This document is a review of the possible breaches by wind energy projects of various of the human rights of people living in the vicinity of a wind project. It identifies and considers a number of potential breaches of varying impact and of differing ease or difficulty of establishing. In this context the rights to health, safe working conditions and property may be the simplest to establish whether breaches have or have not occurred. download pdf file
Industry spin and uncritical but determined admirers of wind energy have encouraged the political and public view of the wind industry as beyond criticism and critical analysis. In contrast people living in the vicinity of Wind Energy Projects (WEPs) have been suffering both mentally and physically since turbines have appeared in their previously quiet, peaceful and healthy environments.
Some high quality work by US scientists
in the 1980s uncovered a wind turbine sound profile (signature) that included infrasound and low frequency sound (ILFN). This signature was unlike that of any other source of sound. ILFN at very low and specific frequencies was identified as the cause of health problems in humans. The industry and their favoured acousticians “forgot” this work; but recent field work in Australia has confirmed the unique sound profile and the cause and effect. Advances in instrumentation are allowing more work to be undertaken in victims’ homes by privately funded acousticians independent of the wind industry.
Characteristically the victims have no funds to seek legal relief or advice but that may become easier as the findings are repeated. Meanwhile the victims continue to endure what they claim are intolerable bodily impacts with their personal sensitivity increasing with time iii.
Whilst the industry currently feels secure against court action, it has occurred to some that the industry and government regulatory authorities are quite possibly causing major breaches of certain of the victims’ human rights; and that this is an avenue that should, and can, be diligently pursued with a minimum outlay of scarce funds. Matching of the proven impacts with defined and accepted human rights is the purpose of this document.
Matching shows that rights involving:
Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment
Physical and Mental Health
Homes and Other Assets
are seemingly being both ignored, and breached.It is not necessary that every one of the above identified rights is breached. One alleged breach against one person at one wind project is enough to trigger the obligations of the Human Rights Commission.
Credit: By Peter Jackson | Bayshore Broadcasting | May 2, 2016 | www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca ~~
The first phase of a Huron County Health Unit study on the perceived adverse health effects of wind turbines is about to get under way.
Leading the study is Health Unit epidemiologist Doctor Erica Clark.
She tells The Beach News that the first phase launching this month will be dedicated to information gathering.
Doctor Clark says she will interview each participant personally, before any turbine-related information is received.
The questions asked will include the number of turbines located near where the participant lives, and what kind of structures are on their property.
Doctor Clark notes that each person taking part will then be given a personal code to use when answering questions in the on-line portion of the survey.
For those without Internet access, the survey is available in hard copy form.
She points out that further action in the second phase of the survey will depend on analysis of phase one questionnaires.
Phase two will involve actual measurements of things like ambient noise coming from the turbines.
Doctor Clarke says the Health Unit will share survey information with the provincial and federal governments.
She stresses that the Health Unit initiative is not related to the Health Canada survey of health issues connected to wind turbines that was done in 2013 and 2014.
Acoustical measure analysis is still being examined, and findings of the federal study have not been released yet.
Source: By Peter Jackson | Bayshore Broadcasting | May 2, 2016 | www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca
Credit: Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, March 20, 2016, bccrwe.com ~~Brown County appears to be digging a deeper and deeper hole for itself as more facts come to light surrounding Duke Energy’s Shirley Windpower. After an unusually long almost 3 months’ delay in satisfying a resident’s open records request, the records ultimately provided expose that former Brown County Health Officer Chua Xiong feels ill when visiting the Shirley Wind facility. In an email to her intern Carolyn Harvey she states:
“Carolyn the times I have been out there by the Wind Turbines, I get such migraine headaches. I think I should take some preventative Tylenol before I head out there.” (November 21, 2015)
Despite this admission, approximately one month later Ms. Xiong went on to make her declaration that “Currently there is insufficient scientific evidence-based research to support the relationship between wind turbines and health concerns.” She then went further in saying that this was her “final decision” and that she would only monitor the situation “on an annual basis”.
In this decision she completely ignored the real world health impact of Duke Energy’s wind turbines on Brown County families as evidenced through their sworn affidavits and their documentation of past and continued suffering, not to mention her own repeated migraines when in proximity to Duke’s turbines.
So what has happened between Ms. Xiong’s declaration and the March 18th release of the open records showing that Brown County’s Health Officer Chua Xiong suffers migraines when she is by the Shirley Wind turbines? On March 4th, Ms. Xiong submitted her resignation to County Executive Troy Streckenbach. He did not share this with County department heads until just two days before March 18th, Ms. Xiong’s last day. This date also coincides with Executive Streckenbach’s announcement of Brown County Corporation Counsel Juliana Ruenzel’s resignation.
