By Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News
There was acrimonious cross-examination of a medical doctor on the final day of testimony today at a hearing into the challenge of an approval of a renewable energy project near Thamesville.
Dr. Robert McCunney, a co-author of the a 2009 review of wind turbine reports for the American and Canadian wind energy associations, which concluded there is no adverse effects on human health due to wind turbine noise, was challenged on whether he still believes this is the case.
Eric Gillespie, lawyer for the appellants, Katie Erickson and Chatham-Kent Wind Action Inc., in an appeal before the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal of the Kent Breeze Wind Farm, pointed out 217 other documented cases of people living on three different continents, whose quality of life has been impacted by living near wind turbines.
“As a medical doctor, who claims to have an interest in public health, are you telling this tribunal you do not have even a suspicion of harm (to humans caused by wind turbines)?” Gillespie said.
McCunney, who pointed out the study titled: “Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects An Expert Panel Review,” focused primarily on peer-reviewed published reports.
“I would suggest all these authors submit their reports to get peer-reviewed and get them published,” he said.
The appellants are challenging the renewal energy project, primarily owned by Suncor Energy, on the basis the noise will cause harm to residents living nearby, including sleeplessness, headaches, inner-ear problems and stress.
The Kent Breeze Wind Farm, which is still under construction, is the first renewable energy project to be approved under Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
Dates to hear the final submissions were tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday, but are expected to be rescheduled until sometime in May. The final submissions will also likely be heard in Toronto.