04.15.2011 10:07 AM

“We can no longer live like this”

We at the Daisy Group represent a group of small-town Ontario families.  When we heard their story, we offered to do so pro bono.

I don’t normally put client stuff on my web site, but I’m making an exception in this case, because it’s an extraordinary case.  I’ve just returned from a press conference at Queen’s Park, where these families told the story of what the multinational TransAlta is doing to them.  And how TransAlta has effectively destroyed their lives. It was a very emotional experience for them.

Watch the video, and the read the press release below.  These people deserve help – from their community, from fellow citizens, from governments, from you – in pushing TransAlta into finally giving them some justice.  If you have ideas about how to help us do that, or if you wish to lend support, comments are open.

No one deserves to be forced to live like this.

SICK FROM ELECTRICAL POLLUTION, AMARANTH TOWNSHIP FAMILIES
WANT SUFFERING TO END
Two families call on TransAlta to do the right thing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2011 (Toronto) – TransAlta is making some Ontario families sick with continuous noise and electrical pollution being produced by one of their electrical transformer substations located irresponsibly close to their homes.

The Whitworth and Kidd families, living on the 10th Line in Amaranth Township near Orangeville, Ontario are asking TransAlta to do what is right.

“Before the substation was built next to our homes, we were all healthy,” said Theresa Kidd, “but as soon as it went online, we became very sick. We can no longer continue to live under these conditions and we want TransAlta to relocate our families and livestock to a safe environment and compensation.”

When a single transformer went live at the substation in 2006, the two families began experiencing health problems, such as extreme insomnia, ringing in the ears and internal vibrations. Once the second transformer went live in December 2008, their lives became a living nightmare. The families where suddenly struck with additional health issues, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, anxiety, extreme internal vibrations, and severe headaches.

Originally built by Canadian Hydro Developers in 2006, the substation was purchased by TransAlta in 2009. It was during that year that the Ministry of Environment established regulations stating that transformer substations had to be at least 500 metres from a dwelling if the substation had an acoustical barrier. The substation is 390 metres from the Kidd’s home and 490 metres from the Whitworth’s. By living so close to the substation, both families have been constantly disturbed by the noise and made extremely ill by the electrical pollution coursing through their properties, homes and bodies.

“We are reasonable people, but our situation is no longer liveable,” said Ted Whitworth. “Our families are sick, our farming business has been negatively affected and I fear that I or someone in my family might develop a serious illness like cancer, at any time. We feel like we are living in a microwave. TransAlta must do something to help us.”

Due to sickness, Ted was forced to retire five years earlier than anticipated, causing his family financial difficulties. Both families say that they cannot continue to live under such dangerous and unhealthy conditions. To date, TransAlta has refused to deal with the situation. Both families have spoken out today, because they can no longer continue to live on their properties with a substation in such close proximity. They are asking TransAlta do the right thing and relocate and compensate them, so they can get on with their lives.

For more information, contact:
Jason McCann
Daisy Consulting Group
416 642 3100

55 Comments

  1. eattv says:

    Would it be possible to record a night of the noise, and then set up a decent sized stack of PAs next to the Ontario legislature for playback during lunchtime in order to drum up some public awareness?

    • dave says:

      Nah…I think that Wiebo Ludwig was charged and convicted for doing something like this.
      Doing to them what they are doing to us ain’t allowed.

  2. David says:

    Terrible for the family, If the substation is the problem they should indeed be compensated. The thing I don’t understand is how people all over Toronto live closer to substations without these problems. I wish them all the best .

  3. Harvey Martin says:

    Good, effective communication, Warren. Congratulations on your involvement in a worthy issue.

  4. eattv says:

    Also, if TransAlta is taking the position that the power leakage is not a big deal to them, I’d suggest putting out a tender for the following:

    The Whitworth and Kidd families, living in an area where there is a proven abundance of over-the-air electrical conductivity, are calling for proposals for interested parties in the collection and redistribution of said energy.

    While the electrical power seems to be emanating from the local TransAlta power transformer, TransAlta has made no claim to this power and it is therefore free and clear to collect.

