Melanchthon 2 Wind Mill Projects
July 15, 2009
Hello, my name is Roger Oliveira and I had a dream.
I knew in my early 20’s that I wanted to move north and build my dream home. I was born and raised in the City, but undeniably a country boy at heart. I worked with my Father who was a Carpenter by trade for most of my life, and I naturally followed in his footsteps. This gave me the skill set and knowledge required to be able to one day realize my dream.
It was the late 1990’s, and me in my early 30’s, I was financially ready and began looking for the perfect spot. I would need to be close enough to the city to commute for work, but far enough north to enjoy the country living lifestyle that I had been dreaming of for 10+ years now. My search took me all over northern Ontario and was a 3 year process.
Finally in 2001… I found it!! A 1 acre corner lot located in the Township of Melancthon. The next step was to go thru the process of obtaining building permits and designing my home. For anyone who has gone thru this process, they will tell you that it is lengthy and sometimes frustrating, but worth the reward in the end (or at least suppose to be). In 2002 I started construction on my out building and in 2004 my home.
It was 2005 when I first caught a glimpse of phase 1. I was on my way home from work and saw these massive windmills being erected. I began to make inquiries and came to find out that Melancthon Township had become the new home of a Canadian Hydro Wind Farm.
I had, and still have, a hard time understanding how this could have happened without me knowing. After speaking with the Township and asking this very question, they informed me that the residents of Melancthon were indeed notified. Unfortunately for me the means of notification were not (in my opinion) appropriate.
The notification process consisted of:
1) A notice being posted on the Township website.
2) Notices being posted in the local newspaper.
3) A blurb in the Township newsletter that comes in the mail with your Property Tax Bill.
At no point in time was there ever a notice or letter sent to me, at my home. It was assumed that I would come across one of these methods of notification. I feel that this was very presumptuous of the Township and Canadian Hydro, this information SHOULD have been shared with residents via direct mail, not left to the possibility that one might come across it.
So here I am, not even half way thru building my home and now I have these industrial turbines almost, but not quite, in my backyard. After much soul searching I decide to forge ahead, block out the images and concentrate on the things that reminded me of why I fell in love with this land. Difficult as it was I managed not to lose sight of my dream.
In early 2006, comes the news of phase 2… They are not done yet! And this time they will be right in my backyard, front yard, and both sides of my house. I am surrounded.
Now the turbines in phase one have been operational for approximately 1 year and residents have had an up close and personal experience with these massive industrial machines. They have quickly come to realize that they are not all they were cracked up to be.
After attending the Township and planning meetings for phase 2, there was definitely not a positive reaction to the news of more noise makers moving into Town. Residents managed to put up enough of a fight to halt it for a short period of time, but it is very difficult to fight a Township that wants the revenue that is being offered, and a Corporation the size of Canadian Hydro. The offer is too good, the corporation is too strong, and eventually politics and money win out over many of the resident’s wishes.
In December 2008 phase 2 went operational, and since then I have not slept thru the night. I have had to go to the doctor and have sleeping pills prescribed so that I can get to sleep, but I am inevitably awakened each night.
My quality of life and enjoyment of my land and home has been adversely affected. I no longer look forward to coming home. I get a better night sleep in the city (go figure) and will spend some nights there, but why should I be run out of my home?
Summer is now upon us, I have always looked forward to this time of year. I look forward to the smells and sound, and being able to open all my windows and use mother nature’s air conditioning. For this reason I do not have A/C in my home. Now the wind that I look so forward to each summer has become my enemy and the sweet sounds of summer can no longer be heard for the noise of the massive industrial machines that surround me.
I have become intimately aware of the negative effects involved with living in a wind farm. If I yearn to hear the sounds of nature, I have to put my T.V. on the nature channel, turn it up, and close my windows and doors. I live in the middle of the Country!
The more I know, the worse the scenario is. I live in the middle of what sounds like an Airport only worse, at least if I lived next to the airport I would get a break every 30 seconds, and have ‘No Fly’ times in the night so that I could sleep. Between the constant whooshing that echoes thru the skies 24/7, and the humming sound that is omitted from the mechanics of the turbines 24/7, I have gone from being a very easy going and relaxed person to struggling on a daily basis with anything from stress to depression to anxiety over the thought of losing everything that I have worked for. In addition to this I now struggle daily with the effects of sleep deprivation, such as persistent headaches, ringing in my ears, digestive problems and chronic upset stomachs, to name a few. I have gone from being a healthy, lively and happy person to having all of these symptoms happen to me all at once, and persist for months on end. It is all a little too coincidental, don’t you think? Even guests to my home experience similar symptoms when they stay for more than a day.
I lay awake at night and trying to figure out why this has happened. I have come here to realize what has been my dream for over 20 years, and it has turned into what would be a nightmare if I could sleep. Where do I go from here? I am not only financially bound to my home, but emotionally torn. As I consider my options (none of them good) I cry.
The Ironic thing about it is that I am not even done yet. Just to add a little insult to injury, I have to now finish my dream so that I can walk away from it for the sake of my health.
Why was there not a proper investigation done into potential health risks to people BEFORE putting these massive industrial machines in people’s backyards. There is/was so much research available from existing wind farms around the world, yet none of it was taken into consideration. Had it been, they would not be so close to residences. The required setback in phase 1 was 400 meters, and was increased to 450 meters for phase 2. This is crazy, the Provincial Government is now ‘Proposing’ a setback of 850 meters from a residence, with a wind farm of this size, and even this is to close.
I have a total of 9 turbines immediately surrounding me, on all 4 corners of my property. #1. @ 481.8 metres, #2. @ 563.9 metres, #3. @ 576.2 metres and #4. @ 619.6 metres. Beside turbine #2 is another one @ 700.5 metres. The remaining 4 did not have distance readings available at the Township office, but are not too far from the 5 listed here (see map). I cannot go onto my property any time of the night or day ever again and experience the peaceful serenity and sounds of nature that made me fall in love with this place, and want to build my dream home here.
My goal with this letter is to bring awareness to the issues that I and many others are dealing with. For those that don’t live in the middle of a wind farm, but merely drive thru one once in a while, my situation would be hard to understand. It is quite an awe to see for the occasional passer-by, but there is far more to this than meets the eye.
For the land owners that have agreed to have these turbines on their property, I would be curious to know, how much was my Dream worth? Because it is worthless to me now, and what is Canadian Hydro and Melanchthon Township prepared to do to rectify this monumental mistake that has been made.
EMG# 077409 RR5 7th Line, Dundalk, Ontario N0C 1B0