Manitoba announced Clean Environment Commission (CEC) hearings will be held on the proposed Bipole III transmission line project December 2, 2011. The hearings will be scheduled after a 90 day public review of Manitoba Hydro’s environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Bipole III project.
The EIS review period has not started and is expected in early 2012. Internal review of the EIS, public notifications of the review, and placement of the Bi Pole III materials in public registries all occur before the review period begins. The project is the largest, most expensive transmission project in the history of Manitoba. The original study area covered over 20% of the province.
"It’s possible there could be some hearings next summer, but you can’t have too many hearings during the summertime because nobody is going to show up. Perhaps some in the early summertime and the rest in the early fall," said CEC chairperson Terry Sargent.
Conservation Minister Dave Chomiak announced participant assistance funding will be made available to participants in the public hearings, and there will be a comprehensive Crown-Aboriginal consultation process for Bipole III. No details regarding the CEC process or the amount of money available have been announced.
The 1400 kilometre line is needed for reliability and security when sending hydroelectric power from northern to southern Manitoba, and to move more power to export markets in the United States.
The terms of reference from the Minister to the CEC Chair for these hearings are not yet available.
View December 3, 2011 Winnipeg Free Press article
View December 2, 2011 Government of Manitoba press release
View December 2, 2011 CJOB article
View Manitoba Hydro, "Bipole III" page
View Manitoba Wildlands Bipole III page
View Government of Manitoba: Environmental Assessment and Licensing Branch homepage
Government of Manitoba, Winnipeg Free Press