Nissenbaum paper recycles claims on wind energy and health already found inadequate by courts and expert panel

Nissenbaum paper recycles claims on wind energy and health already found inadequate by courts and expert panel
Ulrike Kucera
Canadian Wind Energy Association
Office: (613) 234-8716 ext: 228
Mobile: (613) 867-4433
American Wind Energy Association
Phone: (202) 249-7357

Washington, D.C., November 15, 2012 – Much of the information contained in the recently published paper, “Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health” by Michael A Nissenbaum, Jeffery J Aramini, and Christopher D Hanning (all directors/ scientific advisors for the Society for Wind Vigilance), was previously reviewed and considered by experts at the first Environmental Review Tribunal (Erikson v. MOE 2011) hearing on wind energy in Ontario and in the Queen’s Bench of Saskatchewan case McKinnon v. Martin (Red Lily Legal Case in 2010).

This information was also reviewed by an expert panel on wind turbines and human health commissioned by The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MassDEP/MDPH, 2012), which concluded “attributing any of the observed associations to the wind turbines (either noise from them or the sight of them) is premature”. 

Both courts, as well as the Massachusetts independent expert panel, found no justification for halting wind energy development as a result of the information presented by Nissenbaum.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) jointly commissioned experts to conduct a scientific critique of this now published paper. The review by Intrinsik Environmental Sciences has identified “concerns related to study design, methodology, sample size and administration of questionnaires to participants.”

The Intrinsik critique noted that no new sound data were obtained for this study and the use of limited information visually obtained from other reports “is not scientifically defensible and should not have been used to draw conclusions about the findings of the questionnaires with distance from turbine locations.” Intrinsik also found the “authors extend their conclusions and discussion beyond the statistical findings of their study.” Furthermore, Intrinsik concluded “[the authors] have not demonstrated a statistical link between wind turbines – distance – sleep quality – sleepiness and health.” Download the full Intrinsik critique here:  http://www.canwea.ca/pdf/Intrinsik-Review-of-Nissenbaum-2012.pdf.

The balance of scientific evidence and human experience to date clearly concludes that sound from wind turbines does not adversely impact human health. Wind energy is broadly understood to be one of the safest and most environmentally benign forms of electricity generation today and is being developed in more than 89 countries.

As a responsible industry, CanWEA and AWEA continue to work with medical and scientific experts from Canada, the United States and around the world to ensure all credible information on this subject is reviewed and that Canadians and Americans have access to fact-based answers to their questions in order to make informed decisions about our energy future. For information on wind energy and health, visit: http://www.canwea.ca/wind-energy/talkingaboutwind_e.php.   

The European Wind Energy Association’s statement on the paper can be found here.

About CanWEA

CanWEA is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its almost 400 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada's leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. To join other global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the country's electricity from wind by 2025. The document Wind Vision 2025 – Powering Canada's Future is available at www.canwea.ca

About AWEA

AWEA is the national trade association of America's wind industry, with 2,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show, the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Chicago, May 5-8, 2013. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA's blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.

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Ashley Napier is a creative, multi- media communication technologist with over ten years of progressive experience in grassroots advocacy, online communication strategy, software implementation/project management, digital media, visual design, social media and copyediting for associations/non-profits. She currently works as a systems administrator with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Before joining AWEA in 2012, Ashley worked for about 10 years at an array of associations and non-profits, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the Center for Schools and Communities. Ashley also co-founded an art collective in Philadelphia: FitzHitz. As co-founder and VP of digital media, Ashley has collaborated with many neophyte artists from developing websites to curating a photo shoots to designing awesome flyers. Ashley graduated with an M.S. in Internet Communication from Shippensburg University in 2011. She received her B.A. in Communication with a focus on visual design from Temple University in 2002.

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