This post is frequently updated with new aspects.
- Published: 10 March
- For the latest update please scroll down in this post
- Update 01: 12 March
- Update 02: 13 March
- Update 03: 14 March
- Update 04: 14 March
- Update 05: 15 March
- Update 06: 16 March
- Update 07: 17 March
- Update 08: 23 March
- Update 09: 30 March
- Update 10: 31 March
- Update 11: 31 March
- Update 12: 14 April
- Update 13: 20 April
- Update 14: 21 April
- Update 15: 21 April
- Update 16: 27 April
- Update 17: 26 May
Støy is the Norwegian term for noise pollution. In this new post I will add new information about E-CO and its contribution to “støy”. E-CO is an in Oslo based Norwegian enterprise that creates electricity out of hydro power. E-CO has several hydro power stations in the country, and is the second large in productivity. My posts about E-CO are my fight against noise pollution in the mountain village Hovet, situated in a huge natural area with much wilderness, and belonging to Hol Kommune, at the border of a national park: Hallingskarvet. These posts have already been published, and contain all info you need to be able to continue with this new post.
Overview of related posts
- Noise Pollution (23 February 2016)
- Noise pollution and Health (28 February 2016)
- Research for Noise Pollution (09 March 2016)
- E-CO energi and “støy” (10 March 2016)
- In the year 2009 the turbines of E-CO in Hovet have been replaced by new turbines.
- Involved in all machinery of E-CO is the German Siemens. Siemens writes on its website that it is serving humanity. Nice words but the reality proves another story. Siemens is a multi national and all multi nationals serve themselves in the first place. That is perfectly okay, when it is not blind for the well-being of all who follow after.
- The old machines from before 2009 never created any noise pollution. The village was a silent place.
- The new machines have thinner blades, that are not strong enough to endure a high pressure, and start to create noise pollution that is echoed in the pipes where the water is streaming through from high to low.
- It is clear according to a reliable source, who wants to stay anonymous, that E-CO wants higher production of electricity when there is much water available.
- The higher production is possible to enlarge the capacity of power of the machines, who are in fact not able to work with a higher pressure.
- The pressure numbers belonging to a higher electricity production that E-CO mentions are not daily measured in the report of 2012, nobody has checked them, and it would not surprise me if one is just jiggling with numbers, to make it look clean and to pretend all is legal. I have learned only to believe that what I see myself, and therefore real true reports are necessary. These reports must be clear to everybody, if not, the report misses information and is not complete.
How the 2012 “research” took place in Hovet
- Five addresses are named. Not more.
- These five address are all on the same place, within 700 meters of the power station
- On the same side of the road as the power station.
- Into just one direction.
- Though I was living already in Norway, within the noise-area, at the other side of the road where all the houses are that are taken in the investigation, I was not asked in the investigation. Neither the owner of the house.
- Nothing can be named legal if the research has not taken place in the right way and not been published, not according to the obligatory legislative regulation to be able to find a possible connection between the pushed up higher pressure in the E-CO power station, and the noise pollution in the village Hovet.
- Fact is that the results of the (poor) research never have been published, not offered to the people who were in the investigation, neither to the people of Hovet in general.
- People of Hovet have got “the message” from E-CO via rumors, a lot of people of Hovet work at the power station, and also the chief engineer is a citizen of Hovet: “We live according to the standards.”
- The standards might be right, but the E-CO numbers and figures are not presented, neither explained, not showing details that are needed to attach the word “research” to it.
- The standards are not making any difference between types of noise. The buzzing noise, constantly there, works as a torture instrument on the nerves of people, and is psychological terror where one cannot escape from. Nowhere. Unless one moves to another village.
- What E-CO published on websites are vague stories without numbers, just words, that in my opinion are a way to silence rumors, to break the people’s resistance, and to create impression, power, as a silent ruler, suppressor, in the name of the well-being of the people. (Siemens: “We are serving humanity”. Important add: Which part of humanity is Siemens serving? The civilized rich west? With what? So that all can use for instance Instagram? Twitter? To electrocute people like they do in the west (USA)? Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.)
- The standards might be right, but nothing has been named according to natural areas and cities, industry parks. Hovet is situated in the middle of a wilderness. Hovet is not an industrial area. Not a city. Not a village. In fact it does not even exist in Hol Kommune: it was not even mentioned on the English wiki page of Hol Kommune. While small hamlets, as part of Hol Kommune, like Kvisla and Myrdal, with not even a church in their center, were present on the list. Hovet is there now as well. I added it there.
