Very high voltage line project in Crau and Camargue: opponents demand an alternative project

Very high voltage line project in Crau and Camargue: opponents demand an alternative project

Many elected officials came to support opponents of this project. Midi Libre – C.R.

Very high voltage line project in Crau and Camargue: opponents demand an alternative project

Paul Collard, un jeune arboriculteur, s'inquiète de ce projet “invasif” Midi Libre – C.R.

D'ici 2030, une ligne à très haute tension (THT) de 65 km relierait la zone industrielle et portuaire de Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône) à Jonquières-Saint-Vincent.

In Beaucaire, from the belvedere located above the Château Mourgues du Grès wine estate, a landscape of vineyards and orchards passes by, at the edge of the hillsides… This Sunday, April 28, an unfortunate rain spoiled, all the same, this beautiful image. But Paul Collard, a young arborist insists and describes in the distance: Beaucaire, the Alpilles, Arles, the Camargue, the beginning of the curbs. On this promontory, young farmers from Gard and all those who campaign against the project of a very high voltage line (400,000 volts) have installed a panel showing the route of this future power line between Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône) and Jonquières-Saint-Vincent (Gard) as well as the immense poles which should tear this landscape apart. "This’is a massive and invasive project… A shame. I learned about it in January. We are in Terre d’Argence. People come to our local farms, because of the landscape and for local products. They're not coming for a very high voltage line.

A revolt that is being organized

This Sunday, at Château Mourgues du Grès, a little over 400 people from Gard and Bouches-du-Rhône came to demonstrate their opposition to this project. A large part of them joined the association for the preservation of the Land of Argence (Asta), created urgently by young farmers from Gard, entrepreneurs making a living from tourism and residents of the region.

This project for a very high voltage line should, according to its promoters, support the energy transition of the particularly polluting Fos-sur-Mer basin and reduce industrial emissions of greenhouse gases by 2030.

Decarbonize, yes! Rampage, no!

Signs, "Decarbonize, yes ! Rampage, no", are agitated in the crowd which s’has taken refuge in the courtyard of the farmhouse.  The project for this THT line "crosses the Camargue biosphere reserve, important wetlands, Natura 2000 sites, regional natural parks in the Camargue and at the gates of the Alpilles", highlight these opponents who are calling for an alternative project.  "We are in the golden triangle of diversity", describes Jean-Louis (Agir pour la Crau association). "We are all in favor of decarbonizing. But not to the detriment of the typicality of our territories, of our cultures (vines, olives, rice, apricots…). There are a lot of us here who work in agro tourism. The THT line will disfigure the entire hillside of the curbs, recall the Gardois.

"It’It’is the State which asked RTE to carry out this project", supports Luc Perrin (Asta). "And we understood that the regional prefect was both judge and party… It’is an air line that allows you to go faster and cheaper.

Elected officials denounce a lack of consultation

Project. The project for this 400,000 volt electrical line (with pylons exceeding 50 meters) was presented during three meetings organized by RTE, manager of the electrical transmission network which took place in Jonquières-Saint-Vincent, Arles and Fos -on sea. The Gardois and Provencals who were gathered denounce a lack of consultation 

The reactions of elected officials. Many elected officials were present at the meeting organized at the Château Mourgues du Grès estate this Sunday: senator Denis Bouad; the mayor of Fourques, Gilles Dumas;  the president of the community of communes and mayor of Bellegarde, Juan Martinez; the deputy, Yohann Gillet;  the mayor of Beaucaire, Julien Sanchez; Chloé Ridel, candidate for the European elections… 

" We are at your side", declared Senator Denis Bouad. Yoann Gillet denounced a "pseudo consultation" and announced that he was going to refer the matter to the Nîmes prosecutor as part of the # 39;article 40. " I believe that the prefect who is coordinating this project tried to rig this consultation… This project is serious and I am convinced that we will stop it. Alternatives are possible and there is this mobilization." "And we don'have no answers regarding everything that concerns public health. It's a shame", continued Julien Sanchez. " In fact, it's a pre-consultation that causes a lot of tension, describes Juan Martinez. There are already 19 high voltage lines here. That's enough."

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