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Standards would be welcome

A study regarding how wind turbines are perceived will have some people expressing doubts. Published in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, the report claims turbines have little effect on the value of nearby properties.

Considering the controversy and the division in a community that can be caused by the development of a wind farm, it seems odd that property values wouldn’t be affected.

An interesting related bit of news, last month a study from Health Canada reported finding no evidence supporting a link between wind-turbine noise and the health complaints some people living nearby have claimed.

Granted, there is the psychosomatic factor where illness is concerned. But at any rate, you will find people who dispute the claim that people’s health is not affected.

The property value study was done by researchers at the University of Guelph and included data from some townships in Ontario, on home and farm sales during a decade that saw a number of turbines erected.

Such findings, though possibly disputed, should be seen as positive, given the need to develop alternate sources of energy that don’t rely on fossil fuels. Moving toward greener, more stable sources is inevitable.

But still, in the face of mixed feelings about these developments, we could be doing a better job of establishing standards, such as minimum setbacks of the turbines from residences. More than one proposed wind project in this province has met stiff resistance from communities.

As it is, municipalities across Nova Scotia have had to deal with this issue, coming up with the regulations in regard to development.

One would think more provincial involvement in this matter would be helpful, with some sort of standards that can be counted on across Nova Scotia, rather than a patchwork of rules.

Any such regulations should be paying close heed to the complaints lodged by citizens, so that matters of health and property values wouldn’t enter the conversation so often.