Environmental Defence (Canada): 'No Basis' for Health Impact Claims

A new report released Thursday by the Canadian organization Environmental Defence corrects what the group called "the misinformation being promoted by anti-wind activists around Ontario." Environmental Defence said in a news release that the report, Blowing Smoke: Correcting Anti-Wind Myths in Ontario, "finds that study after study around the world has concluded that there is no scientific basis for claims about health impacts from wind power projects, and that wind power is both technically viable and has economic and environmental benefits for Ontario."

“There is a tremendous amount of fear-mongering going on right now about wind power in Ontario,” said Adam Scott, the group's Green Energy Program Manager. “This report aims to introduce some real facts into the debate so that communities can make well informed decisions about wind projects.” 

Environmental Defence summarized the report's findings on wind turbine sound as follows: "The report cites studies that show that with setbacks, wind power projects make as much sound as background noise in a regular home, but that whether or not this bothers people is often in the ear of the beholder–those who are more bothered are those who object to the project in the first place on other grounds. Those who benefit are less bothered."

“Communities must be better integrated into the management and benefits of wind power projects,” said Kristopher Stevens, Executive Director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. “Ultimately, community acceptance will determine whether or not Ontario remains a leader in clean energy, or whether we let other jurisdictions take the investment and jobs away from us.”

The report also debunks the arguments that wind power isn’t a viable source of electricity for utility systems, noting that countries like Denmark and Germany are already successfully integrating much larger amounts of wind energy into their grids than Ontario, and are aiming to add even more. Finally, the report also examines job creation taking place in Ontario due to wind projects, dispelling claims to the contrary.

More reading:

Sierra Club Canada: Time to confront anti-wind disinformation campaign, June 3, 2011
WHO guidelines on sound are … guidelines, March 28, 2011
Scientists, doctor weigh on wind and health, November 30, 2010
Wind Turbines and Health, fact sheet
Maine physician: distortion in anti-wind health claims, November 3, 2010
Australian health agency: Turbine sound has no health effect, July 6, 2010
UK report debunks wind turbine syndrome, June 9, 2010
Wind gets clean bill of health from Ontario, May 20, 2010
Expert panel concludes wind turbine sounds not harmful to human health, December 15, 2009

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