- The standards might be right, but nothing has been named according to the time-zones the noise is allowed to be there. Miljødirektoratet mentions three different noise-time-zones. E-CO uses just one. E-CO produces a constant same level of noise, also during the night.
- Stamina group is only interested in people who have payed work. It is of the interest of enterprises that people feel well, can work for 100%. Noise pollution is an attack on human health. In my opinion the one sided only on working people focused investigation is far from complete because also those who do not have a job, are a pensioner or a child, a student, have the right for a peaceful night rest. Also missing are the research numbers of the impact on animals, wild animals, who live in wilderness. Nothing is mentioned about biodiversity from before 2009 and now, 2016.
.Aurland, Svartisen and Hovet: some remarkable “coincidents”
- A new fact, where I did not get an answer on in an email to the local medical officer of Hol Kommune, when asked for it: E-CO in Hovet is not an isolated one.
- Aurland has also problems with E-CO, with noise pollution, and it seems to be worse there, according to reliable witnesses.
- I am sure that there are not just two E-CO power stations that create this noise.
- And so it is, today, 12 March 2016 I heard about the noise pollution and accidents concerning exploding turbines in Svartisen. And yes, more puzzle pieces fall together:
- New update, 12 March 2016: Hol-1, Aurland 3, Rendalen 2, Svartisen Aggregat 1, are Rainpower Projects. What is “Rainpower”? Scroll down to Additional information about “Rainpower”
E-CO’s kraftanlegg (power plants)
On this map you can find all E-CO energi power stations, with their names. When you click on the name, on the map on the website, a new window opens with all info. These names are:
- Sagefoss (foss is waterfall)
- Uvdal 1
- Uvdal 2
- Hol 1, Hovet, Norway (Rainpower Project) (update 12 March 2016)
- Hol 2
- Hol 3
- Hemsil 1
- Hemsil 2
- Aurland 1
- Aurland 2
- Aurland 3, Aurland, Norway (Rainpower Project) (update 12 March 2016)
- Aurland 4
- Aurland 5
- Bagn Kraftverk
- Eid Kraftverk
- Øvre Vinstra
- Nedre Vinstra
- Rendalen 1
- Not listed on the E-CO page: Rendalen 2, Rendalen, Norway (Rainpower Project) (update 12 March 2016)
- Skjåk 1
- Not listed on the E-CO page: Svartisen, Svartisen, Norway (Rainpower Project) (update 12 March 2016)
.The economical benefits of E-CO
- Fact is that not any restitution took or takes place concerning prices per kilowatt each Norwegian has to pay, though in fact the prices should go down when there is more production, and economical income for E-CO.
- It sounds fair to me to conclude that E-CO works only for its own benefits, but also is possible it is just a part of Siemens. Siemens writes a lot of beautiful words on its website (for instance: “serving humanity”) it has a very expensive website, with excellent working techniques, but words cannot be checked for truth. Not any instrument can show figures about the ethical reliability of people or enterprises. The reality of facts like here in Hovet and Aurland are a real life story and not fitting to what Siemens writes on their website. What they do is using nice words to manipulate naive people, and covering real life stories like Hovet and Aurland, by sweeping them under the carpet. I am an excellent house keeper, and lift up the carpet.
.And there is more to be expected. According to the PDF file of E-CO one can see this:
New investigation needed, but first and fore all: openness and transparency
- It belongs to the duty of an enterprise to inform the people about what is going on in their own village, in their own territory.
- It was agreed that the project leader of Hol 1 should inform the group, who made investigations in 2012, about all concerning the Hol 1. He did not. There are new plans to expand, and nobody knows about it. I found it coincidentally on their website. This means: a higher capacity, and more noise pollution in the nearby future. This is already going on.
- There has to be a neutral investigator, who also demands the official out-prints of the data of E-CO, to be able to prove the effects of higher pressure in the turbines on the noise pollution, created by the pipes, which echo their noise into the valley, kilometers ahead, on all sides.
- I will try to connect with people from Aurland. To learn more from there.
Additional information about E-CO
In the following points one can see that studies to expand the Hol1 power production have started in 2007, and in 2009 the old machines were said “goodnight”. Note: till 2009 not any noise was heard in Hovet. With other words: the old machines were excellent. But sent to the cemetery. Then, in 2009 the new machines started, and the noise was incredible: leafs were falling from the trees, in summer, and in winter snow was drizzling down from houses, because of the incredible heavy vibrations. Question: WHO have studied these changes? WHO are responsible? WHICH mistakes have been made? This is failing of human brains and a proof of lack of professional insight!
