Media Release: Ecojustice available to comment on Holmes Hydro judgment

May 17, 2013

VANCOUVER – The Holmes Hydro project will not have to undergo an environmental assessment, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in a decision handed down today.

Ecojustice, representing the David Suzuki Foundation and Watershed Watch Salmon Society, brought the case before the Court in April, challenging the province’s position that the multi-site Holmes Hydro project could be split up to avoid an environmental assessment.

Under provincial law, any hydroelectric power project that will generate more than 50 megawatts of electricity must undergo an environmental assessment. The Holmes project is expected to produce about 76 MW of electricity from 10 connected sites along a 40-kilometre stretch of the Holmes River, an important salmon river near McBride, B.C.

“While we’re disappointed in the outcome, we’re pleased to see the Court acknowledge that the Environmental Assessment Act could have been drafted better to address this issue,” said Karen Campbell, Ecojustice staff lawyer. “We also note that in March of this year, B.C. Hydro took steps to expressly guard against clustered projects like the Holmes Hydro Project from being eligible for its Standing Offer Program.”

Representatives from all three organizations are available for comment today.

For further comment, please contact: 
Karen Campbell, staff lawyer | Ecojustice

Aaron Hill, ecologist | Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Jeffery Young, senior science and policy analyst | David Suzuki Foundation

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