Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bute Inlet power project on hold!

Bute Inlet. Photo Wilderness Committee.

Received today from Joe Foy of the the Wilderness Committee:

I have some really good news. Actually I have freaking fantastic news!  General Electric and their partners Plutonic Power have decided to postpone their bid to gain control of 17 rivers in the Bute Inlet area. This puts the Environmental Assessment Process into a holding pattern for at least 12 months. We have a saying here at the Wilderness Committee - "to stop a train you first have to slow it down." Well, this train has been slowed, a lot, thanks in large part to the wave of letters sent in by the folks on this 10,000 Voices e-mail list. You all deserve a great big pat on the back!

This just goes to show you that when enough folks get to know about a threat to our environment and then take action, even a giant company like General Electric can be knocked back on its heels. Today the wild rivers of Bute Inlet teem with fish that support grizzly bears and other wildlife. Let’s keep it that way! Now that the project to dam and divert Bute's rivers is on the ropes - lets get rid of it once and for all. Time to write another letter to the Premier telling him how much you want him to declare the Bute Inlet hydro power scheme dead - so that the wild rivers there can continue to flow free.

Hope you have enjoyed reading the good news - and the sample of your great letters we included. Next time we write we expect to have more good news about the fight to save Glacier and Howser Creeks in the Kootenays. Until then - say hi to the Premier for us. Bye for now.  
Joe Foy | National Campaign Director
Wilderness Committee

And from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency:

To: All Interested Parties
Additional Delay in the Environmental Review Process

In a letter dated December 3, 2009, Bute Hydro Inc. informed the Panel established to review the Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project that additional field work and analysis on some valued environmental components is required before Bute Hydro Inc. can be in a position to submit its environmental impact statement. The attached letter notes that once the new data --  to be collected in the spring and fall of 2010 -- has been compiled and analyzed, Bute Hydro will be in a position to re-evaluate the timeline for submitting its environmental impact statement.
As a result of this significant delay in the panel review process, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has decided to postpone its participant funding process for this project (see the attached News Release). The participant funding process will be re-initiated when the proponent is in a position to confirm a timeline for the submission of its environmental impact statement.
Please note that the attached documents are also available on the project's public registry at the following link:

Do not hesitate to contact the Panel Secretariat should you have questions on the panel review process.

Marie-France Therrien
Panel Manager | Gestionnaire de commissions
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency | Agence canadienne d’évaluation environnementale
160 Elgin St. Ottawa ON K1A 0H3 | 160, rue Elgin, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Telephone | Téléphone : 613-957-0324
Facsimile | Télécopieur: 613-957-0941
Government of Canada | Government of Canada



  1. Ivan,
    I've been on the Plutonic website and it doesn't say anyting about the project being dead. Since they are publicly traded and that is material information, I don't think Joe's is right. I put in a call yesterday afternoon to Plutonic to find out what the delay is about and they told me they needed to do more fisheries and other study work because of the size of the project but that they believe that is very much still a viable project. That doesn't really sound like a project that has been stopped to me, does it?
    I personally think the project will end up going ahead if the regulators and BC Hydro give it a thumbs up, and that's ok with me because it's clean energy and it creates jobs for people in small communities.