- E-CO: Concession sent Hol 1 – Stolsvatn: Increased vertical height gives more power (2014)
- E-CO: The old runner in Hol1 says goodnight (2009)
- E-CO: More new force from E-CO: Power Station Hol1 upgradeable (2007)
- E-CO: Studies for new power from Hallingdal (2007) (photo shown of Hol1)
- E-CO: On E-CO’s website I cannot find any public report, neither somewhere else on internet, about the noise pollution, created by Hol1, after replacing the old turbines, in 2009. I used Google even with Norwegian terms and words, but nothing pops up. It is not there! IF there it is hidden, kept secret, far away from the media. Why?!
Additional information about “Rainpower” (update 12 March 2016)
Rainpower is a name, mentioned on the website of E-CO energi. There is a photo:
Searching for “Rainpower” I found their webpage. There is written:
Norwegian technology for clean energy
Rainpower is a hydropower equipment company capable of delivering a wide range of products from runner replacements to complete water-to-wire elecro-mechanical systems. Our scope comprises new power plants, refurbishment and upgrade projects, as well as service and spare parts.
They write also about “social responsibility“:
Our guidelines for social responsibility are rooted in Rainpower´s policy for quality and HSE (Health, Safety, Environment), and our manuals for quality, HSE and ethics. We build our terminology and understanding on ISO 26000.GuidelinesWe will work to bring lasting and environmentally friendly values to our customers and the society at large in the countries we work in.Requirements for ourselves:
- We choose solutions based on the premise that they should have a positive impact on the communities we work in
- We fulfill the ten principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labor standard, environmental protection and anti-corruption
- We work for transparency in all aspects of our business
- We make sustainable impact on environment and society an important part of our business plans
- We show social responsibility (CSR) in all parts of our project
- We require that local suppliers follow applicable laws and show social responsibility in their work
- We participate in national and international forums to promote an environmentally friendly hydropower industry
- We support the education of engineers in hydroelectric and turbine technology
In the meantime I have sent an email to the president and CEO of “Rainpower”, Nils Morten Huseby, and waiting for an answer on several questions.
1. Update 12 March 2016: Rainpower Hangzhou Company (China)
I already heard talking about the in China made turbines, that have been placed in Hol-1, in Hovet, in 2009, after the old turbines were removed. Now I read on the Rainpower website that indeed the turbines are made in China. Important detail: Reliable, asked to stay anonymous, sources told that as soon the new turbines were put into place, and the noise started, E-CO in Hovet tried to stop the contract for the other turbines, but, the message back was that this was impossible because the other turbines were ready, or almost finished.
Though Rainpower writes on its website about transparency, I cannot find any word about the noise pollution the Chinese made turbines created, and still are creating. Not any word about Hovet, Hol-1, not any word about Aurland 3, in Aurland, not any word about Svartisen, while it is a public secret that in all these is noise pollution, or worse.
This is not following up the promises published on the website, and not ethical at all. Though Rainbow writes in its statements that it is following up ethics. When one is not doing what one says or writes one is named a liar. One can write the word ethics in their webpage, the reality proves the truth or the lie. I am the witness of what this company has created. It is a low value product. Not more. Creating noise, psychological terror, the turbines are torture instruments, and do not belong in a so called ecological or environmental enterprise. To be certain they will not try to get away from it by changing texts on their website I have taken screenshots, to be able to prove what they write. konsernbrosjyre-norsk_1
Some sharp, direct, confronting questions
Since we all know that Chinese politics and business are not green but smoggy and grey, that China is the worst environmental polluter on our planet, I wonder how much this Chinese company contributes to all what is against ecology, environment.
How ecological is the Norwegian E-CO energi who uses turbines made in China, in a company with the name Hangzhou, which started in 2008, that is working under the wings of the Norwegian based Rainpower, but uncontrollable concerning following up Norwegian rules for ecology? It is sold as a Norwegian product! (PDF 2011: restart of selling turbines in Norway): rainpower-annual-report-2011-ny
This company is based in Hangzhou. Hangzhou is a city next to the Qiantang river. Is there any control if waste water, any waste, rubbish, is dumped in this Qiantang river? It is a public secret that cheap Chinese turbines were interesting for E-CO. How is it possible to create cheap turbines? Find the answer and ask: Isn’t this violating the word “ethics”? Of both E-CO and Rainpower? Abusing the word, the philosophy of ecology and environment, of human rights, ethics, social responsibility?
