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U.S. dam threatens to flood BC valley

The Epoch Times reports that, “The Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) is proposing to build a major dam on the Similkameen River just south of the border (in Washington state) that would flood a large area of B.C.’s ecologically rich Similkameen Valley.”
“In addition to providing a nominal amount of power, the Shanker’s Bend Hydroelectric Project would supply water for municipal and agricultural use in Washington State and provide an important source of cool water for downstream fish during the summer months.”

“But in Canada, the 7,300-hecatre reservoir would inundate more than 9,000 acres of the Similkameen Valley, drowning a delicate ecosystem that includes dozens of B.C.’s endangered species, important sloughs, unique grasslands, a potential national park, and First Nations reserve land and cultural sites.The valley is also a wine-producing area and is known as the organic farming capital of Canada.”

“The PUD proposal consists of three options: an 80-metre dam at a cost of $260 million, a smaller 27-metre dam that would not flood the Canadian side but would cut off important north-south migration routes, or a run-of-river project.”

“Both CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society), which has been working to raise awareness of the project and rally support against it, and Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) have been granted legal status as intervenors to block the dam. ONA is a tribal council representing seven Okanagan native bands.” The provincial government in B.C. is also opposed to the dam.

“While Ottawa has said it is monitoring the situation, Alex Atamanenko, New Democrat MP for the B.C. Southern Interior, has written to federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice urging him to notify his counterpart in Washington DC…”

“The PUD has expanded its feasibility study, which has a two-year timeline, to involve the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). …(Under the FERC permitting process) the utility is under no obligation to consult Canada until they’ve actually been licensed to build the dam.”

The full article is at