Mr. Rick James is a professional acoustician. When testifying or advocating against wind turbines, James has difficulty staying within the bounds of his actual expertise.
When he has attempted to testify at wind farm related lawsuits in the United States, his testimony has been demonstrated to be lacking in substance, his noise studies lacking in any rigor and his credentials and experience unrelated to measuring wind-related noise. He was slated to appear at the Ontario Land Tribunal (ERT) in Ontario regarding the Adelaide project and attempted to introduce testimony unrelated to acoustics. The ERT restricted his testimony strictly to matters of acoustics, eliminating most of his submission.
James also gave testimony at an ERT pertaining to the K2 Wind Huron County project. The council for the Ministry of the Environment noted:
The Approval Holder states that Mr. James has a bias against wind development and purported to give evidence beyond the scope of his expertise, and in so doing breached his obligations as an independent expert and the Tribunal’s Practice Direction for Technical and Opinion Evidence (“Practice Direction for Opinion Evidence”).
The ERT agreed:
[T]he Appellants had not established that the threshold to establish a deprivation or “serious psychological or physical harm” had been met.
James also appeared at the Armow ERT, and his testimony included areas outside of his expertise and made substantial errors:
The Tribunal considered the submissions of the parties on this issue and qualified Mr. James to given opinion evidence on matters related to acoustics and noise control engineering and wind turbines. The Tribunal excluded from its consideration evidence provided by Mr. James concerning the health effects of wind turbines, and epidemiology.
He is a member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineers (“INCE”), but is not certified by the INCE as an acoustical engineer, nor is he a registered professional engineer in any jurisdiction.
He did concede that he is not an epidemiologist and was not aware of the limits of the Waterloo study identified by Dr. Bigelow. He also agreed that he did not include reference to epidemiological studies that came to differing conclusions in his witness statement.
James is not a certified acoustician or a registered professional engineer, but identifies himself and sells his services as both. He is prone to hyperbole while on the witness stand. He attempts to make erroneous claims despite having been corrected in exactly the same type of ERT proceedings previously. Yet, he continues to put himself forward as an expert.