Unhappy with a provincial report that says wind turbines are not a danger to human health, a Haldimand community group wants the area’s board of health to do its own research.
Members of Haldimand Wind Concerns, which is fighting to stop 176 turbines from going up across their county, will ask the board’s advisory committee on Thursday night to order a clinical study to be done by “third party independents.”
They will point to stories from around the world, as well as right next door in Norfolk County, from people living next to turbines who insist they are being sickened by the infrasound they emit.
The government report, say wind opponents, is merely a “review” of other studies and a new study is needed that includes on-the-ground research where turbines are currently located.
“When are they going to start interviewing the folks in Haldimand and Norfolk who have to deal with these in their backyards?” asked Ernie King, vice-president of the wind concerns group.
“I don’t think anyone has the right to tell me if I want to survive, I have to move,” added King, who lives in a country home with his wife and two young sons that is slated to have a turbine go up 650 metres away.
But whether the board -which gives advice to Norfolk and Haldimand councils on the health and social services programs the two counties share -will agree to do anything remains to be seen.
It is a municipal body, and decision-making power over where green energy projects go now rests solely with the province.
Hagersville Coun. Tony Dalimonte, who is chair of the advisory committee, said he expects the deputation will be heard and then referred back to Norfolk council, which is the legal board of health for both counties.
“We do not have the money to do the studies these folks are asking us to do,” said Dalimonte.
The deputation, he noted, is the same one given to Norfolk council last fall, which then referred it to the advisory committee.
Dalimonte charged that Norfolk Mayor Dennis Travale “abdicated his responsibility” by passing the issue on to the advisory committee instead of dealing with it himself.
“If you want a study done in Norfolk County, it should be paid for by Norfolk County,” Dalimonte noted.
Residents in Haldimand fear they will suffer the same fate as residents in the west end of Norfolk after turbines went up around their houses about four years ago.
Since then, they have complained of sleeplessness, dizzy spells, and other health problems. Some have moved out of their homes altogether.
Noise created from the spinning blades prevents people from sleeping at night while the infrasound (the inaudible sounds emitted from turbines) is causing people to suffer heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and nausea, King said.
King said he has met people in the west end of Norfolk and believes their stories. “You can see it in their eyes, you can hear it in their voices,” he said.
Councils in both counties have joined other municipalities in Ontario in asking Queen’s Park to bring in a moratorium on the building of any new turbines until further health studies are completed.
But they have been reluctant to take further action, saying there is little they can do.
“Our first step is to get them to agree we need to do a study,” King said, adding he is “confident” the Haldimand turbine projects can be stopped.
-with files from Matt Day,