Council fights for Alternate West route
February 22, 2011
Council revises motion on Heartland Transmission Project to fight for Alternate West Route along with line burial
Strathcona County Council today expanded its March 3, 2009 motion, which opposed the construction of any 240 kV or higher voltage transmission line within the County unless the lines were constructed underground. Under the new motion, the County will fight for recognition of the Alternate West Route as better representing the public interest and expressed concerns of Strathcona County residents and Albertans, while still arguing for burying the lines, when located adjacent to densely populated areas anywhere in Alberta.
The motion was developed in response to evidence, demonstrating that the applicants’ Preferred East Transportation Utilities Corridor (TUC) Route is adjacent to a greater number of residents, and has more schools, daycares and hospitals within 800 metres of the edge of the TUC.
“Together we must keep united as one, and fight the battle for our community’s future. I must remind all of us to keep hope and never forget what we are making a stand for,” says Mayor Linda Osinchuk.
“Our overriding consideration in expanding the motion is to do what is in the best interests of our residents. The evidence points strongly to the Alternate West Route as having the least impact on Albertans. We believe we have a strong case on which to challenge the preferred route.”
Two routes have been proposed to take power from coal-fired plants near Wabamun to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The route identified as preferred by the applicants – AltaLink and EPCOR – would see high-voltage transmission lines running through the TUC west of Sherwood Park and southeast Edmonton.
As part of the approval process, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) – the provincial body tasked with considering the relative impacts (health, environmental, social and economic) of the project and of the proposed routes – will hold hearings and determine which route best suits the project and best serves and protects the public.
Strathcona County has obtained intervener status, and will participate actively in these hearings. The County’s goal is to ensure the AUC has a complete understanding of the negative impacts of the project, including its potential impact on public health and the environment. The County will ask that its evidence be considered in light of the precautionary principle, which dictates that where serious risk of harm exists, preventative measures should be taken.
Strathcona County will submit its evidence on February 28, in preparation for AUC hearings, commencing April 11, 2011.
Strathcona County residents and all Albertans still have until March 4, 2011 to sign their names to a Heartland Transmission Project petition to have the lines buried.
“The petition is useful in demonstrating a high level of community concern for the potential health impacts of these lines. I would encourage our residents to get involved, either by signing the petition, or contacting their MLA directly,” says Mayor Osinchuk.
Petitions are available at Millennium Place, County Hall, Strathcona County Library, Ardrossan Recreation Complex, Glen Allan Recreation Complex and Heartland Hall Contact Office.
Contact: Linda Osinchuk, Mayor, 780-464-8000
Last updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Page ID: 7279