Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Power plant gets Town nod
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 29 Sep 2006, p. 1, 3

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Halton Hills Council gave its stamp of approval to a power plant in the 401407 corridor Monday, but it will be the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) that decides if the facility will be built there or not. At a special council meeting Monday night only Councillor Bryan Lewis did not support the TransCanada Energy (TCE) Ltd. proposal for a 680 megawatts natural gas-fuelled power generation facility on an 80-acre parcel in the corridor at the southwest corner of Sixth Line S. and Steeles Ave. Lewis doesn't believe the plant meets the criteria for prestige industrial- the designation that applies to most of the land in the corridor. Finn Greflund, vice-president of TCE, said their company is just one bidding to win the contract to provide the one power plant facility to be approved by the OPA in this area to help ease the electricity crisis for the western Greater Toronto Area. The other companies are proposing two different plants in Milton and one in the Palermo (north Oakville) area. The OPA is to select the winning proposal in November and those bidding receive extra points in the selection process for obtaining council support. Tim Taylor, an OPA spokesperson, said Thursday before a power plant is built it would have to have both municipal and Ministry of Environment approval, and the decision to award the contract is based on both technical and financial criteria. Before making its decision Monday, Halton Hills Council heard from the public on the TCE proposal. "We are not opposed, however, sadly to say we're not fully in support," said Hornby Association of Rate Payers (HARP) vice-president Eric Kowal. See POWER, pg. 3

Continued from pg. 1 He said the Hornby area residents he has spoken to about the power plant proposal are "happy in comparison to the first proposal that would have seen a trucking warehouse facility and 300 to 400 trucks going in front of their house." Another Hornby resident, Dr. Richard Kunica, however, was clearly opposed to the proposal. He said the Town needs more information and should ask for more time from the OPA before making a decision. He called for an independent environmental study. Kunica said he doesn't believe the power plant is prestige industrial. "We are playing second fiddle to our neighbours in Mississauga with regards to what is considered prestige industrial," said Kunica. He raised several concerns including the "smoke and pollutants," he said would be pouring out of the plant's smoke stacks, the fact he believes the company won't be a major employer in the area, the effects of increased temperatures in the area from the heat generated at the plant, noise pollution, and the risk of malfunction at the plant. "I'm concerned we've been sold down the river with regards to smooth talking developers from TransCanada, in terms of big business influencing us on what is good for us instead of us deciding what is good for Halton Hills," said Kunica. Leslie Adams of Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (POWER) said the organization was looking at all the power plant proposals and had not yet decided which one they support. Gary Ebersberger of Halton Hills Hydro said the utility endorses the TCE proposal and could see the power plant resulting in reduced costs for Halton Hills Hydro. It could provide a location for the utility's new transformer sub station and there is the possibility that Halton Hills Hydro could enter into agreements with TCE to expand its service at a lower cost, keeping electricity rates lower for customers. Greflund outlined some benefits to the Town. He said the power plant would increase revenues to the town and region including $2 million in development charges, $1 to $1.5 million a year in municipal taxes, and a community donation of $250,000. TCE has also agreed to replace the Town in the Halton Hills 401 Corridor Landowner's agreement meaning it will assume the loan repayment from the Region for the $1.5 million the Town paid the Region in 2005. He also said TCE would build a sewer collector pipe along Steeles Ave. at a cost of $400,000 to collect wastewater from the properties between Fifth and Sixth Lines. Greflund said the company has taken steps to ensure the facility conforms and enhances the concept of prestige industrial development including screening and extensive mature landscaping. "There will not be any odor, there will not be a human health impact," said Christine Cinnamon of TCE, who added the amount of nitrogen oxides coming from the plant would be comparable to 12 to 15 homes heated by natural gas. "It (the plant) goes above and beyond in terms of meeting air emissions that are required in this jurisdiction," said Cinnamon. "In balance I think this is a positive thing for the 401 corridor," said Councillor Jon Hurst. "It has to go somewhere in our area. We're going to gain some fairly substantial benefits with its arrival." Councillor Joan Robson said it was a tough decision and the impact on the residents is her number one concern. "I would like to see it made as attractive as possible and I do believe we'll be able to talk to the applicant about that," said Robson. She said having the facility in Halton Hills instead of Milton allows the Town to "have a little more say." Councillor Bryan Lewis said he believes permitting a power plant on prestige industrial designated land is "really, really stretching." "I can't say that this actually fits within the prestige industrial category," said Lewis, who did not support the TransCanada proposal. As part of the recommendation approved by council a letter of support for the TCE proposal from the mayor will be sent to the OPA. (Lisa Tallyn can be reached at ltallyn@independentfreepress.com

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Date of Publication:
29 Sep 2006
Personal Name(s):
Lewis,Bryan ; Kowal,Eric
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Ontario Power Authority ; TransCanada Energy
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Power plant gets Town nod