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What you’re not being told about wind turbines

SIX NATIONS – Six Nations Economic Development (SNED) was before Band Council once again last week to give an update on the two wind turbine projects that Six Nations Elected Council is planning to sign agreements with.

SIX NATIONS – Six Nations Economic Development (SNED) was before Band Council once again last week to give an update on the two wind turbine projects that Six Nations Elected Council is planning to sign agreements with.

SNED are planning on constructing two wind turbine projects: Gunn’s Hill and Port Ryerse Wind Projects and held two community engagement sessions back in January and February which had a low turnout. According to Six Nations Community Planner, Amy Lickers, 27 community members turned out to both sessions suggesting community members either do not support the project or that they do not know how this project effects them. Despite this, SNED representatives told Council, the community is supportive of the wind projects and that, ‘we should take advantage of the economy.’

District Councillor Bob Johnson told SNED that he was concerned with the low community response. According to SNED, the Gunn’s Hill project will be operated by a company called ProWind and would see 10 wind turbines constructed in Norwich and Oxford County. Despite low community turnout, SNED recommended to Band Council that they, ‘develop a definitive agreement with ProWind and that Chief and Council pass the motion.’ For those Councillors present, 8 were for this motion while 3 were opposed.

According to an article in the Brantford Expositor on March 13, 2014, Six Nations elected council said they are building a community engagement process to keep band members informed about investments made in economic development projects and a trust fund that will collect the proceeds.

Lickers told The Expositor in that article, that Six Nations is getting involved in so-called green energy projects on properties and with parties in the Haldimand Tract and in the larger Nanfan Treaty of 1701. According to Lickers, Six Nations council is negotiating for $1.8 million financing for its 10% equity partnership in Gunn’s Hill Windfarm Inc.’s Feed-In-Tariff 25 megawatt contract which will generate $3 million over 20 years.

Some groups and individuals are concerned that SNED’s plans ignore any potential health risks or the damages these projects are doing to not only the people who have to live with these wind turbines in their backyard but also the animal and bird species who live in these areas as well. One major opposition group that expressed their concerns to Six Nations is the East Oxford Community Alliance. Six Nations will be putting up wind turbines in their neighborhood. Their main concerns included, the ‘unsightliness of the turbines and sound pollution from the turbines,’ in what one resident described as ‘the Wind Ghettos.’

What do we know so far about the negative impacts of industrial wind turbines (IWT) in southern Ontario? One concern is the adverse health effects of IWT’s. Two Row Times took a drive to the shores of Nanticoke via Sandusk Road. From Highway 6 to the end of Sandusk Road, at least 100 IWT’s were counted along the way. Flocks of migratory birds were also seen zig-zagging through these turbines, disrupting their flock formations and coming horribly close to the moving blades.

IWT’s are also placed in close proximity to homes, People who live or work in close proximity to IWTs have experienced symptoms that include decreased quality of life, annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, headache, anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction. Some have also felt anger, grief, or a sense of injustice. Suggested causes of symptoms include a combination of wind turbine noise, infrasound, dirty electricity, ground current, and shadow flicker.

IWT’s also have a huge impact on bird species. Back in 2009 a bald eagle, which are on the endangered species list and have been making a steady comeback to Ontario, was killed by the blades of an IWT in Norfolk County. Many bald eagles live along the shores of Lake Erie.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, “Thirty years ago, the Ontario bald eagle population was down to two pairs – and they weren’t reproducing – due to widespread pollution that had poisoned the food chain. Since then, conservation efforts have helped the bird’s numbers rebound. Back in 2010, there were 48 nests in southern Ontario. But in the past few years, green energy efforts have seen dozens of turbines with large rotating propellers go up near the Elgin-Norfolk border where the eagles live and hunt for fish.”

And in January of 2013, a relatively rare eagle nest was found near the site of a planned wind turbine in Fisherville. Leading expert on bald eagles, Jody Allair, at the time, told bureaucrats to protect the nest and move the turbine, but they did the opposite. Allair heads the Southern Ontario Bald Eagle Monitoring Program for Bird Studies Canada. A permit was issued behind closed doors which allowed the wind turbine company to remove the nest.

Other birds have been adversely affected by IWT’s as well including but not limited to geese who are starting to migrate back to southern Ontario as the weather gets milder out.

 

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Jen MtPleasant

Jen MtPleasant

Tuscarora Nation. Honours BA Criminology, Class of 2013. Advocate for missing and murdered ogwehoweh men and women. @JenMtPleasant

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12 Comments

  • Spencerforhire
    March 21, 2014, 7:27 pm

    According to Flap dot org “it is estimated that more than
    10,000 migratory birds are killed in Toronto each year” by bright

    windows.

