Citing significant concern related to the methodology and the scope of the proposed Health Canada study on turbine noise, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is seeking more clarity to ensure scientific validity of the research.
In July, the Canadian federal government said it would study whether the noise from wind turbines can harm people's health. Health Canada will conduct the study in conjunction with Statistics Canada to look at the connection between turbine noise and health effects in people living near wind turbines.
In comments filed for the proposed Health Canada study, ‘Health Impacts and Exposure to Wind Turbine Noise: Research Design and Noise Exposure Assessment,’ CanWEA indicates that many of its concerns are fundamental and may be the result of a lack of detail provided by Health Canada.
‘It is the opinion of CanWEA that substantial modifications to the proposed methodology and study design are required to ensure the results of the study make a useful contribution to the significant volume of global scientific literature already in existence,’ the association notes.
According to CanWEA, comments were submitted in the following areas: treatment of annoyance; participant and project selection; treatment of control groups; the lack of demonstrated ability to account for the prevalence of reported symptoms and bias; the proposed sound modeling and measurement procedures; the poor amount of research cited; and the lack of a commitment to compare results (e.g., executing a risk assessment) between wind energy and other sources of community concern or known health/environmental impacts.