It is high time that Brown County and its Health Director follow the lead of its own Board of Health who unanimously declared Duke’s wind turbines in Glenmore a “Human Health Hazard”. They need to recognize that residents are sick, homes have been abandoned, that outsiders (even the County’s own Health Director) feel ill while in the project area, and finally do whatever is necessary to protect the health and safety of southern Brown County residents.
Brown County does not need Shirley Wind to become its Flint, Michigan. Until the County does the right thing and takes action, families will continue to suffer, the County’s inaction will escalate their legal liability, and this issue will not go away.
Download original documents:
“Xiong-Harvey Communications Part 1 of 2”
“Xiong-Harvey Communications Part 2 of 2”
Doug Schneider, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin | March 16, 2016 | www.greenbaypressgazette.com
Three months after her controversial decision regarding the Shirley Wind Farm, Brown County Health Director Chua Xiong has resigned.
Xiong has been “offered a great job opportunity,” County Executive Troy Streckenbach said in an email. He didn’t elaborate, deferring to Xiong. He said she submitted her resignation March 4.
“You would have to ask Chua,” he said.
Xiong was not immediately available for comment Wednesday evening.
Streckenbach notified department heads in an email Wednesday afternoon. Xiong’s last day of work will be Friday. A search for her successor has begun.
Since early December, Xiong had been under fire from opponents of the Shirley Wind Farm, including the retired physician who leads the county Board of Health, Jay Tibbetts.
Xiong ruled that insufficient evidence exists to link wind turbines to illnesses reported by people who live near them. That prompted the Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, a citizens’ group, to issue a statement declaring “Health Director Xiong is Wrong.” Some people living near the eight turbines in southern Brown County claim low-frequency noise from the turbines cause sleep disturbances, vertigo and various other health issues.
The Board of Health had ruled in 2014 that noise from the turbines poses a health hazard.
County lawmakers gave her mixed reviews.
“She did an excellent job serving the county,” said Supervisor Dan Robinson of De Pere.
But Human Services Committee Chairman Patrick Evans of Green Bay said her performance had not matched the promise she had shown before her appointment, and questioned why she had missed two recent meetings where wind issues were discussed.
“I championed Chua for the director’s position because she’s a very intelligent person,” Evans said Wednesday night. “But I was then disappointed with her leadership abilities. I wish her well.”
Xiong, 46, of Green Bay, joined the health department in 2002. She was promoted to director in 2015, after having been public health nurse manager. She was the lone Asian-American department head in county government.
Streckenbach appointed Debi Armbruster as interim health director. Armbruster, who has more than 40 years of experience as a health professional, was a nurse manager with the department and formerly was executive director of the Hemophilia Outreach Center.Source:
Doug Schneider, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin | March 16, 2016 | www.greenbaypressgazette.com
Professional Caution to Brown County Health Department
from National Wind Watch
Author: Rand, Robert
I respectfully provide this letter in support of the many adversely impacted neighbors of Shirley Wind, and investigators and researchers including Richard James, Steven Cooper, Paul Schomer and colleagues who participated in the 2012 cooperative noise study at Shirley.
I understand that following receipt of numerous carefully submitted documents and letters of evidence, on December 15, 2015, Health Officer Chua Xiong stated:
“Presently, there is insufficient scientific evidence-based research to support the relationship between wind turbines and health concerns.”
Disbelieving that someone charged with protecting public health and welfare could issue such a dismissive statement following receipt of overwhelming direct evidence from neighbors and researchers who investigated Shirley, I waited for a couple of months in the chance that she might withdraw her statement. That hadn’t happened.
I am personally aware of the adverse health impacts having experienced them myself at Shirley. I had previously sent a detailed letter to Health Officer Xiong on September 30, 2015 providing an extensive summary of the health effects both observed and experienced directly during noise investigations at Shirley.
Health Officer Xiong apparently elected to completely disregard the information and professional experience obtained at personal health cost at Shirley and compiled and sent to her. She has apparently elected to disregard the enforcement powers authorized to her department, power which if exercised, could reduce or eliminate health harm. That tells me something is seriously wrong and neighbors are being endangered.
Under the INCE Rules Of Practice, I must notify appropriate authority if my professional judgment is being overruled under circumstances where the public safety, health, property or welfare are endangered. There is no question, and can be no question, that neighbors in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility have reported serious adverse impacts when in proximity to the operating turbines which are alleviated when at sufficient distance.
Therefore I must provide to the Board this formal professional caution.
I respectfully submit this professional caution as an interested party and Member of the Acoustical Society of America and the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, in response to the recent statement by Health Officer Xiong related to wind turbines and adverse health effects in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility.
As a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE), I am pledged to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. I take these words and this responsibility seriously, as anyone who has worked with me will tell you.
Based on the findings and personal experiences of motion sickness at Shirley correlated to power output, I concur with the Board determination of Health Hazard. As an INCE Member I can find no credible rationale for permitting continued community exposure to the potential for motion sickness evidenced by the research and actual neighbor reports when wind turbines are operated at partial power or higher.
