Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County
P.O. Box 173
Milford, Ontario K0K 2P0
APPEC Press Release
Milford, ON/ March 20, 2015 — wpd Canada Corporation’s high-voltage transmission line in Prince Edward County has been approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The 28 kilometre transmission line is needed to connect wpd’s 29-turbine White Pines wind project to the provincial electricity grid.
The transmission line, to be installed almost entirely in County road right of ways, extends from Royal Road south of Milford to the Elmbrook transformer station north of Picton. County landmarks impacted during construction of the line include Milford Black Creek Valley ANSI, Millenium Trail, Waring’s Creek Watershed, Big Swamp Provincially Significant Wetland and the roundabout at Loyalist Parkway and Cty Rd. 1. The transmission line, which wpd says will be buried, poses a threat to the stands of century-old maples lining Crowes Road and Maypul Layn Road.
Extensive excavation needed to bury the line is expected to cause structural damage to residential properties, including wells, heritage homes and some of the 600 + structures along the route.
wpd has provided little solid evidence about the transmission line. Repeated requests for information and studies needed for a full assessment of the project have been ignored.
The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County is dismayed by the absurdity of the OEB approval of the 28 kilometre transmission line without prior regard to impacts on County Heritage landmarks, environmentally sensitive habitat and residential property structural damage without prearranged property owner agreements. The Alliance is frustrated even further by the fact that the OEB has granted approval without ensuring sufficient information was provided to the Prince Edward County Municipality to allow them to properly plan out the municipal right-of-way usage and understand the potential impact to County residences. We strongly object to an OEB approval process that does not properly protect residents, residential property and the environment.
We call on the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to reject the renewable energy application for the White Pines Wind Project.
For more information, please contact:
Paula Peel, Secretary
APPEC (Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County)
Click here to view the OEB Approval document
On August 13, 2014 wpd Canada applied to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for Leave to Construct a 28 kilometre high-voltage transmission line that would connect their planned Prince Edward County South Marysburgh and Athol 29 industrial wind turbine project to the IESO-controlled grid. Among others, APPEC applied for and was granted Intervenor status.
All the documents submitted by wpd Canada and the Intervenors (including APPEC) can be viewed on the OEB website under EBR 2013-0339. For the convenience of Prince Edward County residents the APPEC submission has also been posted on this website (Click here for the submission).
APPEC has put together a list of comments related to the revised wpd White Pines Project Heritage Assessment, the Heritage Interconnection Line and the Natural Heritage Assessment (NHA) reports. The Comments are being posted here to help concerned PEC residents raise their own comments and to submit them to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Our hope is that more people will submit comments by mail or email to express your concerns with the wpd White Pines Project in South Marysburgh and Athol stating the impact this project will have on our heritage, our homes and our natural environment. These are important things that APPEC members and supporters love and need to protect.
For your review, the APPEC Comments can be reviewed at these links: Heritage Assessment Comments , Heritage Interconnection Line Comments and Natural Heritage Assessment Comments. Any additional insights from these comments that you may have can be submitted to MOE at the postal or email address below.
Additionally, APPEC has put together a spreadsheet of all the resident buildings along the Interconnection Line where wpd will be laying power lines underground. Some wpd construction will occur within as little as 10 meters of buildings. A wpd report warns that damage due to vibration may occur for properties inside 40 meters from the excavation / construction. The 40 meters is a mitigation but is not being applied consistently as many of the buildings are within the 40 meters. Also it is not clear what solutions there are if the vibration level exceeds the maximum recommended or who is responsible to satisfactorily repair any damages.
As far as APPEC is aware, no wpd notification or agreements have been made with County residents. It might be worth your time to review the Structures along wpd Interconnection Line document and raise a comment if your home or buildings might be impacted by wpd construction along the interconnection / transmission lines.
APPEC has retained council to appeal to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of the Environment related to the transmission lines. By reviewing this document, you may have comments that you would like to submit, or inform friends that may be impacted to allow them to raise comments to the ministry (see mailing information below).
The deadline for submission of comments is May 10, 2014. Comments can be submitted by letter or email to the person noted below.Ramona Afante Senior Project Evaluator Ministry of the Environment Operations Division Environmental Approvals Branch 2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A Toronto, Ontario M4V 1L5
OR submit your comment by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Important – Be sure to include < EBR 012-1279 > in the subject line of your email or letter.
This is the first of multiple planned APPEC reports on the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearings for the wpd White Pines Wind Project.
Last December the APPEC board requested Intervenor Status at the OEB hearing for wpd’s 28 kilometre high-voltage Transmission Line from Royal Road to a new electrical substation on Gorsline Road, north of Picton. The board has recently learned that APPEC has been granted Intervenor Status. APPEC will now be able to bring forward issues at the hearing, present its position and seek clarification from wpd through cross-examination.
The OEB also decided to grant APPEC a cost award. The cost award is particularly important as it allows APPEC to have legal representation at the hearing. Without legal counsel anyone who wanted to participate in the hearing would be effectively neutered as wpd surely knew when it asked the OEB to deny APPEC’s request for a cost award.
In a letter to the OEB wpd noted its concerns with all the requests for Intervenor Status including requests by APPEC, the municipality of Prince Edward County and property owners on the transmission line route. However wpd made note of its “additional concerns with the proposed participation of APPEC.” The OEB must not have found wpd’s reasons too compelling as almost all of the requests for Intervenor Status were granted.
From what one can tell from wpd’s letters on the OEB website they are intent on taking control of the proceedings. Through their lawyer Patrick Duffy of Stikeman Elliott wpd has been telling the OEB what its mandate is, what the proper issues are and what regulations – in its view at least – do not apply and in general throwing its weight around.
For now the OEB intends to proceed by way of a written hearing. The board will decide whether an oral hearing is required after the discovery phase of the proceeding.
Wpd will be contacting property owners on the Transmission Line route wpd has been advised by the OEB that a leave to construct the Transmission Line shall not be granted until wpd satisfies the Board that “it has offered or will offer to each owner of land affected by the approved route or location an agreement in a form approved by the Board”.
This OEB link will take you directly to the OEB website where you can view correspondence on the wpd application (OEB number EB 2013-0339) for leave to construct transmission facilities in Prince Edward County.