David Austin says the biggest obstacle remains the impact on treaty rights of First Nations and he doubts all the adverse impact could be mitigated.
However, he says that’s not the only issue working against construction of the third dam on the Peace River, at its proposed location southwest of Fort St. John.
“It’s always been a low quality large hydro site because of the geology of the area,” Austin said. “Suppose you’re able to make this thing work from a cross perspective as compared to the alternative, than you actually have to go out a build it. The geology of the site c area is not promising for large structures like dams.”
The government has been pushing the electricity from the $8 billion dam, as one of the keys to development of the LNG Industry.
However, in its report released a week ago today, a Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel said BC Hydro has not demonstrated the need to complete the project according to its time line of 2024.
“It may be build someday but I don’t think it’s going to be build anytime soon,” Austin said. “I have my doubts as to whether it will ever be built”
The panel made 50 recommendations to the federal and provincial governments. If they decide to go ahead with the project, a final decision is expected to be made this fall.