Rainpower and E-CO use the terms ethics and social responsibility. If ethics are on such a high level in Rainpower’s and E-CO’s philosophy, next to human rights, all what they write on their website, why do they contract, or like E-CO: agreeing with contracting, cheap Chinese employees with not (the reality proves this) the highly needed technical skills, know-how and insights for this kind of highly important products in ecological projects, neither with the needed presence of ethics, and therefore not minding to be involved in a corrupt working system? Money, economical profit decides if something is ethical?
The word corruption is mentioned on the Rainpower website. They do not want to be involved in corruption. Their practice proves they are, unless they have a completely other view on ethics than I have. What values and principles are their ethics based on? What is so human and ethical about paying a cheap price for work, made by Chinese humans? Other point: why to produce it there, in China, far away from legal and technically acknowledged, highly skilled controllers, acknowledged by also the Norwegian government? Again: these Chinese turbines are sold as Norwegian products. These Chinese products pollute all areas where they are used, also in Norway, and are a threat for public health, because of their noise pollution. If all was and is true what is written on the Rainpower website, and on E-CO’s website and in annual reports, there would not be any noise pollution in Norway, created by these Chinese turbines, that are there because of their choices. If they have any ethics, and social responsibility, Rainpower takes back their turbines and pays back the total amount of money that these Chinese Rainpower products have cost. This money can be used to buy new turbines, somewhere else, that are guaranteed noise-free, and already checked out in practice. It must be guaranteed, if not, then E-CO should take the old turbines back, that they removed in 2009. These turbines were absolutely silent. If not possible, the production should not be pushed up, but pushed down, till the noise stops. This can be achieved by avoiding too high pressure on too light turbine blades. The philosophy of E-CO however shows that they are working at becoming electricity provider number one in Norway. The productivity increases, and with it the noise pollution. On the one hand they want to decrease costs and invest in cheaper products, on the other hand they want to increase the production and build up more economical profit. These two facets are enemies of each other, create therefore noise pollution, and nobody cares. Their intelligence should warn them, but the voice of greed, the search for profit, gevinst, creates deafness for protests, blindness for mistakes and is not more than self-corruption. It is unethical.
2. Update Sunday, 13 March 2016: an email to “De Grønne”, Norway’s green political party.
This morning I have written an email to “De Grønne” to inform them about all what is going on.
3. Update Monday 14 March 2016: an answer from Rainpower’s president Nils Huseby (note: I marked important sentences with another color)
Dear Mrs. Janssen,
I am sorry to hear about the problems of noise pollution in Hovet. I can understand that this must be difficult to cope with, based on your description of the issue.
Unfortunately, it is not much we are able to do about this issue as a turbine supplier. The problem of noise is a complex matter which could be related to many different sources, such as the interaction between several components in the power plant, operating conditions etc. This is not just a matter of the turbines. It is not possible to provide a clear answer to what these causes are without conducting a further detailed study of the matter.
As the power plant, including the turbines, is the property of E-Co, this is a matter which therefore has to be addressed with them through the appropriate channels.
- Nils M. Huseby
- Konsernsjef/ CEO
- Rainpower AS
4. Update Monday 14 March 2016: My interpretation of the email: I will have to send an email to E-CO energi. In fact I do not sense any ray of hope in me that it will bring something positive by doing this, otherwise I would have started there already. After being confronted with so many E-CO energi related details, having experienced myself so many years of ignorance from the side of E-CO and their absence of real willingness to solve the problem, so many sweeps under the carpet, ignoring the Miljødirektoratet rules named in Chapter 5, as I mentioned already in related posts, the complete absence of promised updates and information, I do not have any trust left in a decent and truthful answer, neither in E-CO’s willingness to cooperate from their side with human beings outside the power plant. It is a hopeless situation. The email of Rainpower made it even more hopeless.
However. I will have to create an email anyway. There are already more steps made: contacting the Miljødirektoratet, contacting “De Grønne”, and in the nearby future I will not hesitate to contact the press, the media, journalists from NRK, Norway’s top news provider, who will be informed by all details that I collected. Enough information is there to create a huge article with lots of shameful facts.
5. Update Tuesday 15 March 2016: An earlier message from the project leader of E-CO energi in Hovet to the local medical officer. In a reply email to the Kommuneoverlege, who asked for responding on the results of the investigation of 2012, the project leader of E-CO energi, Eirik Bøkko stated:
«at støynivået, både i selve stasjonen (arbeidsmiljøet for folk som arbeider der) og ute i bygda, er på et såpass moderat nivå at vi ikke har planer om ytterligere tiltak.»
E-CO stadfester at støyen vil variere pga driftsforhold og vær/vind.
Foreløpig er det ikke aktuelt med ytterligere støydempende tiltak.
