SARNIA – A concerned Lambton County resident is calling on the local public school board to support a moratorium on industrial wind turbines being built within the school board district.
Plympton-Wyoming resident Keith Douglas said the board needs to act especially since wind projects are being proposed for sites near two Lambton Kent District schools.
Scientific research shows wind turbines generate both audible and inaudible noise, which could potentially impact the health of students and teachers, Douglas told trustees.
“Closing the windows in a school will not keep (low frequency sound) away from the children or teachers,” he said, adding low frequency sound has been linked to cases of motion sickness and disorientation.
Suncor Energy Products is proposing to erect as many as 46 turbines in the area of Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
About 12 turbines will be within a five-kilometre radius of Plympton-Wyoming’s Aberarder Central School, Douglas estimated.
Another wind turbine project is being proposed near Thedford’s Bosanquet Central School. Under this project, Nextera Energy Canada has asked for provincial approval for as many as 154 turbines.
Douglas said the province doesn’t require wind developers to predict levels of low frequency sound – known as infrasound – before building.
“Turbines are being built too close to humans and we know they have adverse health effects,” he told trustees.
Education director Jim Costello said the board needs to seek some scientific opinion before making a decision.
“It’s a scientific issue that requires scientific expertise,” he said.
When asked if this issue had arisen before, Costello said he wasn’t aware of any LKDSB schools currently located near wind turbines.
Costello offered to invite Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health, for a meeting with trustees. Colby has been researching the potential health impacts of wind turbines.
Costello said the board needs to be absolutely sure of the current science.
“It’s a good model too as educators that we know all the facts before we make a decision,” he added.
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