THE BAPE REPORT IS NOW PUBLIC
Québec, October 10th 2008 –
At the request of Ms. Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE)is releasing today the report of its Commission of Inquiry and Public Hearing regarding the Project to construct a 315-kV power transmission line (Chénier-Outaouais) proposed by Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie. Having been mandated on May 26th 2008, the Commission in charge of examining the project was made up of Mr. Qussaï Samak, chair, and Mr. François Lafond, commissioner.
In light of its analysis, the Commission of Inquiry recognizes that the project would allow a greater exchange of electricity between Québec and Ontario. The project would also help further secure the supply of the Outaouais region, while providing greater security for Québec’s distribution network. Destined to be set up in an existing Hydro-Québec right-of-way, the proposed line would avoid the opening of a new corridor and the ensuing additional repercussions on the environment.
The project would also have repercussions on wetlands and, potentially, on threatened or vulnerable plant species. According to the report, these repercussions are either not dealt with in detail or are absent from the project documentation submitted to the Commission of Inquiry. Furthermore, the Commission of Inquiry underlines the importance of respecting the carrying capacity of the ecosystems and of ensuring the protection of the biodiversity that depends on them. Consequently, Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie should compensate the losses caused by the project as related to wetlands, the habitats of protected plant species, and the forest cover. Undertaken preferably in the region where the project is to be implemented if approved, such compensation could take the form of a permanent protection of natural areas of equivalent size and ecological value, to be determined with the participation of the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs and the ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune.
Finally, the Commission of Inquiry is of the view that the public corporation in charge of the project should seize the opportunity provided by the work at the Chénier station to eliminate, or at least reduce, the noise and visual nuisances currently originating from this station. To that end, Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie should team up with the City of Mirabel and the residents living near the station to identify and implement the effective remedial measures required.
Availability of the report
It should be recalled that the commission held in Montebello two public sessions during the first part of the public hearing and one session during the second part. It received seven briefs and seven oral representations from individuals, groups and municipalities interested in this project.
The inquiry and public hearing report on the Project to construct a 315-kV power transmission line (Chénier-Outaouais) proposed by Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie is now available for consultation at the BAPE documentation centres, at the consultation centres opened in the community as well as on the website of the BAPE at the following address: www.bape.gouv.qc.ca. Copies of the report may also be requested by e‑mail at email@example.com, or by dialing 418 643-7447 or the toll-free number 1 800 463‑4732.
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Source : Julie Olivier
418 643-7447 or 1 800 463-4732, extension 539