ERT Case No.




August 16, 2013

ESTHER WRIGHTMAN 1516 Napperton Dr. Kerwood, ON N0M 2B0 Tel: (519) 247 3541 Email:


APPELLATE BODY: Secretary, Environmental Review Tribunal 655 Bay Street, Floor 15 Toronto, ON M5G 1E5 Tel.: (416) 314-4600 Fax: (416) 314-4506 Email:


ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER OF ONTARIO: Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 1075 Bay Street, Suite 605 Toronto, ON M5S 2B1 Tel.: (416) 325-3377 Fax: (416) 325-3370



APPROVAL AUTHORITY: Vic Schroter Director, Section 47.5 Environmental Protection Act Ministry of the Environment 2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A Toronto, ON M4V 1L5 Tel.: (416) 314-8573 Fax: (416) 314-8452 Email:


APPROVAL HOLDER: Kerwood Wind Inc. 390 Bay Street, Suite 1720 Toronto, Ontario M5H 2Y2

(i) Contact Information (a) Name and contact information of the Appellant Esther Wrightman 1516 Napperton Dr. Kerwood, ON N0M 2B0 Tel: (519) 247 3541 Email:

(ii) Renewable Energy Approval Being Appealed 1. The Appellant is appealing the decision of the Director to issue a Renewable Energy Approval to Kerwood Wind Inc. (the “Proponent”) to engage in the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of up to thirty-seven (37) turbines, rated at 1.6 MW generating output capacity, with a total name plate capacity of 59.9 MW in the Municipality of North Middlesex and the Township of Adelaide-Metcalfe, County of Middlesex, Ontario (the “Project”). 2. A copy of the instrument decision notice under appeal is attached, being Renewable Energy Approval Number 6465-8XGLQT, issued August 1, 2013 to the Proponent - EBR Registry Number 011-7625, posted to the Registry on August 1, 2013. (iii) Portions of the Renewable Energy Approval being Appealed 3. The portions of the Renewable Energy Approval that the Appellant is appealing are the following sections: a. Terms and Conditions: i. A – General – A1 and A8.


ii. C - Noise Performance Limits – C1, C3 and C4. iii. D –Acoustic Audit – Immission and Emission (Transformer Substations) – D1 iv. E – Acoustic Audit - Emmission (Wind Turbines) – E1 and E2 v. F – Acoustic Audit – Immission (Wind Turbines) F1 vi. K – Natural Heritage and Pre and Post Construction Monitoring – K1 – K15 vii. O - Operation and Maintenance – O1, O2 and O3. viii. P - Record Creation and Retention – P3. b. c. Schedule A – Facility Description Schedule B – Adelaide wind farm and Parkhill interconnect substation Coordinates of the Equipment and Noise Specifications d. e. Schedule C – Noise Control Measures Reasons – 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14.

(iv) How Engaging in the Renewable Energy Project in Accordance with the Renewable Energy Approval will Cause Serious and Irreversible Harm to Human Health and Human Habitat; and Plants, Animals, and the Natural Environment.

Wind turbines DO cause harm to human health 4. Industrial Wind Turbines produce exceptional amounts of noise that is unlike any other noise in our

experience. The source of the noise is outside in quiet rural countryside. It is located 100-130m above ground and produces a repetitive, persistent pulse, that continues on through the entire day, and long into the night. 5. People living in wind turbine zones that are exposed to the noise, become severely ill after the wind

turbines are installed and begin to operate. 6. What is certain and compelling is that when wind turbines cease operation, or affected residents travel

away from their home by the turbines (e.g., go on vacation, or move elsewhere), their symptoms disappear now that they are not subject to the constant noise and flicker. 7. This set of circumstances has been proven around the world, as well as locally throughout rural Ontario, for

thousands of people. Just like seasickness, not everyone gets sick. As with any illness, people vary in their reactions at different distances from the IWT’s too. But consistently a significant number of people become profoundly ill, when wind turbines are installed, and it is these people who will suffer severe and irreversible harm to their health.


Wind turbines can, and do, shatter lives.

Precautionary principle is not being followed 8. What has happened in Ontario, is that the burden of proof has been foisted on rural Ontario residents. We

must prove, literally with our lives, with our children’s lives, with our livestock and our wildlife’s lives, that we have severe and irreversible harm done to us by IWT’s. Are there any willing volunteers out there for this job? Is this not the purpose of human rights and health/safety laws in Canada – to prevent humans from being used in scientific experiments against their will? Even with hundreds of people already affected in this province, begging for help, it is still just considered ‘anecdotal’, and ‘unverified’. Residents suffering are not considered ‘scientific’ enough evidence to halt construction. 9. Using the precautionary principle, we do not need to know the mechanism that it is causing harm near wind

turbines to know that there is a cause and effect relationship. If wind turbines were instead, a medication, or a food at a supermarket, and people who were taking/eating these products were becoming severely ill, the government would remove them instantly and halt distribution. But with wind turbines, the opposite occurs in Ontario. Instead, more wind turbines are put up, more people become ill and residents are told by the government to prove exactly what and how these turbines are harming them. 10. We do not even know how far the damage from wind turbines extends. Two kilometers may be enough for

some, five kilometres for others, more than ten kilometres for others still. We all have different levels of tolerance, different weaknesses that make us susceptible to different illnesses. No short, simple “one setback” will protect all people. The incredibly small Ontario setback of 550m leaves many people vulnerable to illnesses caused by wind turbines. All this is explained and documented in Dr. Nina Pierpont’s peer-reviewed, scholarly book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment” (2009). 11. This industrial noise affects many people, and yet is not understood by our government and therefore lacks

meaningful regulation under the Green Energy Act, a politically influenced law, sympathetic to wind turbine proponents. 12. The cause of the harm done in rural communities by wind turbines is not in question. The Thamesville ERT

stated that wind turbines can cause harm to human health. How this damage to health is done should be studied. For us to know this harm is occurring, and what the harm is from, it is impossible to justify installing another wind


development, knowing that someone in its vicinity will suffer the ill effects. It could be my child, it could be my neighbor, father, or someone I’ve never met before. Surely no one the Director has met, but that shouldn’t matter. Just because we do not fully understand the mechanism and cannot accurately predict the full extent of the damage, does not mean we should knowingly allow the harmful machines to be installed where they are capable of creating more severe and irreversible harm to their health. 13. Keep in mind that this is industrial development — the industrialization — of rural communities, in and

among people’s homes, schools, and so forth. The wind developers like to paper over this stark and alarming fact by calling them ‘farms.’ They are not farms; they are ‘wind plants.’ Industrial plants. Huge industrial machines that generate not only electricity but generate (we now know, conclusively) pulsed, tonal, amplitude modulated infrasound with huge sound pressure levels. Yes, all this has been amply demonstrated in Ontario, the USA, and abroad by certified noise engineers. I intend to demonstrate this to the ERT. It is outrageous to place these industrial machines next to my home and my children’s school. Dr. Pierpont, Dr. Amanda Harry, Dr. Sarah Laurie, Dr. David Iser --all of them being physicians, clinicians — have documented the health impacts of wind turbine infrasound on the human vestibular (otolith) organs and other balance/motion/position “sense” organs. There is no reasonable debate on this matter. Pierpont’s research was recently spectacularly confirmed for wind turbine

infrasound by the celebrated American noise engineer, Dr. Paul Schomer, who will be presenting his work in Denver, CO, later this month at the “Wind Noise Conference.” I intend to present Schomer’s evidence to the ERT. 14. 5-30% of the population in wind projects report the same list of symptoms (in variation): sleep disturbance,

headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability, problems with concentration, memory and panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering when awake or asleep, excessive tiredness, loss of quality of life and the further impacts that these effects can lead to, these being increased morbidity and significant chronic disease and health effects. 15. Dr. Nina Pierpont surveyed residents in a wind turbine site and asked the residents to describe their

symptoms. Her peer reviewed study alerted the world to the escalating problem she saw with industrial wind turbines near humans. Dr. Pierpont also noted the limitations of her study (modest sample size) and encouraged others to “reproduce” her studies to validate her findings. Other researchers have validated her findings, and no researcher has invalidated her conclusions, so the studies continue and the reality of Wind Turbine Syndrome grows larger.



These health effects are caused by exposure to infrasound, low frequency noise, audible noise, visual

impact, shadow flicker, stray current and/or electromagnetic fields. The pulsed tonality and lack of nighttime abatement are factors which also contribute to negative health impacts. 17. These health effects occur at sound levels starting at approximately 30 dbA, which is lower than the levels

permitted by the Renewable Energy Approval for the Project. These effects are also known to occur at distances of up to 10 kilometres, which is much greater than the set-backs prescribed for the Project of 550m. 18. If between 5% and 30% of individuals at points of reception experience the health effects enumerated

above, the impact of the Project on human health will be serious, and even catastrophic to a community. For a second, let’s try and imagine 30% of Toronto becoming ill from an industrial development. 19. The Adelaide Wind Energy Centre will surround the Adelaide W.G. MacDonald elementary school, where

