Eganville – Concerns over the impact of wind turbines are continuing for local researcher Carmen Krogh, despite the fact no new wind farm applications have been submitted locally.
“I have been told by some they are likely coming to Renfrew County,” she told BV council last Tuesday. “I don’t have proof of that.”
A local researcher into the effects of wind turbines, she has been widely published and has spoken internationally on the subject for years, warning about the dangers of the turbines on human and animal health. The last time she was at council was about six years ago and she wanted to provide an update on her activities, she noted. She began researching the impacts of the turbines in the fall of 2008. In those days there was talk of wind turbines dotting hills of the Opeongo, but in the ensuing years no development – large or small – has occurred locally.
Mrs. Krogh said she continues to warn about the dangers of the turbines.
“We’ve had some progress internationally,” she said. “Not so much here in Ontario.”
The debate now is the matter of degree of impact, but this is still unknown, she said.
“Under the Green Energy Act, a municipality or individual could ask for a review,” she said.
“We’ve had one case where the Blanding’s Turtle was deemed to be at risk of extinction,” she added, noting there has also been danger shown to one species of bats.
“Causation is a tough one in health to prove,” she added.
However, she has evidence people have had to leave their homes because of the location of wind turbines close to them. She has published three articles and a fourth is in progress.
“I get invited a lot to speak at universities,” she said.
Ontario has a hotline where incident reports can be filled about the impact of the wind turbines and over 6,000 incident reports have been filed.
“This is an incredible amount,” she said. “I do believe people who say they have health problems, that they can’t live in their homes.”
People report the sound is like “a jet flying overhead that never quits,” she added.
In terms of people exposed in the province, there are 92,000 people within 1,500 metres of a turbine.
“That is the size of Pickering,” she said. “The thing is projects are spread all over, so it is an isolated grouping.”
The turbines are also emitting more energy. When she began researching, they were 1.36 megawatt and now they are 3.2 megawatt.
“The most recent one outside Ottawa which was approved was 3.2 megawatt,” she said.
Councillor Merv Buckwald noted this was an issue of some concern many years ago.
“Then everything went dead and I have not heard about them,” he said.
Mrs. Krogh said it looks like the projects are currently expanding which were started 10 years ago.
Coun. Buckwald said he saw a wind farm outside Sault St. Marie which was located about 50 kilometres out of town
“That is always the premise,” Mrs. Krogh said. “They need to be placed far away. Density is a big issue.”
Councillor Jack Roesner noted the larger megawatt power means the turbines themselves will be much larger.
“If you are going to that size, I can imagine how much larger they are,” he said.
In Europe, where there are many more wind farms, they are smaller at about 600 kilowatts or the height of a silo, she said.
On a more positive note, in Australia there are court cases being won on the issue of impact from wind turbines, she said. She and a physician were able to get a diagnostic test approved which was a positive step.
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