    As such, we request proposals to partner with us in building one or more electrical induction coils to harvest said energy and re-sell it to homes and businesses in the local area. Experienced electrical engineers and technicians only need reply.

    This is real stuff. It’s possible to build an induction coil and grab power out of the air. It has supposedly been done by farmers whose barns lie under high tension wires. Threatening to hit TransAlta in the pocketbook might also be a way of getting someone’s attention. At least it would put them in a position where they would have to admit that the electricity was indeed theirs.

    Here’s some background: http://www.physics.unc.edu/~deardorf/phys25/rwp/exam1rwpsolution.html

    Go get the fu**ers.

    • I mentioned capturing power via a large coil too, but didn’t think pocketbook as you have — that would be a better idea than zapping bugs (but both can be combined) if it could be done economically. Unfortunately you need quite a lot of material to “steal” a lot of power, unless you are very close to the power source.

      If you could get a very large inductive load close enough to the power source you may draw off enough power to matter, or even create a damaging imbalance. Assuming you could achieve either effect, the situation would also be very dangerous – well within the “do not try this at home” warning spectrum.

      Contact your local university and get them to churn the numbers as to what would be needed. Find a prof willing to issue a paper. Maybe they’d be willing to design and even volunteer to build and run an experiment that would have high visual impact. and a design. Raise money from the local community to fund the build. Make some theatre out of it. Get more locals speaking up on behalf of the family… get the community to adopt these affected families.

      • eattv says:

        I wasn’t actually thinking about getting to the point of building the coil; just sending out the RFP and seeing if TransAlta would bite. 😉

  5. Malcolm Barry says:

    It certainly is a terrible way to live and I know nothing about the facts but I wonder what the Municipality has said about this situation. Is there an Ombundsman or their political representative these people can contact? There must be health costs borne by the Govt. and they should possibly start an action to recover the taxpayers costs from this responsible company. The Govt. are going after the tobacco Companies for health costs and this happening is more than Health which is most important.

    • George says:

      I’d be looking to the municipality too. Start there. The health concerns are the same sort we in the country are hearing about wind turbines.
      Any idea how the provincial government has responded to these people?

  6. smelter rat says:

    What’s the health of a few families matter when there are profits to be made? Why won’t anyone think of the shareholders?

    *sarcasm*

  7. I empathize with this family. I won’t buy a home or property near high tension lines or electrical substations, and I don’t think schools, homes, or businesses should be located near them. I’ve got enough electronics (dc and radio frequency) to cause my own personal common sense meter to distrust the official line companies like to spout — that it’s safe.

    No doubt you experts have thought of many approaches but I’m going to throw some stuff out just in case something ‘sparks’ an idea:

    Is the video YouTube viral worthy? It’s interesting and matters to me because I already care about this issue, but is it viral worthy? I don’t think so although we can all help.

    Maybe another could be shot, and other demonstration approaches tried…

    – invite an artist to do something like the following link, but in a way that makes “danger” seem more apparent? Spell out the word Danger? Or SOS? Or Help? Or Transalta Is Killing Us? Or a Skull and Cross Bones image lit by TA emissions generated light? Or…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/bristol/somerset/3509651.stm

    – conduct an experiment or something which can be filmed in a manner more likely to go viral; maybe a very large coil on the property could be used ‘capture’ electricity from the surrounding field; maybe zap bugs with it. Draw the parallel… Transalta doesn’t care about the people any more than if they were ‘bugs’

    – if can be done safely, attempt to measure current flowing through a conductor, or the human body, on the property. What about voltage through other conductors to ground; conductors found in the home (such as the aluminium foil in insulation noted in the thread following). Add images of voltage and current measurements in whatever video expose emerges.

    http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7501919888/m/2151952289

    – seek out other groups who might be farther along

    – drag kids into it. No one wants to see kids being put at risk especially at the hands of a big rich multi-national company like TransAlta.

    – How about a kid in an electric chair labelled with the TransAlta logo and logotype

    TA will never admit to safety concerns. Ever. They are fighting safety concerns all the time. Wind. Coal. Electricity.

