Huron County Health Unit Wind Turbine Study Noise Vibration and Lights Information Meeting October 26, 2017

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This report prepared by BSRA Director Alex Macdougall, is a follow up regarding the study that was initiated in 2016. 

The meeting was held at the HCHU facilities at 77722B London Road RR5 in Clinton.

Presenting were:

Dr. Erica Clark, PhD, Epidemiologist

Dr. Maarten Bokhout, MD, Acting Medical Officer, HCHU

Mr. Jean Guy Albert, Health Manager, HCHU

The purpose of the meeting was to outline the parameters of the study and to provide some details about how Huron County residents living within 10Km of a wind turbine may participate in the study. Forms relating to participating were available at the meeting.

It was emphasized that the study is a research study. The goal is to learn how many people are bothered by wind turbines in Huron County and to learn if there are environmental conditions that make the noise, vibration, light and sensations worse here.

It was further emphasized that it is important for the study to include as many participants as possible, including subjects who are not bothered by wind turbines. Part time (seasonal) residents are also encouraged to participate.

Documentation for the study is being made widely available. All Huron County Libraries will have form packages available; The HCHU web site will have all forms and other information about the study available on line.

It was pointed out that the success of the study will depend on an adequate number of community participants being willing to maintain diaries of their perceptions over a period of time. It was also pointed out that there is a risk that participants in the study may be disappointed in the end result. Further, even if the results of the study show that turbines are related to negative health effects, the HCHU will not write an order to curtail or shut down wind turbines. The Provincial assigned that authority to the Ministry of the Environment and not to public health units.

The HCHU encourages all those Huron County residents who live within the specified 10Km of a wind turbine to obtain and submit a consent form. Each resident (permanent or seasonal) who does so will be assigned an ID number. Once you have an ID number you may start participating in the study. The first step will be filling out a form either on line or on paper. This step will take about 5 minutes.

You may then choose to complete an observation diary. Your observations may be made as often or as little as you wish. Submitting your observations of the effects of wind turbines on you as well as lack of effects, whichever is the case at the time of your observations. There is no limit to the number of observations you may report.

It was emphasized that registering via the consent form and obtaining an ID number should ideally be the minimum action taken by every resident, (both permanent and seasonal), who live within the stipulated 10Km distance of a wind turbine.

The HCHU web site http://www.huronhealthunit.ca has considerable information relating to the study, including a map showing the areas of eligibility.

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