Noise and Canada
Some might accuse John Harrison of tilting at wind turbines, but the retired Queen's University physics professor says he's got the science to prove that wind farms are bad for people's health.
Harrison became an expert critic of wind technology -- and an ally of those who oppose it -- after learning that his retirement community of Amherst Island could become the site of a wind farm like the one on nearby Wolfe Island.
North Gower and Richmond residents worried about a proposal for industrial wind turbines near the villages are not reassured by a report on health effects from the noise produced by turbines.
The report, released last month and sponsored by both the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the American Wind Energy Association, is titled Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects.
Still poised to respond to any renewed efforts by CASA Engineering and Construction to build a wind project in the St. Columban area, Huron East Against Turbines (HEAT) is cynical about a recently released report from the wind industry stating that wind turbines have no adverse effect on human health.
"This study is no big deal and no surprise. We still need an independent health study," says HEAT member Rob Tetu.
The Society for Wind Vigilance (SWV) has released its analysis of the American and Canadian Wind Energy Association sponsored report on adverse health effects from industrial wind turbines. The SWV provides
scientific and unbiased information on the adverse health effects of human exposure to industrial wind turbines through a volunteer-based advocacy group of health and other professionals.
The city's public health department sees no reason to intervene in a proposal to construct about eight wind turbines in the North Gower area.
City council asked the department to review literature on any health issues related to the controversial turbines, which harness the wind to produce electricity.
Wolfe Island is very much a community hanging in that new sustainability balance.
Though touted as a green, environmentally friendly project, a vocal group of islanders under the banner WIRE (Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment) has fought it every step of the way.
One of their main concerns has been the potential effects the spinning turbines may have on residents' health.
Barbara Ashbee-Lormand traveled from central Ontario to central Vermont in late October to a discussion of an industrial wind turbine development proposed for the town of Ira, organized by Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
She's a rare figure in the debate over the effects big wind towers have on people. She's one of only two homeowners that a major wind company, Canadian Hydro Developers, has conceded it bought out because of their complaints that the huge gadgets proved to be impossible to live with.
Noise and vibration from giant wind turbines may be annoying but pose no risk to human health, an industry-funded study has found.
The study was financed by the Canadian and American wind energy associations ...Critics - who maintain the electricity-generating turbines disrupt the sleep and even the heart rhythms of those who live near them - aren't convinced. They dismiss the study as worthless, industry-financed spin.
Like the turbines themselves, a group of North Gower residents say a recent study about wind energy is nothing but spin.
It was another restless night in a long string of interrupted sleep. Amaranth's Leo Mendonca didn't feel quite right, like something was wrong, but he didn't know what, or why.
When he got out of bed, he was struck by a wave of nausea. ...Thinking some fresh air may do the trick, he headed out to the garden. There, he looked up and saw what he now believes is the source of his troubles ... an industrial-sized wind turbine about 600 metres away, and many more within sight.
Ontario's Medical Officer of Health Arlene King doesn't see any scientific evidence that links wind turbines with adverse health effects.
When contacted yesterday, Ministry of Health and Long- Term Care spokesperson David Jensen said it is King's position that there is no link between the noise turbines make and adverse health effects people claim to be experiencing, such as severe headaches and joint and muscle aches.
"The Green Energy Act, 2009 and its regulations clearly do not appear to meet the requirements of law in the province of Ontario," said lawyer Eric Gillespie today in a news conference at Queen's Park. On behalf of his client Ian Hanna, Gillespie explained that a court application was filed earlier today for judicial review of the Green Energy Act, 2009 based on the Precautionary Principle as it applies to industrial wind turbine installations.
It's too late to stop the surge of wind-farm development in Ontario, even by arguing the turbines cause illness, says Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch.
"As far as what they can do about it, there really isn't a heck of a lot," he said yesterday. ...Emotions ran high at Thursday's public meeting, which the health unit organized to provide wind turbine information to residents.
Medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn told a crowd of angry citizens opposed to wind farms last night that she also has concerns about health effects of the giant turbines, but lacks the power to alter green-energy legislation.
"I certainly appreciate the fact that people are suffering and I want to know why and what to do about it," she said during an information meeting at the Grey Bruce Health Unit.
However Lynn told the crowd of about 120 that their anger and frustration is aimed at the wrong people.
A Blenheim woman claims her family is still suffering effects from a nearby wind farm.
Kruger Energy's 44-turbine Port Alma project became operational last year.
Nikki Horton, who filed a complaint with the Montreal-based company, said the wind farm is impacting her family's quality of life, with symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
The province of P.E.I. has confirmed that it will increase the distance wind turbines must be from homes, but not by as much as some were looking for.
The setback distance will now be four times the height of the turbine, as measured from the ground to the top of the blade. For the biggest turbines, the V90s, that would mean increasing the setback to 500 metres. Currently it is 375 metres.
Noise was the biggest concern.
Researchers at nearby Queen's University have embarked on the first study to probe whether wind turbines built over communities can cause adverse health effects. The study measures residents' health and well-being before the turbines arrived on the island, again when the turbines were built but not yet operational and again after they'd been operating for a few months.
By now, the residents of Wolfe Island, Ont., are getting used to the whirr and thump of wind turbines overhead. By next year, they'll get a glimpse of whether those whirrs and thumps could be damaging their health.
Researchers at nearby Queen's University have embarked on the first study to probe whether wind turbines built over communities can cause adverse health effects.
The managing director of the company behind two Oxford County wind farm proposals suggested the speakers at a recent "Wind Energy Information Night" overstated the alleged health risks of industrial wind turbines. Bart Geleynse of Prowind Canada Inc. said the speakers at the Hickson Central Public School meeting were claiming a causal relationship between wind turbines and health risks without any compelling evidence. ...Both David Colling, an electrical pollution consultant, and retired pharmacist Carmen Krogh were adamant about the link between wind turbines and a number of adverse symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, headaches and tinnitus.