    Best you can do is jack up the embarrassment factor to the point where it becomes cheaper to deal than to keep fighting the issue. They’ll have to believe the tactics you develop will lead to ever more convincing tactics and demonstrations such that they’ll want to shut you down by coming to a deal before you get so good at it that other home owners, schools, and affected individuals and groups start clamouring for redress too. Do they have other stations in the local area that are near homes or schools?

    Good luck folks…

  8. fritz says:

    Gord; Your an idiot.

    • fritz says:

      ^Sorry Gord. Let me rephrase that comment so it isn’t seen a personal attack.

      I should have said: Your comment on this subject is idiotic.

      • smelter rat says:

        You were right the first time.

      • Gord, while I agree that the demo doesn’t make clear the case for fear and concern the residents are trying to communicate, the lack of a clear and compelling demo doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

        And for your info, no appliance (nor the service panel nor general wiring) within the average Canadian home is capable of generating the sort of electric field that you are exposed to when near high voltage lines or substations. Spending time near your dishwasher (who has “high voltage appliances” in their home, anyway?) isn’t going to subject you to the same field that comes off transmission lines.

        A question for you Gord – why are you so eager to dismiss the claim, given you clearly have no specific nor technical background in the matter?

        The energy industry – all forms – is well motivated to suppress safety concerns as is the cellular telephone industry as was the refrigeration coolant industry and the pesticide / herbicide industry as is the chemicals industry as is the nuclear industry and many others. Sometimes concerns are not borne out, but often enough they are that we need to sit up and pay attention when credible people come forward with issues.

        We puny humans forget that just three generations ago, less than 100 years, our society was largely agrarian. We’ve dumped a lot of noxious stuff into our environment that messes with health today and may be found to mess with health and environment once enough time passes.

      • Mike_02 says:

        When I wear my CPoC approved tinfoil hat on, my eyes glow red in the dark. Scares the neighbours.

      • Nasty Bob says:

        The energy industry is well-motivated to address safety issues?????

        B.P – Cost cutting- Gulf of Mexico – BOOM !!!!

      • smelter rat says:

        Gord blames the victim again. Asshole.

      • smelter rat says:

        Good doggie. here’s a treat.

      • Gord: “There are plenty of high voltage or amperage devices in a house”

        Name one.

        Hint: In the context of this discussion 120 volts is not considered “high voltage” nor is 240 volts that you might find servicing a clothes dryer or electric range.

        Voltages found in a substation or high voltage transmission line measure in the many thousands of volts – kilovolts. My Google-fu failed me – I was unable to determine what the input, step up or down, and output voltages of the station in question but chances are it is somewhere within the range of 75 – 250 kV or up to 1,000 greater than what is found at the house panel, greater than 2,000 times the voltage you find at an ordinary house outlet.

        Current flow in transmission lines, power stations and other power transmission infrastructure is typically depicted in Mega Volt Amps or MVA. Mega = Millions.

        House service might be 100 – 200 amps depending on age of home. Properly wired and grounded your home isn’t likely to generate unusual amounts of EMF nor are the typical appliances you’ll find. A clock radio most certainly is not emitting a large amount of EMF. A hair dryer might give off a little, enough to detect as static when tuning an empty portion of the AM band on a radio.

        As for the inductive cook top example you’ve cited, a true inductive cook top is a generator of a field by design, but this is far from an apples to apples comparison as the EMF frequencies involved are measured in thousands of Hertz (20 – 60 kHz is typical) as opposed to the the extra-low-frequency range that AC power is found at (60 Hz in your household) and such radio frequency emissions have different properties that need to be considered in addition.

        Note that the common glass-top cooktop is not necessarily an inductive cook top – many people incorrectly assume the two are the same. Many glass-top cooktops produce heat through simple resistive elements embedded below the glass top, making this class of range much more similar to the old style spiral wound electric element range. The EMF produced by these elements is negligible. Of all the examples you’ve cited a true inductive cook top would generate the most significant EMF in the home but also at very high frequencies as compared to AC power.

        Does it matter? No. Someone sensitive to EMF could avoid buying or dispose an inductive cooktop. That same person can’t simply press a button on Craigslist to get rid of the power transmission substation located across from their yard.

