City investigates Site-C impact study


Photo: Mayor Bruce Lantz addresses his item of new business at Monday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

By Christine Rumleskie

Fort St. John City Council will soon be looking for money to conduct its own study on the impacts of the Site-C Dam proposal.

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor Bruce Lantz suggested that City Staff contract a consultant. That individual would then acquire the funds necessary to conduct a socio-economic impact study of the Site-C project. He also said that consultant can look into the future of the fair share program and explore how it’s going to unfold beyond the expiry of the agreement in 2012.

Lantz says that he wants the study to be conducted before Site-C gets the green light. Councilor Trevor Bolin agreed.

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Lantz says he has written to BC Hydro, and requested funding for the socio economic impact study.  But, he says the letter hasn’t generated any discussion.

Mayor Lantz says the Peace River Regional District is pursuing a similar impact study, but to no avail. So, he suggested teaming with the PRRD, along with the North and South Peace Economic Development Commissions, to get the ball rolling.

So now, the first step is to get the consultant on board to acquire proper funding.

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If and when the study is complete, the potential impacts will be reviewed, and funding will be pursued to mitigate the anticipated effects.

The Site-C proposal is in the second phase of its development, and is currently being reviewed by the provincial government. BC Hydro submitted the consultation summary in December 2009, along with its recommendation. The report has yet to be made public.

If the province moves into the regulatory environmental assessment phase of Site-C, it will take around two years to complete. The fourth phase is detailed design and engineering, and has a one-year timeline. The final stage is construction, and should take around seven years.

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