Lincoln contained in NRWC Transmission Line Interconnection Study Area

I attended the Niagara Region Wind Corporation’s (NRWC) Open House at Smithville District Christian High school on Tuesday night. The information session was held voluntarily by the NRWC – It is not one of the public meetings required with the Renewable Energy Approval Process (REA). http://is.gd/vrgPxg

Up for discussion was a 230 Megawatt Class 4 Wind Turbine Proposal likely affecting six Municipalities: Haldimand County, West Lincoln, Wainfleet, Pelham, Lincoln, and Grimsby. The cost of each one of these potentially 500′ high turbines is speculated to be as much as $3 million dollars.

Although the exact location of all of the properties leased to date is not known yet, the intent is likely to build the turbines in Haldimand County, West Lincoln, Pelham and Wainfleet – and to have the transmission lines running through West Lincoln, Lincoln, and Grimsby. Click here to see the Notice of Proposal: http://is.gd/eqp5pO

I spoke to representatives from Stantec (Consultants for the REA process), and Hatch Ltd. (Engineering), primarily about Lincoln being contained within the Transmission Line Interconnection Study Area. At this point NRWC is waiting for word from Hydro One who will recommend the best route for the 115 KV lines to run to reach the proposed transformer station in Grimsby. The hope is that the lines will run on existing poles, but that is yet to be determined.

The NRWC will deal with each of the municipalities through which the lines are proposed to run in order to deal with issues such as capacity, impact on the right-of-ways etc.

Two public consultations are required under the REA process and the goal is to have the first this September (one in each of the six municipalities) to present the Project Description Report.

Following that, technical studies will look at the design, construction, operation, and potential decommission of the turbines, the location of turbines, access roads, collector and transmission lines etc. and to complete all requirements under the REA. It is expected that this will take twelve to eighteen months during which time there will be a second public consultation.

In order to meet the deadline under the Ontario Feed in Tariff program (FIT), the project must be operational by 2014.

Dianne Rintjema

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GOING WHERE THE WIND TAKES ME

I will be attending this presentation by the Niagara Region Wind Corporation tonight…. They were awarded a contract from the Ontario Government for a 230 MW Wind Power Project and I am hoping to see a draft layout tonight.
http://www.lincoln.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?NewsID=327
Dianne Rintjema

UPDATE ON BEAMSVILLE’S KONKLE CREEK CLOSURE (AKA SUPERDITCH)

Unfortunately, a section of Konkle Creek along which many Beamsville residents enjoy walking has been closed to residents since late last summer. During the design phase of the Multi Use Trail and Bikeway Project in 2010 which included a walking path on the East bank, it became clear to Town staff that the erosion – and therefore safety problems particularly in the northern section close to Greenlane Road had to be addressed. The erosion problem can be primarily attributed to the misguided and shortsighted decision, in the 1980s, to straighten the creek to accommodate development and related drainage needs. Creeks, by nature, want to meander and need to meander in order to control the power of the flowing water- if not, we get problems with flooding, safety, and erosion.

In order to address the problem, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority was consulted, and a channel assessment was done to determine the extent of the damage, what steps need to be taken, and who needs to be involved. The results confirmed that the erosion is major and that extensive rehabilitation is necessary.

It was originally hoped that work could begin in 2011, but because Konkle Creek is classified as a significant fish habitat there are a number of agencies, Federal and Provincial, who have jurisdiction and authority (Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ministry of Natural Resources etc) and processes that need to be followed in order to protect not only fish, but other species such as frogs, certain vegetation etc.

The Ministry of the Environment, under the Environmental Protection Act, requires that a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) be undertaken to ensure that any projects that trigger an EA are implemented considering, and giving priority to, the effects on the environment. The creek, therefore, must be rehabilitated in a manner that supports its habitat and vegetation, in other words naturally – not cemented over – while effectively dealing with the erosion problem. For example, techniques coined “live erosion protection” are sometimes used, reinforcing creek edges with natural materials and native vegetation.

Council approved funds in the 2011 budget to hire a company specializing in creek rehabiliation (Geomorphic Solutions) and they started work last month. The goal will be to select an option from several recommendations, balancing cost with convenience, expedience, best practices and sustainability.

One of the benefits of the EA process is the requirement for public participation. Geomorphic Solutions will, therefore, present the results of an inventory assessment (telling us what we are dealing with) at a public information session, hopefully this fall. Following which will be another public information session with a goalĀ of selecting a preferred option.

Link to information on EAs: http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=B053F859-1#1

I will continue to post information on timelines etc, as it becomes available.

Dianne Rintjema

Safety Concerns: John Street at Senator Gibson School in Beamsville – Report to Council

Below is a link to the staff report which came before Town of Lincoln Infrastructure Committee on July 13th, 2011. The report contains recommendations to address the safety issues on John Street in the area of Senator Gibson Public School in Beamsville.

While some of the recommendations therein need to be addressed in the upcoming budget, Infrastructure Committee voted to recieve the report as information and to proceed with the designation of a Community Safety Zone.

Municipalities generally request that a certain stretch of highway (which includes roads, streets, drives, avenues, etc) be designated as a Community Safety Zone (under the Highway Traffic Act), if traffic safety within the area is of special concern. This is especially true if there is a school, senior citizen residence, daycare, hospital or a large mall in the vicinity and accidents are bound to happen if preventative or extra measures are not put into place.

Fines for traffic infractions in a Community Safety Zone are doubled – and incidents dealt with more severely by the courts.

https://lincoln.civicweb.net/FileStorage/2FBCF68597CC41AF842701F55AA91137-Workspacer11-13good_20110708143717.pdf

The following is a link to this Monday night’s Council meeting at which Council will vote on the recommendations of the Committee.

https://lincoln.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=33205

Dianne Rintjema