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Ortt holds public health forum on industrial wind

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Wed, Sep 11th 2019 09:35 am

On Tuesday, Republican New York State Sen. Rob Ortt held a public forum to investigate the public health impacts of industrial wind on the communities they are located. At this event, Ortt hosted professionals in the fields of public health, acoustics and audiology who presented information on industrial wind turbines and the impacts they had on the communities in which they were located.

A press release said, :Due to Gov. Cuomo’s and state Democrats’ energy policies, renewable energy projects have dramatically increased across upstate, rural communities. Unfortunately, Gov. Cuomo and his administration have failed to address the concerns raised by many local residents and officials.”

Ortt said, “The purpose of this forum was to educate the public and policymakers of the impacts these industrial turbines will have on the health, well-being and quality of life of the residents in the communities where they are proposed. Because of New York state’s energy policy, set directly by Gov. Cuomo, we will see significantly more energy projects forced upon rural and small towns across Western New York. We must have more of these forums so that we can gather the facts and hear from industry experts and local communities about the impacts these projects will have on residents.”

GOP Assemblyman Mike Norris said, “As the Assembly representative for the 144th, I have heard from many research coalitions, environmental preservation advocates, as well as hundreds of residents regarding the significant and negative impact that industrial wind has on our communities and environment. It is critically important that these ramifications on public health, the environment and our economy are thoroughly examined. I thank Sen. Ortt for spearheading this initiative in a public forum and truly appreciate those who provided important testimony and information in their field of expertise today.”

Dan Stapleton, public health director for Niagara County and president of the New York State Association of County Health Officials, said, “It is imperative to fully research, assess and evaluate any health or environmental implications that could put New York communities at risk as a result of constructing industrial wind turbines. Local health departments are responsible under New York State Public Health Law for protecting residents’ health, so we feel is our due diligence to support the occurrence of appropriate reviews and testing prior to the constructions of planned projects.”

Jerry Punch, Ph.D., audiologist, said, "Annoyance and adverse health effects from noise are experienced by a substantial number of people exposed to industrial wind turbines. My position is based on a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, experience as a health expert in legal cases, and observations from personal interviews with impacted individuals."

Rob Rand of the Acoustical Society of America and Institute of Noise Control Engineers, said, “Wind turbine noise is a major noise problem. Distance has proved to be the only reliable noise control option available for wind turbines so far. In most places, there isn't enough distance to avoid impacts." 

Environmental Attorney Gary Abraham said, “New York’s power plant siting law Article 10 has begun to show state regulators that large-scale wind turbines can be harmful to the public health. At the same time, the ability of large wind projects to reduce emissions is modest, and declines over time. Other solutions to climate change need to be explored."

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