Councillor Riddell Says AltaLink Power Lines Threaten Environment
Strathcona County Ward 7 Councillor Bonnie Riddell says AltaLink’s proposed overhead 138 kilovolt South Cooking Lake power line will have a significant environmental impact on the sensitive Beaver Hills Moraine if AltaLink’s preferred route through the County is approved (Sherwood Park News).
Riddell points out the Beaver Hills Moraine “is a very unique and natural ecosystem with a varied habitat that houses sensitive flora and fauna. The biodiversity located in the moraine is unique in that it cannot be found in the surrounding agricultural and urban landscapes…this proposed transmission line is another development that will not benefit the residents of Strathcona County.”
Councillor Riddell is absolutely correct. AltaLink’s proposed overhead high voltage power line would run right through the Bretona Pond wetland complex, Ducks Unlimited McFadden Lake Wetland Conservation Project, Cooking Lake Environmentally Significant Area, and many other ecologically sensitive areas within the unique knob-and-kettle Beaver Hills Moraine. See this link for information on the many negative impacts of overhead high voltage power lines on the environment, including birds.
Riddell also indicates AltaLink’s line is to service demand increases in the Leduc and Beaumont areas so, “Why then is Strathcona County being asked to bear the burden of this infrastructure?” She rightly says the line should therefore be built in AltaLink’s alternate route located in Leduc County.
In conclusion, Riddell says, “Strathcona County is not supportive of major initiatives that have little or no benefit to our residents and have further environmental impacts on the Beaver Hills Moraine, which is home to a national park and bird sanctuary. We are concerned about landowner impacts and the constraints it might place on agricultural operations along with other area development limitations this transmission line may place on us.”
RETA could not agree more with Councillor Riddell, considering all of the other negative impacts this overhead transmission line would have if built along AltaLink’s preferred route. There are 125 more residences that would be directly and adversely affected than along the alternate route. The northern route is longer and more expensive, would traverse the Cooking Lake Cemetery, would run too close to the Cooking Lake Airport, and would run too close (less than 500m) to St. Luke Catholic School.
For more information on the negative impacts of AltaLink’s preferred route for their new Cooking Lake transmission line, and the many benefits of burying the line along either their preferred or alternate route, see this link.