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

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Fruitvale man, 25, dies after falling from zipline in Thailand, reports say

Bangkok Post says man fell from Flight of the Gibbon zipline in Chiang Mai

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read