Site C truck hauling plan lacking detail: PRRD letter to BC Hydro

DAWSON CREEK, B.C – Peace River Regional District (PRRD) Chair, Brad Sperling, has issued a letter outlining c…

DAWSON CREEK, B.C – Peace River Regional District (PRRD) Chair, Brad Sperling, has issued a letter outlining concerns with BC Hydro’s Site C truck hauling plan.

BC Hydro asked the District for feedback on a proposed amendment to the Site C Environmental Assessment Certificate on Jan. 5th to use trucks to haul excavated material to the site.

In the letter penned on Jan. 28th, Sperling says the district will be working with the BC Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) once BC Hydro files its application.

“During the BCEAO process, we will be providing ongoing input and a detailed and comprehensive submission respecting the application,” says Sperling in the letter addressed to Nancy Pepper, BC Hydro Community and Social Mitigation Manager.

The PRRD says information from BC Hydro’s Jan 4th draft application “needs much more attention and supporting detail in any submission to the BCEAO”.

This includes no analysis of alternatives to truck hauling and minimal analysis of risk and duration of a conveyor system breakdown.

Hydro aims to use up to 122 large trucks per hour on the Old Fort, 240 and 269 Roads for up to seven months a year over three years.

In an email to Energeticcity.ca, BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Conway says the conveyor system will still transport most materials required for construction.

“We are requesting this amendment as a result of the potential need to haul glacier till from the 85th Avenue Industrial Lands to the dam site when the conveyor is undergoing maintenance, or in the event, it’s not able to operate due to unforeseen circumstances.”

A list of 16 impacts to the District and residents were included in the letter such as greenhouse gas emissions, human health, wildlife resources, and current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes.

The letter states the draft didn’t have alternative transportation methods to bring till to the site.

“Examples of other options not considered include stockpiling of till to avoid the need for hauling in the event of conveyor service interruption, or sourcing glacial till from another location.”

“…it is difficult not to conclude that the sole focus of BC Hydro is to minimize cost.”

The concerns also surrounding the draft’s “short table that sets out the cause, duration, frequency and probability of truck hauling”.

The letter also argues there is no elaboration on the causes of conveyor belt downtime, duration of downtime, frequency of downtime and probability.

The PRRD suggests several assessments be considered relating to traffic impact, human health/air quality/noise, greenhouse gases, and indigenous groups and rights.

The district concludes that the assessments be also used to seek alternative options and that necessary mitigative and monitoring measures are explored.

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