TORONTO – Ontario should impose a moratorium on new wind turbine projects until at least 2014, when the results of a Health Canada study on possible ill effects of low-frequency noise is released, Tory MPP Lisa Thompson said.
Health Canada announced on July 11 that it would conduct a study exploring the relationship between wind turbine noise and the negative health effects such as sleeplessness, inner-ear problems and depression reported by nearby residents.
“The (Dalton) McGuinty Liberals did not conduct an in-depth study into the health effects surrounding wind turbines before they invaded rural Ontario with their big green energy dreams,” Thompson said Friday. “And we have heard from many throughout the years that that dream has turned into a nightmare.”
Health Canada had previously stated that there was no definitive link that the noise produced by turbines was harmful to human health.
Dr. Arlene King , Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, had come to the same conclusion that wind turbines were not a health threat after reviewing previous studies.
Jennifer Kett, a spokesperson for Energy Minister Chris Bentley, said the government is not considering a moratorium on wind turbines.
“Dr. Arlene King’s review found that the scientific evidence does not demonstrate any direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects on Ontarians,” Kett said. “This is in part due to the strict setback standards that we have established here in Ontario. At 550 meters, they are some of the most stringent standards in North America.”
Pharmacist Carmen Krogh said the industrial wind turbines being built now are much larger than previous models, and research has revealed that residents as far as five kilometres away are experiencing problems.
“It seems tahe further back they are, the better,” Krogh said. “We found around two kilometres there seems to be less risk.”
The McGuinty government’s desire to install 10,700 MW of wind power generation in Ontario would require 9,000 turbines, Thompson said.
“Right now we have a surplus of energy that is costing Ontario taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. As we spill water and vent steam because we don’t need surplus energy that is being developed … it’s so appropriate to hit the pause button,” Thompson said.
Kett said the province is concerned about the health of Ontarians, and is replacing coal generation with cleaner, renewable power.
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