Kimberley and Richard Bryce were drawn twice to their quiet rural life in Aberarder.
But, the couple told the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal Thursday they’re worried that life will change if Suncor Energy builds its 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project around them.
An appeal by the Bryce family, and Lambton County, of the province’s environmental approval for the project is being heard by the tribunal this week, and additional dates later this year.
Kimberley Bryce told the tribunal they first moved in the late 1990s into the former schoolhouse next door to Aberarder Centre School in Pympton-Wyoming.
They moved to Forest after one of their children was born a few years later, but Richard Bryce, who had grown up in the Aberarder area, missed rural life and they returned to the house there in 2005 after it came on the market again.
“It’s rural and it’s quiet,” Kimberley Bryce said.
Referring to a map of the proposed wind project, she listed more than eight turbines to be built within three kilometres of the house where the couple and their four children live.
They told the tribunal about their health issues, as well as those of three of their children.
They said their two oldest children attend high school in Forest and have each been diagnosed with a communication disorder that leaves them sensitive to noise.
Kimberley Bryce said their youngest son, who is set to start school next year, has had problems with ear infections and remains sensitive to sounds, including lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners.
“He doesn’t like it,” she said. “He says, ‘It’s too loud,’ and he’ll cover his ears.”
Bryce said she’s concerned about the impact of possible noise, vibrations and flashing lights from the proposed turbines.
“If we are affected in such a negative way, are we going to have to move?
“We like it where we are.”
While being cross-examined by Suncor’s lawyer, Bryce said the couple didn’t attend a series of wind project public open houses the company held, and have not raised their worries about the wind turbines with their family doctor.
They also said they hadn’t taken noise measurements at their homes in Aberarder or Forest, and didn’t know what the levels of turbine noise computer models predict will be detected at their home will sound like.
“I do believe we will be annoyed,” Kimberley Bryce said, adding that from everything she has read about wind turbines, “they still can not say that there are no health effects.”
Thursday’s hearing was held in the council chambers at the Lambton County building in Wyoming.
Testimony was expected to continue Friday at the Camlachie Community Centre, and again later in November and December.
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