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Lack of responses sink study on wind turbine impacts

It wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the Huron County Health Unit.

But the health unit simply didn’t find enough people willing to participate in their study on the health impacts of wind turbines to conduct a valid study.

Epidemiologist Erica Clark said they mailed out 5,000 letters to people within five kilometres of a turbine and her hope was to be able to look at environmental variables related to people who claimed to be bothered or disturbed or annoyed by the turbines.

Clark said that study would have required at least 1,000 participants and they got just over 100. So she will not be able to do the study she had hoped to.

She said she will be able to state what percentage of people who responded to the survey were, or were not, bothered or disturbed by wind turbines.

Clark added people gave a number of reasons for not participating. Some felt if the health unit did not have the authority to shut down the turbines there was no point in participating in the study. Others simply didn’t want to deal with wind turbines anymore and some were frustrated with the time it took to get the study started.

“If they chose to participate, we could not give any promises around being able to shut down turbines. That’s not with our regulatory authority and there were individuals that felt if we couldn’t do that it wasn’t worth participating in the study,” said Clark.