Next step in review of power line plan will be April meeting

The next step in the application review for a controversial power transmission line running through Central Alberta takes place on April 20 in Red Deer.

The next step in the application review for a controversial power transmission line running through Central Alberta takes place on April 20 in Red Deer.

AltaLink filed an application with the Alberta Utilities Commission on March 1 for approval to construct and operate the Western Alberta Transmission Line that would run about 330 km from the Genesee area southwest of Edmonton to Langdon, near Calgary.

AltaLink has spent the past year consulting with people throughout the affected area to determine a preferred route.

A process meeting, to be held at Westerner Park’s Harvest Centre, Marquis Room, on April 20 at 9 a.m., will establish a schedule for the remainder of the public hearing process.

The public hearing is scheduled to begin on Sept. 26.

“It’s like a pre-hearing meeting to set all the details of the schedule leading up to the hearing,” said commission spokesperson Jim Law.

Based on the information gathered at the process meeting, the commission will determine when people need to file information, when people need to finish asking the applicant questions, when the applicant needs to respond, when evidence needs to be filed, when reply evidence needs to be filed, where the hearing will be held, and other details.

People or groups who want to make a presentation at the hearing are strongly recommended to make a short presentation at the process meeting and register with the utilities commission by April 11 by email at utilitiesconcerns@auc.ab.ca or by phone at 780-427-4903.

They can also write a letter to tell the commission how they are going to participate in the hearing.

If they don’t want to make a presentation, they can make a written submission or depending on the level of interest, the commission may go to communities to allow people to make a brief oral presentation.

Process meeting presentations should not be longer than five minutes and explain their interest in the application, how they intend to participate in the hearing, issues most important to them, comments regarding the location of the hearing and the proposed schedule.

Presentations should not address the merits of the application. Concerns will be considered in the public hearing itself. Presentations should not address the need for the project.

Need is an issue that the commission cannot consider for this application.

The Alberta Utilities Commission is a quasi-judicial regulatory body responsible for making decisions about utility related applications, decisions about transmission lines and other facilities.

The process meeting is open to the public.

Westerner Park is located at 4847A 19th St.

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