Wind concerns Ontario
Protecting Rural Ontario for Future Generations
No Compromise on Health News release
Toronto, April 27, 2009 –Wind Concerns Ontario is encouraged that the Premier of Ontario has committed to an examination of the health issues involved with industrial wind turbines.
“We’ll take advantage of the very best information that’s out there to make sure that we’re doing something that’s intelligent.”
~Premier Dalton McGuinty The Canadian Press April 24, 2009
The Premier will need to go well beyond speaking only to the manufacturers of these turbines and the Canadian Wind Energy Association lobby in order to rely on the “best information” available. There are and have been better sources of information for several years. Other jurisdictions with far greater experience have implemented stronger regulations that Ontario has so far chosen to ignore. To date the “best” Ontario Health Effects information is the Wind Concerns Ontario survey presented by Dr. Robert McMurtry to the Standing Committee on the Green Energy Act on April 22.
Wind Concerns Ontario repeats its demand that Premier McGuinty apply the precautionary principle and conduct a full epidemiological study into health effects of wind turbines before any more industrial wind projects are installed in Ontario closer than 2km to any residence. This is the only way to avoid causing serious harm to those who live beside industrial wind turbines. Medical authorities elsewhere have already recommended precautionary setbacks.
The Government of Ontario must consider these various national standards:
Scotland requires setbacks of at least 2 km from cities, towns and villages.
The United Kingdom’s Noise Association recommends a one-mile (1.6 km) setback.
France will soon add the International Standards Organization’s absolute level of 25 dBA, as measured inside homes in response to the National Academy of Medicine’s earlier recommendation of 1.5 km. setbacks,
Germany specifies maximum noise levels for three different environments or “regions”:
quiet 35dBA (Setbacks in quiet or country locations are typically 1000-1500 meters)
middle, 40 dBA
standard, 45 dBA
Denmark, Holland, and Sweden have a maximum noise level of 40 dBA.
South Australia’s standard is 35dBA or background +5dB
New Zealand is now reviewing its secondary noise limit of 35dBA for evening and nighttime in low background
The Canadian Wind Energy Association recommends noise levels of 40-53 dBA. They state that setbacks are normally 300-600 meters but in some cases “separation distances of less than 250 meters may achieve acceptable sound levels” (CanWea paper, “Addressing Concerns with Sound from Wind Turbines,” January 2009).
Ontario’s Ministry of Environment presently does not specify setback distances. It has established only ‘regulatory guidelines’ that allow wind turbines, depending on the wind speed, to produce from 40 to as high as 51 dBA of noise, measured not at property lines but outside homes.
The present standards for Ontario are not nearly the best but rather nearly the worst.
If the Government of Ontario aspires to be a world leader in wind energy, it should also lead the world in protecting its citizens from harmful side effects of this industry. In addition to setting world-class standards for low noise levels on the dBA scale, Ontario must determine appropriate levels on the dBC scale for low frequency sound, reported increasingly as a health concern.
Media Relations -30-
Wind Concerns Ontario