December 17, 2004

York Region seeks a full Environmental Assessment on proposed hydro corridor

NEWMARKET – York Regional Council yesterday passed a recommendation requesting Hydro One and the Ministry of Environment to ensure that a full and proper Environmental Assessment (EA) be carried out and that the draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) process be terminated.

“Regional Council recognizes additional electricity must be obtained from Hydro One as early as 2006 for York Region to continue to receive a consistent and reliable supply,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “However, York Region is entitled to ensure new infrastructure developments are appropriate and conform with our existing environment and communities.”

According to the local distribution companies, load forecast information indicates York Region, north of Bloomington Road, is at risk of service disruptions or brown outs unless there is a re-enforcement of transmissions facilities by 2006 to 2007.

The legislated and regulatory authority for provision of electricity to York Region consumers rests with Hydro One and the local distribution companies.
“We encourage Hydro One to deal with their issues directly and in a timely fashion,” said Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “Hydro One has not addressed serious concerns regarding its proposal, while York Region requires the additional power.”

In June, Regional Council communicated fundamental issues with Hydro One’s approach and requested Hydro One to ensure there was a full consideration of alternative routes based on a full assessment of environmental, social, economic and health impacts of such facilities.

In yesterday’s resolution, Council authorized the Regional Chair to write to the federal Minister of Health to request a review into the issue and impacts of exposure to electro-magnetic fields (EMFs), recognizing residents’ concerns about converting an existing 100 kilovolt transmission line into a 230 kilovolt transmission corridor, as Hydro One has proposed.

York Regional Council also expressed support for the Town of Newmarket and Newmarket Hydro’s initiative to develop local hydro generation through a proposed 300-meagawatt gas-fired facility as a solution to meet additional electricity demands.  And Council expressed support for the Town of Markham’s request to the Ministers of Energy and Environment for mediation to resolve the issues.

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Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Services, York Region
(905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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