Lawyers representing the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, an Alberta native group and two conservationists groups are contesting a Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) permit issued to BC Hydro to sell electricity to the US. The petitioners told the federal court that NEB did not consider all negative environmental consequences of BC Hydro’s hydro power generation when it granted the export permit. BC Hydro contests this.

The native bands, who have traditionally lived in the Peace-Athabasca delta in northern Alberta, claim that the delta has been harmed by BC Hydro’s operation of the Gordon Shrum and Peace Canyon hydro plants on the Peace river. Opponents of the permit argue the impoundment of the river flow interferes with the natural flow of the river and the ecology of the delta, drying up natural lakes.