BLENHEIM – Profanity-laced tirades were heard as emotions ran high during a public meeting here about the health impacts of green energy projects.
More than 50 people attended the meeting at the Blenheim Community Golf Club, organized by the Chatham-Kent Wind Action Group. The topic was “Industrial Wind Turbines and Your Family Health.”
Carmen Krogh, a retired pharmacist who has been researching the adverse effects on wind turbines on human health for the past four years, spoke about peer-reviewed studies that have shown increasing setbacks for industrial wind turbines to 2-kilometres has diminished complaints about negative impacts to human health.
Minimum setbacks for the majority of wind turbines in Chatham-Kent are 550 metres.
Jay Wilgar, vice-president, field operations for International Power Canada, the company erecting turbines across Chatham-Kent, asked Krogh how many farmers and landowners with turbines on their property have complained about noise or health effects.
Krogh said several landowners have signed contracts that require them to accept noise and other issues with the turbines.
Many landowners, she said, have approached her after she’s made presentations, admitting they are suffering ill health effects from the turbines. Some have even moved from their property.
Wilgar said International Power Canada has built several wind farms in Ontario and “none of our agreements (with landowners) would ever have any clause, that would preclude them from complaining about sound or anything else do with turbines on their property.”
As Wilgar stated that no complaint has been received by any landowner under contract with the company, a man at the meeting suddenly charged forward and began to berate him with profanities.
The man told Wilgar to leave and the dispute carried on outside for a time. While Wilgar stated to The Chatham Daily News that threats were made to him and his family, there didn’t appear to be any physical altercation.
Prior to this, Wilgar had asked Chatham-Kent MPP Rick Nicholls, what his plan are to improve the local economy, noting his company is providing $12 million in revenue to local landowners.
This prompted a lady to swear at Wilgar for building turbines near her, claiming she can’t sleep, her blood pressure has gone up and she is grinding her teeth at night. Monica Elmes, Chatham-Kent Wind Energy Action Group spokesperson, told she was “very disappointed” about the turn of events.
“I think some individuals came out with an agenda to be disruptive to our meeting,” she added.
Several other people expressed their concerns.
Cindy Boggaart, who has three turbines being erected near her home Harwich Township home, said, “I’m all for green energy,” adding she’s been an environmentalist for years.
However, she believes there’s some problems that need to be worked out with the technology and worries about the effects it could have on her, since she is already a migraine sufferer.
Lisa Michaud, whose family has launched a $1.5-million lawsuit, claiming negative health effects have been caused by a wind farm near their Thamesville hobby farm, would welcome studies at her property.
She said the health effects spread to their small goat herd, noting the animals would stand out in all kinds of inclement weather, refusing to go into their shelter.
Michaud said they have sold off most of their herd, because of the number of still births and goats with no milk, which are “all kinds of (problems) we didn’t have a year ago.”
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