April 2010 Update re: AUC Information Sessions
If you did not attend the AUC information sessions held throughout the month of March, here is a link to the presentation that covers the material from those meetings.
January 2010 Update re: Intervener Process
The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has updated a webpage with pertinent information regarding the intervener process. You can click to their site here: http://www.auc.ab.ca/items-of-interest/heartland-transmission-project/Pages/default.aspx.
According to the latest from the AUC, interveners may participate in one of three ways:
- Full participation in the AUC's quasi-judicial hearing
- Informal presentation of a position to the AUC at the hearing
- Written submissions
Further information on how to participate in a facility application can be found at this AUC link: http://www.auc.ab.ca/involving-albertans/getting-involved/Pages/HowtoParticipate.aspx
You can also download a PDF brochure (Public Involvement in Needs or Facility Applications) from the AUC that explains the entire process in a step by step fashion.
A booklet addressing the specific process for the Heartland Transmission Project can be downloaded from the AUC site.
The intervener stage for the Heartland Transmission Project is expected to begin late 2009/early 2010 when EPCOR/AltaLink name a preferred and alternate route and submit an application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). The AUC will then issue a Notice of Application. The notice of application will contain the deadline to apply for intervener status and the requirements.
When the Notice of Application is first issued, all Albertans are able to submit a Statement of Intent to Participate. This is an important step in the intervener process and gives all Albertans a chance to express concerns about the Heartland Transmission Project. The Society encourages all Albertans to submit a statement of intent to participate at this stage.
A pre-hearing will determine the area of impact for those directly and adversely affected. This is typically up to 800 meters. The area of impact is expected to be 1,000 meters for the Heartland Transmission Project.
Once the area of impact has been specified, only those residents, property owners, land owners and businesses located within the area of impact are considered to be directly and adversely affected and are eligible to claim intervener status.
Providing a submission to the AUC is a complicated process. Please visit www.auc.ab.ca for more details. Below is some background information taken from the Alberta Utilities Commission website that you might find interesting.
Proceedings before the AUC are governed by a set of rules. The rules that apply most to the approval process for the Heartland Transmission Project are:
AUC Rule 001: Rules of Practice, this rule sets out the rules for all proceedings before the Alberta Utilities Commission.
AUC Rule 009: Energy Utility Cost Claims, this rule sets out the rules regarding the recovery of costs by participants
AUC Rule 007: Rules Respecting Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, and Industrial System Designations, this rule sets out the rules regarding the approval of transmission lines.
Individual or Group Submissions
You can prepare your intervener submission as an individual or a group. However, research and preparation for a submission takes a lot of time and effort. A group submission is considered very helpful, as it indicates broader support for the views expressed. Whether you prepare your submission alone or as a group, it is necessary to be very thorough and to provide solid evidence to support your points of view.
Legal Counsel or Self-Representation
Although there is no requirement that a lawyer represent you during the hearing, having a lawyer represent your interests may be helpful to you. The AUC hearings are, in some ways, like a civil case before a judge. Lawyers are trained to present a client’s case, cross-examine the other side’s witnesses, and make arguments on what the AUC’s decision should be. The lawyer can also assist in arranging for experts, if they are needed to make your case.