Statement on Mactaquac Project

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is encouraged to see NB Power taking a serious look at the future of the Mactaquac hydro-generating facility. NB Power has laid out three options under consideration and has developed a review process for each. This process involves extensive scientific studies undertaken by scientists at the Canadian Rivers Institute, and opportunities for public input. We applaud the energy utility for starting this process and conducting a thorough and scientific review of the project’s environmental impacts.

We appreciate that the Mactaquac facility has provided New Brunswickers with clean energy since the late 60s. We also acknowledge that damming the St. John River has caused significant changes and impacts to the river system, perhaps most significantly, it has severely impacted fish migration. In addition, the dam has significantly changed river flows and has impacted many communities upstream and down.

As the facility has both created many environmental benefits and also environmental concerns, we are waiting with interest to allow time for the scientific reviews to be completed. After that time we will feel more confident that good science has played a significant role in the decision NB Power has to make about the future of the generating station. Regardless of the utility’s decision – which will be made in 2016 – we will continue to encourage NB Power to consider both clean energy and a healthy river.