Changes to Wind Turbine Noise Testing Measures Do Not Go Far Enough

QUEEN’S PARK – The proposed changes to wind turbine noise testing by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) do not go far enough in addressing the negative impacts of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs), says PC Critic for Environment and Cap-and-Trade Lisa Thompson.

The Ministry recently posted its proposed changes to the Environmental Bill of Rights website, but advocacy groups such as Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) have slammed the changes as “minor tweaks,” calling instead for a complete overhaul of the way complaints and compliance issues are investigated.

“Rather than implement any substantial changes to the manner in which IWTs and wind proponent companies operate, Minister Murray is more concerned about signing his next costly green energy contract,” said Thompson. “Meanwhile, Ontarians are being forced to live with increased electricity costs, and to register complaints to a system that is not working. This is completely unacceptable.”

The changes proposed by the MOECC fail to adopt crucial investigation and testing measures, including noise testing under similar weather conditions and at the location identified in a complaint, all-season noise-testing (no testing is currently conducted between December and February when more noise complaints tend to be filed), or testing for low-frequency noise. 

Also of concern is the continued ability of wind companies to conduct their own review of compliance issues, with no defined timelines or verification and oversight of data collection by ministry officials.

“The Environment Minister has a responsibility to ensure that his ministry is investigating and collecting accurate, verified data and addressing the complaints of citizens in a timely fashion,” said Thompson. “Instead, it appears that he is more concerned about the next environmental photo-op than the well-being of Ontarians. The Minister must take immediate action to implement effective investigation and testing mechanisms and address compliance problems and complaints in a timely manner.”