Investigation of run-of-river power project concludes
VICTORIA – An investigation into a complaint about a run-of-river power project in Toba Inlet, north of Powell River, found that harvesting and road building followed requirements to protect the environment, according to a Forest Practices Board report released today.
“The requirements for this project were similar to those required of forestry operations and, in some cases, were more stringent,” said board chair Al Gorley. “For example, they hired an independent monitor to oversee the construction work, and public involvement and consultation exceeded what is required for forestry operations.”
“We also found that, in future, government and independent power proponents could improve some aspects of their work, for example, co-ordinating government monitoring and enforcement, and including previous development activity when assessing cumulative environmental effects,” Gorley said.
The complaint was made by the Sierra Club of BC and the Friends of Bute Inlet, who were concerned about environmental impacts, government monitoring efforts, and effectiveness of consultation and project monitoring. While the board does not have authority to investigate all aspects of the complaint, it investigated logging, road building and related planning under the Forest and Range Practices Act.
The Toba Montrose Creek hydroelectric project, a private run-of river facility to provide electricity to the B.C. system, was approved by both the provincial and federal governments in 2007 and began operating in August 2010.
The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board is required to investigate public complaints about forest planning and practices.
Forest Practices Board Communications
Phone: 250 213-4708 / 1 800 994-5899
June 9, 2011