216 students, including my two children, attend. Eleven turbines will be located within two kilometres of the school. According to Pierpont (2009), 5-30% of these students will have their health negatively impacted by the wind turbines. Not just while they are at school, but when they return home, as by far the majority of the students will have turbines behind their homes, 24/7. They will be living and physiologically maturing in this acoustically toxic environment. The harm that this development will cause these children will be severe and irreversible, according to Pierpont (2009). Sleep disturbance alone will affect their ability to concentrate and learn. When did it become acceptable to impose noisy, flickering machines on young children, day after day? My children will not be the Ontario government’s guinea pigs for this ‘green energy’ experiment. 20. The approval of this development abuses the right to use and enjoy one’s home and property without one’s

home & property being made uninhabitable and unusable by direct and demonstrable health effects from wind turbines. Alongside is the stress of fractured community, families (through conflict and separation) that may never resolve. Safety is a health concern 21. The approval of the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre will pose serious safety issues that will cause serious

harm to human health. 22. Transmission line poles will be located too closely to roads, increasing the risk of serious harm if a vehicle

leaves the roadway. 23. At the distance from property lines and roads wind turbines are planned in the Adelaide Wind Energy


Centre, ice throw, blade throw and tower collapse from the turbines can cause serious harm to humans. 24. Wind turbines catch fire frequently, putting human health and safety at risk of severe harm. As well,

wildlife, livestock, natural areas and crop land are at risk of severe harm with the large, uncontrollable fires rage on, to high for fire equipment to reach. 25. Collector transmission lines will be buried without cement casing, increasing the likelihood of risk to

human health and safety when workers are digging in the area. 26. Shadow flicker will cover major highways and roads, as well as residences, farms and businesses. For

people sensitive to flickering light (e.g., people with a seizure disorder and migraineurs), the likelihood of serious harm to human health and safety caused by the reaction to this flicker is present. Animals health, safety and habitat at risk 27. The Adelaide Wind Energy Centre poses serious and irreversible harm to wildlife, livestock, and household

pets in the project area and outside of the project area when cumulative impacts are taken into consideration. Bats, eagles, and other flora and fauna are at risk from the development of the wind turbines, transmission lines, substations, access roads and other general destruction and disruption made by the wind company. 28. The Parkhill Interconnect Substation in the Project is proposed to be 187m from an active bald eagle nest.

This is too close by provincial standards. The nest was missed by the Proponent when surveying the wildlife in the Adelaide-Parkhill area. This is not the first time NextEra has missed locating a large eagle nest. The proponent missed surveying a bald eagle nest in their project in Haldimand County, and its solution was to cut down the nest on January 5, 2013. With only 56 active eagle nests in southwestern Ontario, this one corporation has the ability to cause serious and irreversible harm if it continues with this development, especially when the cumulative impacts of destruction and habitat loss are weighed. With over 280 wind turbine planned for the area surrounding this eagle nest, the idea that the pair can easily and safely locate elsewhere has become next to impossible (Wiegand, personal communication). 29. Bats, raptors, and songbirds have been shown to be slaughtered in significant, even catastrophic (in terms

of species survival), numbers by IWT’s. It’s also been shown that all manner of wildlife, besides avian species, will simply leave the affected area. For wildlife, leaving a habitat is tantamount to a death sentence (Pierpont 2009). Appellant also includes any other issues that the community feels would cause harm to human health and safety, and the Plants, Animals and the Natural Environment.


Human habitat at risk 30. The close proximity and inadequate setbacks of Next Era’s proposed turbines from numerous occupied

homes (including mine) plus an elementary school, most definitely constitute an impairment of the quiet use and enjoyment of the indoor living environment and outdoor living space of homeowners and occupants, along with the quiet use and enjoyment and proper learning environment for school children in the MacDonald School. This impairment can and does take many forms of bona fide nuisance and/or trespass, ranging from visual intrusion of flicker to audible and sub-audible noise impacts, as well as the real estate stigma based on an increasing level of public knowledge and understanding of the relationship between various forms or types of sound and health impacts. Setbacks are not only a land-use compatibility issue, they are inextricably intertwined with the local environment, from a real estate appraisal and consulting perspective. Beyond public safety and health, the welfare of a community or area can, in part, be measured economically, and any loss of property value due to any natural or human caused changes in the local environment can be considered a significant environmental impact. 31. There is another concern. A review of the website,, amply demonstrates

