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B.C.: UPPER LILLOOET PROJECT GETS CONDITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL OK


(The following press release from the Province of British Columbia, Canada, was received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the statement.)

INFORMATION BULLETIN 2013ENV0001-000029 Jan. 10, 2013

Ministry of Environment Environmental Assessment Office

Upper Lillooet Hydro project granted conditional environmental approval

VICTORIA - Environment Minister Terry Lake and Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman have issued a conditional Environmental Assessment Certificate to Creek Power Inc. for the Upper Lillooet Hydro project, located in the headwaters of the Lillooet River, approximately 60 km northwest of Pemberton.

The decision was made after considering the review led by British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Office, which concluded that the project is not expected to result in any significant adverse effects, based on the mitigation measures and conditions of the Environmental Assessment Certificate. A record of the factors that the ministers considered in making their decision can be found in the Reasons for Ministers' Decision at: http://ow.ly/gHKv9

The Environmental Assessment Certificate includes 37 conditions, many with numerous sub-conditions, and a Certified Project Description. Each of the conditions is a legally binding requirement that Creek Power Inc. must meet to be in compliance with the certificate. It is also a legal requirement that the project be built and operated in accordance with the Certified Project Description.

Key conditions for the Upper Lillooet Hydro project that the proponent must meet include:

* Implement and maintain a minimum in-stream flow requirement for the North Creek, Boulder Creek and Upper Lillooet River diversion reaches. * Prepare and adhere to a variety of comprehensive environmental management and environmental protection plans. * Establish and maintain for the life of the project a dedicated, publicly available project website to ensure public awareness of ongoing activities and construction schedules and to ensure general safety in and surrounding the project area. * Make all monitoring reports prepared during operations available to the public on the project website. * Monitor temperature and ice conditions for the life of the project. * Undertake construction activities outside of identified sensitive periods for wildlife species. * Contribute to the province's regional grizzly bear monitoring program and participate in provincially led access management planning. * Develop and implement a grizzly bear management plan, and other wildlife management plans, as part of a broader Human-Wildlife Interaction Plan. * Develop and implement operations monitoring plans for coastal tailed frogs, harlequin ducks, and fish. * Prepare and submit proposed replacement areas for impacted old-growth management areas, ungulate winter ranges and red-listed ecosystems.

Consistent with its enhanced compliance and enforcement program, the Environmental Assessment Office will co-ordinate compliance management efforts with other ministries to ensure that the office is independently satisfied that certificate conditions are met.

The project consists of three run-of-river hydroelectric facilities on the Upper Lillooet River, Boulder Creek, and North Creek. The three facilities will be developed as a single hydroelectric project with a combined capacity of 121 megawatts. The project includes an approximately 72-kilometre-long, 230-kilovolt transmission line connecting the three facilities to BC Hydro's transmission line near Rutherford Creek.

BC Hydro awarded the project three electricity purchase agreements in March 2010. Under the agreements, the commercial operational date is August 2015 for Boulder Creek, May 2016 for North Creek and June 2016 for Upper Lillooet River.

The estimated total capital construction costs for the project are $420 million and the operating costs are approximately $8.4 million per year. The project will create an estimated 382 person-years of direct employment during construction.

Creek Power Inc. is two-thirds owned by Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. and one-third owned by Ledcor Power Group Ltd. Innergex is the managing partner for the project.

British Columbia's environmental assessment process involves a rigorous, thorough review that provides for significant opportunities for First Nations, government agencies and the public to provide input on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects of a proposed project.

Contact: Communications Ministry of Environment 250 387-9630

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

(kgt)NY

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