Canadian environmental agencies have issued a comprehensive study report of the proposed 435-MW Waneta Expansion hydroelectric project, finding the British Columbia project is unlikely to have significant adverse effects.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency invites the public to comment on the report, prepared by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada for the proposed project on the Pend d’Oreille River in British Columbia’s West Kootenay Region. Waneta Expansion cleared British Columbia’s environmental assessment process in November 2007. (HNN 11/28/07)
“The responsible authorities have determined that, taking into consideration the federal Comprehensive Study Report and the implementation of the proposed mitigation measures, the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects,” the federal agencies said.
The C$400 million (US$404 million) project near Trail, B.C., would reduce the amount of water spilled at 400-MW Waneta Dam, owned by Teck Cominco Metals Ltd., reducing total dissolved gas downstream and improving Columbia River water quality.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada, the responsible authorities, submitted the report to the federal Minister of the Environment and to the CEAA. After reviewing the report and public comments, Canada’s environment minister will determine whether to advance the project for action or refer it for further environmental assessment by a review panel or a mediator.
Waneta Expansion Power Corp., a venture of Columbia Power Corp. and the Columbia Basin Trust, proposes building and operating the new power plant at the existing dam. The project would feature a new powerhouse with two turbine-generators to be in service by 2011 and a ten-kilometer, 230-kilovolt transmission line.
The 573-page report is available on the CEAA Internet site, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca. CEAA said it would consider comments submitted by Jan. 25 to Linda Sullivan, Senior Program Officer, CEAA, 757 West Hastings St., Suite 320, Vancouver, BC V6C 1A1 Canada; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.