Watershed Watch Comments On Environmental Assessment of McLymont Creek Hydroelectric Project

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Watershed Watch Salmon Society put its concerns over cumulative impacts to the lower Iskut and Stikine watersheds on record in a letter to the Environmental Assessment Office regarding the McLymont Creek Hydroelectric Project.

The letter begins: “The McLymont Creek Hydroelectric Project is one of three under construction (Forrest Kerr), or proposed (McLymont Creek and Volcano Creek) projects that will have long-term and poorly understood ecosystem level effects on the lower Iskut and Stikine watersheds. These projects, combined with the Galore Creek Mine, the Eskay Creek Mine, the recently approved Northwest Transmission Line, and numerous other proposed and planned developments in the area, pose a substantive cumulative threat to the Iskut River and adjacent watersheds. The proponent’s conclusions throughout the environmental assessment are that no significant impacts will remain after mitigation. The information presented does not support these conclusions, which are based on uncertain knowledge combined with unfounded surety of mitigation success. What is certain is that this river diversion hydro project will have multiple impacts for which the proponent does not have a scientifically defensible plan for mitigating.”

As a summary: “While impacts of the project on cultural, health and economic values may be predictable, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the long-term effects of river diversion projects on aquatic ecosystems. Most notably, this includes impacts related to extremely low flows for most of the year, for decades on end, to both the diversion reach and downstream regions. Based on the uncertainty underlying the long-term impacts and lack of monitoring data as yet collected from existing river diversion projects, the conclusion that there will be no significant impacts after mitigation is unjustified, especially given that there is a lack of certainty that proposed mitigations will be successful and the inherent difficulty in monitoring and measuring mitigation success. The approval of this project will result in further deterioration of the lower Iskut River due to road construction and operation, transmission line construction and diverted flows from the McLymont Creek project.”

For additional details, see the full letter McLymont Creek Hydroelectric Project as well as our River Diversion/Run of River Hydropower page.  Also see the website HydroWatch BC for additional updates on hydro issues in British Columbia.


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