Power project going ahead despite community opposition 


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Even at that time, locals who were concerned about the impacts to the valley opposed the small hydroelectric project.

Miller Creek Power Ltd., the original proponent, promised in writing that the project would be "respectful of local scenic and lifestyle values."

Many residents had these documents in hand at Tuesday’s meeting.

The final plan presented to them is not in keeping with these promises, they said.

Documents from that time are ambiguous when describing how the power was going to get from the creek to the Pemberton substation.

Still, the fact remains that various provincial bodies have approved the project.

"These guys have an approved project," said Wilkinson, with B.C. Hydro.

"They have a right to have their power conveyed."

The anger and worry in the community centre was about more than just the Miller Creek project. It was concern over the future of Pemberton.

The Miller Creek is just the first of many potential run-of-river projects in the valley.

There are currently 56 applications before the province for projects in the area.

"Something needs to change with respect to the overall process," said Gimse.

At the SLRD board meeting on Monday night, recommendations were put forward to deal with upcoming small hydroelectric projects, including developing a framework with the proponents as well as a public consultation policy.

The board has hired a consultant to help them do this.

"We have deferred processing all applications before the board until we have some clarity to the process," she said.

At the end of the meeting Jack Reynolds, who is part of the newly formed Pemberton Valley Citizens for Responsible Development, offered some hope in a gloomy situation.

"If nothing happen on this project at least it’s going to be a lot more stringent on the next one," he said.

In the meantime construction of the new poles is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.

The recent developments have pushed the project back eight weeks and EPCOR is trying to get on track to run power from Miller Creek by spring 2003.

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