Hydro-Québec should do more to preserve forest in proposed line to U.S., review says

Quebec's environmental review board wants Hydro-Québec to do more to preserve a stretch of forest in its plan for a transmission line to New Hampshire.

Quebec's environmental assessment board says Hydro should consider burying the line to cut fewer trees

The BAPE says Hydro should consider running the power line underground, near the forest, instead of through it. (CBC)

Quebec's environmental review board (BAPE) wants Hydro-Québec to do more to preserve a stretch of forest in its plan for a transmission line to New Hampshire.

The BAPE released its report today on the 320-kilovolt power line, which would cost $125 million and go from the town of Val-Joli, Que., to the New Hampshire border.

The line will pass through the Hereford forest in the town of East Hereford, Que.
Most of the proposed 320-kilovolt power line would run parallel to an existing 450-kilovolt power line. (Hydro-Quebec)

In its report, the BAPE stated that while the public utility "has all the legal powers to carry out the project on private lands, it should re-evaluate, in more detail, the possibility of burying the line in the southern portion."

It added that burying the line through the Hereford forest would only increase the cost of the project by 11 per cent.

The report also said that the project would be beneficial to Quebecers because it would increase the province's capacity to export electricity, and "would also be part of efforts to combat climate change by providing renewable energy to the New England states."

Hydro-Québec plans to begin building the line in the fall of 2017, with it slated to begin operating in 2019.