Hydro One and Town of Milton partner on environmental restoration project for Bruce to Milton Biodiversity Initiative

TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Hydro One and the Town of Milton announced today that they will partner on the environmental restoration of a 10 hectare portion of the former Jannock Quarry site as part of Hydro One's Bruce to Milton Biodiversity Initiative.

The Initiative will augment the existing habitat, enabling expansion and the creation of linkages within the ecosystem, specifically on the brow of the Escarpment. Over a period of two years, this initiative will help to re-establish biological diversity and resilience in the system. Once the entire restoration is complete, 145 hectares of public open space for community and recreational use will be created at the former quarry.  The Jannock Quarry site, located within the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve, is currently home to over 25 rare species of plant life and species at risk.

The Town of Milton feels that the implementation of this project at the former Jannock Quarry location will be a great addition to Milton's natural areas. In 2011 this initiative will engage over 400 local volunteers who will work on implementing the first half of a two part rehabilitation strategy. Restoring the site will include planting various types of grass and terrestrial vegetation, such as tall shrubs and trees.

The Biodiversity Initiative is an innovative mitigation approach developed as part of the Bruce to Milton Transmission Reinforcement Project. The initiative promotes the creation and enhancement of natural habitat in partnership with community-based organizations, First Nations and Métis, and municipalities. The initiative shifts Hydro One's focus from its traditional compensation approach of "area for area" replacement of woodlots when constructing new high-voltage transmission lines. Hydro One was recognized by the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) for this Biodiversity Initiative, receiving the CEA 2009 Environmental Commitment Award.

"We are very proud of the Biodiversity Initiative and the opportunity it provides us to enhance the natural habitat and give back to communities as we modernize the electricity transmission system," said Laura Formusa, President and CEO, Hydro One Inc. "Partnering with the Town of Milton means that local values and priorities are reflected throughout the process, helping to ensure success while making sure Hydro One can deliver the electricity Ontario needs."

"The Town of Milton's partnership with Hydro One for the Biodiversity Initiative supports our strategic direction to provide a thriving natural environment that is a valued community asset to be protected, maintained and enjoyed," said Gord Krantz, Mayor, Town of Milton. "Milton's project through the Biodiversity Initiative allows the community to work together at tree planting events to make Milton a cleaner and greener place to live, work and play."

This year, seven partners will receive funding from Hydro One to implement 22 locally-designed Biodiversity Initiatives. These projects will help restore and enhance approximately 380 hectares of habitat, and ensure there is net gain of woodlot and wildlife habitat within the four watersheds crossed by the new transmission line. Approximately 280 hectares of woodlots will be removed to enable construction of the Bruce to Milton Project.

The Bruce to Milton Project received Ontario Energy Board section 92 Leave to Construct approval on September 15, 2008, and Environmental Assessment approval on December 16, 2009. This new 180 kilometre double-circuit 500 kV transmission line from Kincardine to Milton will transfer more than 3,000 megawatts of clean and renewable power from the Bruce area to southern Ontario. This project represents the largest expansion to Ontario's transmission system in 20 years. The new line is planned to be in-service in December 2012.

For more information on the Biodiversity Projects and partners please visit www.HydroOne.com/projects/brucetomilton.

Hydro One delivers electricity safely, reliably and responsibly to homes and businesses across the province of Ontario. It owns and operates Ontario's 29,000 km high-voltage transmission network that delivers electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and a 123,000 km low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3 million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. Hydro One is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario.

SOURCE Hydro One Inc.

For further information:

contact Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868. Visit our website at www.HydroOne.com


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