W.E.E.P. submission to the Notice of Proposal to Amend a Code

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05.12.2008, 00:25:1205.12.08
an omeg...@googlegroups.com
Ground current electricity, also known as 'stray voltage' is a very
serious and dangerous pollution problem throughout North America and
other locations around the globe. The letter below was submitted by
WEEP in response to a proposal to amend the Ontario Electrical
Distribution Code.


Martin Weatherall Co-Director

W.E.E.P. – Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution

R.R. #3

Bright, Ontario

N0J 1B0

December 2, 2008

The Ontario Energy Board

Farm Stray Voltage Consultations


Dear O.E.B.:

This letter serves as the W.E.E.P. submission to the /Notice of Proposal
to Amend a Code/, /Proposed Amendments to the Distribution System Code
Board file # EB-207-0709/.

While the /Proposal to Amend a Code/ appears to offer some improvements
to the code for the safety of livestock, the OEB will fail with this
submission to correct the real problem that is facing Ontario. I refer
to the fact that Ontario has a dangerous and outdated electrical
distribution system. If this problem is not addressed, serious adverse
effects to Ontario livestock, citizens, and the environment will
continue to occur. The failure to direct utility companies to correct
their distribution systems is improper conduct by the OEB, which
contravenes its mandate and may be illegal.

From the beginning, the OEB has chosen to limit the definition of farm
stray voltage, excluding all farms except those where the livestock are
experiencing problems. In doing so, you have misrepresented the
directive of Dwight Duncan, Minister of Energy, in his Order in Council.
The directive states that "it is desirable to improve the quality of
electricity service to address certain issues related to stray voltage
which are currently being experienced by the agricultural sector and, in
particular, by farm customers". It is clear from his statement that he
is referring to ALL farm customers.

From the time that MPP Maria Van Bommel introduced the private members
bill and Minister Dwight Duncan introduced his directive to the OEB, I
believed that the farm stray voltage issue would be rectified. I also
believed that this change would enable me to return to my farm home,
where high levels of stray voltage/ground current had been measured, and
live there safely without suffering from the ill health effects from
which I had been suffering. My farm, however, did not have livestock,
and so did not qualify according to the OEB misinterpretation of the
Order. The fact that I did not have livestock did not, however, make the
stray voltage/ground current measured inside my home any less real. Nor
was the extreme illness that I suffered because of this strong current,
mitigated in any way because I did not have livestock. I can assure you
that the cancer that I suffered, probably as a result of stray voltage,
and the need to move from my affected home would have been equally real
whether or not livestock were present on the farm. Yet, somehow, the OEB
has discounted my health and the safety of my home, making them less
important than that of livestock. If mine were an isolated case, this
may not be important. The OEB knows, however, that it is not. This
blatant disregard for the health and welfare of rural citizens is an
affront and creates for them a danger that they should not have to face.

For this reason, the definition provided in Appendix A, 4.7.1, bullet 3
is unacceptable. Within this section, you mention only customers engaged
in livestock husbandry and refer only to livestock making contact with
farm stray voltage. Your definition does not recognize that any rural
customer can be affected by stray voltage. It also does not recognize
that if livestock is in contact with stray voltage, than the humans who
tend the livestock must also be in contact with it. Knowing that the
voltage is harmful to the livestock, it is reasonable to suppose that it
is also harmful to the humans. In addition, you do not recognize that
the stray voltage problem on a farm may be worse in the residence than
in the barns. Its presence in a home can cause illness, cancer, even
death. The health of the farmer is critical to the success of the farm.
Without his or her good health, the entire operation can be in serious
jeopardy. The OEB has failed to address these very important health and
safety issues, and this mistake must be addressed before implementing
the proposal.

Another problem with the OEB proposal is that it fails to respond to the
Minister’s statement that "it is desirable to improve the quality of
electricity service in order to address certain issues related to stray
voltage". There is nothing in this proposal that helps to improve the
quality of service. Instead, there are cheap shortcuts. With this
proposal, the utility will endeavour to rectify the worst of a problem
at a farm where the problem has been identified (provided the farm has
livestock). But, the solution of the problem at one property may become
the source of a problem at a neighbouring property. In other words, the
OEB will be allowing the utility companies to play a high stakes game of
passing the stray voltage problem around the farming community. In the
process, the voltage will undoubtedly pass to farms that do not qualify
for assistance because they are non-livestock properties. Ultimately,
the OEB will be responsible for their difficulties.

And, since most people do not realize that they have a stray voltage
problem in their homes until their health deteriorates and they search
for answers, it may be too late for them to return to a normal life.
Unless the OEB mandates that the electrical utility companies must test
all homes and farm properties on a regular basis to ensure that stray
voltage is not harming people and livestock, there will most certainly
be further victims throughout the province. The proposed "cheap" low
cost of dealing with farm stray voltage issues does not rectify the
underlying cause of the problem and will not make it go away. Very
simply, the utility companies must update and upgrade their distribution
systems to correct the problems.

Another important issue for this proposal is high frequency pollution
carried by stray voltage. Several submissions, including mine, brought
this to the attention of the OEB. Yet, there is no mention within the
proposed amendments about the importance and the danger of this high
frequency pollution. The difference between one volt of clean stray
voltage and one volt of stray voltage carrying dangerous high
frequencies has huge health implications for animals and humans and must
be addressed by the OEB. If the OEB, its consultants, and the
electrical utility companies do not understand the significance of high
frequency pollution, they should seek the advice of experts who are
knowledgeable about these huge dangers before they endeavour to change
the legislation.

The Order from the Minister of Energy combined with the input of many
victim farmers and the submissions of interested persons provided the
OEB with the information and opportunity to make real and important
changes for a safer future. With this proposal, the OEB is very close to
making the huge mistake of giving cost considerations more importance
than the safety of the electrical distribution system. Please do not
leave livestock and people throughout the province in danger by
continuing with this inadequate proposal. Please take your duties and
responsibilities seriously and make the amendments necessary to help
Ontario, rather than allowing stray voltage harm to continue.

Yours truly,

Martin Weatherall

Director WEEP – Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution

www.weepinitiative.org <http://www.weepinitiative.org>


06.12.2008, 02:20:5206.12.08
an World-News
The quest for answers and compensation for electrical pollution on the
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