Documents obtained through an FOI request show BC government isn’t managing river diversion hydro in a “satisfactory environmental manner”
The Province article ‘Horror shows’ on B.C. rivers: Government given an ‘F’ for handling of run-of-river power projects reports “The majority of run-of-the-river power projects in B.C.’s South Coast region are not being operated in a satisfactory environmental manner, according to Freedom of Information documents provided to The Province.”
The article quotes Marvin Rosenau, “We were told these things were going to be green, we were told they were going to be the next-best thing since sliced bread, and the reality is that it’s a bit of a mess right now. Some of them are just absolutely horror shows.”
The article continues, “Details of the ongoing problems are highlighted by internal government documents recently obtained by the Wilderness Committee through a Freedom of Information request and reviewed by The Province. The documents come from a July 2012 government workshop held at the Environmental Assessment Office in Victoria. The workshop was aimed at tidying up an industry that has had highly publicized issues with non-compliance. According to the workshop documents, at that time only four of 22 run-of-river projects in the South Coast region had satisfactory operational parameters and procedures in place. To get an updated picture, The Province asked the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations how many projects currently have satisfactory ratings. As of this month, there were two new projects in operation, but still a total of 18 of 24 with unsatisfactory operating procedures, according to an email to The Province from a ministry spokesman.”
For more information on impacts from river diversion hydro projects, see Watershed Watch’s report Tamed Rivers: A Guide to River Diversion Hydropower in British Columbia, as well as our River Diversion Hydro page.