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Health Canada mum on turbine study areas

Chris Halliday — Orangeville.com — August 22, 2012

Melancthon mayor wants his municipality included

There is a turbine for every 23 people in Melancthon, and if another proposed wind farm receives the green light, that ratio could change to one for every 17 residents.
For that reason, Melancthon council wants its residents included in a provincially funded University of Waterloo study into renewable energy, and Health Canada’s probe into the potential effect of turbines on people’s health.
“We’re pioneers in wind power, whether we like it not. We were the first ones in Ontario,” said Mayor Bill Hill.
“At this particular point in time, we’re the largest commercial wind farm in the province.”
During the next five years, the university study, headed by chair Dr. Siva Sivoththaman, will receive $1.5 million from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) through the Council of Ontario Universities to research potential health effects associated with renewable energy in Haldimand, Norfolk and Bruce counties, among other areas.
The study research is to be independent of the MOE.
“(MOE) may not have input into the details of the study and that is fine,” Hill said. “But it’s your tax dollars and my tax dollars funding this.”
Melancthon is home to 118 turbines — 111 are part of the TransAlta wind facility, the other seven belong to the Plateau wind project centred in nearby Grey Highlands. If Dufferin Wind Power’s plan to construct another 49-turbine wind farm is approved, Melancthon’s stock will rise to 167.
Noticing his municipality’s name wasn’t identified in the study’s scope, Hill wrote Sivoththaman on Aug. 9 to urge local inclusion. Arran-Elderslie Deputy Mayor Mark Davis, chair of the Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, agrees with him.
“They’ve had turbines there for quite some time. There’s something to be learned there,”  he said. “There are people down there, their lives are a misery. It has to be looked into.”

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