Archived - Encana Corporation - Fort Nelson River Water Intake

Fort Nelson River (BC)

Reasons for a Federal Assessment
Project Description
Final Decision

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Reference Numbers

Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry: 12-01-65762
Fisheries and Oceans Canada: 11‑HPAC‑PA8‑00272

Environmental Assessment Type


Responsible or Regulated Authorities

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Reasons for a Federal Assessment

On January 12, 2012, it was determined that an environmental assessment was required in relation to the project because Fisheries and Oceans Canada considered taking action in relation to subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act.

Project Description (as posted in the Notice of Commencement)

Encana proposes to build a permanent water intake structure on the Fort Nelson River approximately 26 km upstream of the Liard Highway Bridge near Fort Nelson, BC (Encana is currently withdrawing water via temporary intake). The proposed intake will consist of four 4.5 m wide concrete bays encased in an earth filled sheet pile structure. The structure will protrude approximately 24 m from the top of the bank. The front face of the intake will be 20 m wide and the anchor walls will run into the bank at angles to promote scour off of the nose while minimizing debris loading potential. The top of the structure will consist of Class I riprap, and Class II riprap will be placed around the toe of the structure. Flows into the intake will be passive with pumps withdrawing from the rear of the concrete intake bays. Intakes will be screened to meet Fisheries and Oceans Canada guidelines for freshwater screens. The proposed annual water withdrawal is 3,000,000 cubic metres, and the proposed maximum daily withdrawal is 10,000 cubic metres. The total footprint of the proposed structure is 1266 square metres at normal high water, composed of 417 square metres of Class II riprap and 840 square metres occupied by the structure itself. A temporary intake is currently in place.

The scope of project includes the components necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed permanent intake structure, as well as a water pipeline from an existing pump house to the permanent intake. The scope also includes water withdrawal from the Fort Nelson River (3,000,000 cubic metres per year).

Final Decision

On July 6, 2012, the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 came into force which replaced the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. As a result, there is no longer a requirement to complete the environmental assessment of this project.