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October 20, 2020, 10:15 am

Peace River Regional District Presses for Action on Site C Impacts

Peace River Regional District
DAWSON CREEK - On October 19, the Peace River Regional District released a letter sent to the parties with candidates running in the upcoming BC election asking for assistance to negotiate a community measures agreement to mitigate the impacts of Site C on regional district residents and services.

The Peace River Regional District welcomes the jobs and economic benefits that Site C is bringing to our region, but it also wants to ensure any adverse effects of Site C on the Regional District, its services and residents are fully addressed.

Most local governments and First Nations experiencing impacts from Site C have been able to negotiate community measures agreements to mitigate these impacts. However, even though discussions with BC Hydro have taken place, an agreement has not been concluded and negative impacts on Regional District services continue to occur during construction.

“It is not too late to address the impacts we are facing,” says Peace River Regional District Chair Brad Sperling. “By getting an agreement in place now, it will be guided by actual, rather than forecast, impacts.”

The following are the impacts that require immediate attention:
  • Financial compensation for costs incurred to manage Site C solid waste.
  • Financial compensation for lost property tax revenues.
  • Measures to eliminate in perpetuity the effects from Site C on the Charlie Lake sewer system, including the depth at which the system’s outfall line (which previously discharged to the Peace River) will now be located within the newly-created Site C reservoir.
  • Plan to address detrimental effects which Site C will have on regional aggregate supply.
  • Ensure the right to future community water licenses for Regional District systems drawing on the Site C reservoir are protected and free from any charge for lost generation capacity.
  • Provide finished site grades and elevations to clarify the finished site profile of the 85th Avenue lands in order to ensure that the commitment to level the site for future industrial land uses will be fulfilled.
  • Provide a right of first refusal to the Regional District for the provision of fire protection services during Site C operations.
  • Minimize the role of the Regional District in the emergency management program for Site C with BC Hydro taking responsibility in a manner similar to oil and gas and other industries in the Peace region.
  • Address Site C related traffic safety concerns at Wuthrich Quarry on Beatton Park Road and other traffic issues which may arise at other locations.
  • Design, construct and maintain new boat launches at no cost to the Regional District.
  • Continue and as necessary enhance dust suppression efforts, especially in the Site C construction area.
  • Develop and implement a plan to retain heritage, cultural and archaeological artifacts in the region.
  • Determine whether Two Rivers Lodge assets should be transferred to the Regional District once the Lodge is decommissioned and engage the Regional District in planning for decommissioning of Site C.
  • Include additional financial compensation in recognition of the special effects which Site C construction is having on the residents and services of Electoral Area C of the Regional District, including those in the Old Fort community.

(For more details refer to BC Hydro/Regional District Site C Community Measures Agreement, Background Brief on Regional District Requests, March 2020.)

“We are not asking for extraordinary measures or attention that other local governments and First Nations have not received,” says Chair Sperling. “We simply want to make sure that Regional District services be maintained at least at pre-Site C levels, and that no additional burdens are placed on the Regional District so that residents and the Regional District are no worse off, and preferably better off, after Site C construction and operation.”

Letters were sent to the BC Liberal, BC NDP and BC Conservative parties and candidates (including independent candidates) in the Peace River North and South ridings on October 16, 2020. The PRRD Board of Directors looks forward to hearing from candidates on their parties’ views ahead of the October 24 BC provincial election.

Contact information:
Jeff McDonald, Communications Manager

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