VICTORIA, B.C. – The Office of the Auditor General has released an audit report that outlies dam safety in the Province and how the ministry has not effectively overseen it.
The audit, titled Oversight of Dam Safety in British Columbia, examines whether the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has effectively overseen the safety of dams in the province. It only covers 1,900 regulated dams, those that are still being built, like Site C, were omitted.
“The ministry had several significant shortcomings in its oversight of dam safety. Notably, we found that the ministry did not adequately verify or enforce dam owners’ compliance with key regulatory safety requirements. While owners are ultimately responsible for the safety of their dams, part of the ministry’s mandate is to oversee their compliance,” says Michael Pickup, Auditor General, in a release.
The audit report outlines nine recommendations for informing dam owners of their regulatory requirements, improving processes to verify this compliance, improving the monitoring of compliance and enforcement activities, and strengthening performance measures and targets. According to a release, the ministry has accepted the recommendation made.