Hydro One Networks Inc. (Hydro One) is initiating an Environmental Assessment (EA) under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act for a proposed new transmission line between Thunder Bay and Dryden.
This project, referred to in the past as the Northwest Bulk Transmission Line, has been renamed Waasigan Transmission Line by Hydro One. Waasigan is an Ojibwe
word for “bringing power”. The need for this project has been identified by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) through their long-term electricity
planning. Hydro One believes that bringing power to northwestern Ontario is important for supporting future economic growth in the region. The EA will determine a preferred route for a new double-circuit 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between Lakehead Transformer Station (TS) in the municipality of Shuniah and Mackenzie TS in the town of Atikokan, and a new single-circuit 230 kV transmission line between Mackenzie TS and Dryden TS in the city of Dryden. (see project map).
The Environmental Assessment Process
This EA will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. The first step is the preparation of a Terms of Reference (ToR) which will set out the framework and work plan for addressing these requirements when preparing the EA, including an outline of the studies and consultation activities that will be carried out. Important aspects of the EA process will be to identify and evaluate alternative routes, assess potential effects of the new transmission line and determine measures to reduce or mitigate these effects. The anticipated completion date for the ToR is early 2020, at which point it will be submitted to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for review and decision. If approved by the Minister, the EA will then proceed as outlined in the approved ToR.
Indigenous communities, government agencies, municipal officials, members of the public and other interested persons are encouraged to actively participate in the planning process. Consultation and engagement opportunities will be organized throughout the planning process and communicated through community newspaper advertisements, mailings and on the project website. Members of Hydro One’s project team are always available to discuss the project with interested parties.
Hydro One will be hosting a Community Information session to introduce the project, discuss the route selection study area and to answer questions on the project goals and the EA process.
If you are interested in attending a Community information session, please fill in the questionnaire below.