24 February 2009

Tourism group/daily newspaper oppose hydro lines through UNESCO World Heritage site

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador has joined the growing list of groups and individuals opposed to NALCO’s plan to string hydro lines through Gros Morne, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site.

"Running towers in front of dynamic and dramatic landscape is going to take away from the natural beauty of it," [HNL president Bruce] Sparkes said. [CBC story]

"From a photographic, awe-inspiring point of view, it's going to take away that. And who wouldn't say, 'Gee, too bad they put that pole line there?'"

The editorial in the Tuesday edition of the province’s other daily newspaper also joined the chorus of opposition.  The Western Star is published in Corner Brook, in Premier Danny Williams’ district:

The route of the power line and towers can be diverted around Gros Morne Park at a cost of only time and money.

Any modest higher cost for construction pales in comparison to the loss Gros Morne Park will suffer.

Williams supports the proposal to build the towers in the park based on a trade-off.

"The reason that those lines are actually going through that park and the existing transmission corridor is to take out the dirty emissions that are coming from the Seal Cove-Holyrood plant," said Williams, referring to an oil-burning generating plant in eastern Newfoundland.

The Holyrood plant will not be taken out of service if the line from the Lower Churchill is built.  NALCO’s 20 year capital plan includes retention of the Holyrood plant which it calls an “absolute necessity” for decades to come.