Article

Requests for scientific support of turbine setbacks makes sense

Yesterday thousands of Ontario residents were poised to demonstrate at Queen's Park to show their concerns about the Green Energy Act and about the potential for the installation of Industrial wind turbines to have a negative effect on people's health.

Yesterdaythousands of Ontario residents were poised to demonstrate at Queen's Park to show their concerns about the Green Energy Act and about the potential for the installation of Industrial wind turbines to have a negative effect on people's health.

Ultimately, it is hard to speculate with complete certainty what the impact of industrial wind would be on this, or any community in the province. Over the past few years, there has been so much rhetoric flying around that if the province could find a way to capture the energy merely exhausted on debating the issue, there might not be a need to find new sources of renewable energy.

Frankly, it is difficult to definitively argue the issue in black and white terms without some shades of grey setting in.

On the health issue, anyway, it appears Ontario's Ministry of the Environment is facing some of the same uncertainty as it has called for a request for proposals asking consultants how to measure audible and inaudible noise, and whether that should be regulated (though the Act has now passed).

One can understand the province's desire to have its policy in order to get to the front of the line for the next wave of green business development... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Yesterday thousands of Ontario residents were poised to demonstrate at Queen's Park to show their concerns about the Green Energy Act and about the potential for the installation of Industrial wind turbines to have a negative effect on people's health.

Ultimately, it is hard to speculate with complete certainty what the impact of industrial wind would be on this, or any community in the province. Over the past few years, there has been so much rhetoric flying around that if the province could find a way to capture the energy merely exhausted on debating the issue, there might not be a need to find new sources of renewable energy.

Frankly, it is difficult to definitively argue the issue in black and white terms without some shades of grey setting in.

On the health issue, anyway, it appears Ontario's Ministry of the Environment is facing some of the same uncertainty as it has called for a request for proposals asking consultants how to measure audible and inaudible noise, and whether that should be regulated (though the Act has now passed).

One can understand the province's desire to have its policy in order to get to the front of the line for the next wave of green business development - that aspect of the Green Energy Act should be applauded - but at the same time, it is fair to ask what risk the province has taken in pushing that legislation forward seemingly without sound scientific reasoning behind its accepted setbacks of turbines from neighbouring homes and businesses,  In that regard, whether one supports industrial wind or not, the Ian Hanna legal challenge to the Green Energy Act appears be built around a reasonable request, simply stop the development until there is adequate third-party examination of the potential health risks. Ultimately, there are enough protects built - though maybe not of the same scope as those proposed for Prince Edward County - for research to be conducted. That makes sense.

Just as it is reasonable to wait for those studies, however, it must be understood that development can't wait forever, and if the initial scientific findings support the building of turbines, albeit at greater setbacks, that should be enough evidence that industrial wind is not stalled forever.

As far as the province is concerned, protecting the health and well-being of residents should be paramount and it should be the only concern that level of government weighs with development.

The other issues people have raised about the turbines - the sightlines, the distribution of the wealth, and the impact on tourism - truly should be fodder for municipal discussion for the people directly impacted only. Under the Act, however, the province makes those decisions too. Hopefully they've done their social studies and economics homework better than they've studied science.


Source: http://www.pictongazette.co...

APR 29 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/26028-requests-for-scientific-support-of-turbine-setbacks-makes-sense
back to top