Letter to the World Health Organisation(WHO) re. 2016 Noise Guidelines

Posted Category: Aarhus, Health, Low Frequency Noise

Letter to the World Health Organisation.

European guidelines on acceptable levels of noise impact have remained unchanged for almost twenty years. Wind turbines meanwhile have doubled in size increasing their potential to cause noise nuisance.

The WHO is currently developing guidelines for the European region to protect public health from environmental noise including that from wind turbines. But the WHO is an intra-governmental body which consults governments, not individuals who have no choice but to live with wind turbines. The government and wind farm developers continue to deny claims of adverse health impacts.

As readers of this site will know, in 2012, a complaint was presented to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)  in Geneva. ACCC/C/2012/68. The Tribunal found that the UK was in breach of Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention which, among other things, protects the right of the public to participate in environmental decision-making. In the ensuing four years neither the Westminster nor the Scottish government has taken any remedial action. It is time that people were allowed to know about the potential dangers and were given someone to look to for a measure of protection.  Therefore although the WHO has responded to this Letter to the World Health Organisation. May 2016 (1) ,as the UK Government will have been contacted, a Freedom of information request has also now been sent to the U.K’s Dept.,of Energy & Climate Change(DECC) as below:

‘Dear Sir,

I am currently in a dialogue with the World Health Organisation(WHO).  As it is an intergovernmental organisation, the DECC will have been contacted by WHO officials as they are consulting governments before issuing the 2016 Noise Guidelines.  Therefore the DECC and/or the Dept., of Health will have needed to prepare a response in the name of Her Majesty’s Government.

 

As the subject of noise issues involving wind turbines and health and safety issues will be covered in the Guidelines, this is an area of concern very much in the public interest.  It is also in need of full transparency where governmental replies are concerned.  I am therefore requesting under FoI rules, any responses given to WHO relating to wind power both in the past and up to receipt of this request.

 

If this has been dealt with under the auspices of the UK Department of Health, I should be grateful for the correct contact point to use.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mrs. V.C.K. Metcalfe.’