“that the noise level, both in the station itself (the working environment for people working there) and in the village, is at such a moderate level that we do not plan further action.”
E-CO states that the noise will vary due to operating conditions and weather / wind.
Currently it is not applicable with additional noise suppression measures.
Conclusion: All info has to be sent directly to the president of E-CO energi in Oslo, Tore Olaf Rimmereid.
To send an email to E-CO energi in Hovet, to Eirik Bøkko, who is E-CO’s representative, also in the investigations of 2012, and who is responsible for taking these far from complete, utterly poor, results serious, is a waste of time.
Update 6: Wednesday, March 16 2016: Email from E-CO’s President and CEO Tore Olaf Rimmereid
Dear Antoinette Janssen
I would like to confirm that I have received your letter. I will come back to you later following up your letter.
Update 7: Thursday, March 17: email message from Torkil Vederhus, political party “De Grønne”:
Thanks for the info, we will read it with interest.
Update 8: Wednesday, March 23: email message from Geir Strømmen, the local medical officer
Jeg takker for utførlig svar på min henvendelse tidlig i mars. Neste skritt bør være en befaring og vi takker ja til tilbudet fra dere.
Vi håper vi kan gjennomføre aktuelle befaring i løpet av april. Det er selvfølgelig driftsmessige forhold å ta hensyn til. Vi har et par datoer til forslag: 4. eller 18. april.
Selve programmet for befaringen kan vi komme tilbake til over påske. Det er ikke aktuelt med målinger på selve stasjonsområdet, men det vi er interessert i er bopeler i nærområdet og spesielt klagers bopel.
mvh, Geir Kåre Strømmen, Fastlege Geilo Legesenter/ Kommuneoverlege
I appreciate your detailed response to my inquiry early March.
Next step should be an inspection and we accept the offer from you.
We hope we can carry out appropriate inspections during April. It is of course operational issues to consider.
We have a couple of dates on the proposal, 4th or 18th of April.
We can come back to the program for the inspection after Easter. It is not applicable to measurements at the station, but we are interested in the residences in the area and particularly the complainant’s residence.
Update 9: Wednesday, March 30: email message from the president of E-CO, Tore Olaf Rimmereid, sent to me, and in a Cc to Alf Inge Berget, production leader of E-CO.
Dear Mrs. Antoniette Janssen
Referring to your e-mail on the 15th of March 2016.
We have been informed that that Senior Medical Consultant of Hol, Geir Strømmen, after suggestions from our Project Leader Eirik Bøkko, has requested an inspection in order to improve the overview of the asserted noise complication in the village Hovet.
Investigation is set to take place on the 18th of April 2016. Prior to this, we will have an information meeting at Hol 1 Power Plant, where we will view the case from 2009 until present-day.
Considering the proximity of said meeting and inspection, we will not now go into details in our response to your e-mail. We can however inform you about the following:
- The case of unacceptable levels of noise in the Village of Hovet was brought to out attention in Autumn 2009. Since then we have consistently had a good and factual dialogue with Geir Strømmen. It has thus been our intention to communicate our actions, and the verification of these results, through him. We strongly wish that the continuing process of this case should proceed in the same objective and orderly manner. Under no circumstances do we wish to communicate this case in any other tone.
- The conclusion given by our Project Leader in his response to Geir Strømmen on the 2nd of March 2016, stating that the noise level is at an acceptable level has its background in all implemented measures, where the results are largely verified. Additionally, our last correspondence with the Municipality Senior Medical Consultant dates as far back as the 2nd of March 2014. This has given us the impression that the noise level is at an acceptable level.
- In your e-mail from the 15th of March 2016, as well as in the blog attached to it, there are aspects of great misunderstandings and errors that we will clarify during the inspection / meeting. There are also some unfounded allegations about our Project Leader that we do not agree with.
At the inspection / meeting on the 18th of April, Health and Safety Executive Dag Hollekim will be present, together with Project Leader Eirik Bøkko.
E-CO Energi AS, Tore Olaf Rimmereid
Update 10: 31 March 2016 The content of the email of the President of E-CO (update 9) has brought me in a deep silence for a whole day. I was confronted with a tone that did not sound good and which does not fit within the circumstances. I expected at least some empathy. I cannot find it, in not any sentence. Worse: there are allegations towards me and therefore I create here my own defense, in my own words, that express all what had gone through my mind. In this way I prepare myself on the “meeting”, which feels for me a preparing on a mental battle, with words as weapons, and not only that.
