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Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

News Release

Environment Minister Announces Decision on the Waneta Hydroelectric Expansion Project in British-Columbia

May 1, 2008 - Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, today announced that the proposed Waneta Hydroelectric Expansion Project in British Columbia is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with the implementation of the mitigation measures outlined in the comprehensive study report.

The Minister has determined that the project does not require further assessment by a review panel or a mediator under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and has referred it back to the responsible authorities, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada, for appropriate action.

The Minister based his environmental assessment decision on the comprehensive study report, including the conclusions and recommendations submitted by the responsible authorities; the submissions received during the public comment period and the responsible authorities' responses to those comments; and the implementation of mitigation measures and a follow-up program as detailed in the comprehensive study report.

The project involves the construction and operation by the Waneta Expansion Power Corporation of a new 435 megawatt hydroelectric powerplant at the existing Waneta Dam. The new facility would be interconnected with the BC Hydro transmission grid by a new 10-kilometre transmission line.

The project is located in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, close to the U.S. border. Trail, Castlegar and Nelson are the main population centres in the project area.

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The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.

Media may contact:

Robert Deslauriers
Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Tel.: 613-957-0396