On Tuesday’s GFB: Rachel Thompson – November 13th

11:30am ET | Rachel Thompson, spokesperson, Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns, Manvers Wind Concern

12:15pm ET | Phil Edmonston, author of the Lemon-Aid series of new and used car guides.


GUEST – Rachel Thompson, spokesperson, Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns, Manvers Wind Concern

TOPIC – Media Advisory Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns – Wind turbine noise severe, residents ask for state of emergency to be declared

INFO – Kincardine, Ontario: Residents with health problems linked to 115 Enbridge wind turbines will ask the Council for Municipality of Kincardine Council to assist in forcing Enbridge to take accountability for the impact of their operation on the people who are living among the wind power project.

The Council meeting will take place at the Municipal Administration Centre, 1475 Concession 5, Kincardine at 5 p.m.

The delegation is asking the Council to adopt a resolution that includes:

* Recognition that the health and well-being of some residents are being affected by the wind turbines

* Order Enbridge to cease turbine operations and to identify a senior executive to work with the Municipality in resolving these issues.

* Declare a public emergency in Kincardine in order to qualify for provincial funding to relocate health-affected home owners.

* Request that the Federal government stop subsidies to the project under the ecoENERGY program.

* Request provincial follow-up on cases reported to the Grey-Bruce Health Board as required by provincial law.

* Commission independent testing for low frequency noise/infrasound in all affected homes.

According to spokesperson, Rachel Thompson, “These health problems are real- people are unable to sleep or lead normal lives. Many are experiencing a repetitive vibrating or pulsing sensation throughout their bodies, especially in the head and chest when the turbines are operating. That’s Low Frequency Noise and it feels like torture. Their lives are being ruined.”

Enbridge’s corporate values statement talks about taking accountability for the company’s actions and not blaming others, Thompson notes. “”It’s time for Enbridge to demonstrate these values in this community and address the environmental problems being created by this wind power generation project.”

Background:

* Enbridge’s Underwood project is located north of Kincardine and contains 115 turbines.

* H.A.R.M. (Health Affected Residents Meetings) was formed two years ago as a sub-group Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns as a support group when many residents living among the Enbridge wind turbines started coming forward.

* 20 families have agreed to have their situation documented (see Appendix II). Through community information, H.A.R.M. is aware of another 12 families with health issues that are not coming forward for various reasons.

* When dealing with an oil spill in Michigan, Enbridge made a public offer to purchase any home near the river affected by the spill and ended up buying out 130 homeowners. The local Enbridge official has indicated that at this time Enbridge is not even looking to provide temporary housing for those affected by the Kincardine project.

* After failing to get the problems satisfactorily addressed through the official complaint resolution process, H.A.R.M. initiated meetings with Enbridge and the Ministry of the Environment. Little has been accomplished at the two meetings that have taken pace. Lengthy debates about the validity of acoustical tests for audible ensued and groups involved pointed to each other as the group responsible for solving the problems (see Appendix III).

* H.A.R.M. made a presentation to the Grey-Bruce Health Board in September 2012 asking for follow-up. The local Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn, is preparing her recommendations but told the local media after the meeting that the complaints were absolutely legitimate

* A number of recent studies (See Appendix IV) are directly applicable to this situation:

o An Australian acoustician, Steven Cooper, studied Australian wind farms and concluded that even though the project met government standards for audible noise (which are much stricter than those in Ontario), residents were still reporting health problems. He concluded that audible noise was not the source of the problem and pointed to the presence of elevated levels of low frequency noise/infrasound in these homes of those reporting health problems.

o The peer-reviewed study by Nissenbaum, Aramini, and Hanning released this past week, gave new standing to their previous paper that shows that there is a link between low frequency noise and health.

Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of individuals and community groups concerned about the negative impacts on health, environment and the economy from industrial-scale wind power generation projects. For further information visit windconcernsontario.ca.

 


GUEST – Phil Edmonston, author of the Lemon-Aid series of new and used car guides.

TOPIC – Lemon-Aid: “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!” Hyundai/Kia False Gas Mileage Claims.

INFO- ” Hyundai and its Kia subsidiary are running out of gas with their excuses relative to the companies false fuel economy claims made over the past three years (2011-2013 models),” says Phil Edmonston, author of the Lemon-Aid series of new and used car guides.

“Both automakers claim that the discrepancies were “unintentional”, and were “just honest procedural errors” that were a result of “a very complex testing process”.

“These excuses make no sense when you consider that this so-called ‘error’ was committed over a three-year period, was the object of repeated complaints from owners, and used Hyundai/Kia’s own testing process as approved by the American and Canadian governments.

Furthermore, Hyundai is already the subject of a false-advertising suit launched last July by Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit consumer group based in Santa Monica, Calif., for its claims that the Elantra achieved 40 miles to the gallon. The automaker had previously denied it exaggerated its mileage claims.”

Hyundai Motor Co., along with Kia Motors, admitted last Friday that they had overstated the gas mileage on the window stickers on almost 1.1 million vehicles (900,000 in the U.S., and an additional 172,000 in Canada). However, the companies also announced that they will be reimbursing owners of affected vehicles for the overstated fuel efficiency over the life of the car, plus an additional 15 percent.

Refunds will vary based on the model, kilometres driven and regional fuel prices, the companies said. For example, a customer living in Toronto who paid on average $1.29 a litre and drove 20,000 kilometres could expect about $85 to $95 compensation annually, plus 15% in additional compensation for the excess fuel consumption, says Chad Heard, Hyundai Canada’s spokesman. Based on an average of $90 per customer, plus the additional compensation, the automakers could pay out roughly $104-million annually.

Additionally, both the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Canada’s Competition Tribunal could seek civil and criminal penalties against the companies over the false mileage numbers.

According to the Washington-based EPA that sets the standards for determining the mpg rating on the vehicles sold in the U.S., Hyundai overstated the mpg numbers for its Elantra, Veloster, Sonata Hybrid, Azera, Genesis, Tucson and Santa Fe models. Similarly, the mpg numbers were overstated on the Kia Rio, Soul, Sorrento, Optima Hybrid, and Sportage. The mpg numbers on most vehicles were inflated by 1 to 2 mpg, but some cars like the Kia Soul had numbers that were off as much as 6 mpg. Interestingly, the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima sedans are not involved (although their hybrid models are) in this gas mileage fiasco.

Why Hyundai/Kia admission is important to Canadians

* Hyundai/Kia’s admission and settlement offer came about as a result of American owner complaints; ironically, a decade earlier, a similar settlement offer, followed the Canadian government’s discovery that the companies mis-represented the horsepower of their cars (135 hp versus the stated 140 hp). Hyundai blamed those false figures on its ‘disorganized’ procedures.

* Ottawa’s Competition Bureau may still order larger refunds to owners and could lay criminal charges for the false mileage numbers. Owner complaints can be sent on-line to: competitionbureau.gc.ca.

* Hyundai/Kia owners in Canada can file a small claims court request for a larger refund relative to the cost of excess fuel, times the odometer mileage, times the average cost of fuel, by province, as calculated by gasbuddy.com.

* Canadian Supreme Court jurisprudence clearly states that sellers of new or used vehicles that are misrepresented, or don’t conform to their intended use, may be taken back, or have their purchase price partially rebated (Pelletier vs. Nissan).

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