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

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Over the last few years, over 300 hectares have been treated at the city’s southern boundary for wildfire risk reduction. Photo courtesy BC Government.
Wildfire mitigation projects reducing risk around city boundaries

Over the last few years, there has been over 300 hectares of… Continue reading

Pictured is the new gallery space at 1401 5th Street North in Cranbrook. Artists from across the Kootenays are invited to take part in our upcoming exhibit, ‘Kootenay’s Best’.
Cranbrook Arts announces premiere exhibit at 1401 Art Space

Cranbrook Arts is inviting artists from across the Kootenays to submit a proposal for their upcoming exhibit, ‘Kootenay’s Best’

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. File photo
COMMON’S CORNER: Challenging the government on vaccine availability and more

The first of a quarterly column from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison

Pictured above: Jason Hawke, Jen Ross and Brenna Baker.
Not Alone campaign gets fundraising boost from Pink Shirt Day

A fundraising campaign for a walk-in health and wellness centre for youth… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read