I hereby notify the Board that my professional judgment has been overruled by Brown County Health Officer Xiong with her statement of December 15, 2015.
On behalf of the neighbors and my colleagues who have worked hard to inform all parties, and in vigorous defense of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering members, principles, and ethical practices to protect public safety, health and welfare, I object in the most strenuous terms to the statement by Health Officer Xiong.
I must warn the Board that the choice of inaction appears certain to worsen, not lessen, the health impacts being reported in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility in Brown County.
In my line of work, there is no excuse for harming neighbors; most certainly no excuse available to a health officer who should be held to an even higher standard of conduct.
Download original document: “Robert Rand letter and formal caution to Brown County Board of Health”
From: National Wind Watch
Legislation would apply to existing renewable plants
One of Europe’s most promising markets for renewable energy is being threatened by legislation that would impose new fees and potential jail terms for operators of wind farms, an industry lobby group said.
Poland’s governing Law and Justice Party is proposing laws that would require new turbines to be situated away from homes, schools and natural reserves at a distance of more than 10-times their height. That would be about 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles), according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The law also would subject existing wind farms to audits every two years....the rules would be applied retroactively to existing plants,
full story at: National Wind Watch and original source: Bloomberg
February 29, 2016 by stopthesethingsThe Poles have an Ombudsman gifted with grace and integrity enough to stand up for their inalienable human rights.
Poland’s ombudsman stands up for the rights of residents living near wind farms
21 February 2016
How can we help people who have wind turbines above their homes?
Earlier this month Poland’s Commissioner for Human Rights (CHR) addressed this question to three competent Ministers, for the Environment, Infrastructure and Construction, and Health, demanding that the rights of people residing in the vicinity of wind farms be adequately protected.
The official website of Poland’s CHR explains (in English) that:
The Commissioner’s Office receives more and more letters from citizens complaining about a deterioration of their health due to the wind turbines’ influence, as well as about the wind farm locating and building procedures. During a meeting with dr. Bodnar, the residents of the Suwałki Region also expressed their concern about the safe placement of wind farms. The Commissioner has contacted the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction on that matter. (https://www.rpo.gov.pl/en/content/rights-residents-living-near-wind-farms).
The page also includes links to a report on dr. Bodnar’s meeting with residents of the Suwalki region and to the three official intervention letters addressed to the Ministers for the Environment, Infrastructure and Construction, and Health.
Importantly, this is the second time that a Polish Ombudsman has intervened on behalf of the people affected by the untrammelled construction of wind farms in Poland.
In August 2014 the then Commissioner for Human Rights, professor Irena Lipowicz, wrote a letter to Polish Prime Minister demanding the introduction of proper setbacks from residences.
The letter stated that “since the current legislation does not provide for the minimum distances from residential areas to be observed in the siting of wind farms, there exists a risk of violation of the constitutional rights to the protection of health and to the legal protection of human life (Articles 68 and 38, respectively of the Constitution of Poland)”.
The 2014 letter further pointed out that:
As numerous scientific publications demonstrate, wind turbines unquestionably impact human health by emitting low frequency noise, infrasound, acoustic and optical impacts or pulsation […]
[Therefore,] the Commissioner for Human Rights asks for immediate action to be taken with a view to developing and systematizing technical norms that may afford an adequate level of protection to the health of residents living in the area adjacent to wind farms.
This letter in Polish can be found here:http://www.brpo.gov.pl/pl/content/do-prezesa-rady-ministrow-ws- uregulowania-minimalnych-odleglosci-farm-wiatrowych-od-zabudowy
That letter sent to the Prime Minister Donald Tusk by Ombudsman Lipowicz in mid-2014 did not prompt the then coalition government of the Civic Platform and the Polish Peasant Party to take any significant steps to comprehensively address the regulation of siting wind farms in Poland. As a result, in early 2016 wind farms are still being built as close as 300 metres from human dwellings.
It is important to note that both Polish Ombudsmen, prof. Lipowicz in 2014 and dr. Bodnar at present, are appointees of the ruling coalition that lost power in the Fall 2015 to the Law and Justice Party.
Moreover, the Law and Justice Party opposed the appointment of Dr Bodnar in 2015 on the grounds that his leftist views are not representative of the Polish public opinion. This shows that the issue of wind farm regulations transcends any political or ideological divides in Poland.
It is also worth recalling that former Prime Minister Tusk is the current President-in-Office of the Council of the European Union.
Regional newspaper Współczesna.pl interviewed some of the residents whose plight prompted Ombudsman Bodnar to intervene with the government ministers.
One local resident, Elzbieta Pietrolaj, whose farm is surrounded by five wind turbines, one of which is located 450 metres from her home, said: “With the slightest breeze you can’t sleep a wink because of the booming noise.”
