Tonbridge Power Inc.

Tonbridge Power Inc.

July 04, 2008 13:52 ET

Tonbridge Power Provides Update on Regulatory Matters

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 4, 2008) - Tonbridge Power Inc. (TSX VENTURE:TBZ), ("Tonbridge Power" or the "Company"), 100% controlling shareholder of the Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. ("MATL") transmission line project to interconnect the electricity markets of Alberta and the US through a 300 MW transmission line is pleased to release this report on the outstanding regulatory permits required to begin construction.

On January 31, 2008 the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board ("EUB") issued a decision indicating it was prepared to grant a permit for the MATL project subject to a certain condition being satisfied. This condition required MATL to satisfy the EUB that it had consulted with affected landowners on a Preliminary Alternative Dispute Resolution ("PADR") process. This process is designed to establish a process to negotiate appropriate mitigations of any adverse impacts on farming and irrigation resulting from the construction of the MATL transmission line. MATL engaged all landowners either directly or through legal counsel, to achieve a rights of way agreement. Landowners have confirmed, either directly or through their legal counsels, acceptance of a PADR agreement indicating willingness to work with MATL to solve issues. Accordingly, MATL believes that the EUB conditions were met on April 30, 2008 with the filing of a report by the independent mediator. The EUB panel has met on the issue of assessing the completion of the condition to issue the permit, and management believes that a final decision is being processed internally and will be delivered shortly.

The last regulatory permits required in the United States, the "Presidential Permit" and a permit under the Montana Major Facility Siting Act, are awaiting the issuance of the joint final Environmental Impact Statement, ("EIS"). Both the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, ("MDEQ") and the Department of Energy, ("DOE") have advised that they have received all the information they require to issue the EIS and are processing the final draft of the EIS through the approval and issuance formalities. MATL has been advised by both the DEQ and DoE that all comments have been addressed fully and that no new adverse issues have come forward and that there are no further requirements due from MATL. Management expects formal issuance and gazette publication of the EIS in a few weeks enabling the two formal Records of Decision to be issued 15 to 30 days thereafter.

Yesterday, the Alberta Court of Appeal (the "Court") granted leave for an appeal of the EUB's conditional decision to grant a permit for the MATL project on two grounds. The first ground was whether the EUB properly and fully exercised its jurisdiction in determining whether an appropriate corridor for the transmission line, which had been selected by MATL and approved by the National Energy Board ("NEB"), was appropriate under their requirements. The Court also granted leave to appeal on the ground of whether the appropriate public interest test had been applied by the EUB in the face of a retroactive legislative change that came into force on January 1, 2008. MATL made its filing to the EUB in April, 2006 and the hearing was held in November 2007. The granting of leave to appeal means that the appellants can now proceed to file an appeal and have it heard. Leave to appeal was denied on allegations of incomplete application and inadequate landowner consultation and the Court affirmed the decision by the EUB to issue an approval with conditions.

On the issue of jurisdiction, the NEB determined the corridor through its permitting process which included two public comment periods and issued its permit in April 2007 and thereby determined the corridor. With respect to the jurisdictional issue, legal counsel has advised management that alternate routes were part of the EUB's examination in its 20 day hearing held in October/November 2007. Hence the issue raised now relates to the significance of the evidence that was before the EUB and which the EUB concluded it need not consider. Given that a full investigation of this evidence was before the EUB in 2007, management, in consultation with legal counsel, believes the further consideration of this evidence should not give rise to any significant new issues for the EUB or for its decision. Legal counsel has also advised management to consider whether this is an issue that might be reviewed and reconsidered by the EUB in short order without the necessity of the issue being pursued before the Court.

On the issue of to the retroactive application of subsequent legislation to assessing the MATL project in the context of the public interest, legal counsel has informed the Company that, although subsequent legislative changes may give rise to a strict legal question, the EUB's assessment of the public interest and its decision is sufficiently encompassing to include the tests established by both the former and amended legislation. On the receipt of legal advice, therefore, management believes the issue is unlikely to have a material impact on the EUB's decision and that when settled will not likely affect the Company or the project.

The Company expects that this leave to appeal will only introduce a brief delay in commencing construction, and will not materially affect the economics of the MATL project since the transmission line is a fifty year asset.

Tonbridge Power Inc. is a Toronto-based developer of electrical transmission assets, whose principle asset is a 100% interest in Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. Shares of the Company are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "TBZ".

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