In Ontario, Canada, between 2006 and the end of 2016, government records provided by the former Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change documented that neighbors living near industrial wind turbine (IWT) facilities filed 4574 noise complaints/incident reports. In some cases, these records also included occurrences of adverse health effects being experienced by some of those living near the IWT facilities. The risk of harm associated with living near IWT energy facilities is controversial and reported globally. Some families have been billeted by, or negotiated financial agreements with wind energy developers, and some took the step to vacate/abandon their homes while others have felt forced to do so. While the action of vacating/abandoning a family home is internationally reported research about these occurrences is limited. Utilizing the Grounded Theory (GT) methodology, an ethics approved community-based study was conducted to in-vestigate these occurrences. Participants in the study included those who had vacated/abandoned their homes in the past, or at the time of the interview were contemplating to do so, or decided to remain. Between October 2017 and January 2018, sixty-seven (n-67) consenting participants were interviewed. This article presents preliminary results which will be augmented by additional submissions to peer reviewed scientific journals for their consideration for publication.
Of the 67 (n-67) study participants: 28 (n-28) had vacated/abandoned their home; 31 (n-31) were contemplating to do so; 4 (n-4) preemptively vacated their home before the facility started operating; and 4 (n-4) decided to remain. Figure 1 illustrates the home status of the 67 participants at the time of the interviews. Some of the study participants’ physicians, including physician specialists diagnosed medical and disease conditions, some of which were diagnosed prior to the presence of an IWT facility, i.e., a pre-existing condition. While IWT-specific research relating to such pre-existing conditions is lacking, some participants ex-pressed concern regarding a potential exacerbation of their symptoms. It is pro-posed the potential risk factors associated with pre-existing medical/disease condi-tions should be investigated as soon as possible.
The iterative interview process led to additional findings which participants associated with the start up of an IWT facility. Some participants from both cat-egories of having vacated a home in the past or contemplating to do so had pe-riodically and intermittently vacated their homes during the day and/or night. Both groups indicated the reason for this was to obtain temporary and/or partial relief from the occurrence of adverse health effects. Data analysis supports the theory that housing decisions were motivated by the presence of an IWT facility within 10 km of family homes and the partici-pants’ observations of an association or a potential risk of adverse health effects.
These preliminary results will be augmented by additional submissions to peer reviewed scientific journals for their consideration for publication. Topics will include results of the data analysis relating to the elements described in Table 1. Five elements and their application to the vacated/abandoned home study