Critics launch court action, release e-mail scathing B.C.’s environmental assessment process

Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, August 23, 2012

B.C’s environmental assessment process is so flawed it cannot hope to fill the void created by the federal government walking away from assessments of almost 500 projects, critics charged Wednesday, while launching court action and releasing a scathing internal government email.

Ecojustice went to B.C. Supreme Court seeking a judicial review of the province’s failure to conduct a formal environmental assessment on the Holmes hydro power project near McBride.

Feds drop environmental assessment of 492 projects

Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, August 22, 2012

Critics challenge assertion that changes to Act pose little risk

Stephen Harper's Conservative government has washed its hands of environmental assessments of the nearly 500 projects in B.C. as a result of a revised Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

First nations oppose water extraction licences

Laura Walz, Powell River Peak, July 19, 2012

Proponents propose to extract water from 33 streams for bottling

Three first nations are raising concerns with the provincial government’s approval of applications to extract water from streams in their traditional territories.

No Development Plan for Large Scale Commercial Water Bottle Project within shíshálh, Homalco and Klahoose First Nation Territories

Media Statement, shíshálh (Sechelt), Homalco and Klahoose First Nations, July 11 2012

Sechelt, BC – The Clark Government recently approved sixteen licence applications to extract water from the shíshálh, Homalco and Klahoose First Nation Territories. The licences are held by a numbered company, believed to represent the Kwiakah First Nation, for the purpose of establishing a large scale commercial water bottle enterprise. The water bottling scheme involves applications to extract water from 34 streams located in the Jervis, Toba, Bute and Knight Inlets. Each licence has a term of 30 years and is paired with a land lease at the mouth of each stream.

Government issues water bottling licences; $#!+ hits the fan

Friends of Bute Inlet, July 12 2012

In early 2011, the Friends of Bute Inlet and other organizations became aware of more than 30 applications for water licences for bottling purposes on streams in Jervis, Toba, Bute and Knight inlets. We collectively asked the Minister of Environment to deem them a reviewable project under the Environmental Assessment Act and ensure that there was at least some opportunity for discussion and submissions on the applications by not just us, but by local governments and First Nations.

Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project – Environmental Assessment Terminated

News Release, CEAA, June 22 2012

The Minister of the Environment has terminated the environmental assessment of the proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric project in south western British Columbia.

First Nations group defends power project

Dan MacLennan, Campbell River Courier-Islander, June 13, 2012

A group of North Island First Nations is defending a contentious run-of-river power project, saying the NDP's opposition to the project is misinformed.

Liberals break their word, set to revive Klinaklini power project

News Release, BC NDP, June 7, 2012

CAMPBELL RIVER – After stating clearly that the boundaries of the Great Bear Rainforest would not be changed to allow a massive independent power project to move ahead, the B.C. Liberals have broken their word and passed legislation that does just that, say New Democrats.

BC Hydro needs government policy changes

By Marvin Shaffer, Vancouver Sun, June 7, 2012

Though presented as part of its effort to protect families, the government's recently imposed cap on BC Hydro rate increases will not help British Columbians - families or otherwise. The cap on rates does nothing to reduce costs. At best it provides a short-term gain, but sooner or later BC Hydro will have to increase rates to match the increase in its costs.

Sliammon First Nation and Alterra Power Sign Resource Development Agreement

News Release, Alterra Power Corp., June 6 2012

VANCOUVER, June 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Alterra Power Corporation (TSX: AXY) and the Sliammon First Nation are pleased to announce that they have signed a Resource Development Agreement (RDA) that will facilitate the development of the transmission infrastructure for the proposed Bute Inlet run-of-river hydro project. A portion of the transmission line would be located within the traditional territory of the Sliammon First Nation, and the RDA details the terms under which the Sliammon First Nation and Alterra will work together on the development and build out to commercial operation of the Bute Inlet project's transmission infrastructure.

The case for strong environmental assessment

Calvin Sandborn, Vancouver Sun, June 5, 2012

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. — Winston Churchill

Canadians should worry about Bill C-38 — Ottawa’s bid to gut the Environmental Assessment Act.

