October 8, 2021
The complaints started even before the wind “farm” did.
While turbines were being constructed and tested, residents of North Stormont filed complaints with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks about construction noise, dust, vibration and then, the noise from the actual turbines once they were running.
By the time the project was formally commissioned—despite dozens of citizen complaints—there were many indications that the Nation Rise wind power project was causing problems for some people.
Now, the Ontario government is conducting an investigation into the noise complaints and allegations of adverse health effects, according to a news report yesterday. In Ontario, it is a violation of the Environmental Protection Act to cause adverse effects including disturbing quiet enjoyment of property and causing health to be affected.
The problem is, the “investigation” will likely (we hope not) follow Ontario’s outdated and flawed noise protocol for wind turbines. Prescribed measurement use only dBA and calculates the averages, but doesn’t punish exceedances for individual days or nights, or even a small range of dates.
Complaints from residents include reports of not being able to sleep, which as anyone knows, will cause long-term health effects.
The people of Nation Rise were shocked when the Wynne government awarded the Renewable Energy Approval days before the 2018 election began, and surprised again when it got a Notice To Proceed (the last step) after concerns about the environment, wildlife and health.
Ontario needs to conduct a complete overhaul of all the regulatory processes related to wind power. With the City of Ottawa proclaiming its wish to have industrial-scale wind, the same old rules and lack of enforcement will not do.