PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — An environmental group is raising concerns about northwest salmon populations if a plan by a company affiliated with Enbridge goes ahead with a hydroelectric project along the Clore River.
The Friends of Wild Salmon said if Enbridge is allowed to build a dam it could hurt salmon runs along the Clore and Copper River watersheds near Terrace.
“If Enbridge thinks northwest residents will let them dam our salmon rivers, they are even more delusional than we thought,” said Gerald Amos, chairman of Friends of Wild Salmon.
The group became aware of the hydro project when a third party pointed them to an exploratory licence granted by the province to a numbered company 8056587 Canada Ltd. A search showed that company shared the same Calgary address as Enbridge.
Once Friends of Wild Salmon made the connection, they issued a news release.
Enbridge is the company behind the Northern Gateway pipeline plan, which aims to connect Alberta’s oilsands with an export terminal in Kitimat.
Ivan Giesbrecht, spokesman for Enbridge, confirmed the numbered company belongs to Enbridge, but said the company isn’t planning to dam the river. Instead he said it’s looking at a possible run-of-river hydro project, but those plans are in the preliminary stages.
“As it does with all project proposals, Enbridge will conduct a full environmental review before proceeding beyond this preliminary stage,” he said. “Enbridge strictly adheres to or exceeds all applicable statutes, regulations and environmental requirements, and would never proceed with any project or proposal that contravenes any of these measures.”
Giesbrecht said the hydro plans don’t have anything to do with the Northern Gateway proposal, but Amos said he finds it curious that it will be located so close to the proposed right of way for the pipeline.
He suggested the company could be considering the hydro project as a way to power some of its pipeline pumping stations.
“This seems to be pretty much consistent with their entire approach to this 1/8Northern Gateway 3/8 project of theirs,” Amos said. “They’ve heard for almost a decade now, the concerns coming from this particular area that we live in. As people have said the answer is still no and unfortunately they don’t seem to get the message.”