- My post contains obviously several errors and mistakes, but I do not know which ones, and this will not be written down in an email, but explained in a meeting on April 18, writes the president. But. What will be said needs in fact to be recorded, and this is for me the reason that I would have preferred a written document, that cannot be misunderstood. Why does the president want to avoid that? Why not any openness neither transparency? For me this has only a psychological reason: using the space of E-CO power station offers them the easy psychological tools to silence, degrade the one who is in fact powerless: me. So: this is a strategical move, what has become a war-like situation, by this email, the tone in it, sent by the E-CO president.
- This fits also within the sentence that the E-CO president disagrees with my “allegations” towards the project leader of E-CO in Hovet. He did not mention which allegation(s). I did mention the ignorance of the project leader about the case and not willing to discuss about it. All was okay, the project leader answered to the Kommuneoverlege, because all was according to the legal noise levels….. This sentence contains all that makes me analyzing it as ignorant. This is absolutely fair, but it sounded in the email as if I, me, was unfair, by saying this. Somebody who trust his employees blindly and makes decisions which are based on an unprofessional investigation, a report so small and meaningless, with so few details, creates automatically a question mark about his own professionalism. Besides that: there has been a promise of the project leader himself to inform the Kommuneoverlege, and he did not. That the president has contacted the Kommuneoverlege in 2014 is not the same. Besides that: he should have demanded that the people of Hovet, at least those who have been in the investigation, would be informed about it. Obviously the Kommuneoverlege has not got any question about it, because there has not been any information. To not anybody. I can explain situations the best in a metaphorical way. I see the president of E-CO (because of his way of reacting on my email) as the general of an army, E-CO group, who supports the soldier on the waterfront, here in Hovet, who has the task of being a project leader. And of course the general is satisfied with this soldier, because the soldier does exact what the general wants: screwing up the production, to the limits. To the levels that are “legal” according to the poor, meaningless, investigation. The general of this E-CO army considers me as an unwanted problem on his until now rather clean and easy to operate economical battle field, from where the economical battle can go on, to more projects, new frontiers, more ahead, as already happened, and with the same or worse noise pollution. If this continues Norway is soon buzzing one huge noise polluting tone, everywhere in Norway’s nature. The presidents’ words are metaphorical weapons, and yes, they hurt, did and do their work, and want me to keep my mouth shut, and to be present there, in the lion’s den. Reason that I was silenced for 24 hours. The psychological bullets, unseen but there, have done their job. I write a review about all what went through my mind. I stand alone in front of an army. I knew this before the start, but the president of Rainpower, who delivered the turbines to E-CO, has explained to me that this was the only way to go. And so I did. My intuition is perfect.
- The meeting: I do not know who will be in this meeting, who will be the chairman, the secretary, what time, how long.
- The meeting: because this concerns all people of Hovet this should be for all of them and all should get in time an invite.
- Till so far my analyses, so this part will be updated as soon as needed.
Update 11: 31 March 2016 An important add to the earlier update of March 31, to make all understand my being disappointed about the ignorance of the project leader, who must have problems himself with all the noise as well because he lives almost in the power station. Maybe my ears are more sensitive. As mentioned in earlier emails, possibly the ears of those who have worked for decades in this power station are so used to noise that their ears are damaged. The next points may be helpful also to understand my being utterly disappointed about the email of E-CO’s president, who obviously read this post, but did not show any empathy for me. This is the least I expected, but it is not there. Here are the facts:
- The noise pollution is a constant factor, day and night, and the decibels are constantly the same, or almost the same.
- There is no time zone system: this means that during day, evening and night the volume level is the same.
- This has consequences: during the many years of noise pollution my stress-bucket was filled finally completely: February 2016. I live here from 2010. Slowly slowly my strength has been broken, and I had to sleep finally with earplugs to be able to sleep with an opened window, but that did not help, only when the windows were completely closed and using my earplugs there was the needed silence.
- I had to change rooms: I did not like to sleep with earplugs, so I moved to another smaller bedroom, the third part of what I had, with a single bed: a double bed is impossible to install there.
- I suffered finally from all symptoms related with noise pollution (irritations, to extremely intolerant, anger, tiredness, high blood pressure, edema, itching, sleeplessness. I use medicine.
- Because of too much stress and a nervous-breakdown I could not stay any longer in the living room and office in my apartment in the house during the day, because of too much noise pollution there from the road, from the heavy traffic, the tractors, the cars, the busses, the Riksvei 50 to Bergen: the house is built next to it, there is just three meters distance.But even this heavy traffic is lesser polluting and lesser intense than the constant buzzing tone of E-CO. The roads are almost completely empty during the night. All sounds are gone in the night. But E-CO goes on. With the same loudness.
