The [Canadian Council of Academies] supports the status quo for wind turbines. The CCA did not recognize that wind turbines operating in quiet rural communities produce the most significant adverse health effects. This study should not have been hobbled by competing government responsibilities: wind-turbine development incentives, site permitting, and protecting public health. Academic participation does not foster credibility when commissioned to perform consensus building.
Wind turbine health research is critical, which requires health professionals to make contributions to original research as witnesses. There are many adversely affected communities where they could live as wind turbine neighbors. Two acousticians, concerned about why there were so many neighbors’ complaints, went to Falmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate wind turbine noise levels during strong winds. They were invited by strangers already adversely affected to use their home, a custom, well built insulated house, about 1700 ft from an operating 1.65 MW turbine. (“Wind turbine acoustic investigation: Infrasound and low frequency noise—A case study”). These owners experienced significant health problems forcing abandonment of their “dream” house.
CCA chose not review “A cooperative measurement survey and analysis of low frequency and infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin”. This study was performed by five professional noise control engineers in an abandoned residence near wind turbines. An acoustic expert recently published a study with extensive infrasound measurements at three adversely affected homes near the Cape Bridgewater (Victoria, Australia) wind turbines.
The CCA study could only identify annoyance to be true. CCA dismissed all adverse health impacts by asserting that conflicting reports were limited or inadequate. CCA did not present evidence that they interviewed adversely affected neighbors. CCA did not recognize significant differences between non–wind turbine urban communities and rural environments where most wind turbines are located. This report represents another lost opportunity for public health professionals to receive funding to do first-person research and gather evidence by living with wind turbines.
The CCA continues to rehash selected studies to benefit wind turbine development, and appears to set aside wind turbine complaints as only a nuisance for public health officials. Dismissing white papers as “gray” and neighbors’ documentation of harm just adds to the number of wind turbine victims. Expert panels lose credibility by citing earlier flawed governmental studies. CCA did not review the decision by the Brown County Board of Health (Wisconsin, USA), which found the Shirley Wind Turbine Project to be a public health nuisance. Public health studies should not appear to be performed with blind eyes and deaf ears.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Stephen E. Ambrose, ASA, INCE, Board Certified
Principal Consultant, and wind turbine victim