Environment Protection Authority science and assessment director Peter Dolan says a new study into wind farm infrasound would be comprehensive and hi-tech.
It was launched because some members of the Waterloo community believed the 37-turbine wind farm that was established in 2010 had created health problems.
“We do believe something is affecting them,” Mr Dolan said.
“As yet, we can’t draw a link between those two things but there’s all sorts of research going into this worldwide.
“But the first question is, are people actually being exposed into infrasound or low frequency sound that might cause them a problem.
“The second bit is if they are, is there something we can practically do about that?”
The EPA released results earlier this month from a one-week study into infrasound in the environment, reporting that it was no greater at locations near wind turbines than it was in other urban and rural environments and was, in fact, lower.
But it said the data was inconclusive in relation to wind farms because testing was only undertaken at two locations about 1.5 kilometres from turbines.
“We don’t think you could use those results broadly, because topography, to an extent climate, wind direction and cover of native vegetation and that sort of thing is different from wind farm to wind farm,” Mr Dolan said.
“This second study is a long-term project that involves two months of monitoring 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it will enable us to capture pretty much all wind conditions and strengths, as well periods of time when wind farms are turned off for maintenance.
“They are industrial power generators and we can do things to them under the act, but the whole debate about health impacts is for other agencies.”
*Full report in Stock Journal, February 21 issue, 2013.
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