Site C dam project design has been changed to eliminate a separate bridge across the Peace River

Permits approved for Site C hydro dam

BC Hydro negotiating compensation with aboriginal communities, B.C. cabinet to decide soon whether $8 billion project will go ahead

VICTORIA – Both the federal and provincial governments have issued environmental assessment certificates for BC Hydro’s Site C dam, the proposed third hydroelectric project on the Peace River in northeastern B.C.

The approvals include dozens of legally binding conditions, including a $20 million farmland enhancement fund to offset river bottom land that would be flooded, and compensation for local aboriginal groups whose historic treaty rights to hunting, fishing and trapping would be affected.

Cost of the project, last estimated by BC Hydro at $7.9 billion, will factor into a final decision by the B.C. cabinet whether to go ahead with the dam. Energy Minister Bill Bennett has indicated he expects the final investment decision to be made by the end of 2014, and if it’s approved, work would begin immediately.

Among the 77 B.C. conditions is an aboriginal business participation strategy to share the estimated 10,000 person-years of construction work the dam project would generate.

Seven aboriginal communities affected by the proposal have been offered cash and Crown land to compensate for land lost by construction of the dam. All are signatories to Treaty 8, which ensures their rights to hunt, trap and fish as they did before the treaty was signed in 1899. Officials say five of the seven are currently in negotiations.

Situated near Fort St. John and downstream of the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon dams, Site C’s 1,050-metre-long earthfill dam would create a reservoir 83 km long and two to three times the current width of the river.

It requires two power lines built in the same corridor as the existing line, and six water turbine generators that would produce enough electricity to power about 450,000 homes.

BC Hydro estimates that because Site C would use water held back in the existing Williston Lake reservoir, it would generate 35 per cent of the energy as the Bennett dam with only five per cent of the reservoir area.

 

Just Posted

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

North Cowichan to pause all logging in forest reserve for 2019

Municipality expects decision to cause $150,000 shorfall this year

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Sound of Music echoes with a surprising amount of cool

Chemainus Theatre review: my teenage self didn’t know what he was missing

Robert Barron column: Thanks to municipal workers during snow storm

I’ve always wondered how anything gets done when mounds of snow fall from the sky.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Police dog tracks suspect through wintry Vancouver Island backcountry

Assault suspect arrested after two-hour track by Nanaimo RCMP police dog Jager

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Most Read