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The tide turns — excellent read

Rick Conroy — Wellington Times — July 27, 2012

Is the ground shifting below Ontario’s wind turbines? Last week an Ontario judge ruled that Dr. Arlene King, the province’s chief medical officer of health, will have to testify about the known noise and health risks of industrial wind turbines. It was a small but potentially game-changing decision. The province fought hard to prevent this from happening. Now the truth will be known.

Shawn and Trisha Drennan face the looming prospect of 150 massive industrial wind turbines outside the door of their Ashfield Township home near Goderich. One turbine is set to be erected just 650 metres from their home—45 metre (147 feet) blades sweeping 105 (347 feet) overhead. For at least the next 20 years.

The Drennans have taken their fight the Ontario Supreme Court to block the development. In their battle they are taking on the provincial government, as well as a consortium composed of EPCOR, an Alberta-based utility, and Samsung, a large Korean multinational, that has secured preferred access to the province’s wind energy bonanza. Every other wind developer in the province is watching this courtroom very closely.

When Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government could no longer ignore complaints ranging from sleep disorders, vertigo to ringing in the ears from ordinary folks living near industrial wind turbines, it directed Dr. King to examine the current medical literature.

In some areas of medical investigation a review of the published studies is a useful method of determining risk and uncovering potential problems. But current wind turbine techonology is barely two decades old, constantly evolving and rarely are these massive machines put as near to residences as they are in Ontario. There is scant literature to study.

In any event it wasn’t what physicians and advocates for these afflicted people were seeking. Folks like Dr. Robert McMurtry have long challenged the province to examine the effect wind turbines have on Ontario residents. There are now more than 600 turbines spinning over homes across the province. There are plenty of folks complaining that wind turbines are making them sick. They say the health of Ontarians living near turbines needs to be investigated— not the thin volume of evidence compiled to date.

(Please continue reading here)

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