This BC Hydro (BCH) Project was initiated in 2011/12 for the installation of a second distribution feeder line from the Long Beach Substation to Tofino, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC. The proposed new circuit primarily followed the same alignment as an existing 3-phase, 25 kV distribution powerline positioned along Highway 4 for a distance of approximately 31 km. Approximately half of the alignment ran through Pacific Rim National Park, therefore, protection and preservation of the natural environment was a significant consideration in the project design and construction.
To complete the project, BCH developed an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to meet corporate environmental protection objectives, and to meet the environmental protection requirements of Parks Canada. BCH formed a partnership with those First Nations whose lands were affected by the project Area: The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation (TFN) in Tofino and the Yuu-thlu-ilth-aht First Nation (YFN) in Ucluelet. The YFN engaged the services of ECODynamic Solutions (EDS) Inc. to train YFN Field monitors and help coordinate the implementation of BCH’s EMP, and work in partnership with the BC Hydro Construction teams.
The project involved the installation of approximately 370 new wood poles with associated anchors and hardware, including some underground installations along Highway 4. Environmental considerations included protecting amphibian and small mammals in the various drainages of Pacific Rim National Park, and conducting vegetation management and riparian works in a sensitive manner to meet Parks Canada’s objectives.
The project was successful in improving the distribution of power to the community of Tofino, and in protecting the natural heritage of Pacific Rim National Park.