        The field density found in your home service is relatively weak. The field density generated by 100 or 500 kV transmission lines or substations carrying many millions of volt-amps of power is relatively strong when compared to what is found in the home, and as you’ve mentioned, the field density gets exponentially stronger the closer you are to the source.

        As for the health impacts, the “tens of billions” spent on studies cited by your friend may or may not refelct reality. Certainly studies have been done; from my own reading on the subject what I’ve noted is that the word “inconclusive” comes up very frequently and that there seem to be a great many studies which are not well crafted, hence the inconclusive results. If tens of billions have been flung at this issue, you’d think they could craft some studies that would produce useful, repeatable, results.

        Does the U.S. National Institute of Health state that EMF has been linked to a slight increase of childhood leukemia? Yes. Is there a conclusive study? No. Does the NIH state categorically that there are no risks associated with EMF (of any type)? No; in fact there are well known risks with certain types of emissions and power levels. Equipment design and operating procedures and, in some cases, licensing deal with those risks. Specifically with regard to low frequency (as found in power line/stations) EMF risk, does the NIH suggest that steps be taken to avoid undue exposure? In some areas of practice there seems to be more self-regulatory practice out there in the field. For example my sister in law is a cancer researcher currently pregnant with twins; she has been advised to avoid operating the MRI at her lab.

        Many of the health studies focus on whether EMF emissions can be tied to increased incidence of specific disease such as cancer. Citing such studies actually misses the point here — the people involved in this fight appear to be sensitive to the 24 by 7 always-on electro magnetic field present at their homes due to the neighboring substation. The feeling of being unwell may be quite real yet never develop into a cancer tomorrow – does this mean their issue doesn’t exist?

        Are humans sensitive to powerful field strength EMF? Yes, and if in doubt I’m sure we can find someone near you to rig up an experiment to show you what being in the wrong place feels like when a strong field density is directed at you. Are some people sensitive to relatively weak field strength EMF? Here there seems to be no clear answer. Many claim to be; some studies have not found the rate of detection to be better than random; some have.

        Could the substation have mechanical / electrical / design faults which are causing it to produce a larger than planned for field strength? Has an independent body reviewed the substation as currently implemented? Could the local installation be such that the field is concentrated in one direction over others? There are all sorts of questions that could and should be asked before dismissing the concerns these families have.

        Getting back to my earlier point about motivation and safety concerns, given modern societies’ dependence on energy, would government and industry be motivated to downplay health concerns? Each will answer this in their own way, but from my perspective, particularly based on the past history of governments and industry including our own, the answer is most certainly yes.

  9. dave says:

    I live in the Ludwig area. He was not, and is not paranoid. I know people who have been affected by the same stuff he and his family were affected by. The companies, the OGC, and the justice system are not here for people.

  10. michael hale says:

    That’s all interesting defense of the multi-national (by the way, we mention how big they are not because it makes them evil, but because it gives you a sense of the money/influence they can bring to bear on issue), but what about the family?

    Remove yourself from your ideology for a moment and say something honest about the impact on the family. That’s what we’re all talking about.

    • A. Marshall says:

      Well, clearly the family needs a tax cut. That’s the answer to everything under the sun in the Conservative playbook. Of course, the corporation needs the cut even more, so the family will have to wait a few years for their turn.

      • fritz says:

        “Well, clearly the family needs a tax cut.”

        ^No no no it’s they need a tax credit. That way the CPC will only have to pay 15 cents on the dollar. 😉

  11. Iris Mclean says:

    Gord, you really are Bill Greenwood, aren’t you?

  12. Namesake says:

    Have the families, esp. the Kidd’s [who live 110 m. closer than the safe guidelines they won’t do the right thing of grandfathering back a couple years] challenge some senior company exec’s to swap homes with them for a month or so (and not just an indiv.: incl. a fully matched family), to put them to the test that it’s completely safe. Make them walk the talk.

    • RLA says:

      It is widely known within the IEEE community that EMF will flouresce bulbs. But only when you stand UNDER the powerlines. 400 metres away, it shouldn’t be. DB.

