Picton, Ontario/ April 12, 2011 – In a powerful show of concern regarding the proposed Ostrander Point wind development in Prince Edward County, residents demanded that no approval should be granted. Due to the many acknowledgements under oath at the recent Environmental Review Tribunal in the Chatham/Suncor Kent Breezes legal challenge, there is ample evidence that the references used by the authors of the Ostrander Point noise assessment are not properly based on fact or up to date research.
Chris Ollson, PhD, a member of Stantec Consulting and a key witness for Suncor stated, “What is clear is that some people living near wind turbines experience annoyance due to turbines. Swishing, whistling, resounding and pulsating- throbbing were the sound characteristics….most highly correlated with annoyance from turbine noise… Some people were also disturbed in their sleep.” Ollson is also the sign-off consultant on the Ostrander Point noise assessment.
Chris Ollson through Stantec is also responsible for the Red Lily Project in Saskatchewan which began operating earlier this year. Already a noise study has been ordered because of complaints from neighbouring residents.
Stantec Consulting is a member of both CanWEA and AWEA lobby groups which continuously deny there are health effects associated with industrial wind turbines. Stantec relies in part on non-peer reviewed CanWEA produced information sheet to inform the public while failing to recognize the Health Canada statement that wind turbines may have a negative impact on human health. In fact while Ollson has stated that wind turbines can cause annoyance and sleep disturbance he fails to explore the health consequences.
This research is inadequate to insure that human health will be protected. Ollson goes further in the Gilead Renewable Energy Application noise assessment by categorically stating that “… at all receptor locations, the Project is not anticipated to pose annoyance or human health issues to nearby residents. However, it is acknowledged that this may be one area of scientific uncertainty in the wind industry as a whole. ”Ollson also admits: “..it is believed that if the audible noise level is lower than 40 dBA at the receptors setback at a minimum of 550 m from any one wind turbine that the Project will have no net negative effect on human health from wind turbine infrasound. However, it is recognized that this may be an area of scientific uncertainty.”
It should also be noted that Dr. Alec Salt’s 2010 research is peer reviewed and was published before the Gilead noise assessment by Stantec and states: “Based on our understanding of how low frequency sound is processed in the ear, and on reports indicating that wind turbine noise causes greater annoyance than other sounds of similar level…there is an urgent need for more research directly addressing the physiologic consequences of long-term, low level infrasound exposures on humans.”
Also under oath at the Kent Breezes legal action, expert witnesses acknowledged that key conclusions in the American Wind Energy Association(AWEA) and Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) report “Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects, December 2009” should be revised. Furthermore the May 2010 report by the Chief Medical Officer of Health should also be revised.
Based on this evidence, concerned residents of Prince Edward County do not accept that the reports submitted to the Minister of the Environment written by Stantec Consulting represent the true health consequences of wind turbines in rural communities. They also demand that the references displayed at their promotional meetings to be removed until balanced literature is provided.
Henri Garand, President
Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County