– Nova Scotia Power is taking steps to address a fish mortality that occurred last year at its White Rock generating station, near Wolfville.
The fish mortality occurred during an annual charity rubber duck race. Nova Scotia Power has facilitated this fundraiser race for many years by increasing the water flow on the White Rock Canal, and therefore the turbine speed. Following last year’s unfortunate incident, the Company fully cooperated with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to assess and understand what happened.
“We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and we will do everything we can to minimize the risk of something like this happening again in future,” said Mark Sidebottom, Chief Operating Officer, Nova Scotia Power. “We have worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and stakeholders over the years to improve and protect fish passage along the Black River system and others that are home to our hydro operations.”
Nova Scotia Power will continue to closely monitor fish activity at White Rock to ensure it can be responsive to fluctuations in the size and timing of the fish run. This includes the provision of real-time fish counts during migration to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Additionally, new technologies that have come on the market in recent years will be explored to determine if Nova Scotia Power can divert more migrating fish from the White Rock Canal.
As a result of this incident, the company will not participate in the local charity rubber duck race for the foreseeable future, as the required operational procedures may put fish at risk.
“As is always the case, we must carefully consider our operational requirements in conjunction with recreational uses near our facilities,” said Sidebottom. “We value community events and festivals and we have reached out to organizers to explore other ways we can support the Apple Blossom Festival.”
Nova Scotia Power is also making a voluntary contribution of $50,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund to further support fisheries conservation and habitat restoration in Atlantic Canada.
The Company is committed to continuing its work across the province to nurture and protect fish species, habitats and the local environment while balancing the need to provide customers with clean, renewable electricity for years to come. In 2016, 28 per cent of electricity in Nova Scotia was generated from renewable energy sources, including 9 per cent from hydro facilities across the province.
For information on Nova Scotia Power’s environmental stewardship programs, visit www.nspower.ca/en/home/about-us/environmental-commitment/environmental-initiatives