Re: Ministry of the Environment Media Release “Expert Report Confirms No Direct Health Effects from Wind Turbines”
We are the solicitors for Wind Concerns Ontario (“WCO”). WCO has analysed the contents of the Ministry of Environment (“MOE”) December 16, 2011 media release “Expert Report Confirms No Direct Health Effects From Wind Turbines” (the “MOE Media Release”): http://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/20ll/12/expert-report-confirms-no-direct-health-effects-from-wind-turbines.html.
The apparent purpose of the MOE Media Release is to “educate” the public on matters related to wind turbine noise exposure and human health. As part of its mandate, government is responsible for providing citizens with accurate and appropriate information so they can protect themselves and/or their health. Furthermore, the Renewable Energy Approval (“REA”) process requires full and accurate disclosure of any potential health effects of renewable energy projects. It appears the MOE Media Release does not fulfill these responsibilities.
For example the MOE Media Release contains a link to a MOE web page entitled “Backgrounder: Low Frequency Sound and Infrasound Report” (the “MOE Backgrounder”) which states:
Is wind turbine sound harmful?
The best available science shows there is no direct health risk from wind turbine noise.
An uninformed member ofthe public could incorrectly interpret this MOE Backgrounder statement to mean wind turbine sound cannot harm human health.
As you should be aware the evidence and expert testimony provided during a 2011 Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (“ERT”) confirmed wind turbines can harm human health. The July 18, 2011 ERT Decision states:
This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.
At the request of our client we are providing the following references to assist the MOE in fulfilling its responsibilities to fully and accurately describe any negative effects on health and safety. The references set out in this letter reflect generally accepted acoustical and psychoacoustic principles. The references also include ERT evidence and/or testimony provided by witnesses for the Respondents at the ERT hearing (the Ministry of Environment, Suncor Energy Services Inc.). …
ERIC K. GILLESPIE PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
Barristers & Solicitors
January 3, 2012
The Honourable J. Bradley, Minister of the Environment
The Honourable C. Bentley, Minister of Energy
The Honourable D. Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Ms. Doris Dumais, Director, Approvals Program, Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch, Ministry of the Environment
Mr. Brian Howe, MEng, MBA, PEng, Principal, Howe Gastmeier Chapnik Limited (HGC Engineering)
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