In 2005, Hydro conducted an assessment of rare plants associated with sections of distribution lines to Boat Harbour and Cape Norman, on the province’s Great Northern Peninsula. Work involved the installation of a number of mid-span poles and the replacement of older creosote poles that had deteriorated on these lines. All work was near the main road, but also traversed very sensitive limestone barrens habitat known to support species identified as rare or endangered for the province and under the provincial Species at Risk Act. Of particular concern was the presence of Fernald’s Braya (S2 Threatened) and Barrens Willow (S1 Endangered) along the line route, near some structures, and along the main road. Also of concern was the presence of a Fernald’s Braya Study Plot established by Memorial University closer to the line to Cape Norman.

As part of the assessment, the best possible location for the new poles was chosen in relation to the plant species. All trails, travel routes and work locations were identified and appropriately marked with a particular color. The location of rare plants were also marked, but with a different color. This allowed the line crew to easily distinguish the approved travel route and the location of sensitive plant species. Once all trails and routes were marked, they were then assessed for rare plant species. A local plant expert was hired to complete the assessment and to report the results of the assessment to Hydro.

In 2006, Hydro will be compiling a single report on rare plants associated with power lines in the Great Northern Peninsula. This report will incorporate five years of survey data collected on distribution lines at Trout River, Point Riche and Barbace Point at Port Aux Choix National Historic Site, Cooks Harbour to the Big Brook Junction, Cooks Harbour to Wild Bight and Boat Harbour, and Wild Bight to Cape Norman. This information will then be incorporated into an Environmental Protection Plan for use by our Northern Region line crews.


The Granite Canal hydroelectric development is located in south-central Newfoundland within Hydro’s existing Bay D’Espoir System. Granite Canal began production in July 2003 and has a capacity of 40 MW.

The Granite Canal project brought together a team of engineers, ecologists, hydrologists, biologists and managers to develop an innovative design that would meet the requirements of the local fish populations and satisfy federal and provincial regulations. In addition, the team considered how the variable conditions naturally found within fish habitat could be integrated into the project’s engineering and construction requirements. The result was the Fish Habitat Compensation Facility (FHCF) that provided 45,000m2 of spawning and rearing habitat for tens of thousands of ouananiche (land-locked Atlantic Salmon) and brook trout that were displaced from the existing waterway below the Granite Canal discharge when the water in Granite Canal was diverted.

Initial results from FHCF monitoring programs and research activities indicate the design has been successful, with the facility being used by large numbers of fish. In 2005, the FHCF remained at a very high level of production for both ouananiche and brook trout. Stock values for ouananiche have been estimated at 117 grams/100m2 and 3.7 grams/100m2 for brook trout. In addition, spawning surveys recorded approximately 850 redds. As part of an agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Hydro has committed to monitoring production in the FHCF until 2010.


In 2005, as part of the Rencontre East interconnection project, Hydro conducted in situ wildlife surveys. One of the results was the discovery of a breeding pair of Harlequin Ducks on the Bay Du Nord River. The Harlequin Duck was designated as vulnerable in 2002 under the provincial Species at Risk Act. This is the first confirmed sighting of this species on the Bay Du Nord River system. A summary report of these findings was provided to the provincial DOEC.


In 2005, Hydro, as part of long-term agreements with them Department of Fisheries and Oceans, released approximately 155 MCM (million cubic metres) of water at its fisheries compensation facilities. The water releases at White Bear River, Grey River, Granite Canal, Upper Salmon and Hind’s Lake were performed at critical times through the year for habitat protection and fish migration. In comparison, the amount of thermal production required to offset the amount of water released was 45.5 GWh. When the thermal conversion rate and average cost of fuel are considered, the equivalent value of the water released at all fisheries compensation facilities totaled approximately $2.7 million.


CF(L)Co has existing transmission, generation and control facilities within the range of both the Lac Joseph and Red Wine Mountains caribou herds. The proposed Lower Churchill River Hydroelectric Development also falls within the range of these sedentary woodland caribou herds which were designated as threatened in 2001. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada designated the herds as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act. DOECm also designated these herds as threatened under the provincial Species at Risk Act in July 2002.

To demonstrate our commitment to addressing species at risk issues, Hydro has a representative participating on the Labrador Woodland Recovery Team. In 2005, the recovery team continued with the development of a Recovery Strategy, which is a document that identifies recovery strategies deemed necessary to protect and recover sedentary woodland caribou in Labrador. The Recovery Team will be implementing various aspects of the plan as departmental budgets allow.

Back to Top Next

Environmental Policy and Guiding Principles About Hydro Message from the President and CEO
Highlights 2005 Our People Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Emissions
Waste Management Spills and Other Incidents Environmental Site Assessment and Remediation
Species and Habitat Diversity Alternative Energy: Wind Conservation Partnerships