Top News

Seal Cove residents concerned about Nalcor’s local plans


Nalcor Energy’s plan to develop a structure that will hug the shoreline of Seal Cove in Conception Bay South to aid the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project is not being accepted with open arms by area residents.

That remained the case for some following Tuesday night’s public meeting in the community, which attracted approximately 100 people, according to media reports.

Elmer Andrews was among those who attended. He lives on Lance Cove Road, which is one of the roads closest to where the shoreline electrode will be built. Making use of metal rods, the structure will serve as a grounding station for the transmission link connecting Labrador to Newfoundland.

“There was a lot of questions asked,” Andrews said about Tuesday’s meeting. “But there was nothing being answered. Nobody got a clear answer on anything.”

Andrews knew little of the project going into the meeting. While he does know more about it now, Andrews said he is not comfortable with having the shoreline electrode built in his neighbourhood.

Peter Noseworthy lives on the same road as Andrews, and has concerns about the project’s environmental impact on the area.

“We’ve got enough pollution now in the environment,” said Noseworthy, who also voiced concerns about the structure’s stability.

“You’re going to end up with northeast winds here rushing up on the beach, 40 or 50 feet up over the beach. What do you think is going to happen to something like that?”

Elizabeth Parsons has lived on Lance Cove Road for 40 years. She has spoken with friends and neighbours who are concerned about the development, but Parsons is not rushing to judge the project prematurely.

“We lived with the (Holyrood generating station) up there,” said Parsons. “We’re not that far from it. We lived with that.”

Speaking with The Telegram the day after the public meeting, Nalcor vice-president Gilbert Bennett said concerns raised at the meeting were consistent with issues addressed in the environmental assessment process for the project.

“We’re just happy to share information that we have and the work we’ve done,” he said, adding that Nalcor has already received some feedback indicating it was helpful to have the meeting take place.

Bennett said the shoreline electrode’s purpose is not all that different from ground wires or a ground rod in a residential basement. He said modelling suggests the shoreline electrode would be in use for only 40 hours annually.

No adverse effect is predicted in activating the electrode, Bennett said. When operational, the concentration of chlorine in the pond will be equivalent to that of water undergoing a treatment process.

“It gets to the reliability of the system as a whole. We beefed up the transmission line design. … The probability of one of the conductors failing is very low.”

A second shoreline electrode is planned for Labrador in the Strait of Belle Isle at L’Anse au Diable.

arobinson@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

— With files from Ashley Fitzpatrick

Recent Stories