July 27, 2009
Dear xxxxxxxx (name removed for privacy)
Thank you for your e-mail on July 17, 2009 regarding the Heartland Transmission Project. We appreciate you taking the time to provide your comments as they are important and will be summarized and included as part of the consultation process.
You inquired about the distances provided on the interactive map on the Heartland Transmission Project website. The distances on the interactive map are measured from the centre of the right of way of the proposed route location to a point on the street in front of where the residence is located.
If you wish to obtain more information regarding updates on this project or have any further questions, you may contact us directly; toll free at 1-888-441-7192, by e-mail to PublicConsultation@heartlandtransmission.ca or mail at any time.
Please be assured that we respect your right to privacy and that your personal information will be used only in regards to the Heartland Transmission Project.
Thank you again for your e-mail.
Heartland Transmission Project team
High Voltage Power Lines – Summary of the Facts
The scientific literature conclusively links the following negative health outcomes with overhead high voltage power line electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure over an extended period of time:
People who live, work or attend school near overhead high voltage power lines have the following increased risks of contracting cancers:
Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia
Women who live or work near overhead high voltage power lines have the following increased birth risks:
Suicide and Depression
International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety
Livestock and Pets
Safety and Reliability
Government Oversight in
Burying High Voltage Power Lines
When compared to overhead high voltage power lines, underground lines are:
And have less impact on:
Prepared by RETA (Responsible Electricity Transmission for Albertans). Updated June 28, 2009.
Go to www.reta.ca for additional facts and references.
HEARTLAND DOUBLE CIRCUIT 500 KV
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EPCOR and AltaLink are planning to build an overhead double circuit 500 kilovolt power line, called the Heartland Transmission Project, between
The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and two transmission facility operators (EPCOR and AltaLink) conducted a desk-top study in 2008. Based on this study, which involved no field work, no ground truthing, and no consultation with local landowners, AESO initially identified potential routes for this power line, and EPCOR/AltaLink provided more detailed routing options.
The four potential routes are: 1) west of Edmonton and east of Spruce Grove in the Counties of Sturgeon and Parkland, 2) within the West Edmonton and St. Albert Green Belt (TUC) along the Anthony Henday 3) within the Sherwood Park Greenbelt (TUC) on the east side of Edmonton in the County of Strathcona, and 4) east of Edmonton between Secondary Highways 824 and 830 just east of Ardrossan in the County of Strathcona.
Some residents living along the four potential routes have received information packages from EPCOR and AltaLink stressing the benefits of the 500 kilovolt power line. However, many local residents, government officials, and scientists are concerned that residents are not getting the full story.
AESO, EPCOR and AltaLink have emphasized the perceived need for this line to residents along the four proposed routes, but have ignored many of the facts regarding the risks.
RETA (Responsible Electricity Transmission for Albertans) was established in late 2008 to make sure residents are made aware of all of the facts.
People living on or near all of the proposed routes are beginning to work together with RETA to deliver a common message, Bury the Line Not Our Children. If this line cannot be buried, DO NOT BUILD IT!
RETA and its 3,000 members do not support the construction of new overhead high voltage power lines near schools or residential developments. RETA does support and encourages more responsible electricity transmission including burying high voltage power lines near schools, hospitals, daycare centres, residential areas, and environmentally sensitive areas.
RETA’s website at www.reta.ca contains information on the proposed power line as well as 26 Fact Sheets on topics including health, safety, environmental and property value impacts of overhead high voltage power lines; burying power lines; and how other more progressive jurisdictions around the world are addressing high voltage electricity transmission. Fact Sheets were thoroughly researched, and are based on scholarly literature studies which are referenced on the RETA website.
The scholarly literature conclusively links the following negative health outcomes with overhead high voltage power line electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure over an extended period of time: variety of childhood and adult cancers; childhood and adult leukemia; Alzheimer’s disease; Lou Gehrig’s disease; suicide; depression; stress; specific types of heart disease; tumor growths; skin growths; abnormal cell activity; perception, memory and attention impairment; genetic defects; gland production deficiencies; mental and behavioral problems; immune system deficiencies; nervous system disorders; birth defects; miscarriages; stunting of growth; blood and circulatory problems; fatigue; headache; nausea; decrease in visual and motor reaction time; male sexual dysfunction; sleep deprivation; and exacerbation of asthma, tinnitus, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and Attention Deficit Disorder.
Health studies have shown that the risk of some forms of cancer is up to 12 times the expected rate, the risk of childhood leukemia is 5.0 times the expected rate, Alzheimer’s disease 4.9 times the expected rate, and suicide 3.6 times the expected rate, for people exposed to overhead high voltage EMFs over an extended period of time where they live, work or attend school.
EPCOR and AltaLink consistently indicate that Health Canada has concluded that EMFs from power lines pose no health risk. Health
Residents along the proposed routes have repeatedly expressed their concerns to AESO, EPCOR and AltaLink, and have pointed out where their desk-top analysis of proposed routes is flawed but, unfortunately, most of these concerns have been ignored. For example, hundreds of homes, recreation areas and environmentally sensitive areas have not been shown on the maps prepared by AltaLink and EPCOR. Over 1,000 residents attended RETA’s first public meeting in March 2009, over 1,500 residents attended RETA’s second public meeting in June 2009, and hundreds of additional residents living along the 4 potential routes attended community meetings in July 2009 to express their concerns and frustration.
Underground high voltage power lines are safer than overhead lines, are not a visual blight on the landscape, do not devalue neighboring properties, have fewer environmental impacts, are more reliable, are significantly more efficient in terms of transmission losses, produce less of a carbon footprint, and cost no more than overhead lines over the life of a line. Burying lines eliminates the electric field component of EMFs and significantly reduces the negative health effects of the magnetic field component of EMFs.
There are hundreds of examples of successfully buried high voltage power lines all over the world. One of these is a 500 kilovolt power line buried in
Please email, phone or write the Mayor and City Council to pass a motion to seek intervenor status. It is very important for residents of
In spite of the growing pressure to bury high voltage power lines, AESO, EPCOR and AltaLink continue to indicate that it is too expensive and the technology is not sufficiently developed.
For more details, see Fact Sheets and associated references at the www.reta.ca website.
Prepared by RETA.