Vivian Luk, The Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, May 17 2013
Vancouver — The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that a hydro-electric development in northeastern B.C. should be allowed to proceed without an environmental assessment.
The dispute over the assessment of 10 power generation sites along a 40-kilometre stretch of the Holmes River was launched by a coalition of conservation groups.
Gwen Barlee, Times-Colonist, May 14 2013
A Vancouver Island river renowned for its fish — including two endangered runs of steelhead and five species of wild salmon — is being dammed and diverted into a pipe to produce hydro power. Construction on the Kokish River, near Port McNeill, started last year, months after the provincial government allowed corporate giant Brookfield the rights to industrialize the river.
Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, May 2 2013
Internal government documents show a startling number of compliance issues with British Columbia’s independent power producers and say the province does not have the staff to monitor the projects.
A memo circulated within the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations ministry says 90 per cent of projects as of September 2011 had incidents and non-compliance with environmental requirements.
Colleen Kimmett, TheTyee.ca, April 30 2013
They split the enviro vote in 2009, but can they still spark trouble across the province?
Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun, April 30, 2013
KPMG report sees LNG, population and industry growth as catalysts for new wave of IPPs
Wind power development could boom in British Columbia as the province scrambles to support a potential LNG export industry, according to a study.
Accounting and consulting firm KPMG speculates in a review of Canada’s energy sector that B.C. will be the nation’s “new growth market” for clean energy development.
Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun March 20, 2013
Slide at Montrose Creek wipes out 300 metres of piping
One of B.C.’s largest private run-of-river power projects will continue to operate at significantly reduced capacity for months due to a major winter slide that wiped out 300 metres of piping.
Laura Walz, Powell River Peak, January 30, 2013
Alterra receives 20 for Bute Inlet and five for Toba Inlet
BC’s government has issued over two dozen investigative licences to Alterra Power Corporation for waterpower projects.
The province has offered the company 20 investigative licences for projects in the Bute Inlet area and five in the Toba Inlet area.
Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, January 23, 2013
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations lists 749 non-compliance incidents from 16 hydro projects in 2010
The independent run-of-river power sector is in regulatory disarray, following inconsistent rules designed to protect fish and with provincial officials hard-pressed to crack down due to lack of staff and resources, freedom-of-information documents show.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations states in a staff report approved by Julia Berardinucci, director of resource management in Surrey, there were 749 non-compliance incidents from a total of 16 hydro plants in southwest B.C. in 2010.
Alterra Power and Fiera Axium Infrastructure Announce Partnership in Toba Montrose and Dokie 1 Facilities
News Release, Alterra & Fiera Axium, December 12 2012
VANCOUVER - Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) and Fiera Axium Infrastructure are pleased to announce that they are now partners at the 235 MW Toba Montrose run-of-river hydro facility and the 144 MW Dokie 1 wind farm in British Columbia, effective December 7. A consortium of Canadian investors led by Fiera Axium purchased GE Energy Financial Services' partnership interests, and now owns a 60% interest in Toba Montrose and a 49% interest in Dokie 1. Alterra's ownership interests in these facilities are unchanged at 40% and 51% respectively.
Laura Walz, Powell River Peak, December 19, 2012
Montrose plant may be offline until spring
A large rockslide has damaged the 88-megawatt Montrose hydroelectric facility in the Toba Valley.
News Release, Alterra Power Corp., December 13, 2012
VANCOUVER, BC, Canada, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) announces that a large naturally-occurring rockslide near its 88 MW Montrose hydroelectric facility caused significant damage yesterday to a 200-300 metre section of the five kilometer penstock which supplies water from the water intake to the power generating plant. The intake and power plant were not affected and there were no injuries. The cost of needed repairs is currently being assessed, and the repairs may require the Montrose plant to be off line for several months. Property damage and business interruption are expected to be fully insured and it is hoped that repairs can be carried out during the winter months when water flows and power generation are minimal. The nearby 146 MW Toba hydroelectric plant was not affected and remains in operation.
Laura Walz, Powell River Peak, October 10, 2012
City officials ask for direct award of power contract
City of Powell River officials advanced their proposal for a run-of-river project on Freda Creek during the UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) annual convention at the end of September.
The city is proposing to move forward with the project that has the potential to generate 36 megawatts of power. It had originally been proposed by Plutonic Power Corporation, which merged with Magma Energy Corporation last year to form Alterra Power.
Gwen Barlee, Vancouver Sun, September 17, 2012
When I was growing up my mother used to warn me to look out for a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What she meant was to be cautious about people and situations that are not what they seem. This idiom aptly applies to the issue of independent power projects (IPPs) in British Columbia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Damien Gillis, TheCanadian.org, June 14 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: