Northwest Transmission Line UpdateNTL Environmental Assessment Process
As you are aware, the proposed Northwest Transmission Line project is undergoing an Environmental Assessment under the BC Environmental Assessment Act.
On August 27, BC Hydro requested that the Environmental Assessment Office grant a 31-day suspension to the Application Review process. We have been undertaking some additional field study work in several locations along the NTL route, including an alternative route, the Bell-Irving route, proposed to avoid the sensitive salmon spawning habitat of the Hanna Tintina Wildlife area (for an overview of this route alternative, see the Proposed Northwest Transmission Line Project Hanna-Tintina Route Alternatives Evaluation Report posted at www.eao.gov.bc.ca
, in the NTL section of the Project Information Centre). As well, we have expanded the number of projects considered for the NTL Cumulative Impacts Assessment.
The temporary suspension will provide time for the EAO and the NTL Technical Working Group (which comprises representatives of Nisga’a Nation, First Nations, government agencies and local governments) to review and comment on our findings. We do not expect this suspension to result in an overall delay to the NTL project. Assuming the project receives an EA Certificate and the necessary permitting, we still anticipate undertaking some preliminary construction activities before the end of 2010, with the first full construction season in 2011. Contractor selection process
BC Hydro has shortlisted the contractors who will be issued a Request for Proposal to design and build the NTL, and the shortlisted proponents’ names are now posted on the NTL project web pages at http://transmission.bchydro.com Investigative work underway
This fall, crews are undertaking some investigative survey and geotechnical work at various locations along the planned NTL route. The results will be used to confirm the transmission line’s alignment and help determine suitable locations for the NTL transmission structures. All permits required for this investigative work are in place.Contact information
On July 5, 2010, the Clean Energy Act consolidated BC Transmission Corporation and BC Hydro into a single Crown corporation. This single entity will plan and deliver the clean energy required to meet BC’s growing demand for electricity, while fostering job creation throughout the province and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Part of the responsibilities of the new integrated Crown will be the continuing planning and construction of the NTL.