Grey County wants the province to slap an immediate moratorium on wind turbine developments in Ontario.
Nine of 13 councillors at Tuesday’s county council meeting supported the call for the indefinite freeze until further studies provide “conclusive” evidence related to the impact of the industrial machines on human health.
The motion, presented by Hanover Deputy-mayor Bob White, was prompted by the findings of a report by local medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn and research assistant Dr. Ian Arra that concluded turbines cause distress among people who live close by.
“What’s the sense of putting all these things up right now, these wind turbines? Let’s face it, there’s hundreds of them in Grey County and they’re going up pretty fast. Let’s take a look to see if there is an adverse condition before we put anymore up,” White said in an interview after the council meeting wrapped up.
“Somewhere down the road, you might say, God, we should have done this a long time ago. By stopping them we could have stopped people from having this sort of condition.”
Chatsworth Mayor Bob Pringle at first moved a two-part motion to encourage the “expedient” peer review of Lynn’s study and to request a moratorium.
He later split the motion, saying he would support taking a preliminary step before calling for a moratorium.
Support for the peer review motion passed unanimously. White moved the moratorium motion, which was seconded by Grey Highlands Deputy-mayor Paul McQueen, after Pringle opted not to.
The motion for a moratorium will be forwarded to Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Progressive Conservative MPP Bill Walker, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Conservative MP Larry Miller and the County of Bruce.
West Grey Mayor Kevin Eccles, the area’s Liberal candidate in the last provincial election in 2011, voted against the moratorium request, along with Grey Highlands Mayor Wayne Fitzgerald, Southgate Mayor Brian Milne and Southgate Deputy-mayor Norm Jack.
Grey County council requested in 2009 that the provincial and federal governments dedicate more resources to consider the impact of wind turbines on human health, but did not ask for a provincial moratorium.
Last September, the Grey Bruce Health Unit board was asked to do something to help area turbine neighbours.
Lynn and Arra presented a report to the board of health Feb. 22.
The pair looked at the most available and credible studies on wind turbines and their effects related to noise. They focused on 18 peer reviewed studies, all of which revealed an association between wind turbines and distress among some people who live near them.
They plan to have their study peer reviewed and hope to have it published in a medical journal.
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