Between precautionary principle and usefulness of the operation, the Council of State chooses utility!
The Council of State rejected the request for cancellation of the order of 25 June 2010 of the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and the Sea, in charge of green technologies and climate negotiations, with a declaration of public utility, with a view to the establishment of easements, work to establish a two-circuit 400,000-volt "Cotentin-Maine" power line, to modify the "Menuel-Launay" line, and to connection of the "upstream" and "downstream" stations of the "Cotentin-Maine" line, and bringing a number of local planning documents into compatibility.
Rule 1: application of the precautionary principle
In this case, the Conseil d'Etat considered that the precautionary principle was applicable in view of the increased risk, considered plausible, of childhood leukemias at a distance of 0 to 100 meters from the line.
But he noted that the precautionary measures taken by the Minister of Ecology were not "manifestly insufficient" in terms of risk (device for monitoring and measuring electromagnetic waves, commitment to proceed to the redemption of homes located unless 100 m from the line) - exercising limited control over this point.
Rule n ° 2: application of the balance sheet theory to assess the utility of the operation
At the end of this prior check, the Upper House undertook to implement the balance sheet theory to assess the public utility of the operation (in accordance with the EC Ass. , Req. No. 78,825.
The various disadvantages are thus measured with regard to the public interest presented by the project.
The disadvantages for public health are the residual risk as corrected by precautionary measures. On this point, the Council recalled that the THT line was to transport the electricity produced by the EPR plant under construction at Flamanville (Contentin). It has accepted without hesitation that the public interest related to the operation of the power grid associated with this "Flamanville 3" power station prevailed over the disadvantages noted.