that many people in Ontario (and scores more in the USA, Australia, the UK, and Europe) have been forced to abandon their homes — literally, walk away from them, leaving them unsold and unused) because the occupants are suffering from what is commonly called in the media and medical literature, “wind turbine syndrome” (Pierpont 2009). Many more people here in Ontario and Nova Scotia and around the world have been forced to sell their homes at up to 40% devaluation simply to leave these, now, acoustically toxic places of residence — of habitat, if you will. And many have been bought out by the wind developers for undisclosed sums and under undisclosed terms — undisclosed because of the routine “gag” clauses insisted upon by the wind developers. 32. Human beings are creatures, not unlike wildlife. One’s home is one’s habitat where one actually lives, eats,

sleeps, thrives, makes a living, nurtures a family, grows old, and so forth. To be driven from one’s habitat (home & property) by the intolerable effects of wind turbine syndrome, discussed above, constitutes an environmental catastrophe for such victims. In short, being forced to abandon or sell at catastrophic prices one’s habitat and move away to a different habitat (away from community, from one’s job, from schools, churches, etc.) is, by definition, an environmental catastrophe for such individuals. It is equivalent to “loss of habitat” for wildlife. 33. For this reason, it is essential to consider what is commonly called “property devaluation” in this hearing,

since “property devaluation” is merely a different way of acknowledging and measuring (quantifying) “habitat


destruction” for human beings. 34. And any such further facts and grounds as the Appellant may advise.

(v) Issues and Material Facts (a) Issues Issue #1: Will the project as approved cause serious harm to human health? Sub-issue #1(a) - Will the project as approved cause serious harm to human health of non-participants? Sub-issue #1(b) - Will the project as approved cause serious harm to human health if the Approval Authority is unable to properly predict, measure or assess sound from the facilities including audible noise, low frequency noise and infrasound? Issue #2: Will the project as approved cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment?

(b) Material Facts Issue 1(a) – Serious Harm to Human Health 35. The Appellant repeats and relies upon the material facts set out in paragraphs 1 through and including

paragraph 35 above. 36. In addition, the Appellant states and the fact is that previous projects approved using the same or similar

sound levels (30 dbA and above) and distance setbacks (550m to 10km), in Melancthon, Kingsbridge I, Talbot Wind, Kruger Energy Port Alma, Clear Creek, Wolfe Island, Ripley, Kent-Breeze MacLeod, Enbridge Ontario Wind Farm, Proof Line One, and Zephyr in Ontario, Pubnico Point in Nova Scotia, Mars Hill, Vinyl Haven and Falmouth, Massachusettes (the “Previous Projects”) have caused serious harm to human health. In addition human health has been devastated in Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and other regions of the world where Industrial Wind Turbines are in operation near homes. 37. The Project as approved will operate at sound levels and setback distances that have been demonstrated to

have caused serious harm to human health at the Previous Projects (Pierpont 2009). The same negative impacts will undoubtedly occur throughout this Project (Pierpont 2009).

Issue 1(b) – Noise Prediction and Measurement 38. Previous Projects have demonstrated that the noise modeling used is inaccurate and under-estimates the


sound levels measured in dbA. Previous Projects have also demonstrated exceedances of approved audible sound levels. 39. In this case, the Approval Authority has no ability to accurately predict or control exceedances in relation

to the Project, thereby allowing serious harm to human health to be caused by the Project. 40. Regarding low frequency and infrasound, Previous Projects have also demonstrated that approval

authorities do not consider and are unable to predict these noise levels. 41. In this case, the Approval Authority has no ability to predict or accurately measure low frequency and

infrasound, and has no standards to apply, thereby allowing serious harm to human health to be caused by the Project. 42. The safety of humans, wildlife, domestic animals and pets in the vicinity of wind turbine developments is

put at risk. The Adelaide Wind Energy Centre will see transmission lines placed along the major roadways in both Adelaide-Metcalfe Township and the Municipality of North Middlesex, greatly increasing the risk of impact if a driver leaves the roadway in an accident. Wind turbines are too close to roadways and property lines to prevent harm in the event of a tower collapse, blade throw, or ice throw. Extensive shadow flicker will be present on major highways such as HWY 402 and the Kerwood Rd, subjecting drivers to strobing flicker, which can severely negatively affect some individuals by triggering migraines and seizures. Issue 2 - Serious harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment 43. The Appellant repeats and relies upon the material facts set out in paragraphs 1 through and including

paragraph 43 above. 44. The Appellant states that the wind turbine development and its related infrastructure will cause serious and

irreversible harm to the wildlife populations, as an individual project and cumulatively with other wind developments in rural Ontario. Safeguards are demonstrably inadequate to protect wildlife from wind turbine development in Ontario.

(vi) Relief Requested The Appellant requests that the Environmental Review Tribunal revoke the decision of the Director to issue a Renewable Energy Approval to the Proponent to engage in the Project.


(vii) The Appellant Will Seek a Stay The Appellant will be seeking a stay of the decision.