FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro has set out the vision for a Agricultural Mitigation and Compensation Plan, which also includes details on the $20 million agricultural compensation fund to help mitigate the effects of Site C on agricultural land and landowners.
This plan was a condition of Site C’s environmental approval. The four components of the framework are as follows:
· construction management practices, as they pertain to agriculture.
· development of individual farm mitigation plans.
· management of residual agricultural land; and
· establishment of the $20 million agricultural compensation fund.
Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture says framework came from input received from various sources.
“This framework has been shaped by input received during consultation with agricultural producers. I encourage the agricultural associations and producers to provide their feedback on the framework to ensure the plan supports the agricultural priorities of the region.”
BC Hydro says the feedback that was received showed the plan must directly benefit agriculture in the Peace River Region.
“The feedback received during consultation reflected regional input and concluded the compensation fund must directly benefit agriculture in the Peace River region. BC Hydro and the Ministry of Agriculture will work with the Peace region’s agricultural industry to establish a Board for the fund that represents regional agricultural producers and agricultural interests.”
BC Hydro also says that more than 99% of agricultural land rated class 1 – 5 in the Peace Agricultural Region will not be affected by Site C.
Jessica McDonald, CEO and President of BC Hydro says this plan has many benefits.
“It’s important to BC Hydro to have a comprehensive plan to mitigate the effects of Site C on agricultural land and landowners. The $20 million compensation fund will increase opportunities for the agricultural industry in the Peace region, guided by local input.”·