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RNP News Item
by: Erin Greeson
November 2, 2010

RNP Response to Oregon Health Impact Assessment of Wind Farms

The Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Environmental Public Health is pursuing a health impact assessment (HIA) of wind energy facilities and is seeking input from Oregonians who live near wind farms. If done properly, the study will help educate the public by addressing perceptions and misperceptions regarding wind energy and public health.
 
For more information on Oregon's Health Impact Assessment see http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/hia/windenergy.shtml
 
All independent governmental studies have consistently concluded that operating wind farms do not result in ill health impacts. We believe that the Oregon HIA will lend new opportunity to raise awareness and further documentation that wind is one of the most environmentally benign sources of electricity available, and that many enjoy the benefits that wind energy brings to their communities.
 
  • Studies around the country and world consistently show that wind farms have no ill impact on people’s physical health.
     
  • Wind farms must comply with Oregon’s stringent noise regulations. Oregon has among the most robust noise regulations in the United States.
     
  • Wind energy improves air quality, which supports human health. By offsetting more polluting forms of energy generation, wind energy can actually improve air quality and our health.
     
  • Community engagement and responsible siting can continue a track record of successful coexistence.
     
Renewable energy advocates are deeply committed to continuously assessing effects of wind power on human health. Wind development is held to some of the highest standards in the country through the state permitting process, and studies consistently show that there is no direct health impact. We support initiatives that offer opportunities to discuss community concerns and provide science-based answers about wind energy.

 
Sources, courtesy of AWEA:
 
An Agenda for Clean Air: Protect the Air We Breathe. (2009). 
http://www.npca.org/cleanair/agenda/Protect_the_Air_We_Breathe.pdf
Department of Energy. (2008). 20% Wind Energy by 2030
http://www.20percentwind.org
American Wind Energy Association. WINDPOWER OUTLOOK 2010.
American Lung Association. (2010). State of the Air: 2010. http://www.stateoftheair.org/2010/health-risks/health-risks-particle.html
WINDPOWER OUTLOOK 2010
WINDPOWER OUTLOOK 2010
U.S. News and World Report. (2008). 10 Ways Global Warming Could Hurt Your Health. http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2008/09/15/10-
ways-global-warming-could-hurt-your-health.html

Kempton, W. & Levy, J. (2007). Harvard School of Public Health. http://www.ocean.udel.edu/windpower/DE-Qs/IRP-KempLevy-Health.pdf
Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects – An Expert Panel Review. 2009,
http://www.awea.org/policy/regulatory_policy/documents/AWEA_and_CanWEA_Sound_White_Paper.pdf
Epilepsy Foundation. (n.d.). Photosensitivity and Epilepsy. http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/photosensitivity