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Town of Milton - Minutes for its Administration and Planning Standing Committee - Feb. 19-07
Canadian Champion - Mar. 02, 2007 - By Melanie Hennessey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Town wants MOE to 'bump up' power plant's environment study
Town council passed a motion containing the request at its session Monday evening. The resolution -- put forward by Ward 1 Councillor Rick Day -- calls on the Ministry of Environment (MOE) to 'bump up', or elevate, TCE's applications to require an individual environmental assessment for both the plant itself and the Sixth Line transmission corridor where it wants to install underground cables.
TCE was awarded a 20-year contract by the Ontario Power Authority in November to build a 680-megawatt, natural gas-fired generating station on Steeles Avenue, just west of Sixth Line.
Day explained that he sees council's job as one of ensuring that the health of Milton residents isn't jeopardized.
"I don't know if that plant is dangerous to the health of the people of the Town of Milton," he said. "All I'm asking for is to get some level of comfort for the mayor, council and the people of Milton."
Day also said he doesn't want Sixth Line torn up to put the transmission cables in.
While the motion ultimately garnered unanimous support, Ward 3 Councillor Jan Mowbray first said she hopes council isn't heading in the NIMBY (not in my backyard) direction.
"It seems to me a lot of us might be," she said. "I just don't want us to go forward with something on a wrong basis."
She noted that the MOE sets emissions standards and monitors that TCE will have to adhere to.
Ward 1 Councillor Brian Penman argued that some of the MOE criteria is significantly dated and "most ministries in the province of Ontario are self-serving."
Currently, the Region is reviewing the studies and documents that've been prepared by TCE so far. But, Day said he'd also like the Town to have its own consultant review the information.
"I'm not sure if they (the Region) have the same interests as the people of Milton," he said.
Town Director of Planning and Development Mel Iovio pointed out the Region's health department has a mandate to protect the health of everyone in Halton.
Council directed staff to bring a report back on retaining a consultant at the March 19 administration and planning committee meeting.
It also passed a motion that calls for staff to continue monitoring TCE's environmental approval process, carry on discussions with the company regarding the installation of the cables on Sixth Line and report back to council when TCE has responded in detail to concerns raised by the Region and local resident Rollie Willis.
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