A review panel will be formed to weigh concerns over the Amisk dam, a hydroelectric project planned for the Peace River in Alberta.
Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna announced the environmental assessment on the project will be put to a panel review Feb. 12.
"The decision to refer the environmental assessment of the project to a review panel was made after considering its potential to cause significant adverse environmental effects and concerns expressed by the public and Indigenous groups in relation to these effects," the ministry said in a statement.
Terms of reference for the panel will be announced at a later date, the ministry said.
AHP Development Corporation wants to build the dam and a 330-megawatt hydro facility about 15 kilometres northwest of Dunvegan in northwest Alberta. The company has said it wants to build the project to help replace coal-fired power plants in Alberta.
The project must go through both provincial and federal regulatory agencies. If approved, Amisk would be the fourth dam on the Peace. It would create a reservoir that would flood about 800 hectares of land. No homes would be flooded, but two campgrounds would be.
The project would generate 1,875 gigawatts of energy per year — a little over a third of the 5,100 gigawatt hours the Site C dam would produce.