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

LETTERS: Speak up for our seniors in long-term care

Jan Coates of Agassiz believes in the power of your voice

Harrison officials carefully monitoring E.coli levels in lagoon

Levels testing unusually high for this time of year, officials say

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Most Read