Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project - Minister of the Environment Refers Project to Federal Review Panel



    OTTAWA, May 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice
announced today that the proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project located
about 150 km north of Powell River in British Columbia will undergo an
environmental assessment by a federal review panel. The Minister's decision of
May 5, 2009, follows a request from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under
the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
    The federal terms of reference to establish the review panel and the
federal-provincial guidelines for the preparation of the environmental impact
statement are being issued. The documents were finalized following recent
consultations with First Nations and the public.
    The Panel's terms of reference provide information on the scope of the
environmental assessment, on the process for conducting the review, as well as
further details on the timelines associated with the key steps of the panel
review.
    The federal-provincial guidelines provide direction to the proponent and
identify the information that will be required in the environmental impact
statement-the key document which will outline the details of the project, its
anticipated effects on the environment and the proposed measures to reduce
these environmental effects.
    The federal environmental assessment process will be coordinated to the
extent possible with the provincial process in order to minimize duplication
and increase efficiency and effectiveness.
    The Agency will make funding available to assist First Nations and the
public to participate in the environmental assessment process. Availability of
participant funding will be announced in the coming weeks.
    The Panel's terms of reference and the guidelines, along with more
information on the project is available on the Canadian Environmental
Assessment Registry Internet site at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca, reference number
09-03-44825.
    To obtain information on the review process, or to register as an
interested party and be kept informed of the developments of the environmental
review, call 1-866-582-1884 or provide a mailing or e-mail address to the
attention of:

    Panel Manager, Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project
    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
    bute.review@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

    Bute Hydro Inc. is proposing to construct the Bute Inlet Hydroelectric
Project. The proposed project would consist of 17 run-of-river hydroelectric
facilities in the vicinity of Bute Inlet. Major components include 17
run-of-river generating facilities, a substation near the mouth of Southgate
River, associated access roads and ancillary works, 216 km of 230 kV collector
transmission line and 227 km of 500 kV trunk transmission line from the
proposed substation near the mouth of Southgate River to the existing 500 kV
substation at Malaspina.

    The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal
environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects
of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of
sustainable development.




For further information:

For further information: Media may contact: Annie Roy, Senior
Communications Advisor, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, (613)
957-0396


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