- I had to move to another place in the house to stay during the day: had to create a new living room/office but I cannot open the windows there during the day when I am there to work because of the noise pollution of the E-CO power station.
- I am trapped. Completely. My way out of the noise-prison was starting to find information about all what has happened, or should have happened, here in Hovet. That the president finds errors and mistakes might fit with a reality that I do not know because of a not available info on internet. If all would have been open and transparent there would not have been errors or mistakes, but the noise pollution would be there anyway. I could not find any info on the E-CO website about the noise pollution E-CO creates in not only this place in the country. It seems to be swept under the carpet. I am lifting up this carpet, and I found indeed important facts. It is my right to try to make an end to the noise pollution: for my health, the health of all who live here, including the animals. The president should have been grateful that I dared to make steps. Criticism is important to make improvements.
- In fact the house here is not a complete house anymore: the half of it is taken by E-CO, it is impossible to sleep on that side, or to work there with opened windows. This should be known by Hol Kommune, that decides which taxes have to be payed for this house, taxes that are related with the value of the house. The house lost its value for at least the half, and when taking also the garden in the discussion here, all who read this will understand that all named facts together should affect the people who are responsible for it, and that of course they were willing to show me at least some sincere respect, some sincere empathy.
Update 12: 14 April 2016 During the eight days after receiving the email (30 March) from the president of E-CO energi I did not get any briefing about the announced meeting in the power station in Hovet, though it was planned on the 18th of April. I have written again an email (April 7), with all remarks that have been developed in my very active mind, even during a complete sleepless night. In that night I could see deep inside the people, and the way they work, as if I was watching a documentary, reading a scientific book, with my full awareness. Finally I went out of the bed, took a pen and paper, and started to write down all what I saw and understood, deeply, the clarity, in special words, and/or views. I was too afraid that when I would finally fall asleep I would have forgotten all the brilliancy. This has helped me the next day to write down a long very detailed email, a kind of a statement for a judge, as a lawyer. I did not send it immediately. I have waited a full week: to be sure that I was still convinced that all was true. Sharp. Crystal clear.
It had become also clear for myself, that I was reaching the ceiling of the room, where I have been in during several months of thinking, searching, reading, writing, blogging. The next step was to go through the ceiling, to break through all what makes the case unchangeable. The ceiling of reinforced concrete is the mental power of highly trained and highly, specific educated business men: the leading hierarchy of E-CO. The only way to break through it is to find support. One of the supports will be NRK, Norways news provider, and again the “Grønne” and the Miljødirektoratet. An excellent new help though is the offer of the owner of my apartment to take over my communication with the Norwegians, who are involved: the president of E-CO, the production director, a medical specialist of E-CO itself, the local medical officer (kommuneoverlege), the local project leader of E-CO, the local official environmentalist for Hol Kommune.
In the meantime the correspondence takes place between them. I only know that not anybody from Hovet has got an invite to be present in the meeting. There has not been any briefing with exact day, hour and exact place for the announced meeting, not who the chairman is, the one who will record it, and who will be invited, next to the owner of my apartment. (To be continued.)
Update 13: 20 April 2016
The former update was on Thursday, April 14. The day after, on Friday April 15, in the late afternoon, there was an email from the Kommuneoverlege, Geir Strømmen, with an attachment: a PDF file with invite for a meeting on Monday, 18 April, at 08:30.
Note 1: In an also to him sent email on April 14, I have made myself clear about my health situation and that because of this I had handed over the case to the owner of the house and my apartment.
Note 2: To send an invite for a meeting, some hours before the weekend starts, planned for the Monday following after that, in the early morning at 8:30, without any possibility to react, together with what is named in note 1, goes in my opinion beyond what I name professionalism, or really taking care for the health of people.
Note 3: Without opening the PDF file I have forwarded the email to the owner of the house, who has replied Mr. Strømmen with an email in which he officially declared to be the complainant, and the one where the committee has to send emails to. He also created a document in which he officially declares to have taken over the case, and that he is complainant, and the spokesman for both of us, for in fact all, who are the victims of the noise pollution.
Note 4: Since a full week (since April 12) I am suffering from utterly serious pain in my lower back, and can hardly walk, or sit. I am mostly in my bed, to rest, to sleep, to recover. Even if I would have been the official complainant I would not have been able to go to the hydro power station, to sit there. Impossible!! So, it was a kind of a blessing that somebody else was taking care for it.
