Dufferin County council is expected to change the date of its February meeting to the first Thursday from the normal second Thursday to approve comments to the Ministry of Environment on a rail corridor transmission line in time for a Feb. 10 deadline for submissions.
Dufferin Wind Power’s REA application to the MOE to build a 230 kV partly underground line on the corridor to the Orangeville transformer substation in preference to a dual 69 kV overhead one through Mono to a new transformer substation there came as good news to Mono residents who had objected to the transformer and to the proposed addition of towering poles to carry the power lines.
But it came as a bit of a shock to residents near the corridor who voiced their concerns about visual impact of the aboveground portion and the effects of that on property values.
Their objections were, perhaps, more pointed on the possible health effects of whatever electromagnetic field would be generated. One or more of the residents had accessed a UK study based on a 230 kV overhead line there.
In a report to be considered by the council tonight, CAO Sonya Pritchard outlines the background for the rail corridor proposal.
She says the council engaged the MMM Group as consultants “after a lengthy process. Identifying a consultant that did not have a conflict with respect to the wind project was difficult and took considerable time. In addition, MMM has been extremely busy and there have been repeated delays in receiving information.
“A report from MMM is expected during the second or third week of January. This report will be used to identify concerns and local impacts that will affect the agreement to grant an easement,” she says in her report.
“The deadline for comments to the MOE is February 10. Staff will continue working with the MMM consultants over the next month to identify concerns as they pertain to the rail corridor and potential future uses as well as to identify comments raised from residents that may need further clarification.”
DWP had filed its application to the OEB in August 2012, along with an application for the Mono power line proposal. It withdrew the Mono application on Dec. 17, and the MOE deemed the “application to be complete on December 27.”
Meantime, a September 2012 Memorandum of Understanding between the county and DWP with respect to the rail corridor did not commit the county to granting an easement. The thrust of the MOU was that DWP would pay the county’s costs of consulting.
A public information session was held on Nov. 6, and Ms. Pritchard says a further one is scheduled for Jan. 31. She hasn’t specified the location.
She says in her report that the county has collected contact information from “over 300 people who are provided with new information as it comes available.”
Such is the scope of interest in and/or objections to the transmission line.
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