by Kate Proctor in Better Farming
Both animal and human health is suffering from stray voltage that can cause catastrophic problems in the barn. But nailing down the precise causes and where the responsibility lies has proved a long and difficult struggle. Driven out of business as a result of a raft of health and behaviour problems suffered by their herd, beef producers Ross and Darlene Brindley are suing Hydro One Networks Inc. and Edmonton Power Corporation (EPCOR) for a hefty $5 million. They claim that stray voltage from EPCOR’s wind turbines not only destroyed their herd, but has also had a severe impact on their own health as well. And they are not alone.
Ross and Darlene Brindley farm with their three daughters near EPCOR’s Kingsbridge 1 Wind Power Project northeast of Goderich. A statement of claim filed Oct. 15 in the Superior Court of Justice in Goderich, said that their cattle exhibited aggressive and erratic behaviour, “including the kicking of newborn calves, prolapsed birthing, weight loss, decline in fertility, a high incidence of mastitis, calves being deformed at birth and a high incidence of stillbirths.”
Their suit goes on to say that “the plaintiffs state that the difficulties…did not exist in any similar fashion or degree prior to the onset of the wind farm becoming operational” in the spring of 2006. “Hydro One and EPCOR lines are located within 50 meters of the plaintiff’s premises and residence.”