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Wind farm hearing features medical expert

Published August 05. 2019 11:52AM

For the 10th hearing before Packer Township’s Zoning Board about Broad Mountain Power LLC’s proposal to build a wind farm on the ridge along the Packer/Nesquehoning border, Broad Mountain Power brought Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dr. Robert McCunney to speak on July 22.

McCunney, a professor of epidemiology, has been an expert witness for wind farm subjects, and he has written academic papers on the health effects.

McCunney was questioned on a variety of health issues thought to be related to the presence of windmills. On the subject of shadow flicker, he says the science supports that it is a nuisance, which he qualified, when under 30 hours total in a year. This project estimates 15 hours.

On the subject of noise, questioning got into detail, including analysis of a Health Canada study in 2016 of a large sample of people who live near wind turbines, looking at sleep issues, chronic illnesses and other self-reported problems.

McCunney reviewed Broad Mountain Power’s Hankard Environmental report about noise projected from the Broad Mountain units, finding that noise at 40 decibels or less that reaches homes in the area is not likely to cause stress, or lower quality of life.

Regarding subaudible sound — “infrasound” — tests indicate that there’s none of it beyond 600 to 1,000 feet of the units.

Attorney Bruce Anders, who represents a group opposing the turbine project, asked about the effect of the turbines on electromagnetic fields, with a reference to resident Bill Knepper’s question about the impact on medical devices. McCunney answered that an insulin pump such as Knepper’s would be affected after an output of 1,000 EMF, and these turbines generate at 0.9 EMF.

Anders asked about aspergillus mold spores released by construction. McCunney answered that he doesn’t think it is a hazard with this project.

Anders remarked to the zoning board that materials from Broad Mountain Power regarding McCunney’s testimony came in only the previous Thursday. He noted there was “too much to go through in the short time between then and this hearing.”

Cross-examination between Anders and McCunney became testy at times, with disagreements over phrasing, reports and more. There were disagreements on the findings of the Health Canada study. An offer by meeting chairman attorney Greg Mousseau, solicitor for the zoning board, to extend the hearing by another day got everyone’s attention, and settled things down a bit.

Anders introduced a study to the discussion with some findings that do not agree with McCunney.

McCunney, who was familiar with the study, pointed out that “it’s over 33 years old,” so there’s newer data.

Next, it was pointed out that the topography of the Broad Mountain site and this area is not similar to any of those studied. Discussion of this brought some grumbling from the audience.

Anders put forth examples of people with symptoms leaving the area of wind turbines, and the symptoms go away. McCunney’s response is that “you evaluate the symptoms.”

Township attorney Robert Yurchak asked several questions, including about how McCunney’s opinions were derived. From thorough searching of literature, was the reply. Yurchak followed up with a question on whether sound and size of turbines are related. He said, yes, bigger could mean more sound.

A question on the health effects of the wind turbines on agricultural animals was asked, with no answer offered.

During redirect, infrasound was again discussed, with McCunney dismissing it as “not a significant issue toward human health” at the distances being discussed.

The next hearing will be held Aug. 7 in the Middle School Cafeteria. Attendance was down again, to about 65. With attendance trending down, the zoning board will consider different meeting sites later in the month.

Comments
"medical expert"! lol...
"paid republican business stooge" is more like it. trumptards may be stupid enough to buy it! If you're sexually excited by a dollar, anything can be justified! It's pathetic how queerball conservatives can take an idea and turn it into an invasion upon man and nature for the sick thrill of a dollar. Diseased minds...
You, T2C, need a “medical expert” real bad. Republicans own you. You dream of being beaten at everything by Republicans. You are jealous of Republicans because you always lose to them. Get help.
Infrasound affects all living things, including plants, at the cellular and molecular levels. Infrasound can influence human health and behavior subliminally, at great distances from the source of the sound, without any physical symptoms being consciously felt by the recipient.
For those that will be living by this wind turbine I warn you nor to listen to anyone saying that the Sound will not affect your living conditions- IT WILL!

I visited my old home in near Shenadoah and Pattersonville - Ravine Run area in Schuylkill County and they have these wind turbines along the mountains and I could hear the swooshing sound constantly coming off the mountain.

Do yourself a favor take a ride over to that area- it's not far and you can hear it for yourself!

My childhood home was at the bottom of one of those Mountains and the peace and quiet I once had as a kid was long gone. That noise does not stop.

Think about the value of your property and the resale price as well. It will be a negative on your property value as potential customers will take that noise into factor. This will hit YOUR pocket Book.
The only one this will benefit is the TURBINE COMPANY.
FIGHT IT.
SOMEONE WHO HAS SEEN IT FIRST HAND

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