Last Saturday I attended the public meeting for the Narrows Inlet Hydro Holdings Corp. An environmental assessment person who gave me a slick brochure about the process greeted me at the door. People are invited to send in letters, but there was no way to leave a comment at the event; rather you can fill out an on-line form at www.eao.gov.bc.ca, fax or email your comments.
The room was set up with various displays about how the project will unfold. I asked why the proponents were talking like it was already decided. I thought we were going through a process to see if setting up five different hydroelectric projects on five different streams up Narrows Inlet was a good idea.
In the project’s own executive summary the proponent repeatedly acknowledges that there is “uncertainty” — that habitat use “information is not available.” Impacts are “poorly understood” or “unknown” and there is a “low degree of confidence” in the limited data collected on habitat and fish presence.
So before we go granting licences to private corporations using the five creeks to sell power to BC Hydro and our neighbours to the south, let’s whoa!
Let us slow up the process and do a complete study of what is happening in that ecosystem and then, if it seems worth the financial benefits to the people of B.C., redesign the project to have the least amount of environmental impact.
Tella Sametz, Sechelt