Note 5: The entire group of people who were in the meeting, has visited the house, after the meeting, and conversations took place, outside the house. I did not know they were going to visit the house, otherwise I would have taken a shower, and dressed myself. Now I could not. I was in my nightwear. Besides that: I felt so miserable that I did not mind. But my feelings of respect towards them, and myself, the case, were talking their own story to me, and I pitied it not having been informed about it, to be prepared, and able to go outside the house to shake hands. Again, a failure of the one who organized it. Mr. Strømmen. The group has been about twenty minutes outside, talking and making decibel-measurements with an instrument, I heard. They were not really impressed about what they heard, told the spokesman. I was not either, for several years I did not feel the urge to mention it, as I did finally in February 2016. This kind of noise pollution is a very sneaky one: it lasts for years, and then it has broken all in you. The group was clearly not aware of what I wrote in my email, which I will publish on a special page. I explained in that email that it is impossible to get a real impression of what is going on, in five minutes. Not even in a year. They did not read it, I guess, and if, they did not take me serious. At least not Mr. Strømmen: he was behaving in a way as if he had to take much effort in listening, concentrating, to be able to hear something. That is what the spokesman told me. It is clear for me how Mr. Strømmen thinks about the case. That hurts me. It is humiliating.
Note 6: The spokesman was very positive about the project leader of the hydro power station: Eirik Bøkko. He has shown real and serious interest, and took time to listen and to talk.
Note 7: We, the spokesman and me, are waiting for a report of the meeting. So, till later.
Note 8: The page with my email to the president of E-CO, and to all who were present in the meeting can be found here. (Link will be added later. Have to lay down first for a while. My back hurts again.)
Update 15: 21 April 2016: On further consideration there are too many private details in this email, and therefore I have to leave it out.
Update 16: 27 April 2016
A letter, sent by Hol Kommune, by post, has arrived yesterday. It is addressed to the owner of the house, and he has explained me this morning what is written in the report. I will make a summary here:
- In the intro of the letter is explained, shortly, the history of the case, of the E-CO power station in Hovet. In 1949 the turbine has been installed that has been replaced by the new one in 2009. This turbine became too old, and to avoid accidents and damage plans have been made for new turbines, which have been realized in 2009. (Additional info from the owner of the house, who was in the meeting: The other reason for new turbines was to create more electricity, to build up a higher production. However, the material of the new turbine was not the same: it was lighter, and soon the problems started. The project leader of E-CO, Eirik Bøkko, has searched, together with a team of specialists, where the problems might come from, what exactly was creating the noise. The power station has even been closed for a while. The blades of the new turbine showed even bursts. A lot of adjustments have been made, not only in the power station, also outside, around the pipes: material to muffle the pipes has been built around the pipes. However: the noise pollution is still created from the top of the not muffled pipes.)
- There are two different sources of noise pollution: one from the power station and the other one from the top of the pipes: the not muffled parts. This was a remark of the owner of the house in the meeting, so: an excellent and important diagnose.
- During the night the noise pollution is the strongest, not because the electricity production goes up, but because the daily other sounds or noises are completely gone. All is silent, and then the intense monotonous zooming has a much stronger effect.
- Stopping the turbines in the night is impossible because of the frost: the water in the pipes will freeze, and when melting in the morning the ice will damage the turbines and the pipes. Note: in Norway even huge water falls are frozen in winter. The turbines are a kind of an artificial water fall, about 230 meters high.
- Though the decibels are not above the limit of 50, in case human beings get health problems with it, one has to search for solutions.
- There are already plans for a new E-CO power station, in Hovet, and this will be built beneath the surface of the earth.
- Chapter three of the Folkehelseloven (the law about public health) writes that measurements for noise pollution must take place on several (different) locations outside the power station, in the surroundings, on several times (day-evening-night). Also measurements from inside the power station: the production capacity, on which hour and day, to be able to compare the production capacity (electricity), on which hour, day, with the noise pollution results from the measures taken outside.
- The letter ends with an advice of the Kommuneoverlege, to E-CO, on behalf of public health care, to make more research as there has been via Stamina group. (Hjelp24)
Update 17: 26 May 2016
Just here to write about my physical health: I have visited the doctor last week, and urine and blood are checked for several issues. My complaints that started 6 weeks ago today, have not disappeared. Also an appointment has been made with an osteopath. I want to know where all the pain is coming from. It goes from here to there, to everywhere, disappears a little, and comes back. The blood pressure is good now, the edema has gone, I sleep much, rest enough by laying flat, to support my legs and back.
I wait for the results of the tests.
In the meantime springtime is fully there, I could have walked, hiked, biked, but my body is not capable to do more than just the basic things. Such a pity. Four months to be outside, in the light and nature, I have three months left.then it will be winter again.