Proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project Public consultation and Open House

    OTTAWA, Jan. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Environmental Assessment
Agency (the Agency) is seeking public comments on the draft terms of reference
for establishing a federal review panel for the proposed Bute Inlet
Hydroelectric Project. In addition, the Agency is also seeking comments on the
draft federal-provincial environmental impact statement guidelines for the
project, in cooperation with the province of British Columbia.

    1. Terms of Reference for establishing a federal review panel

    In the event of a referral of the environmental assessment to a federal
review panel, terms of reference would be required and have been drafted. The
document establishes the mandate and authority of the federal review panel,
its composition and the process and procedures for conducting the review.

    2. Draft federal-provincial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

    The joint federal-provincial EIS guidelines specify the studies to be
conducted and the detailed information to be provided by the proponent in
order to meet the federal requirements for an EIS and the provincial criteria
for filing an application for an environmental assessment certificate.
    An EIS is a statement of the anticipated environmental effects of the
project that will be submitted by the proponent to the federal review panel,
if appointed. The guidelines identify the issues the proponent will be
required to address in its EIS.

    The Comment Period

    The 30-day comment period on both documents will begin on January 19,
2009, and end at midnight (PST) on February 18, 2009. After taking public
comments into account, the Agency and the BC Environmental Assessment Office
(EAO) will finalize the guidelines, issue them to the proponent and make them
available to the public. The federal terms of reference for establishing a
review panel, if appointed, will also be finalized by Canada's Environment
Minister and made public following the consultation.

    Please forward written comments to:

    Marie-France Therrien
    Panel Manager, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
    Fax: 613-957-0941

    Further information on the project, as well as electronic copies of both
documents are available online at . Copies of the
documents are also available for viewing at these locations:

    Powell River Public Library          Sechelt Public Library
    4411 Michigan Avenue                 5797 Cownie Street
    Powell River, BC                     Sechelt, BC

    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, provide a mailing or e-mail address to the Panel Manager listed above.

    Public Open Houses

    In order to provide information about both documents and to receive
comments from the public, the Agency and the EAO invite the public to attend
an Open House. There will be two Open Houses to be held as follows:

    Powell River Town Centre
    4660 Joyce Avenue, Powell River, BC
    Tuesday, January 27, 2009 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Sechelt Indian Band Hall
    5432 Xenichen Avenue, Sechelt, BC
    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    Open Houses will include presentations with an opportunity to ask
    Plutonic 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.

For further information:

For further information: Media may contact: Lucille Jamault, Senior
Communications Advisor, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, (613)

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