    Most research shows that birds are more at risk from mining than wind
    turbines. In fact, communication towers are 50 times more deadly to
    birds than turbines, pesticides 710 times, pest control (Shooting) 875 times .
    vehicles 860 times, cats 1,060 times, high-tension lines 1,370 times,
    and buildings and windows are a whopping 5,890 times more deadly to
    birds.

    REPLY
  • Linda Rogers
    March 19, 2014, 11:04 pm

    Hello,
    Listen to the words of the Clan Mothers who have spoken and presented their petition against the Wind Turbines. All people and communities want the best for their families and their children. Most people intend to protect the land. Listen carefully to those voices who are speaking against the Wind Turbines. Keep an open mind and a good heart while hearing those words. The land is the true wealth of the people now and for those faces still in the ground, and yet to be born. Ask yourself what has been bought and sold with the money promised by the wind power generation plants.
    With Respect.

    REPLY
  • martina hayward
    March 19, 2014, 8:35 pm

    please understand that these industrial wind turbines are NOT GREEN. These towers are poisonous, murderous, corrupt, inefficient, non recyclable=GREED, not GREEN. please read the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine=proximity to and infrasound from these turbines cause adverse health effects. Please help to protect the winged, furred, two legged, four legged, swimmers, crawlers, creepers…all the rocks, waters, trees=FOR Love of CREATOR and MOTHER…PEACE, POWER, RIGHTEOUSNESS…

    REPLY
    • Spencerforhire@martina hayward
      March 21, 2014, 7:30 pm

      hhhhmmmmm

      Every Wild Life Society disagrees with you.

      Sorry they have more intel than you do.

      REPLY
  • Kim Weaver
    March 19, 2014, 12:06 pm

    I agree in the main part with Karl. Wind power projects are tricky. I first looked into them while in California in 1999.

    The harm to migratory birds is one issue I have not seen a credible reference to as yet. I have heard both sides of the health issue arguments and personally am undecided but would welcome more information.

    The most important issue I think is are they effective in delivering power when needed. Placement is key. Five years ago the peak delivery of wind power was at 2 AM on most days when I checked. There is little point in generating power at 2 AM when usage demand is at its lowest.Turbines were few and placements were not optimal.

    Today with better placement to take advantage of prevailing winds, this issue appears to be ironed out. The demand versus time of day chart is almost flat.

    http://www.ieso.ca/map/index.html

    In making a decision, I would simply urge proper consultation with landowners, consideration for migratory bird and nesting sites,and location to optimize output to demand.

    REPLY
    • Spencerforhire@Kim Weaver
      March 21, 2014, 7:31 pm

      Most research shows that birds are more at risk from mining than wind
      turbines. In fact, communication towers are 50 times more deadly to
      birds than turbines, pesticides 710 times, pest control (Shooting) 875 times .
      vehicles 860 times, cats 1,060 times, high-tension lines 1,370 times,
      and buildings and windows are a whopping 5,890 times more deadly to
      birds.

      REPLY
  • KarlD
    March 19, 2014, 9:52 am

    The only proven argument against wind turbines is that the host communities are not always properly informed of the implications of the turbines, and jurisdictional authority is bypassed to install them.

    Most of the rest of the many arguments against wind turbines in this article have been disproved by peer reviewed evidence and reporting. I would be happy to produce more evidence to back up my claim.

    The alternative to wind is natural gas, coal and nuclear all of which are proven by peer-reviewed evidence to be much worse for our Mother the Earth than wind. Most of the power generated on the Ontario grid is Nuclear, and spent Ontario nuclear rods are buried on site, but planing for “disposal” of spent uranium rods includes burying them under/near the great lakes, shipping them across the great lakes, burying them under remote communities including reservations,or weaponizing the uranium into bullets.

    We should probably ween ourselves off of our addiction to power, but in the meantime every turbine we oppose leads to another natural gas plant, nuclear plant,or imported coal power plant power source that will be used.

    REPLY
    • pkuster@KarlD
      March 19, 2014, 8:24 pm

      Go ahead- I’d like to see all those wind sponsored “peer reviewed studies” . I’ll bet you think IWT’s just magically fall out of the sky and present no environmental impact of their own. It’s already game over for gas plants in Ontario. They’re already there to back up unreliable wind. If these IWT’s were so swell, why the draconian measure of stripping away municipalities rights?

      REPLY
    • Tom@KarlD
      March 19, 2014, 11:35 pm

      The wind industry is based on greed,ignorance and institutional deceit.
      It’s propaganda rewards the greedy,flatters the gullible and exploits the well intentioned.
      Wind turbines are a disaster wherever they are built across the world
      see www,epaw.org

      REPLY
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