1/23/11 Maple leaf challange to Big Wind: Three medical doctors agree: there IS a health problem AND Why do people call Big Wind the "8-track tape" of Renewable Energy Choices? Could there be something better?
SUPPORT SENATE BILL 9: WALKER'S WIND SITING REFORM
Better Plan encourages you to take a moment right now to contact Governor Walker's office to thank him for the provisions in Senate Bill 9, (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE BILL) which provides for a setback of 1800 feet between wind turbines and property lines. Let him know you support this bill.
CONTACT Governor Scott Walker email@example.com
115 East Capitol
Madison WI 53702
It's also very important that you contact these key Senate committee legislators and urge them to support this bill and vote to move it forward. Every phone call and email to these committee members matters.
Members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations.
-Chairman Senator Rich Zipperer (R) Sen.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-9174 Capitol 323 South
-Vice Chair Senator Neal Kedzie (R) Sen.firstname.lastname@example.org
(608) 266-2635 Capitol 313 South
(608) 266-2502 Capitol 409 South
Senator Fred Risser (D) Sen.email@example.com
(608) 266-1627 Capitol 130 South
Senator Jon Erpenbach (D) Sen.firstname.lastname@example.org
(608) 266-6670 Capitol 106 South
And be sure to contact your own legislators and encourage them to support the bill.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:
An important official document regarding a landmark wind lawsuit about to take place in Canada has now been made public. (Click here to download) This 'factum- ( statement of facts in a controversy or legal case) includes conclusions from three medical doctors who have studied the issue of industrial scale wind turbine's effect on human health.
From Page 6
Based on the available science Dr. Robert McMurtry has concluded:
a. persons living within close proximity (1.5 to 2 km) of IWTs are experiencing adverse health effects. In many cases these effects are significant or severe;
b. these adverse health effects have a common element, medically referenced as annoyance, which manifests itself in various ways including difficulties with sleep initiation and sleep disturbance, stress and physiological distress.
Stress and sleep deprivation are well known risk factors for increased morbidity including significant
chronic disease such as cardiovascular problems including hypertension and ischemic heart disease;
c. none of the existing regulations or guidelines have been developed based on evidence related to these types of adverse health effects, as this type of evidence has yet to be produced; and
d. there is a need to complete additional research, including at minimum one or more longitudinal epidemiological studies in regard to the foregoing types of adverse health effects in the environments of IWTs.
28. Based on his broad experience in health policy, based on his research, based on his knowledge as a physician addressing many of the same types of adverse health effects, as well as having clinically examined many individuals exposed to IWTs, he has concluded:
a. scientific uncertainty exists regarding impacts to humans from IWTs;
b. no studies conducted to date have been sufficiently rigorous so as to resolve this uncertainty; and
c. in light of this uncertainty, the precautionary principle directs that it be resolved prior to setting regulatory standards and/or proceeding with further development of IWT projects in close proximity to human populations.
From page 9
Dr. Christopher Hanning has also extensively researched the literature on sleep disturbance secondary to noise from industrial wind turbines. His conclusions are as follows:
a. Generally, it is recognized by all responsible health bodies including the World Health Organization (“WHO”) that adequate refreshing sleep is necessary for human health.
Sleep deprivation causes fatigue, sleepiness, impaired cognitive function and increases the risk of obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cardiovascular disease and cancer. Disturbed sleep is, in itself, an adverse health effect.
b. The effect of noise in causing sleep disruption through arousals has been recognized for many years and is acknowledged in the WHO documents.
c. There are sufficient cases and commonality of symptoms to conclude IWTs can and do adversely affect health and sleep. This conclusion is shared by many others.
d. In addition, there are several studies which confirm that sleep disruption occurs at distances considerably greater than 550 meters and at external noise levels considerably less than those permitted by the GEA and Regulation. As well, no reduction in permitted night time noise levels is required contrary to established practice.
e. There is good evidence that the impulsive noise emitted by wind turbines is considerably more annoying than traffic and aircraft noise at equivalent sound levels.
There is some evidence that the impulsive noise characteristic of wind turbines is more likely to disturb sleep than a more constant noise.
The precautionary principle would require that more stringent restriction of wind turbine noise be implemented until safe limits have been established
There is evidence that low frequency noise may have a particularly disturbing effect on sleep. IWTs are known to generate low frequency sound. Safe limits have not been established and the precautionary principle would require that more stringent restriction of wind turbine noise be implemented until safe limits have been established.
31. The Ministry has acknowledged that much of the information relied upon by Dr. Hanning
to inform his conclusions regarding IWTs was known to the Ministry at the time the Regulation
was being considered.
FROM PAGE 10
D. THE EVIDENCE OF DR.MICHAEL NISSENBAUM
32. Dr. Michael Nissenbaum is a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School with post-graduate training at McGill University and the University of California. He is licensed to practice medicine in Ontario, Quebec and the State of Maine.
33. He is a specialist in diagnostic imaging, whose work involves developing and utilizing an understanding of the effects of energy deposition, including sound, on human tissues. He is the former Associate Director of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at a major Harvard hospital, a former faculty member (junior) at Harvard University, a Director of the Society of Wind Vigilance and published author.
