RETA Goes to Court to Halt Heartland Line Construction

RETA Heartland transmission project logoRETA is going to court on January 15 in an attempt to halt construction of the double circuit 500 kilovolt Heartland power line.

The Alberta Minister of Infrastructure purported to give his written consent December 2011 to the construction of the Heartland  line in the Edmonton and Sherwood Park Greenbelts. RETA applied early last summer to seek Judicial Review of the Minister’s consent. RETA’s legal counsel will be arguing the case January 15 and 16, 2013 before Special Chambers in Edmonton:

January 15 & 16, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. each day

Court of Queen’s Bench, Edmonton

Law Courts, 1A Sir Winston Churchill Square

Courtroom 414

RETA Lady Justice photo logoAmong the many grounds upon which the Judicial Review will be argued are the following: the Minister’s decision provided either no reasons or inadequate reasons, the Minister or his designate did not have jurisdiction to give consent to construction of the line in the Edmonton and Sherwood Park Greenbelts (Restricted Development Areas), the Minister deferred entirely to reasons given by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) for approving construction of the line which is an unauthorized subdelegation of his authority, and the Minister’s decision was unreasonable.

One section of the 1974 Regulations which gives the Infrastructure Minister his authority states that the Minister may give his written consent for only those uses of the greenbelt land surface which are compatible with the retention of the environment of the areas for agricultural purposes or the propagation of plant or animal life and do not have a detrimental or destructive effect on the land surface within the areas. The massive double circuit 500 kilovolt Heartland line with towers up to 77m tall (253 feet) is certainly not compatible with the preservation of the environment of the greenbelts and will most certainly have detrimental and destructive effects on the land and associated environment within the areas.

As well, the environmental damages caused by the line will extend well beyond the greenbelts and into sensitive wetlands and other important wildlife habitats. And, the electromagnetic field pollution (EMFs), corona effect pollution and noise pollution caused by the line will also extend well beyond the borders of the greenbelts.

The remedies that RETA will be seeking from the Judicial Review include: an order quashing the Minister’s consent to build the line in the greenbelts, a declaration that the Minister’s consent is null and void because it contravenes the 1974 Regulations, and an order halting all further construction of the line in the greenbelts.

A copy of RETA’s 24-page brief to the Court of Queen’s Bench can be viewed at this link. Background information on the environmental, electromagnetic field, corona effect and noise impacts of the Heartland line can be found elsewhere at this website.

If you’re interested in listening to the court proceedings, details on place and time are provided above.

~ by RETA on January 14, 2013.

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