The Ministry of the Environment inspects, investigates and enforces province-wide to ensure businesses and individuals in Ontario comply with environmental legislation.
Provincial officers, as well as staff in our regional and district offices, routinely work with industry members to help them understand and comply with their legal requirements.
The ministry inspects existing wind turbines in Ontario, including wind facilities built before the Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) regulation came into effect. All projects still had to be approved by the ministry, and were subject to a noise limit based on 40 decibels.
Inspections conducted by provincial officers include evaluating certificate of approval requirements like:
If the ministry has received complaints about a certain facility, officers would assess whether wind turbine noise was adversely impacting neighbouring residents.
If a violation is found, officers may issue abatement orders, requiring facilities to resolve the violations.
The ministry recently held a competitive process to conduct leading edge expert research to develop a protocol to better measure noise from wind turbines. This is a leadership role developing some of the first audible sound measurement protocol for wind facilities.
This protocol will help ensure that wind facilities comply with regulated noise limits. It will also enhance the ministry's ability to evaluate whether a facility is violating regulated limits.
If you believe that a renewable energy facility in your community is not satisfying its legal requirements, please report this to the ministry.