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Study funded by wind industry questioned

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.

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 study, funded by the American Wind Energy Association and the Canadian Wind Energy Association, involved a seven-member international panel which reviewed all current peer-reviewed scientific literature on sound and health effects.

"There is no evidence that the sounds, nor the sub-audible vibrations, emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects on humans," says a press release released by CanWEA last week, quoting Dr. Robert J. McCunney, one of the study's authors.

"We've got no peer-reviewed studies. All we've got is a bunch of sick people," responds Tetu, referring to the over 100 people documented by Wind Concerns Ontario to have suffered ill effects from living too close to wind turbines since 2007.

"I have very little faith in a study... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

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 study, funded by the American Wind Energy Association and the Canadian Wind Energy Association, involved a seven-member international panel which reviewed all current peer-reviewed scientific literature on sound and health effects.

"There is no evidence that the sounds, nor the sub-audible vibrations, emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects on humans," says a press release released by CanWEA last week, quoting Dr. Robert J. McCunney, one of the study's authors.

"We've got no peer-reviewed studies. All we've got is a bunch of sick people," responds Tetu, referring to the over 100 people documented by Wind Concerns Ontario to have suffered ill effects from living too close to wind turbines since 2007.

"I have very little faith in a study released by the wind industry," he says.

Tetu says HEAT's mandate is to fight the project proposed for the St. Columban area and is currently preparing a document to send to the province in response to its definition of a "point of reception."

He says the definition needs clarification since it's not yet clear if barns, cabins and trailers will be considered points of reception along with houses.

Tetu says that while HEAT has determined that CASA will be subject to the new setback distances under the new Green Energy Act, the group has not been able to find out if CASA is working at redeveloping its plans from its original setbacks of 450 metres and reapplying to continue with a wind project for the St. Columban area.

The Green Energy Act sets a minimum 550-metre setback for wind turbines for projects of five turbines and under and 750 metres for projects of six to 10 turbines.

"CASA is not communicating with us but they are obligated to make contact with the community if the project is on the go," says Tetu.

The Green Energy Act did not require an independent epidemiological study to prove that the setbacks stated in the regulations are not harmful to human health, a request made by Huron East council several months ago and a request that was recently made by Grey County council in a resolution approved last week by Huron East council.

While HEAT has raised $61,000 in the local community to pay for its legal bills, Tetu says HEAT is supporting "in spirit" a legal battle happening in Prince Edward County where farmer Ian Hanna is suing the Ontario government and asking for an independent health study on the effects of industrial wind turbines.

"We can't support it financially but we can encourage local people to do so. They're looking for $250,000 to do it -- it's a provincewide project," says Tetu, adding interested people should access the Wind Concerns Ontario website.

Seaforth residents Ernest and Sharon Marshall say they were "forced off (their) farm in Goderich" after the elderly pair began experiencing health problems, which they believe were linked to living next to wind turbines.

In April 2006, a wind turbine was erected 548 metres from the Marshall's property. Four turbines surrounded the house, with 11 turbines in total within a two-mile radius, Ernest says.

After that, the couple both began experiencing health issues.

"I've developed Parkinson's disease and now my hand shakes and I lost my left eye in a stroke," Ernest says. "I've seen doctors, specialists and had two CAT scans."

Sharon believes her bouts of insomnia and irritability were linked to the presence of the wind turbines.

The couple also says the horses they owned at the time started acting strangely after the wind turbines were built.

They wouldn't drink water and were prone to violent behaviour. Ernest says once one of the horses harnessed to a buggy darted off and ran over the farm gate, destroying the buggy.

The pony their granddaughter liked to ride also refused to be ridden once it was taken to the Marshall's front yard, facing the wind turbines.

Ernest also believes a noticeable level of stray voltage from the turbine may have existed on his farm, since the only horse with steel shoes began a strange routine when walking into the barn. It would jump into the air instead of simply walking through the door, Ernest says.

One day, the couple decided to sell the horses.

"We had to get rid of them," Ernest says. "I thought they were going to hurt us."

Ernest says after years of raising horses he'd never seen them act so bizarrely.

In April 2008, after exactly two years of living next to the wind turbines, the Marshalls moved out of the home they'd live in for 30 years and into a house in Seaforth.

"We lost a lot of money on the sale of the house, but it was better to get away from (the turbines)," Ernest says. "We are not against wind power. We were for it. But they shouldn't be near people."


Source: http://www.stratfordbeaconh...

JAN 13 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/24136-study-funded-by-wind-industry-questioned
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