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Maine Medical Assoc Calls for State to Modify Permitting Process for Wind Farms

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Following up on concerns expressed by locals near the Mars Hill wind farm, and preliminary studies done by a local doctor, the Maine Medical Association overwhelmingly approved a formal resolution that stresses “a need for modification of the State’s regulatory process for siting wind energy developments,” in order to reduce controversy and incorporate the latest evidence-based research results. The statement urges the Department of Environmental Protection and Land Use Regulation Commission to refine their procedures to reflect potential health effects, and to concertedly explore these effects, and calls on the MMA and doctors to work with regulatory agencies to provide what scientific information is available (scroll down at link above to read the final resolution wording). Two weeks earlier, the MMA’s Public Health Committee had rejected the proposed resolution, which many members felt was worded more strongly than current evidence would support; the resolution was slightly re-worked, and met with approval at the MMA’s annual session.  One of the resolution’s sponsors, Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, MD, is in the midst of completing a study of the residents both near the Mars Hill wind farm, and those further away, in an attempt to assess any significant differences.  The first part of his study (centered on interviews with wind farm neighbors) is available now, with the second part (similar interviews with residents out of earshot) still underway. A two-part radio interview with Nissembaum is available here.  A two-part local news feature on the Mars Hill controversy is available here.

4 Responses to “Maine Medical Assoc Calls for State to Modify Permitting Process for Wind Farms”

  1. » Blog Archive » Recent Studies of Wind Farm Noise Show Significant Minority is Affected Says:

    […] Maine Medical Assoc Calls for State to Modify Permitting Process for Wind Farms […]

  2. » Blog Archive » Wind industry study says no health effects – but omits any mention of sleep disruption Says:

    […] In Maine, Michael Nissenbaum is conducting a cohort study to expand on his initial health-effects study at Mars Hill; the cohort study will assess the prevalence of similar health conditions in a local population that is out of earshot of the wind farm (see this report for links). […]

  3. Bob Says:

    I just read Dr. Michael Nissenbaum’s study and I was sincerely shocked that someone with a medical degree could publish such a poorly controlled study with obvious biases. Specifically:
    1. The study did not include 20 of the 35 residents.
    2. It did not attempt to determine the participant’s opinion on wind turbines.
    3. If did not include any questions which were designed to determine either false positives or if people were attempting to “Game” the study. Any properly designed public health study has these checks and balances.
    4. The questions 1-4 are biased and predispositions the respondent against the turbines.
    5. The presentation (especially slides 2,6 and 36 show that the “researcher” already has a bias against wind.

    The good “Doctor” should recluse himself from this study as he clearly lacks objectivity and experience in public health to complete a valid study.

    Furthermore the Medical Association should investigate to see if his work breaches any ethical standards.

  4. » Blog Archive » Maine towns resist wind farms as state looks to far offshore sites Says:

    […] on any permits.  These actions come in the wake of three projects that have generated significant noise issues for neighbors out to as far as 3000-3500 feet; thus, half-mile setbacks are being seen as […]