Public hearings begin for Heartland Transmission Project
Published Monday, April 11, 2011 6:22PM MDT
A Sherwood Park woman fears a proposed power line will be disastrous for her family's health and for her business too.
Gillian Jobs operates a daycare along the preferred route for the Heartland Transmission Project, a new, high-voltage power line.
Public hearings into the proposed project began Monday at the Edmonton Expo Centre.
Jobs is opposed to the project, citing concerns that parents will be uneasy about bringing their children to her daycare if there are high-voltage electrical towers nearby.
"My livelihood is at stake. My home, my property is at stake," said Jobs. ""My children's health is at stake."
Both supporters and opponents will line up to present their views at the public hearing, with the Alberta Utilities Commission in charge of making a final decision.
The group, Responsible Electricity Transmission for Albertans (RETA), has been spending the past few years voicing its opposition to the project.
RETA argues there are potential health risks, such as childhood leukemia, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease, linked with the presence of high-voltage towers.
"The health concerns are innumerable," complained John Kristensen, with RETA.
EPCOR, one of the group's behind the project, countered that health risks have not been proven.
"The lowest overall impact for all Alberta is the preferred route through the eastern TUC (Transportation Utility Corridor) aerial line," said Tim LeRiche, a spokesperson for EPCOR.
Jobs complained there's too much at stake to allow the lines to get built and that if there's any chance the project could be dangerous, it shouldn't go ahead.
The Alberta Utilities Commission will make a decision 90 days after the public hearing wraps up.
With files from CTV's Serena Mah.