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Other side of the story

There are always two sides to every story and I welcome Bruce Anderson’s critique of my concerns regarding adverse health effects from industrial-sized wind turbines. However I find his using the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario (Dr. Arlene King) as a basis to back up his statements problematic.

Three points of contention: First, in the very report Mr. Anderson is using to support his claims Dr. King states that “the minimum setback for a wind turbine is 550 metres (1,804 feet) from a receptor. The setbacks rise with the number of turbines and the sound level rating of the selected turbines.” So if you agree with Dr. King then the Spring Creek Wind Conditional Use Permit should be denied because there are five families’ front doors anywhere from 1,300 to 1,647 feet from one of the proposed turbines.

Second, Dr. King used the World Health Organization’s nighttime decibel cutoff of 40 db when many experts/countries feel you should use 35 db in a rural setting like Northfield (e.g. Australia, France and Germany).

Third, Dr. Hazel Lynn (Ministry of Health Grey-Bruce) and Dr. Ray Copes (Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion), who consulted with Dr. King as she prepared her review, questioned her final release. “The whole section that a couple of us really wanted in there on community health and community disruption went. It’s not in there. I suspect politically she can’t criticize another ministry, so I was a little disappointed,” Lynn said. “I think it’s a fair comment that there is other material that could have been in the report and wasn’t,” said Dr. Ray Copes, the director of environmental and occupational health at the OAHPP and another member of the committee that reviewed drafts of the report.

There are a multitude of resolutions put forward by 73 municipalities in Ontario against wind development (there are about 350 municipalities in Ontario). Ontarians are not happy with Dr. King’s stance on wind turbines’ effects on health, and neither should we be.

Gary Carlson, M.D.