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Turbine report questioned

A Ministry of Health and Long-term Care report that says wind turbines are safe isn‘t authoritative enough for Nor‘wester Mountains protection committee members. ..."There‘s never been a health study done to determine safe distances between turbines and people. I don‘t know how you can determine the safety of people without doing a study using people."

A Ministry of Health and Long-term Care report that says wind turbines are safe isn‘t authoritative enough for Nor‘wester Mountains protection committee members.

Ontario‘s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Arlene King said in the report released last week that there‘s no evidence that wind turbines cause adverse health affects.

"Turbines are getting bigger and as they get bigger there‘s more issues around them," committee member Karl Piirik said.

"If you look at the province‘s set-backs, there is some acceptance of health affects, or why would they set them back from homes at all?" Piirik said.

Margot Freitag is covering health and safety for the committee, formed in response to an agreement the City of Thunder Bay made to lease property on the Nor‘wester Mountains to Horizon, which wants to build 18 turrbines on the Nor‘wester escarpment to create power.

Freitag argued that although King said there‘s no evidence that wind turbines cause adverse health affects, there also aren‘t any studies proving turbines are safe.

"There‘s never been a health study done to determine safe distances between turbines and people. I don‘t know how you can determine the safety of people without doing a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A Ministry of Health and Long-term Care report that says wind turbines are safe isn‘t authoritative enough for Nor‘wester Mountains protection committee members.

Ontario‘s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Arlene King said in the report released last week that there‘s no evidence that wind turbines cause adverse health affects.

"Turbines are getting bigger and as they get bigger there‘s more issues around them," committee member Karl Piirik said.

"If you look at the province‘s set-backs, there is some acceptance of health affects, or why would they set them back from homes at all?" Piirik said.

Margot Freitag is covering health and safety for the committee, formed in response to an agreement the City of Thunder Bay made to lease property on the Nor‘wester Mountains to Horizon, which wants to build 18 turrbines on the Nor‘wester escarpment to create power.

Freitag argued that although King said there‘s no evidence that wind turbines cause adverse health affects, there also aren‘t any studies proving turbines are safe.

"There‘s never been a health study done to determine safe distances between turbines and people. I don‘t know how you can determine the safety of people without doing a study using people."

Freitag said there are more than 60 municipalities in Ontario declaring a moratorium on turbines until human studies are done.

King said living near turbines won‘t affect someone‘s hearing, but it could cause headaches, dizziness and sleep disturbances.

 

"I think those things should be looked at seriously and should be considered in terms of where a project will be located," Piirik said.

"Each project should be considered on its own. The Nor‘westers location is unusual in that it‘s on top of an escarpment with rock faces and cliffs.

"That will have some impact on sound, whether it‘s audible or inaudible. These are not your standard small towers off in the prairies or in the middle of the forest," he said.

Piirik said he hasn‘t had a chance to look over King‘s report, available at the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care website.

Freitag said the report uses computer modelling and is biased since the Dalton McGuinty government wants to move forward with wind turbines.

The protection committee has called for unbiased studies using real examples.

A spokesman with the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care said some computer modelling was used along with real case studies.

"The computer modelling comes in when measuring direct sound levels around wind turbines, so those levels are usually predicted by modelling rather than direct methods," Andrew Morrison said.

It‘s an accepted method to provide measurement and opinion, he said.

"In the overall report there are real-life examples. It touches on a couple of case studies on wind turbines. It‘s chiefly based on scientific evidence that has been peer reviewed,‘‘ said Morrison.

"Some of the information was compiled by the World Health Organization. There was some consultation and input provided by groups such as Wind Concerns Ontario," he said.

Morrison responded to claims that the report is biased by saying laws were changed in 2006 to give the chief medical officer of health distance from the government.

"When the Health Protection and Promotion Act was passed, it gave more independence. It allows the chief medical officer of health to issue reports and opinions pertinent to raising health awareness on a particular threat.

"(King) has assembled a diverse committee to help her with that, with sources in Ontario and worldwide. So when you put it all together it points to less bias," Morrison said.

Horizon president and CEO Tony Zwig said some people in the wind farm industry in Germany have had turbines in their backyard for years and they‘ve never complained of any problems.

Zwig said King‘s report is the province‘s way of protecting citizens by making sure wind turbines are safe.


Source: http://www.chroniclejournal...

MAY 25 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/26460-turbine-report-questioned
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