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Briefly: September 27, 2013

Hydro plant Alterra Power Corporation has resumed power generation at its Montrose hydroelectric facility in the Toba Valley, part of the company’s 235-megawatt Toba Montrose hydro facility.

Hydro plant

Alterra Power Corporation has resumed power generation at its Montrose hydroelectric facility in the Toba Valley, part of the company’s 235-megawatt Toba Montrose hydro facility. Repairs to the facility’s penstock, which was damaged in a December 2012 rockslide, were completed last week. The rockslide damaged a 200- to 300-metre segment of the five-kilometre penstock, a pipe that supplies water to the power generating plant.

Several site improvements, including protective berms, are also nearing completion and will significantly lessen the likelihood of any future damage or interruption, according to a company statement. Montrose, a run-of-river facility, generates 88 megawatts of power.

“We are very pleased to have this facility fully back online,” said Jay Sutton, Alterra’s vice-president of hydro power. “I credit our team and contractors for completing the project in an efficient and, most importantly, safe manner. We’re having an extremely strong generation season at the site, so it’s great to be back to business as usual.”

Alterra has seven power plants totalling 616 megawatts of capacity, including BC’s largest run-of-river hydro facility and largest wind farm, two geothermal facilities in Iceland, a geothermal plant in Nevada and a solar facility in Ontario.


Child porn arrest

A Powell River man has been arrested on child pornography charges.

Members from the BC RCMP Integrated Child Exploitation Unit (ICE) were assisted by Powell River RCMP to search the home of the unnamed accused for Internet-related offences September 21.

“We want to reassure everyone that at this time we have nothing suggesting that any local children were directly victimized,” said BC ICE Sergeant Mat Van Laer in a media statement released September 26.

The man was released with strict conditions that he not be in contact with children or have access to the Internet. Powell River RCMP Constable Tim Kenning said that members from the local detachment as well as other agencies will be involved in checking on the man to make sure the conditions of his release are maintained.

Kenning said the man was not named because “we don’t feel there’s any immediate risk to the youth in the community” and the police want to avoid the possibility that any of the accused man’s family members who live in the community are affected. 

The investigation is ongoing.


Salmon grants

Pacific Salmon Foundation is encouraging volunteer environmental organizations to apply for project funds through the foundation’s Community Salmon Program. Significantly more funding is available for grants this year because the 2013 federal budget allowed for the allocation of more funds generated through user fees via the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Stamp, commonly called the Salmon Conservation Stamp. Applications must be submitted by October 1 for Pacific salmon conservation and restoration projects that can be completed by the fall of 2014.

“For many years, British Columbia received one dollar from the sale of each $6 salmon stamp, which the Pacific Salmon Foundation used to support community grants,” said Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “As a result of the change in this year’s budget, we will now see a return of 100 per cent of salmon stamp user fees to British Columbia. That means almost $1 million in additional funds for Pacific salmon conservation annually.”

The application window closes at noon on Tuesday, October 1. Interested groups are urged to contact their Fisheries and Oceans Community Advisor and other supporters to request expertise and project support as soon as possible. Groups that require assistance with the application process are welcome to contact the foundation’s coordinator Jim Shinkewski at jshinkewski@psf.ca or 604.664.7664, ext. 112. All applicants should check eligible costs for projects as there are exclusions under the current agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Funding criteria is on the foundation’s website.

All applications must be submitted by email to jshinkewski@psf.ca and a mailed backup copy must also be post-marked by October 1. The application form is available on the foundation’s website under the programs area in Community Salmon Programs. Another funding round will occur with applications due in February 2014.