Help Protect Narrows Inlet from Private Power Projects

Here is another action alert from the Wilderness Committee to share:

Hi Eldy,

Today, I’m writing to ask you to take action and help stop a cluster of proposed hydropower projects that is threatening the wild waterways, ecosystems and species around Narrows Inlet, BC.

Formerly known as “Stl’ixwim Renewable Energy”, the proposed Narrows Inlet Hydro Projects consist of five interrelated hydro facilities to be located just 50 kilometres north of Sechelt, BC on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. The company behind the projects—Renewable Power Corporation (RPC)—has been working on the application since about 2007, and recently partnered with Altaqua Renewable Power Corporation, Pacific Northern Gas (PNG) and the Skookum Power Corporation to help move the application forward.

The construction and operation of this cluster of projects would have serious impacts on local wildlife, including several species at risk such as grizzly bears, wild salmon, mountain goats and marbled murrelets. And although private power projects are touted as environmentally-sound “green energy”, reports have shown that these projects are increasingly plagued by significant environmental problems, including poor flow management and resulting fish kills. The Narrows Inlet proposal also consists of three “lake storage” projects—where lakes are used as storage and drawn down for power production. This is a new and concerning development in BC. The proponent already operates a lake storage project which has experienced significant difficulties with compliance and release of sediment-laden waters into fish habitat.

In addition, the “gold rush” of energy purchase agreements granted by the provincial government to private producers threatens the financial viability of BC Hydro, forcing ratepayers throughout British Columbia to pay unnecessarily high costs for electricity that the province doesn’t even need. Right now BC Hydro is on the hook for $57 billion, yes billion, in energy purchase agreements for private power projects. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, click here to read my recent editorial from the Vancouver Sun.

The Wilderness Committee has been working for years to raise awareness about the destructive impacts of private power projects in BC, and right now, you have an opportunity to help add your voice to the conversation. We’ve kept the Upper Pitt River and Glacier and Howser Creeks wild, and we need to do the same for Narrows Inlet.

BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is currently asking for public comments on the proposed Narrows Inlet Hydro Projects. This is your chance to raise your concerns and help stop this environmentally damaging project from proceeding.

The EAO is also inviting the public to attend two upcoming open houses on the Sunshine Coast: one next Friday, October 12 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Egmont Hall (6801 Bathgate Rd.) and another on Saturday, October 13 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the Sechelt Band Hall (5532 Xenechinen Ave.)

For more information about the project application and upcoming dates, visit the BC Environmental Assessment Office website.Click here to view the proponent’s executive summary of the Narrows Inlet project.

To visit our website and submit your comment to the BC Environmental Assessment Office, please click here.

All comments must be received by midnight on October 27, 2012—so please take the time to join us in our efforts to protect Narrows Inlet by submitting your comment today!

Keep it wild,

Gwen Barlee | Policy Director
Wilderness Committee

 

Thank you for supporting wilderness.

The Wilderness Committee is Canada’s largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness preservation organization. We work for the preservation of Canadian and international wilderness through research and grassroots education. The Wilderness Committee works on the ground to achieve ecologically sustainable communities. We work only through lawful means.

As a Wilderness Committee member and supporter, you will be an important part of saving vital wilderness areas. You can also help us by volunteering. Find out how to become a member or call us at 604-683-8220.

Please encourage your friends to sign up for these Action Alerts.

Today’s “stone” is Day 277   heads up, a new alert, take action

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