CAPE RAY, N.L. — Anne Osmond, member of the Community Liaison Committee for the Maritime Link said the community and Emera, the company installing the energy transmission line, have a good relationship.
North America’s longest submarine electricity cable, which links Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, runs through Cape Ray. The project took four years to complete and required significant collaboration with Emera.
In a written response to the Gulf News, Emera’s senior manager of communications Jeff Myrick confirmed that the relationship between the two parties has been positive.
“The community welcomed us from the onset,” Myrick wrote. “Emera N.L. started its community engagement process in Cape Ray in 2011 and this continued throughout the project.
“In total we held at least six community engagement sessions to ensure the community was well informed about our planning and progression towards construction. Throughout the process, people were very respectful. In the first few public sessions, residents raised their concerns openly and wanted details, which mainly focused on where and how we would be constructing the infrastructure, possible traffic and the impact on access to Cape Ray lighthouse.”
Osmond, who is also chair of Cape Ray’s local service district, approved of the project.
“To me its progress,” she commented. “Progress has to be made.”
She noted that there was some initial opposition to cutting some of the trees that would affect the scenery. Myrick maintained that Emera consulted with Cape Ray residents every step of the way.
“Our engagement with the community included open and transparent communication about the location of the Maritime Link right-of-way (ROW) and what this required,” he wrote. “From the start of the project and through the Environmental Assessment, Emera had committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the project by following existing transmission lines.
“During the open houses the transmission line routes were clearly identified and presented on project maps but no specific questions or concerns were raised. It was only after construction of the transmission line infrastructure had begun did we receive feedback indicating that some residents would have preferred if we had taken another route.”
Emera made financial contributions to the town’s volunteer fire department and the Cape Ray Lighthouse Association. The company also repaired, re-shouldered, and in some areas, resurfaced roads that suffered incremental damage due to their use of heavy equipment.
The Maritime Link has been in operation since Jan. 15, 2018.
Myrick stressed that the resident’s safety is an ongoing consideration for Emera.
“Emera considers the safety of its workers and the general public as more important than any other business interest,” Myrick wrote. “With the Maritime Link now in service, it should be treated like any other high voltage transmission system.
“Local residents should approach equipment with caution, especially paying attention to overhead transmission lines and guy wires. It is imperative that people respect signage. All of our infrastructure will have the appropriate safety signage and contact numbers.”
Osmond and Myrick hope to maintain good relations as the transmission line continues its operational phase.
Myrick concluded, “Emera N.L. remains committed to the community of Cape Ray. We have worked to build a positive relationship with the residents of Cape Ray and we will continue to foster this by working with the community as they engage us.”