Shortage of wooden hydro poles threatens reliability of grid, say electricity producers

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In a newly published report, electricity providers across the country warn a looming shortage of wooden utility poles is threatening the reliability of Canada’s electricity grid.

That warning comes just as Ottawa invests billions of dollars in expanding transmission and production to meet the demands of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

The problem stems from a Health Canada decision to ban pentachlorophenol (PENTA), a chemical pesticide used to protect and preserve some utility poles, without approving an alternative treatment to take its place. 

“An orderly phase-out of [PENTA] could have been planned alongside a scale-up of alternatives,” says a new report from Electricity Canada, the

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