Lawyers for an Aberarder family appealing approval of a 46-turbine Suncor wind energy project in Lambton County are set to ask Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal on Thursday to adjourn its hearing for six months.
Asha James, a lawyer representing Kimberley and Richard Bryce at the hearings that began in November, said they are asking for the adjournment to hire an expert to review data in a Health Canada study into the health effects of wind turbines.
“That we’re looking for is some time to access the data, the raw data, collected by the federal government,” James said.
The aim is to call evidence “in respect of the question about whether or not the turbines cause harm to human health,” she said.
James said a motion for the adjournment was set to be heard Thursday at the Camlachie Community Centre.
Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant said the company is opposing the motion.
“Suncor believes the health study summary is credible, given the fact it was written and published by Health Canada staff and a panel of 25 experts in this field,” Vaillant said.
“We feel that it’s unlikely that a single expert retained by the Bryces will uncover significantly different results than the group that has done this work, especially in the time frame they’re proposing.”
Findings from the study examining 1,238 participants living within two kilometres of wind turbines in Ontario and Prince Edward Island said no evidence was found supporting a link between exposure to wind turbine noise and human health.
It did find a relationship between increasing levels of wind turbine noise and annoyance.
The Bryce family, and Lambton County, appealed the provincial government’s environmental approval of the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project Suncor Energy plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
The Bryces say they are concerned the turbines will have an adverse affect on their health, and the health of their children, and that the province’s approval of the wind project violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The family’s lawyers point to the summary of the Health Canada study released in November they say supports a potential link between health and annoyance caused by turbines.
James said the process to seek access to the raw data in the study can take two months, according the federal government’s own estimate.
Suncor is currently also before the Ontario Energy Board seeking permission to build electricity collection and transmission lines for the Cedar Point project.
“We have not yet finalized our construction plans,” Vaillant said, but he added work is expected to begin in early 2015.
“We’re still looking in late 2015 to be in operation.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding