AUC Heartland Hearing – Day 19

On May 9, BRUTE (Blue Route Utility Transmission Elimination) members presented personal examples of frustration with EPCOR’s and AltaLink’s public consultation process. They cited mailing errors where residents were informed that the route near them would not be considered anymore, whereas they later found out that they were living along the Applicants’ alternate route which was very much still being considered. Heartland Project team staff told some of the residents not to worry because the Applicant was only considering an alternate route because they had to, but that the line would be built in the Applicants’ preferred route.

Residents indicated they had been ignored by AltaLink and EPCOR. They were losing trust in the Alberta Government and big industry because of legislation the government had passed to streamline the process for power companies to build new lines. They pointed out the importance of some of the environmentally sensitive areas along the alternate route and how an overhead line would negatively affect these. Residents spoke about the stress brought on by the flawed consultation process, and about their concerns regarding effects of high voltage lines on cancer and other health problems.

Some of the BRUTE members felt that the Heartland line should be built in the Applicants’ preferred route in the Edmonton and Sherwood Park Greenbelts, because from their perspective that’s what the land was set aside for. (On the other hand, residents who live along the Sherwood Park Greenbelt point out that the 1974 legislation that established the Restricted Development Area indicates that the Minister may only approve activities in the Greenbelt that are compatible with agriculture, the propagation of plants and animals, and preservation of the environment.)

Economic impact analyses were conducted for 2 businesses that would be negatively affected by an overhead line. Land appraisal experts pointed out property devaluations of up to 22% for residential properties along the alternate route.

The Sturgeon Landowners Group (SLG) presented a panel of residents in the evening who spoke about the impacts of an overhead line on them. Because the RETA blogger unfortunately missed this session, please refer to the AUC transcripts for details of these presentations.

~ by RETA on May 11, 2011.

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