Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County
P.O. Box 173
Milford, Ontario K0K 2P0
Expert Witnesses Confirm Harms to Human Health from Wind Power Projects
Milford, ON/ June 4, 2013 – Expert witnesses testifying in the Ostrander Point appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) have confirmed that Ontarians living in the vicinity of industrial wind turbines suffer adverse health effects.
Dr. Robert McMurtry, an Order of Canada physician and surgeon, considered the medical information provided by current residents of the operating Clear Creek, Kent-Breeze, Melancthon, Talbot, and Wolfe Island wind projects. Applying a peer-reviewed Case Definition, or diagnostic tool, he noted that the witnesses meet all four conditions of the First Order Criteria: (a) living within 5 km of turbines, (b) altered health status following the start-up of turbines, (c) amelioration of symptoms when more than 5 km from turbines, (d) recurrence of symptoms upon return to within 5 km of turbines.
The witnesses also fulfill the Second Order Criteria: (a) compromised quality of life, (b) continuing sleep disruption, (c) increased stress, including psychological distress, (d) preference to leave residence temporarily or permanently. The witnesses’ reports of sleep disturbance, nausea, migraine, vertigo, cognitive impairment, high blood pressure, and cardiac events identify conditions that are Third Order Criteria in the Case Definition.
Dr. McMurtry therefore concluded that the adverse health effects are related to the environs of wind turbines.
Dr. Robert Thorne, an expert on environmental health in relation to acoustics and psycho-acoustics, explained that the sound of turbines is unique due to the fluctuating characteristic, or amplitude modulation, and individuals are unable to get used to it and can escape the noise only by leaving their environment. The potential for moderate to serious adverse health effects arises from sleep disturbance, anxiety, and stress.
The arguments and evidence presented by Eric Gillespie, counsel for the appellant, Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, demonstrate the inadequacy of the Ministry of Environment’s (MOE) regulations for turbine noise levels and residential setbacks.
The proof of serious harm to human health meets the requirements of the ERT in order to cancel the MOE’s approval of the Ostrander Point project. If the project proceeds, Prince Edward County residents living nearby are at risk of suffering similar adverse effects.
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