As part of the approval process for the Amherst Island wind project the proponent must undertake a study of the heritage properties on the island. The proponent farmed this task out to a consultant, Stantec, who then produced the Heritage Assessment (52 MB). Stantec did a 2-day survey back in July of 2011 and came up with 23 island properties (a 24th property was on the mainland) that they judged to be “heritage resources” along with 4 “Cultural Heritage Landscapes”.
One of the properties was 2750 Front Road, now owned and occupied by realtors David and Diane Hieatt. Their property was listed as BHR (Built Heritage Resource) #6, described in their section 5.3.6, on their pages 53-56 (PDF pages 52-55). They also have a map showing its location in their Figure 4, on PDF page 24.
The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, APAI and the Loyalist Council are all on record as considering the proponent’s studies incomplete and error-prone. 2750 Front Road stands as a glaring example of just how error-prone these studies are. You see, Stantec GOT THE WRONG HOUSE.
The picture in 5.3.6 is in fact 2750 Front Road, and the description sort of matches as well. But the map in Figure 4 indicates that BHR #6 is the home of Paul and Gwen Lauret, at 1900 Front Road. The description in 5.3.6 has a number of errors, as if they co-mingled the homes. But one thing is certain – the distances they quote to the nearby turbines were figured using the Lauret’s home.
You can imagine the surprise and outrage of the Hieatt’s. This project not only puts their amenity and health at risk, it also puts their very home at risk. Perhaps most galling of all is how Stantec explains away all of these risks and in the end concludes that things will be just fine. After all, Stantec is being paid by the proponent and the proponent isn’t going to pay for unfavorable studies.
The Hieatt’s wrote a submission to the EBR explaining all this and I am pleased to include it here. There is no way to spin your way out of this – the study is in error. It will be interesting to see how the MOE handles this. Will they care? I’m betting not – they haven’t seemed to care about anything except getting the approvals done before the next election.
David and Dianne Hieatt, submission to the MOE
Some members of APAI (the anti-project group, the Association to Protect Amherst Island) decided to send a one-pager to all the island residents letting them know what to expect in terms of noise and flicker. As they dove into the developer’s noise map and flicker study they quickly discovered that the noise map was largely unusable and the flicker study made no sense.
As a result, one Deborah Barrett, who fairly recently moved to the island, wrote a letter to Doris Dumais at the MOE, stating that in view of such shoddy work the application ought to be deemed incomplete and returned to Windlectric/Algonquin. The letter is six well-written pages long and is very readable, and it gives you a sense of just how uncaring/careless/arrogant/entitled (your pick) the wind project developers are.
Barrett, Letter to Doris Dumais
Windlectric/Stantec/Hatch, Design and Operations Report. The map in question is on pdf page 124 of the 147 pages.
Windlectric/Hatch, Flicker Study. Their table B.1 lists the amounts of flicker the affected receptors get, and it makes no sense.
John Harrison has been studying the noise produced by wind turbines for a number of years. Recently he submitted a report to the Ontario MOE going over (yet again) the many reasons the actual measured noise levels are far above what the Ontario noise limits and even farther above what was predicted by the proponents. He has every reason to believe that the actual noise levels that will be experienced by many of the residents of Amherst Island will likewise be above Ontario’s limits.
His evidence for this belief is substantial. In this report he presents 3 case studies where the measured noise levels were above Ontario’s limits. Two of those case studies (Lormand/Ashbee and Libby) have appeared on windfarmrealities previously. Added is a case study at an unknown location in the Melancthon area.
If history is any guide, the MOE will do everything in their power to deny the obvious in their zeal to keep the wind turbines turning. With this report, along with many others, they cannot claim ignorance. So allowing the violations must be willful. I’d think there would be a lawsuit in there somewhere.
Harrison, SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL COMPLIANCE TESTS
The Amherst Island Public School is a small but vital part of the community, providing a fine elementary education for out children. Unfortunately Algonquin, the project developer on the Island, seems to not share the same interest in their education as the people who live there. Their plans call for placing a wind turbine 563 metres from the school. Continue reading And the children?
Several months ago APAI had their lawyer, Eric Gillespie, send a letter to Algonquin concerning Algonquin’s misrepresentation of the health risks implicit with the Amherst Island project. More recently APAI sent a letter that mentioned work by John Harrison that had previously been sent to Algonquin that laid out the reasons why the noise from the project will very likely be out of compliance. It put Algonquin on notice that APAI has made arrangements to have a qualified noise expert come in for compliance testing, and maybe Algonquin ought to be very carefully considering the ramifications.
The Gillespie Letter
John Harrison has been studying the propagation of noise over water for some time. The recent push to get the moratorium lifted and use the project as a “test bed” is a cynical attempt to get this project in, and once it’s in the developers are betting (probably correctly) that no matter how destructive its operation is it won’t be shut down.
He has prepared an 8-page report that details just how loud this project is likely to be on the neighboring islands, Wolfe and Amherst.
Harrison, Sound Propagation from Off-Shore Wind Turbine Arrays
John has written a letter to Algonquin and Stantec informing them of the very real possibility that their turbines will be out of compliance with Ontario’s noise limits and thus will have to shut down. As always, it is well-written and as far as I can tell is absolutely accurate. What he has left out is the recent findings concerning infrasound as documented in the McPherson Study.
He also includes a brief synopsis of some questions and non-answers he got at the open house on December 5.
Link to the Harrison Noise Letter