK, Novotel, 80 Lauriston Place, Thursday 29th – Friday 30th 2009, http://www.cost.est.org 14 Bert De Coensel, Annelies Bockstael, Luc Dekoninck, Dick Botteldooren, Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp, Jian Kang, Mats E. Nilsson, The Soundscape Approach for Early Stage Urban Planning: A Case Study, InterNoise 2012, Lisbon, Portugal (Invited Paper) 15 Soundscape. An environment of sound (or sonic environment) with emphasis on the way it is perceived and understood by the individual, or by a society. Truax, B. (1999). Handbook for Acoustic Ecology (2ndEd.). Cambridge Street Publishing 16 Axelsson, Östen, Introducing soundscape, AESOP, 2012, 26th Annual Congress, July 11-15, Ankara, Turkey 17 Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp, Jian Kang, Soundscape research in networking across countries: COST Action, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 03/2010; 127(3):1801. 18 B. Schulte-Fortkamp, “The tuning of noise pollution with respect of the expertise of people’s mind”, proceedings InterNoise, (2010) Lisbon Portugal, 13-13 June 2010 19 Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp, Bennett Brooks, Interventions through the soundscape approach. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 10/2010; 128(4):2370.
Open Submission: Industrial Wind Turbines can Harm Humans Health and Social-economic impacts from Ontario Submitted by Carmen Krogh, BScPharm November 24, 2012 Any errors or omissions are unintended
20 Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp, Bennett Brooks, Better soundscapes for all workshops on continuing development of soundscape techniques standardization: Workshop introduction. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 11/2008; 124(4):2552. 21 Bray Wade, Acoustical Society of America 164th Meeting, Kansas City, MO 22‐26 October, 2012, 2aNS6, Relevance and applicability of the Soundscape concept to physiological or behavioural effects caused by noise at very low frequencies which may not be audible. http://www.acoustics.org/press/164th/Bray_2aNS6.html
22 Bray Wade, Acoustical Society of America 164th Meeting, Kansas City, MO 22‐26 October, 2012, 2aNS6, Relevance and applicability of the Soundscape concept to physiological or behavioural effects caused by noise at very low frequencies which may not be audible. http://www.acoustics.org/press/164th/Bray_2aNS6.html 23 Bray Wade, Acoustical Society of America 164th Meeting, Kansas City, MO 22‐26 October, 2012, 2aNS6, Relevance and applicability of the Soundscape concept to physiological or behavioural effects caused by noise at very low frequencies which may not be audible. http://www.acoustics.org/press/164th/Bray_2aNS6.html
24 Ambrose Stephen E., Rand Robert W., Krogh Carmen M. E., Falmouth, Massachusetts wind turbine infrasound and low frequency noise measurements Invited paper presented at Inter-noise 2012 New York City, NY 25 Krogh Carmen ME, Jeffery Roy D, Aramini Jeff, Horner Brett, Wind turbine noise perception, pathways and effects: a case study, InterNoise 2012, New York City, NY, August 19 -23 26 Closing statements by Krogh 27 Science Advisory Board Meeting, Proceedings – Science Advisory Board (SAB), February 1-2, 2012 28 2012 Spring Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development http://www.oagbvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201205_03_e_36775.html#ex5 29 New South Wales. Parliament. Legislative Council. General Purpose Standing Committee No. 5, Rural Wind Farms, 2009 30 The social and economic impact of rural wind farms: Public hearing before the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Commonwealth of Australia (2011, May 17). Retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_farms/index.htm 31 Falmouth Board of Health, Correspondence June 11, 2012, Falmouth, Massachusetts USA, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MASS DPH) 32 Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill (2012), Australia, https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/pages/index.aspx 33 Falmouth Board of Health, Correspondence June 11, 2012, Falmouth, Massachusetts USA, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MASS DPH) 34 Health Canada, About Health Canada, About Mission, Values, Activities, Retrieved from http://www.hc- sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/activit/about-apropos/index-eng.php, Cited August 24, 2012 35 Health Canada, About Health Canada, About Mission, Values, Activities, Retrieved from http://www.hc- sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/activit/about-apropos/index-eng.php, Cited August 24, 2012 36 2012 Spring Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development http://www.oagbvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201205_03_e_36775.html#ex5 37 Email communication with representative Ontario Ministry of Environment, Friday, April 27, 2012
Open Submission: Industrial Wind Turbines can Harm Humans Health and Social-economic impacts from Ontario Submitted by Carmen Krogh, BScPharm November 24, 2012 Any errors or omissions are unintended