Proposed changes to give the Ontario Energy Board the authority to grant, under specific circumstances, earlier access to land to electricity transmission project proponents for the purpose of conducting preliminary environmental studies prior to applying for Leave to Construct could result in better quality, site-focused environmental data. OFA supports this proposal provided that early access does not compromise biosecurity protocols, interrupt farming procedures, damage crops or farmlands. OFA insists that landowners should be notified before their lands are entered. Enabling access to land earlier in the LTC process presents the potential to interfere with day-today farming activities, including planting, chemical treatments, pasturing and harvest. These earlier, less focused, and possibly relaxed restrictions for access to land potentially increase the number of accesses, thereby increasing the risk of soil compaction, crop damage and biosecurity protocol compromise. Those entering private lands must adopt processes to mitigate these issues, and should farmers be negatively impacted or unable to use all their land, recourse options for farmers need to balance those consequences.
Submissions & Correspondence
OFA submission regarding proposed earlier access to land to conduct preliminary environmental studies for electricity transmission projects
Updated: May 4, 2020