AUC Heartland Hearing – Day 1
Formalities dominated the first day (April 11) of the AUC hearing in Edmonton on the proposed double circuit 500 kilovolt Heartland Transmission Project. The massive expert team hired by AltaLink and EPCOR (the Applicants) was introduced.
Lawyers representing numerous landowners raised a procedural point regarding consulting reports on the Heartland line impacts on radio interference at nearby Department of National Defence installations. Lawyers argued that reports they had requested were not provided until very late on the last business day before the AUC hearing, and errors appeared in reports issued on different dates, with no explanation. Also, they argued that some “massaging” of radio interference readings had taken place between different reports on the subject. They insisted that authors of these reports appear at the hearing in order that they can be cross-examined. Applicant lawyers argued that their own experts could speak to the matter, and they would not be calling on the report authors to appear. The AUC ruled against AltaLink/EPCOR and in favour of the landowners on this matter.
Lawyers representing the Sturgeon Landowners Group and Blue Route Utility Transmission Elimination cross-examined AltaLink/EPCOR experts for most of the day, pointing out how poorly the public consultation data collected by the Applicants were reflected in their Facility Application. They also indicated that landowners along the Applicants’ alternate route had not been properly consulted in spite of the Applicants’ suggestion that they had consulted with “thousands” of landowners.
Media coverage includes CTV Edmonton, CHED News, CBC News and iNews 880.