The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has announced that Plutonics Bute Inlet power project will be subject to a Full Panel Review (see press release).
Photo: Head of Bute Inlet. Homathko River in the foreground with the Southgate in the midfield and the Orford drainage in the upper right background. Photo courtesy of Damien Gillis.
The panel review is the highest level of environmental impact assessment available in Canada. The federal Minister of Environment Canada has initiated the review panel process, rather than less intensive levels of assessment, because the project has enormous potential to cause adverse environmental impacts. The fact that three federal ministries and a host of public bodies, non-government organizations and private citizens expressed their concerns during the initial terms of reference consultations probably assisted the Minister in making this decision. (All documents related to this environmental assessment can be viewed on the project public registry.) See also the SCCAs response to the Bute hydropower project draft Terms of Reference.
Plutonic Powers wholly owned subsidiary, Bute Hydro Incorporated, proposes a private run of the river hydropower development involving 17 generating stations, about a 100 bridges, hundreds of kilometers of roads, approximately 4,500 hectors of transmission line corridors and other lands for camps and supporting facilities all within areas of spectacular fish, wildlife and scenic values (see the Project Description).