FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro has been granted temporary permission from the B.C government to mine a specific type of gravel from the Agricultural Land Reserve for Site C dam construction.
Four sites near the Pine River and the CN Rail line will be excluded from the ALR until December 31st, 2025, as per a provincial cabinet order issued on February 1st. The order states that a reclamation plan will need to be developed in consultation with Treaty 8 First Nations before the temporary exclusion expires.
The land has been tenured as a quarry source since the 1960s and there is no evidence of cultivation in the area during this period, the ministry said. The site is 55 hectares of Crown Land located 8.5 km east of the dam.
BC Hydro is authorized under its existing Environmental Assessment Certificate to develop Area E as a material source, and to upgrade the haul route, the Ice Bridge Road, for material from the quarry site. The sites excluded from the ALR contain the quarry source and the three areas to be used as a hauling route.
The ministry says the remaining construction on the dam needs around 12 million cubic metres “Shell” material, with one million cubic metres coming from the quarry. The remaining material is being sourced from within the dam site.
The gravel will be delivered to the dam site by truck despite the quarry site being located near the Septimus Siding of the CP Rail line because transporting by rail would only allow 17 per cent to be moved.