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Tribunal focus on health effects continues

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, 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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  1. Roger Short says:

    In addition to Mr. Barnard’s postings, and if there were any correlation between wind turbines and resulting health consequences, the most likely population to exhibit such symptoms would be technicians working all day every day on turbines, well within any set-back minima.
    This does not appear to be the case in any objective study to date.
    What is becoming increasingly clear in independent scientific work is that the root cause of people’s sicknesses (never ignored) is that resulting from aggressive harassment by organized opponents of wind power, who make it their business to drown out any other civilised point of view.
    How do I know? I have been present at many such meetings and been subject to such assaults. In addition, I know of many farmers who now stay away from such “public meetings” where they risk the same anti-democratic treatment.

  2. Gary Mooney says:

    Correction of earlier post on Saturday, May 11th, 2013 at 6:24 am

    The Tribunal will continue on Tue May 14 at 09:30 and Wed May 15 at 09:30 in Demorestville, with testimony from, and cross-examination of, victims.

    Then on Thu May 16 at 10:00 and Fri May 17 at 10:00 in Toronto, with testimony from APPEC’s experts. Details for teleconference dial-in to be provided later.

    See for an account of the first victim’s testimony, heard on Thu, May 9.

  3. Gary Mooney says:

    The Tribunal will continue on Tue May 14 at 09:30 and Wed May 16 at 10:00 in Demorestville, with testimony from, and cross-examination of, victims.

    Then on May 17 and 18 in Toronto with testimony from APPEC’s experts. Details for teleconference dial-in to be provided later.

    See for an account of the first victim’s testimony, heard on Thu, May 9.

  4. David Norman says:

    @ Mike Barnard… in your reply to Chris you state; “You mischaracterize the research. It accepts that people are having health impacts. It questions the causes of them in the lack of any reason why people would be having them from any of the solid literature world wide.” The fact is, that it is you who “mischaracterize the research” by presenting the very sparse and methodologically limited empirical research which represents your purposes as “solid” and that which opposes your purposes biased. That being said, as is seen all too commonly in Political/corporate rhetoric, I’ve no doubt you’ll continue to find convoluted explanations for the positions you present, with plenty of time left over to lunch with Margaret Atwood to discuss and formulate your future plans in this respect.

  5. Dan Wrightman says:

    Awwww poor Mike. He wrote to Sarah Laurie and she didn’t follow up or respond to him. She should have known how hard it is for his ego when his efforts at attention seeking are ignored.

  6. Doris Lane says:

    Another wind farm employee speaks out
    I have three dogs and if I lived by a wind farm they would go nuts. They even have a fit when my computer clicks off. If they heard the roar it would upset them terribly and the flicker would keep them barkig all the time. And dogs can not read the papers etc.
    I know a lady who keeps rescue dogs and she was very upset that turbines might come near her place. She was going to move if they did.
    If man’s best friend cannot stand IWT’s–why should man???

  7. Mike Barnard says:

    @Chris: You mischaracterize the research. It accepts that people are having health impacts. It questions the causes of them in the lack of any reason why people would be having them from any of the solid literature world wide.

    The strong evidence is that symptoms are increased very substantially in number and severity by anti-wind campaigning related to health issues. And the strong evidence is that serious ailments are being misattributed to wind turbines and as such are not being treated appropriately.

    These are both very negative impacts of spreading unfounded fears about health related to wind farms. Both are serious and are being treated seriously by public health professionals world wide who are attempting to plug the flood of disinformation leading to these negative health outcomes.

    The most recent is the state of Victoria in Australia, whose Department of Health released clear statements that wind farms do not harm people’s health.

    The evidence is clear. Continuing to spread anti-wind health scares in face of this evidence is very serious. I have written directly to Sarah Laurie pointing this out and asking her to take a hiatus from her promotion of unfounded health scares with no response. Despite follow-up, no response.

    What is your motivation to continue to harm people’s health in light of the strong evidence that you are?

  8. Mark says:

    $$$ or those that idolize it tend to have no conscience.

  9. Chris Keen says:

    To characterize Ontario residents, who will be testifying at the ERT about the ill effects IWTs have had on them, as little more than hypochondriacs who are ill because they listened to NIMBYs is a new low.

  10. Malcolm Hamilton says:

    I live with five windmills outside my front yard and seven beyond my back yard. The closest one is 867 meters from my residence. My wife and I spend most of our time (4-5 days per week) there and we’ve never had any sleep disturbance or other symptoms. We have frequent guests, including my 2-year old grand-daughter, and they are incredulous that anyone would complain.

    The hosts of those windmills (11 residences and over 25 people) never have symptoms and they’re very pleased with their royalty payments. Their livestock hasn’t suffered either.

    Full disclosure: I’m a retired wind energy developer and fully supportive of renewable energy.

  11. Doris Lane says:

    I have been to Wolfe island 4 times and I could not stand
    to live beside an IWT.
    The sound is not the same as
    the sound of the waves–come on who would believe that BS
    Really Mike what you write is pure Ficton. In stead of working for the wind companies you should be writing Ficton books

  12. Sue3 says:

    …. and then there are those who have been brainwashed by the wind companies.

  13. Mike Barnard says:

    Wind farms don’t harm human health, anti-wind campaigners do. 17 major reviews world wide of all of the available research by credible, independent groups have cleared wind farms of health impacts. Meanwhile, studies in the UK, Australia and New Zealand point the finger at anti-wind lobbyists spreading health fears and jacking up stress. Most recently, the Department of Health in the state of Victoria in Australia released unequivocal statements that wind farms don’t harm people’s health.

    Infrasound produced by wind farms is harmless; humans evolved with infrasound and wind farms produce less than waves on a beach, yet beach front property is in major demand. The human body produces infrasound that is at a higher level than that from wind farms when the heart beats. If you can’t hear it, it can’t hurt you. That’s the rule to keep in mind to counter the pseudoscience of Ms. Laurie et al.

    The only harm to people’s health that will result from wind farms in Prince Edward County is if they listen to the anti-wind lobbyists telling them that they will get sick. A subset of people hearing the messages will internalize them, get deeply stressed, over-focus on minor environmental noise and suffer ill health as a result. Ignore the antis and inoculate yourself with facts.

    Note that lengthy posts with full references to peer-reviewed and published research from around the world are on my blog barnardonwind on WordPress to support each of the points above. Innumerable other articles and blogs have attempted to dispel the sickening miasma that anti-wind lobbyists are throwing up.

  14. Doris Lane says:

    The health effects part of the ERT begins on Thursday–don’t miss it

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