  13. RLA says:

    Most areas have laws or bylaws that prohibit beaming light into your windows at night. Light *is* electromagnetic radiation.

    If that doesn’t help….

    Build yourself some big inductors, and use the Electro Magnetic Field that has been GIVEN to you to charge the inductors. Use that energy as you see fit, or feed all of it into something that just consumes power like large spaceheaters. When they start complaining that you’re using their energy, ask them to stop projecting their EM field onto your property.

  14. Paul R Martin says:

    Isn’t eectrical power regulated by the Province? How do Provincial authorities stand on this matter?

    • Maureen Anderson says:

      I have been involved with the wind development issue for five years. Believe me, if there was any problem with Dalton’s pet project, word would come down to the Ministries to deny, deny, deny and cover up when necessary. There have been nine families now who have had to abandon their homes because of very poor planning and these wind corporations like Transalta and Suncor riding roughshod over rural Ontarians.

      Our own MPPs ignore the problems under orders from Dalton. We are very used to people like Gord (above). That’s exactly how our own government has treated us for five plus years.

      http://windconcernsontario.org

  15. Aurelia says:

    Warren, just keep doing what you are doing, and TransAlta may move, well, ok, put that video on a website for the families and get them a twitter and FB account…. 🙂

    Also, get some scientists, doctors, etc, on your side. There are plenty who are independant of the companies.

    As for some of the people who wondered why urban electrical transformers don’t do the same thing?

    Extra Insulation + lower energy levels from smaller, more numerous stations, means that urban transformers don’t transmit the same level of electrical energy into the air. They get 2 or 3 or 4 levels of insulation and metal boxes and cement walls and air barriers and sound barriers and other protections that mean urbanites are safer. There are more of us to get sicker, or to get electrocuted if something goes wrong. Fewer people out in the country so companies worry less about upgrades and repairs, and lawsuits. Because they are larger transmission stations, and insulation won’t do it all, they need distance, from homes and people.

    Basically, think proportion.

    One of the worst problems in Ontario in regards to electricity is electrical leakage from poorly maintained transmission wires and transformers, and they resulting loss of electrical power. it’s like burning money, as if we were allowing hundreds barrels of oil to leak from every pipeline, every day forever. (ok, we do that to, but i digress). If we reinsulated and redid our wires everywhere, we could probably lower all of Ontario’s electrical bills. And avoid building some generating plants. 🙂

    I wish them luck Warren.

  16. Dave Wells says:

    Mr. Kinsella, this looks like a job for the Yes Men!

    http://www.yesmen.org

  17. Aurelia says:

    Ok, just double checked with my lovely science whiz son, who looked at the video, read the release and his jaw dropped.

    He is not an engineer, but you’d never know it….and he thinks that this is not just a question of insulation or distance but that the transformers themselves may be damaged or in danger of explosion or fire, because a huge volume of electricity must be floating through the air in order for that to happen. And air is not a good conductor. Other possibilities? Any abandoned mines or quarries underneath them? Water from underground seepage, wells?

    Those families are in danger. And not just from headaches. I wonder if the fire department has the power to go in and inspect it?

  18. pomo says:

    Amazing – you have a capacity to turn off empathy like I have never seen.

    Whatever is up here, these families are in a lot of pain. And your first thought is to defend a corporation? And you go to some extraordinary lengths to do that too. Nickel-and-diming, scab-picking at anything that might support your appalling, deeply one dimensional view of the world as conspiring to take things away from you. Is it ever possible, Gord, that people are harmed by large corporations running over them like roadkill? Is your faith in the ethics of corporate entities and the capitalist machine so unwaivering that you won’t even consider the possibility that these folks might have a point? I don’t know any better about what is happening to them than you, but I don’t know less and I do know this – people do not go from happy. healthy normal human families one day to messed up, disabled, miserable desperate people uploading you-tube videos of them waving bulbs in the air for no reason. And when there is a correlation between that massive change in the health of a group of people and the building of a transformer, coupled with the worsening of their symtoms with another transformer, I think there is something credible worth investigating.

