Public participation, getting the lay of the land — it’s messy, it’s time consuming, and it’s where it’s at in transmission siting proceeding, it is the essential guts of transmission line siting. Get ready for another round of meetings some time after January 17, 2018 up in Canada!
Last report was that Canada;s National Energy Board had suddenly decided that there was a need for a public hearing process that had somehow been left out of the mix! WHAT? More pubic process is always better, but a series of public hearings for this huge transmission project, both in length and capacity, isn’t too much to ask of Canada. It’s expected!
Well, Manitoba Hydro is now agreeing to the public hearings… mighty nice of them. Something tells me they had no choice. It’s still up in the air how soon that will happen, but mark you calendars, because on January 17, Manitoba Hydor will make the announcement of the hearing dates and locations!
Published in CBC news:
The province-owned utility was told in December that Ottawa officials had accepted a National Energy Board recommendation that the $453-million Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project go through a certificate process, which means it will be subject to more public hearings.
Hydro had instead sought a process in which the energy board would do a technical assessment and issue a permit to build the 213-kilometre transmission line without more public hearings. Hydro officials said a public hearing process involving all stakeholders, including Indigenous groups, had already been done by the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission.
“We respect Ottawa’s decision to adopt the National Energy Board’s recommendation regarding a certificate process for the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project,” said Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen.
Owen also said Hydro officials are happy the energy board has “expeditiously issued a directive regarding commencement of the federal proceedings” and committed to a Hydro request to try to avoid duplication of other measures that were completed by the province and the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission.
Last year, the Crown corporation expressed concern that the National Energy Board certificate process would delay the project, but Manitoba Hydro still hopes to complete the project by 2020, said Owen.
And an earlier article: