Huron County health board pauses turbine noise health investigation

The claim that it might duplicate another study being done by Ontario is false: the Ontario Health Study is a general population study aimed at factors in health and chronic disease—it has nothing whatever to do with reports of health impacts from wind turbine noise. But everything to do with a Board that wants to make a political decision…

Huron Health Board claims duplication with a study that has nothing to do with wind turbine noise.
Huron Health Board claims duplication with a study that has nothing to do with wind turbine noise.

London Free Press May 16, 2016

Huron County has hit the pause button on plans to investigate health complaints by its residents about industrial wind farms.

Due to start this month, the probe of the impact of wind turbines by Huron County Health Unit has been put on hold by its board of health.

Bluewater Mayor Tyler Hessel, who chairs the board, said Monday the board wants to check with the province to ensure the work by the health unit doesn’t duplicate other efforts. No decision has been made to drop the probe, Hessel said.

“It just doesn’t make sense to duplicate. We are waiting for information to come back . . . We don’t want to get into duplication because we can’t afford to at a small level. We don’t want to get into a situation where we are throwing money away,” Hessel said.

Ontario is undertaking a health study and the Huron health board wants to know if wind turbines will be part of that work, Hessel said.

But the head of Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of anti-wind farm groups, said the health unit has a legal obligation to investigate possible health hazards.

“As a registered nurse, I was frankly shocked at the way this board is trying everything it can to squirm out of its responsibility to the citizens under its care. I would expect them to listen to reports of problems, and then do whatever they can to help,” said Jane Wilson.

Huron County is home to more than 250 industrial wind turbines, with more under construction.

Some residents have complained at public meetings that noise from the turbines has caused sleep problems, anxiety and nosebleeds.

In announcing the study on its website, the Huron County health unit said the investigation was in keeping with its legislative duty to investigate potential health hazards to area residents.

Just as the investigation was to launch, the area’s medical officer of health, Dr. Janice Owens, was relieved of her duties by the health board.

Declining to provide details behind the departure, Hessel rejected suggestions by wind farm opponents Owens’ departure was connected to the probe and said the study would go ahead.

Owens has not responded to a request for comment.

At the health board meeting last week, where it was decided not to go ahead with the study immediately, a draft of the health unit survey was presented. …

Read the full story here.

WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO COMMENT

Given the rising number of complaints related to wind turbine noise and health impacts, such as sleep disturbance, the Huron County Board of Health has a responsibility to follow up and investigate these reports under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Part III.

The Ontario Health Study is a long-term study of determinants of health that lead to disease and chronic conditions such as diabetes—it is NOT related to wind turbine noise in any way. There is no “duplication.”

Any decision to halt the investigation and refuse to follow up on citizen concerns will be a political decision, not one based on the Board’s responsibility to the people under its care.

Comments

Sommer
Reply

Thank you Jane for clarifying the delay tactic used regarding “duplication”. People who have been advocating for residents who have experienced many more adverse health impacts than “sleep problems, anxiety and nosebleeds” sat there in silence and were stunned. We were not allowed to speak. After all these years and all of the people who have experienced adverse health effects in Ontario, the suggestion that there is a way these people could have effectively addressed their adverse health impacts was an absolute insult. Adding this abuse to people who have already endured so much injury is cruel.
Our municipal ‘leaders’ have refused to even consider using the funds they are receiving from the wind companies to help people who have lost the sense of safety, security and pleasure of their homes because turbines were placed too close or sited in clusters surrounding their homes. The ethical decision would be to use any money coming into the county because of these turbines to assist people who have been negatively impacted first.

Sommer
Reply

Mayor Tyler Hessel is understating the crisis of over 30 residents who made written statements in Huron County when he says, “Some residents have complained at public meetings that noise from the turbines has caused sleep problems, anxiety and nosebleeds.”
In one of the municipalities, over a hundred emails were sent to one of the members of the Board of Health. He has a conflict of interest when it comes to turbines because he is a leaseholder. Often those emails to him were not deliverable. Residents were complaining last spring, summer and fall about noise and effects they were experiencing ranging from traumatic episodes of sudden rapid heart beat, tinnitus and a horrible vibrating sensation throughout their bodies and more. Atmospheric pressure and wind speed were copied on these complaints. These complaints went to all who are responsible in this province, including Eric Hoskins, Kathleen Wynne and Bob Chiarelli.
Making light of this reality is highly irresponsible. The members of the Board of Health should have discussed and been well aware of these reports/complaints. They should have appreciated the fact that the Health Unit team who initiated the investigation made the assessment that the criteria was met to investigate. It should be obvious to everyone that the mandate of the Board of Health to protect the health of residents is not their actual objective.

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