Last night, Trillium Lakelands District School Board ratified its decision of Committee of the Whole, to put its support behind Manvers Gone with the Wind’s request for the completion of an independent health study before any approvals are granted for a proposed wind project in the Manvers area.
A wind farm comprising of thirty 450 foot tall industrial wind turbines is proposed for the area surrounding Grandview and Rolling Hills public schools. Concern has mounted as reports have surfaced from researchers and victims who are living near existing industrial wind turbine projects, warning of the adverse health effects of having these turbines too close to children and populated areas.
Reports from the World Health Organization, memos from Health Canada as well as from researchers around the globe have given rise to growing concern about the impact of industrial wind turbines on the health and safety of those living near the turbines as well as the cognitive development of children. Sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression are some of the most commonly reported symptoms. These symptoms are related primarily to the noise, both audible and inaudible/infrasound produced by the turbines, dirty electricity and shadow/flicker.
The new Green Energy Act guidelines call for setbacks of 550m from the base of the turbine to the point of reception – currently considered the centre of the building. Setbacks along road ways is only the blade length plus 10m.
Experts from around the world recommend a setback of 1.5 km to 3.5 km with greater setbacks in hilly areas and with a larger number of turbines.
Prior to the release of the Green Energy Act guidelines on September 24, 2009, approvals and the location of wind turbine projects would have been decided by the Municipality under the Municipal and Planning Acts. The Green Energy Act by-passes this process and puts the approval process directly in the hands of the Provincial government.
Calls for moratorium on any further wind projects until an independent health study is completed are growing. To date 51 municipalities, including the City of Kawartha Lakes and a growing number of school boards along with the Federation of Canadian municipalities have passed resolutions asking for an independent health study.
A recent announcement by the Ontario Government to fund a research chair falls short of the expectation Ontarians have for a thorough independent health study. The announcement of a professor of engineering from the University of Waterloo, a specialist in Solar Power with no background in health has been met with disbelief.
“The Society for Wind Vigilance expresses its concern over the announcement of its choice of Research Chair in Renewable Technologies and Health. Dr Siva Sivoththaman is an electrical engineer. While we wish him well, in our view Dr. Sivoththaman’s professional background lacks the clinical expertise to evaluate “health impacts of renewable energy” associated with industrial wind turbines” according to Dr. Robert McMurtry, formerly Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Canada and special advisor to Roy Romanow on the future of Health Care in Canada and now Chair of The Society for Wind Vigilance www.windvigilance.com .”The lead and expertise of this Research Chair would more appropriately have been a clinician scientist. We strongly encourage the new Chair to seek the appropriate collaborators as a new the research program is established.”
“That the Trillium Lakelands District School Board support in principle the Manvers “Gone with the Wind” Community Group in their endeavor to obtain an independent study fo the health effects of fully operational wind turine projects in advance of the issuance of any permits and commencement of any projects.”