*updated:More questions raised about Site C construction compliance with provincial and federal fisheries/water regulations
***** Updated April 4th, 2016. Alaska Highway reporter Johnny Wakefield is reporting this today: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/site-c/site-c-breaches-environmental-conditions-failed-to-control-sediment-in-river-1.2227512
Of course, we were on that story two months ago when I first reported these incidents to DFO and emailed them this link – DFO’s response at that time, is at the bottom of the post.
RossK, has his take on this here: http://pacificgazette.blogspot.ca/2016/04/site-c-environmental-breachwhen-in.html
Despite a number of unresolved and ongoing court cases challenging Site C, preliminary construction is underway and moving at a rapid pace. ( Remember Clarks vow to get it past the point of no return)
New questions are again being raised by several visitors to the area,on whether contractors are in compliance with provincial and federal regulations with respect to that ongoing construction.
BC Hydro is in possession of a number of provincial and federal authorizations with respect to working around the waterways in the area,including not only the Peace River but the Moberly and other side tributaries. https://www.sitecproject.com/document-library/permits-and-authorizations
Those authorizations are very specific to what can and can’t occur when working around waterways and BC Hydro’s contractors actions have already been called into question once last year by Ken and Arlene Boon – both named in the suit initiated by BC Hydro against campers at Rocky Mountain Fort site. You can read about those violations and how that was handled – or not- by BC Hydro. http://theecoreport.com/environmental-degradation-at-site-c/
These photos show what appear to be a number of potential violations. Buoys without a light on top or signage – these same buoys were also recently photographed and posted to social media, as free floating down the river.
The photos taken also show dirt being dumped and placed into the river, sediment flowing clearly in the water stream and no visible mitigation efforts in place to prevent it-visitors to the area were concerned these could be potential violations of the conditions of the federal DFO guidelines that are designed to protect and mitigate harm to fish and fish habitat.
These guidelines are cited in both provincial and federal authorizations as a condition of approval. ( see Erosion & Sediment Control, Operation of Machinery ) http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/measures-mesures/index-eng.html
This is the Federal authorization: https://www.sitecproject.com/sites/default/files/Fisheries%20Act%20Authorization.pdf
Page 32 of BC Hydro’s own Construction Management Plan also indicates sediment mitigation efforts that must be in place, including a condition that in stream work must be isolated from flowing water,except where allowed by the Environmental monitor. https://www.sitecproject.com/sites/default/files/Construction%20Environmental%20Management%20Plan.pdf
It is also worthy to note their own construction management plan was just recently revised on February 4th, 2016.
Calls to DFO and the provincial Habitat officer had not been returned at the time of this posting. Click on any photo to see full size and scroll through.
Part two of this post, will be out shortly,pending completion of research. I have created a new page accessible at the top of this blog, that I will be posting all Site C posts and link to in chronological order, for easy reference.
And if you haven’t, check out my most recent post on why Premier Clark should act now to prevent another fiasco like Newfoundlands Muskrat Falls dam project
*** UPDATE February 17,2016
After a week, I received a response from Department of Fisheries Communications Advisor, Carrie Mishima:
Clearly, BC Hydro started work without implementing sediment mitigation and clearly more scrutiny is needed. The authorizations are very clear that the conditions above need to be adhered to and even in this early stage, they have not been. Does this bode well that accountability is important to BC Hydro or the government? No. It means they are trying to get whatever they can get done as fast as possible, before any court cases can shut it down. There are still several outstanding cases challenging #SiteC.