Let’s not forget that there is a compelling reason for environmental assessments of industrial projects. In the days before environmental assessment laws, much unnecessary damage was done to the environment, to people, to the economy, and to taxpayers. For example:

Clean energy exports lose steam

By Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, June 5, 2012

Two years after the B.C. Liberals pushed BC Hydro to develop clean energy for export, the drive is all but dead, a victim of the changing economics of the North American electricity market.

"BC Hydro's analysis shows that current market conditions are not conducive to selling clean electricity into export markets," says the latest iteration of the utility's integrated resource plan, released last week for public comment.

Klahoose First Nation and Alterra Power Sign Agreement for Upper Toba Project

News Release, Alterra Power Corp., May 23, 2012

VANCOUVER, /CNW/ - Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) and the Klahoose First Nation are pleased to announce that they have signed a Resource Development Agreement (RDA), establishing the framework under which Alterra and the Klahoose will work together to advance the Upper Toba run-of-river hydroelectric project, which lies within the traditional territory of the Klahoose First Nation.

EcoLogo plans to get tougher on run-of-river projects

By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun May 17, 2012

A standards review of the more than 30 certified operations should be done later this year, but critics say too many fry are dying

An organization criticized for being too lenient when handing out its EcoLogo certification to private run-of-river hydro projects in B.C. said Friday it is in the process of adopting new and more comprehensive standards for the fast-growing industry.

Hydro awash in private power

By Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun, May 11, 2012

B.C. Producers running flat out

After a bumper year for precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, BC Hydro stations around British Columbia are sitting idle while independent power producers run flat out.

There's so much water available for hydroelectric power that a Washington-Oregon utility, which runs full-time to protect salmon and trout, is paying other utilities to take electricity off its hands.

Budget Bill Declares War on Environment

West Coast Environmental Law, April 27, 2012

Removal of environmental safeguards serves interests of big oil and silences citizens, say environmental lawyers

Tories unveil revised fisheries law, deny it's a move to boost pipelines

By Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun, Postmedia News, April 27, 2012

Critics say protection for fish habitat 'eliminated' in bill to appease businesses

Power Project a Go for Kokish River

by Wilderness Committee, Pacific Free Press, April 26, 2012

Two days after the Wilderness Committee revealed the controversial Kokish River hydro proposal was going to be built, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) finally officially informed the public with an announcement on a government website.

Power project goes ahead despite lack of final OK

Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist, April 25, 2012

A controversial hydroelectric project on northern Vancouver Island is poised to start construction, even though the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not given an official goahead.

Help-wanted advertisements for the Kokish River power project have appeared in northern Island newspapers and the 'Namgis First Nation, which owns a 25 per cent stake in the $200-million project, has been told approval is imminent.

Ottawa to slash environment review role

By Andrew Davidson, CBC News, Apr 17, 2012

Sierra Club says Tories 'abdicating' responsibility to protect environment

The federal government is reducing the number of departments and agencies that can do environmental reviews from 40 to just three to speed up approvals for projects that will bolster Canada's economy, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said today.

Site C Clean Energy Project Public Comment Period and Open House Sessions

Public Notice, CEAA, April 10, 2012

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) announced today that the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Guidelines for the proposed Site C Clean Energy Project are being issued for public comment. The public is also invited to attend Open House Sessions to be held in the project area in May 2012.

New run-of-river eco-concerns raised

Rebecca Aldous, Squamish Chief, March 16, 2012

After uncovering alarming information on Sea to Sky Corridor run-of-river power plants, a B.C.-based environmental organization is again calling for a moratorium to cap the industry.

Power project plan puts Kokish on endangered list

By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, March 12, 2012

Renowned fishing spot ties for first place in annual B.C survey

The run-of-river power industry emerged as a leading environmental threat today in the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C.'s annual top-10 list of endangered rivers.

No Habitat, No Fish: Harper Plans for Elimination of Wildlife Protection

by Otto Langer, Pacific Free Press, March 12 2012

Harper Government to Eliminate Habitat Protection Provisions in the Canada Fisheries Act

To date the Harper government has shown little regard for the protection of the environment and over the past few years has supervised the almost total elimination of enforcement of the habitat protection and the pollution provisions of the Canada Fisheries Act (Sections 35 and 36 respectively).

Tapped Out

Todd Butler on Canada's water sellout. Click to play

We walked w. Alex!