Discussions at the Environmental Review Tribunal Tuesday have postponed witness testimony to Thursday, May 9, starting at 9:30 a.m. There will not be a hearing Wednesday.
The appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal, filed by the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC), is on the basis of “serious harm to human health that will be caused by Gilead Power’s Ostrander Point wind project. The hearing is to focus on health effects that nine wind turbines will inflict on residents living within 2 km.
“In 2011, the Chatham-Kent ERT panel acknowledged that wind turbines can cause harm when sited too close,” said Henri Garand, chairman of APPEC. “It also noted that Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Arlene King had failed to research ‘indirect’ health effects in her 2010 review of scientific literature. APPEC’s appeal will take into account the ERT’s guidance on the need to show harm to specific “receptors,” aka persons.
It will present the latest acoustical, epidemiological and medical research, as well as the testimonies of up to 17 Ontario wind power
Garand noted that while previous ERT appeals featured a battle among experts, this time Ontario residents will recount adverse health effects they personally experience when living next to wind turbines despite “protective” setbacks.
Three witnesses are to provide supporting testimony: Dr. Robert McMurtry, an Order of Canada physician and surgeon with experience in delivery of health care, health care policies and health policy; Robert Thorne, Ph.D. , an expert on environmental health with knowledge of acoustics and psycho-acoustics; and Dr. Sarah Laurie, a general practitioner and CEO of the Waubra Foundation, with knowledge of Australian wind victims.
“Considering the fate of numerous Ontario victims, it is outrageous that both the wind power industry and the Ontario government continue to deny the adverse health effects arising from noise annoyance, low-frequency sound, and infrasound,” said Garand. “The symptoms include sleep disturbance, nausea, migraine, vertigo, loss of cognitive function, high blood pressure, and cardiac events. The consequences of prolonged exposure are well documented in medical literature. The Nissenbaum et al peer-reviewed health study (Nov. 2012) indicates that a minimum of 2 km is required to protect from wind turbine emissions.
“Dr. Ray Copes, Director of the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, stated in a 2010 internal email obtained through Freedom of Information: “studies support a causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.”
Garand admits the legal test is onerous, but is optimistic the arguments and evidence presented by APPEC’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, will prove the inadequacy of Ontario’s setbacks and confirm that win turbines can harm health.
“The ERT’s decision will have enormous significance in terms of precedent, not just for Gilead’s project, but for wind development in Prince Edward County and throughout Ontario,” said Garand. “Given this context, APPEC is seeking funds from everyone who opposes unsafe wind power development in Ontario. Donations may be made through PayPal at www.appec.ca, or by cheque payable to APPEC Legal Fund
and mailed to APPEC Legal Fund, PO Box 173, Milford, ON K0K 2P0
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