Huron-Kinloss Council asked to help voice concerns about wind turbines

Posted By By Sara Bender, Lucknow Sentinel

Huron-Kinloss Twp. council is once again being asked to help voice public concerns to the provincial government regarding wind turbines.

Cheryl Murray, along with a group of residents, attended the township council meeting on June 7, expressing concerns with a wind turbine project in the municipality. Murray said she is part of a Central Grey Bruce committee.

She said International Power Inc. has planned a Bluewater/Ripley wind power project that could see 50, 2.5 megawatt wind turbines built in Huron-Kinloss. Murray said most of her neighbours were unaware of the project and she and her husband were surprised when they learned that their newly renovated, century-old farm house is in the middle of the project. Once learning of the project, Murray said they began investigating further details about wind turbines and became concerned with the fact that wind turbines can be built as close as 550 meters to a residence. She said she is also concerned with people’s lives being deprived by the wind turbine industry.

“To say we have suffered great anxiety and stress since learning of this project is putting it mildly,” she said.

Murray said she has sincere sympathy for those who have suffered adverse health effects from wind turbines or those who have suffered from “wind turbine syndrome” and have had to evacuate their homes. She added that she has heard many experts and victims talk about these health effects.

“It is a shame our government is allowing companies to go solicit landowners, allowing them to sign leases and force them to keep secrets about these agreements,” she said.

She adds that she has talked to a project consultant and to Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell about her concerns. Murray said they would like council to help voice their concerns to the provincial government.

Murray said a recent report from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is incomplete. She said no scientific study was done; it was only a literature review.

The news report, released May 26, stated that “the scientific evidence does not demonstrate any direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.” The report was prepared by Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and in consultation with the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health.

The report concludes that while some people living nearby wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and sleep disturbance, available scientific evidence to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. Also, the sound level from wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to cause hearing impairment or other direct adverse health effects, but it may annoy some people.

However, Norma Schmidt, of Underwood, said at the council meeting that a wind turbine project surrounding her home caused her to have a serve medical condition. She said she became sleep deprived and suffers from migraines.

“I have this pressure in my head and ears from the wind turbine vibrations. I have to go to Toronto once a week for migraine treatment,” she said. “I have blood pressure problems, which could lead to heart failure, and I am afraid I am going to have a stroke at anytime.”

Schmidt said she worked as a nurse but was forced to resign due to her health problems. She said nursing was her passion and was devastated to give up what she had practiced for many years.

She added that she hears sarcasm from the wind turbine developer who told her “they have every right to be here.” Schmidt said the government is ignoring concerns from Ontarians and their health issues.

Council later supported a bylaw from the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie regarding industrial/commercial wind generation facilities (wind turbines). The bylaw passed by Arran-Elderslie addresses health and safety concerns related to the location and erection of wind generation facilities (industrial wind turbines) within the municipality. Arran-Elderslie has circulated the bylaw to all municipalities in Ontario for information and support.