    And if it were you, and you didn’t know why all of a sudden you were unable to work, puking, shitting, rattling inside and watching the rest of your family and others in your community suffer the same, you might suddenly understand how a kneejerk reaction to defend TransAlta might ring a little hollow, a little cold and a little contemptible.

    • smelter rat says:

      Gord’s from Alberta. He’s used to corporate rogering, and has even come to enjoy it.

    • Jan says:

      Well said, pomo.

    • Robin says:

      Gord defended Rush Limbaugh’s jokes at the expense of the Japanese tsunami victims … ’nuff said. But, to boot, see his post the other day when he told us that the “core of human existence” was trade, the market, and the price signal. Gord will defend abstract entities like corporations over individual humans any day, it seems. That’s why right-wing ideology is so morally vacant. Profit before people must be his mantra. He must be appalled that WK and his group is doing something pro bono, what with violating the “core of human existence” and undermining the market and price signal.

  19. michael hale says:

    I think TransAlta has a very big problem on their hands, if only because Warren has left this single post up all day. Like any good comms guy knows, don’t muddle the message. If Warren wasn’t serious about this issue, he would have added other posts and pushed it down the site. But he didn’t.

    TransAlta, you need to know that he is after your ass.

  20. R says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_grid

    Modern power systems and their applications are developed rapidly bringing many obstacles to be considered and solved. Complexities and difficulties for handling these applications make scientists looking for better solutions to get efficient, redundant, and clean power generation. This need requires geographically-distributed power systems to be integrated as a single entity where among the main features of this integration are large data base and computing intensive. Hence the current power systems are incapable to handle integration requirements for both computational power and datasets sizes. Grid Computing is a coming innovative solution. This paper describes grid computing as an efficient computational technology, the research work on why grid computing is needed for modern power systems, what are the major challenges that grid computing is forcing to be integrated into power systems, and how grid computing can be utilized to fulfil the requirement for next efficient power generation.

    cover around those Transformation substation with less emision material polution that robatically measure amount of emision hourly and extra amount emision need to get rid of it or directed toward right energy use control

    Transformation substation :

    http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1576814

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=transformation+substation+photo&hl=en&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=2BKpTa__KobZgQf3oYD0BQ&ved=0CBwQsAQ&biw=1259&bih=515

    http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&biw=1259&bih=515&q=transformation+substation+400+meter+admitted+noise+and+amount+electricity+through+air+will+caused+health+issue&aq=&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=3c5e5770f41ad87

    http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&biw=1259&bih=515&q=transformation+substation+photo&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=3c5e5770f41ad87

    http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&biw=1259&bih=515&sa=X&ei=eROpTdG5MI_rgQeUk_zzBQ&ved=0CBgQvwUoAQ&q=transformation+substation+canada+electrical+through+air+prevention&spell=1&fp=3c5e5770f41ad87

    http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&biw=1259&bih=515&q=transformation+substation+wiki&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=3c5e5770f41ad87

    http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&biw=1259&bih=515&sa=X&ei=HBSpTfaIEcbdgQeT-oD0BQ&ved=0CBQQBSgA&q=transformation+substation+prevention+of+electrical+emission+through+air+wiki&spell=1&fp=3c5e5770f41ad87

  21. R says:

    nusince of even airline is future investment that they need to move out of town
    put area with certain distance to not residence live in close by
    even food industry disposal are far from place people live because of smell

    smell disposal of waste water for slaughter house noise and all need to control
    who was first if person live first then transofomer came second that place need to relocated
    if people came after transformer was built those people mus move out to new location

    people who work in harsh work hazardous environment those employee must get double income and high insurance for their health to cover them

  22. macham says:

    If you want more evidence, these people live directly under a 230 kV transmission line. It’s pretty easy to put on a show like that – just go out in your back yard. And that transmission line has been there for a few decades – long before the transformer was installed.

    Plus, the MOE has required that TransAlta pay for sound studies by a Professional Engineer. They have performed them every three months for over a year and the transformer is well within the MOE guidelines.

