Amaranth Township Council wants a 1.4- kilometre setback for industrial wind turbines based on a report entitled “Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise on Sleep and Health.”
Furthermore, the council is asking for existing wind farms to immediately halt their operations within the 1.4 km of homes and farms.
The Nissenbaum report asserts that persons living within 1.4 km of wind turbines suffer night-time sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness more so than the population farther from the turbines.
“Validated questionnaires were used to collect information on sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality index – PSQI), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Score – ESS), and general health (SF36v2), together with psychiatric disorders, attitude, and demographics,” the report says.
The council, in a resolution by Councillors Jane Aultman and Brian Besley, describes the report as a “peer-reviewed scientific study,” and states that it “clearly identifies the ill-health effects of people living within 1.4 km. of industrial wind farms.”
The resolution accuses the provincial medical officer of health of “mistakenly assur(ing) the residents living near industrial wind farms that there is no health hazard,” and calls for “an immediate order for industrial wind companies to cease and desist operation of any wind turbines within 1.4 km of residential homes and farms.”
The Nissenbaum report has been around in one form or another for several years. It was referenced in a Energy Review Tribunal hearing on the Renewable Energy Approval for a Chatham-Kent wind farm.
“The work and findings of this publication have been reviewed in the Queen’s Bench of Saskatchewan case McKinnon v. Martin (2010 – also referred to as the Red Lily case) and during the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT)Erickson v. MOE (2011 – also referred to as the Kent Breeze case),” notes an Intrinsik Environmental Science review.
On Nissenbaum, the tribunal is quoted as having said: “Looking at the Appellants’ evidence, the Tribunal found that strong statements about harm that will be caused were preceded by evidence that largely showed that harm “may” be caused. For example, with respect to the Nissenbaum Study and Dr. Aramini’s application of it, there are enough uncertainties to lead the Tribunal to conclude that no proof of harm is present.”
Intrinsik and others have questioned the methodology used by Nissenbaum, as well as the size of the sample population, among other things.
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