Bipole III goes to clean air commission
By Marianne Curtis
Resident affected by the proposed Manitoba Hydro’s Bipole III’s will have another chance to voice their objections or support to the project after the province has asked that hearings be held by the Clean Environment Commission.
Conservation Minister Dave Chomiak expects the hearings to provide an opportunity for input from the public and other stakeholders. “This will ensure the voices of Manitobans are heard during the commission’s review of the project,” he stated.
The hearings will follow a public review of Manitoba Hydro’s environmental impact statement for the Bipole III project, which was filed December 1 with Manitoba Conservation. The public can access the environmental impact statement and provide comments through a public registry. The impact statement is posted on the Manitoba Conservation web page. Hearings will be scheduled once the 90 day public review period is over.
Manitoba Hydro prepared its environmental impact statement as part of securing an environmental license on a preferred route for the Bipole III project following an extensive public and stakeholder consultation process and following guidelines provided by Manitoba Conservation in June 2010.
When proposing the line, Hydro had to keep the project clear of national and provincial parks and First Nation Land. After consideration, the utility has proposed a 1,364 kilometre line that runs from the Conawapa generating station near The Pas, through the province and down into the southeast.
According to a map, the new hydro line will cross Highway 75 and run east from Ste. Agathe along PR 305. It will continue eastward until north of Mitchell where it will turn northward to PR 210 east of Landmark and then head towards Ste. Anne where it turns north again.
The project has received vast opposition by landowners and residents where the line is expected to go. Manitoba Hydro has promised a compensation package that is expected to appease opposition from landowners. The crown corporation says they will take assessment value of the land and multiply it by 1.3 then multiply that amount by 75% as an easement payment. Crop land that may be affected will also be compensated.
The aim is to have construction start in 2012 and have the line operating in 2017.
Manitoba Hydro’s application with the Clean Environment Commission is available at http://www.hydro.mb.ca/projects/bipoleIII/eis.shtml for review and comment.