We’ve learned, and we continue to learn, with humility. Sometimes the hard way, other times, it comes more easily. Some of our best learning experiences have come as a result of insightful contractors that have taken the time to show us that meeting an objective can be done in a multitude of ways. When environmental protection is an important objective, we recognize that achieving the goal of impact mitigation often requires creative thinking, thinking outside of the box. Our process recognizes and incorporate a component of risk management, and counts on those who design and build to propose solutions: their solutions. Jointly, we review, comment, and help them meet the objective. Being flexible and adaptable, and recognizing that there is more than one way to achieve a goal are key to our delivery.
In the context of water licensing and hydropower development in BC, the Independent Environmental Monitor (IEM) is a person with appropriate professional qualifications who is retained by the holder of a water license (the Licensee) to monitor the construction of a project and provide information and reports to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) (Water Stewardship Division). These reports are compiled and distributed independently, and provide details on the compliance of the construction of a waterpower project with the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), specific permits and permit conditions, and other commitments made by the Licensee during project permitting.
Delivering the IEM service is our mainstay, our key expertise. We have developed systems to deliver the service efficiently and cost effectively. We understand that the role of the IEM and their support cast is to monitor and document the course of construction of a project, and report directly to Agencies on the project’s performance. We also understand that we can help contractors and Licensees remain in compliance, by assisting them and integrating in key aspects of project planning (e.g., with respect to environmental risk management, by establishing clear and effective lines of communication, by informing all parties of scheduling limitations, needs or conflicts). We also understand that delivering the IEM service requires strong social skills, in depth knowledge of provincial and federal environmental regulations and guidelines, a sound understanding of construction processes, and trusting relationships with Agencies, developers, and contractors.
As a team, we have more than 130 years of environmental management experience. Over the course of the past decade, we have applied this experience and have acted as the IEM on ten projects in BC, in three distinct geographical regions (Coastal, Interior, and Northwest). These projects ranged in size from 6.5 MW to 195 MW, and in value anywhere from approximately $15 million to upwards of $750 million.