34. He developed an interest in the health effects of wind turbine projects after becoming aware of complaints related to an industrial wind turbine installation in Mars Hill, Maine. Dr. Nissenbaum performed a simple public health study cataloguing the types and incidences of symptoms among twenty two (22) people living within 1,100 meters of a linear arrangement of 1.5 MW industrial wind turbines. They were compared to a control group of twenty seven (27) people living beyond the area impacted by turbine noise.
35. The design of the study can be termed a ‘controlled cross sectional cohort study’. Its goal was to compare the health changes following the start of turbine operations. The study is important because it is believed to represent the first controlled study of adverse health effects attributed to industrial wind turbines.
36. This pilot study was undertaken as a public health service in order to report findings to the Public Health Subcommittee of the Maine Medical Association. Preliminary results were presented to the Maine Medical Association in March of 2009 and completed in May of 2009.
37. Dr. Nissenbaum has concluded that there is a high probability of significant adverse health effects and consequent high level of concern for those within 1100 meters of a 1.5 MW turbine installation based upon the experience of the subject group of individuals living in Mars Hill Maine. These health concerns include:
a. Sleep disturbances/sleep deprivation and the multiple illnesses that cascade from chronic sleep disturbance. These include cardiovascular diseases mediated by chronically increased levels of stress hormones, weight changes, and metabolic disturbances including the continuum of impaired glucose tolerance up to diabetes.
b. Psychological stresses which can result in additional effects including cardiovascular disease, chronic depression, anger and other psychiatric symptomatologies.
c. Increased headaches.
d. Auditory and vestibular system disturbances.
e. Increased requirement for and use of prescription medication
News story about the document:
Wind power case may cloud industry’s future
January 24, 2010
A panel of Ontario Divisional Court judges will begin hearing a challenge today that, if successful, could throw a wrench into the province’s burgeoning wind power industry.
The case, brought by Ian Hanna, a resident of Prince Edward County, 200 kilometres east of Toronto, argues that regulations in Ontario’s Green Energy Act, governing how far turbines must be from houses, are illegal. If the court agrees, new wind development could come to a standstill.
The case will also be an opportunity to air the views of those who feel wind turbines are unhealthy. Mr. Hanna’s argument is based on the premise that the minimum setback in Ontario – 550 metres – does not take into account the possible negative impacts to human health that turbines may cause.
Essentially, he argues, there is no medical evidence that the setback is safe, and that by publishing its regulations without sufficient proof, the province has breached the “precautionary principle” in its own environmental bill of rights. That principle says the government has to show an activity is safe before it is approved.
Indeed, Mr. Hanna’s court filings say, the government knew there was literature that raises concerns about turbines, and spells out that not enough was known to settle the setback issue.
A court victory, said Mr. Hanna’s lawyer Eric Gillespie, would essentially put a moratorium on building any new wind farms in Ontario. That would be a huge victory for wind farm opponents, who say there need to be far more studies done on health impacts. “If the court determines that [Ontario] has insufficient science to support its decision, then governments, the wind industry and communities will have to look very closely to determine in a more scientific way where industrial wind turbines should be located,” Mr. Gillespie said.
Increasingly, opponents have been protesting the spread of wind turbines, insisting that they cause health problems and calling for more detailed studies before the devices become even more ubiquitous. Both sides have cranked up the rhetoric recently; last week, one anti-wind group complained that a wind farm developer had called it a “group of terrorists.”
To support his client’s case in court, Mr. Gillespie will present evidence from three physicians who say turbine noise and vibration can cause high stress, sleep deprivation and headaches among people who live near them.
The government argues, in a document filed with the court, that the doctors’ conclusions are suspect, and that it reviewed all the literature available on the issue, and held public consultations before creating the guidelines.
It also says that complaints about possible health effects from turbines come from a small number of people, while the government’s role is to try to clean the air for all residents of Ontario by shifting to renewable power.
There is “no conclusive evidence that wind turbine noise has any impact on human health,” the government filing states. Available information suggests a 550-metre setback is adequate, it adds, and that that distance is “clearly conservative,” given the existing studies. It dismisses the data about health problems as “anecdotal hearsay.”
The government also argues that a new environmental review tribunal set up under its Green Energy Act is the right place to air health issues, not the provincial court.
Dianne Saxe, a Toronto lawyer who specializes in environmental issues, said she would be very surprised if Mr. Hanna wins his case. She said he is stretching the precautionary principle beyond what it actually covers. And the government “should have no trouble at all proving that it considered the health concerns of the anti-wind activists, because they were very vocal,” even appearing at legislative committee meetings, she said.
Ms. Saxe thinks it is likely the court will deal only with the narrow legal aspects of the case and not make any substantial ruling on the health effects of wind turbine placement.
TODAY'S EXTRA CREDIT READING RECOMMENDATIONS:
What about those wind industry jobs?
COMMUNITIES FACE PROS AND CONS OF WIND PROJECTS
SOURCE Observer-Dispatch, www.uticaod.com
January 22, 2010
"During the construction phases, dozens of jobs can be created by these towering turbines that have popped up in Fairfield and Norway and are being considered in Litchfield.
But after the project is completed, most of the jobs disappear.
Municipalities considering wind farms are left to decide: Are short-term construction jobs and a few permanent jobs worth it for the other effects of the developments?
“Wind projects can be a significant contributor to economic activity,” said Eric Lantz, a research analyst for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab. “But if you live in a moderate-sized town, it’s probably not going to revolutionize your area.” CLICK HERE TO KEEP READING