The newspaper explains that Ms Pietrolaj is ailing. “I am constantly nervous. In these conditions it is difficult to get better.” (source:http://www.wspolczesna.pl/wiadomosci/suwalki/art/9414563,wiatraki-na-suwalszczyznie-mieszkancy- wiatraki-zabraly-cisze-marzenia-i-spokoj,id,t.html).
We encourage international media to contact the office of Commissioner for Human Rights for further information:
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Aleja Solidarności 77
phone (+ 48 22) 55 17 700
fax (+ 48 22) 827 64 53
Article authored by: stopwiatrakom.eu firstname.lastname@example.org
from: WeAreGreenBay.com By Jordan Lamers
Imagine not being able to sleep because pulsating vibrations ripped through your home every night. For many local families, it's all too real.
"What do I see? I see 400 foot vicious dogs tied up in my backyard."
One family was so affected by the turbines, they had to abandon their home. They still return when they need something, but they make payments on a desolate house.
But people living near wind farms say otherwise. And the problem isn't just in Brown County.
"it's a constant stress -- and you feel it, and you hear it." "there's certain people that are very sensitive to it, doesn't bother my husband at all, as you can see it drives me nuts," said Joan Lagerman, who lives among the 88 turbines in Fond Du Lac county. "When you leave and get away from it, you don't have the pressures, you don't have the headaches, you don't have the ringing of the ears, those kinds of things, you cant sleep at night."
In a study performed in Pennsylvania by Dr. Oguz A. Soysal, Professor and Chairman of the Dept. of Physics and Engineering at Frostburg State University in Maryland, sound levels were measured half a mile away from Meyersdale's 20 turbine farm.
in the report, normal audible levels were found in the 50-60 dB range, while low frequency levels were found around 65-70 range. In that report, they say 65-70 dB is the loudness of a washing machine, vacuum cleaner, or hair dryer.
The World Health Organization recommends, the level of continuous noise outside a dwelling should be 45 dB or less, and inside, 30 dB or less.
read more with video at http://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/special-report-an-ill-wind
Area-Wide Concerned Residents of Huron County
We are pleased to announce that we are scheduled to make a presentation in front of the Huron County Board of Health on Industrial Wind Turbines and Health Affected Residents of Huron County. As a member of the public, you are cordially invited to attend. The meeting will be held at 9 am., March 3, 2016, Huron County Health Unit, 77722B London Road, Clinton, Ontario.
One of the challenges facing the residents of Huron County, which impacts our community in a significant way, is families living near industrial wind turbine projects and experiencing negative health effects. More experts are recognizing that the negative health concerns will have to be addressed. See: Recognizing health concerns in wind energy development a key recommendation in new study Jan. 26, 2016http://phys.org/news/2016-01-health-energy-key.html Dr. Janice Owens, Acting Huron County Medical Officer of Health, cited the following article in her February monthly report: Systematic Review 2013: Association between Wind Turbines and Human Distress by Ian Arra , Hazel Lynn, Kimberley Barker, Chiebere Ogbuneke, Sophie Regalado. The review concluded, “The peer-reviewed studies we reviewed provide reasonable evidence (Levels Four and Five) that an association exists between wind turbines and distress in humans.” http://docs.wind-watch.org/Arra-Lynn-Review.pdf
To date, there is nowhere affected citizens can turn for help. The Province of Ontario directs residents to the MOECC. The MOECC has failed to act even when their own employees found wind turbines to be out of compliance. Plus, the MOECC does not handle health issues. The failure by the province to address health concerns has caused many small grass root groups to be formed. However, small groups are easily ignored. Our group is trying to bring these small groups together in Huron County to make one voice. Our group has two goals: 1) to improve the quality of life of residents in our county whose health has been adversely affected by wind turbines. 2) to educate the public on the health effects caused by misplaced wind turbines. We have recently reached out to groups in Bruce County.
As more wind turbine projects come on-line, more citizens are having negative health effects. These residents should be able to live in their homes without having to experience ill health effects caused by misplaced wind turbines. The people were promised safe green energy when wind turbines were proposed. Waiting years for the Health Canada study is not an option when people are suffering now. Solutions, not more studies, are needed. The affected residents need politicians and people to start caring.
Area-Wide Concerned Residents of Huron County
Gerry Ryan – Huron East
Jeanne Melady – Former Huron East
Mike Stachura – Ashfield-Colburne-Wawanosh
Pauli Sommer – Ashfield-Colburne-Wawanosh
Patti Kellar – Bluewater
As wind energy development blossoms in Canada and around the world, opposition at the community level is challenging the viability of the industry. A new study with research from the University of Waterloo, published in Nature Energy, identifies four major factors leading to disputes over wind farms, and offers recommendations on avoiding disagreements.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-health-energy-key.html#jCp