One More Court Challenge Before Heartland Line is Completed

RETA Lady Justice photo logoRETA says a few legal options remain for opponents of the overhead double-circuit 500 kilovolt Heartland power line (Transmission Hub).

The Alberta Court of Appeal’s recent ruling confirms that the Alberta Government has the sole authority to determine that the line is needed and has the sole authority to determine what’s in the best public interest, regardless of whether or not the line is needed and regardless of whether it in fact is in the best public interest. Overwhelming evidence presented at the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) Heartland hearing in 2011 has clearly shown that the line is neither needed nor is in the best public interest. Unfortunately, the AUC’s hand was tied because the Alberta Government had legislated the building of the line in 2009 (Bill 50).

One of the legal remedies remaining is a Judicial Review initiated by RETA to be heard in Special Chambers the middle of next month. One of the issues to be challenged is the Alberta Infrastructure Minister’s authority to approve construction of the Heartland line in the Edmonton and Sherwood Park Greenbelts which were set aside in the 1970s to protect the natural environment and to protect agriculture.

If this Judicial Review is unsuccessful,  many of the thousands of residents directly and adversely impacted by an above-ground Heartland line are considering class-action lawsuits on a number of bases. This will likely mean legal challenges against the line will continue for many years.

Unfortunately, the Alberta Government, the AUC, AltaLink and EPCOR refused to seriously consider burying part of the Heartland line to eliminate the many negative impacts of an overhead line. One of the more immediate consequences is the closing of Colchester Elementary School this coming summer.

~ by RETA on December 19, 2012.

 
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