    Gord is right. Sometimes the victim should be the accused.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, so if it’s within the government guidelines then it’s fine. Nothing wrong at all here. Problem solved. It’s the families’ fault that they’re sick since it can’t be the guidelines. The guidelines are perfect. Corporate guidelines before families, wouldn’t want to harm the rich, elite shareholders with the health concerns of some irritating humans.

      • macham says:

        Robin, settle down.

        These same guidelines have been applied to thousands of similar installations across Ontario and, in similar fashion, across Canada – if not the world. How come these people are the only ones to exhibit any symptoms? I’m not blaming them but you also have to consider the possibility of a nocebo effect. Please research that to get an alternate hypothesis before you start forming conspiracy theories. There have been many studies using double blind provocation techniques (provocation means turning the stimulant on or off) that demonstrate the nocebo effect. These include cell towers, overhead transmission lines, “dirty electricity” and many pharmaceuticals.

  23. smelter rat says:

    The point is, genius, that the people were there long before the transformers. And just fyi, the odds of Gord being right on any issue are infinitesimal.

    • macham says:

      My point was that the video demonstrated the common effect of a high voltage transmission line. A transmission line has run over the Kidd residence for decades. The addition of a transformer makes no difference at all to the fluorescent tube effect.

      What might make a difference is the sound coming from the transformers but the video has nothing to do with sound. You certainly can’t hear the transformer in the video.

      In a previous post I believe that I demonstrated that the transformer has been fully checked out on a seasonal basis by an acoustical engineering firm under direction from the Ministry of the Environment. The transformer is well under MOE guidelines and those guidelines are the same that are used all over the Province. If the guidelines were wrong, we’d have an epidemic of illness near the hundreds of similar installations.

      I don’t know Gord but I thought that he made a good contribution to the issue.

      • matt says:

        Macham has provided some helpful information here. I’m curious whether there might be a low frequency noise connection; unclear whether the MOE guidelines take that into account if if substations emit it.

  24. Tom Sansone says:

    I’ve heard this plight before, since I live near transnission lines, and a long time friend moved into a house backing onto the transmission lines.
    I am not an expert in this field, but an electromechanical technologist who may add some technical info.

    The answer lays in the electromagnetic field (EMF) and it is not necessarily the noise or voltage, but the current in amperes, especially during peak times.
    The accetable distance should have forecasted the allowable measured reading in milligaus, where 0.0 is always ideal, however, 0.5 to 2.0 could be deemed as save, lol?
    Best to examine the Ontario Electrical Health & Saftey Standard Codes to the area in question and may provide a better understanding to what is safe, but man was not created equal in the exposure of radiation tolerances.

    This link may provide some help.

    http://www.safelevel.com/page10/page10.html

    I hope this helps

  25. wannabeapiper says:

    I believe EMF’s cause Leukemia. I always have. I hope Warren kicks TransAlta’s ass inside out. I also hope some kind of precedent is established and people from electrical field communities start fighting back.
    These companies know that the average person can not sustain a legal fight and will probably die before anything gets to court.

    So Warren-‘nuke ‘ the bastards!

  26. Jim Donovan says:

    Let me first say that I truly hope that these individuals get the justice they deserve.

    The root source of this problem is the Melancthon Wind Farm project which would not exist if it were not for the McGuinty government’s misguided energy policy which has Ontario taxpayers subsidizing multi-national corporations to produce electricity using methods that are completely inefficient in our climate just so that “we” (meaning all you Liberals and NDP’ers) can feel good about being “green”.

    Isn’t it ironic that the most culpable party in the plight of these residents is Dalton McGuinty, Warren’s great saviour?

    This wind farm was built thanks to an insane energy policy whereby taxpayers are forced to subsidize otherwise inefficient means of electricity production just so that Dalton could attempt to keep his (even more insane) 2003 campaign promise to eliminate all the coal plants by 2005 (a promise which every electricity expert I have spoken to said was impossible for McGuinty to keep and he had to know this when he made the promise and which he still has not been able to keep). For those who are interested the latest promise is that Nanticoke will be closed in 2014… we shall see if Dalton can deliver – 9 YEARS LATE!

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