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August 20, 2014

Doreen Friis
NS Utility and Review Board
1601 Lower Water St., Suite 300
Halifax, NS B3J 3S3
Dear Ms. Friis:
RE: Review of Nova Scotia Power Incorporated's state of preparedness and
response to post-tropical storm Arthur -July 2014
HRM has had an opportunity to review the Post-Tropical Storm Arthur Review of Nova
Scotia Power's Storm Response which Report was filed by NSPI in accordance with the
Order of the Board dated July 16, 2014.
In the Report, NSPI makes a number of recommendations with respect to vegetation
management which could negatively impact both HRM and its citizens. NSPI is seeking
the creation of tree free rights of way and a prohibition on the planting of trees that are
in conflict with power lines. Furthermore, NSPI seeks permission to have prescriptive
rights to remove hazardous trees "threatening" power lines.
This could result in the ability of NSPI to remove trees on municipal and private property
without any co-operative communication with property owners. It appears that NSPI is
seeking to become the sole entity with the power to determine what is "threatening" or
"in conflict" with a power line. This is a broad request which has the potential to
negatively affect sensitive areas such as the Public Gardens, Point Pleasant Park, other
HRM parklands, and streetscapes.
Currently, HRM and NSPI operate under the terms of a vegetative management
program which recognizes that HRM has authority over HRM trees. Under the terms of
the agreement, HRM and NSPI work co-operatively to safeguard the reliability of NSPI's
utility, and to promote a healthier, more vibrant and larger urban forest canopy along
road right of ways within HRMs urban core. Through the operation of the agreement,
HRM retains the right to inspect, monitor and ensure compliance with HRM policies,
regulations, standards, and guidelines relating to HRM trees.
Halifax Regional Municipality
PO Box 1749, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada 83J 3A5 halif ax.ca
HRM has concerns that the recommendations sought by NSPI could result in conflicts
with the terms of the existing vegetative management agreement and negatively affect
HRM trees, streetscapes, and parks and result in conflicts with HRM policies and
regulations relating to trees.
Furthermore, HRM, through the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter has the primary
authority for planning within its jurisdiction, this includes parkland planning and
landscaping associated with new and existing development.
In light of the existing agreement and established practices, HRM did not anticipate that
NSPI would seek the recommendations set out in paragraph 9.7 and 17.4 of the Report.
Given that requested recommendations impact directly on the Municipality and exiting
agreements and protocols, HRM seeks formal standing before the Board.
As the deadline to obtain formal standing has expired, HRM seeks leave of the Board to
be added as an Intervenor due to the extenuating circumstances arising as a result of
the NSPI August 19, 2014 Report . HRM submits that no prejudice will arise to any party
due to the fact that the date for comments has not expired and stage two of the Review
process is not yet underway.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
~ t r u l y -
Senior Solicitor
Legal Services
Halifax Regional Municipality
Tel 902.490.4226
Direct 902.490.4218
Email maclaur@halifax.ca