Site C faces permit delays

BC Hydro continues to face delays in receiving the permits it needs to start construction on the Site C dam.

According to a Globe and Mail report, dozens of permits are being held up by Treaty 8 First Nations who are continuing an independent review of the permit applications, and demanding “meaningful consultation” on the project. According to the report, those consultation sessions were set to wrap at the end of May, but member nations have yet to agree on a framework for the consultations, and are in no rush to do so.

West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson told the Globe  in an interview his community’s review of the permits could take up to a year.

“One report we just received from [the Department of Fisheries and Oceans] is 397 pages,” he is quoted as saying.

The BC government announced it was moving ahead with construction of the $8.8-billion dam on the Peace River in December, with shovels expected to dig into the ground this summer.

Hydro has already awarded contracts for crew housing along the banks of the river, along with a land clearing contract to clear some 700 hectares of trees and vegetation in the dam’s proposed flood zone. Hydro wants the river banks cleared as soon as possible so construction of temporary coffer dams can take place to divert the river. That work can apparently only take place between August and September, according to the Globe.

Premier Christy Clark has said her government will not budge on the timeline to build the dam.

BC Hydro needs about 45 provincial permits before it can start the first phase of construction.

To read the article in its entirety, visit the Globe and Mail.