By Christine Rumleskie
A new report cites the Peace River as B.C’s fifth most endangered river.
In the 18th Annual ‘Most Endangered Rivers’ report, released on Wednesday, the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia says the proposed Site-C Dam project is the reason for the Peace’s position.
Spokesperson for the ORC, Mark Angelo, says residents in the area nominated the Peace River.
The annual report takes around four months to complete. The ORC solicited nominations from its 100,000 members, which include a number of recreation and conservation groups across B.C.
Angelo says Peace residents are concerned about the cumulative impact of Site-C, along with the two existing dams on the river.
But B.C. Hydro spokesperson Susan Danard says the Site-C proposal shouldn’t be a cause for concern, because Site-C will be able to harness the water in the Williston Reservoir.
The report indicates that there has been widespread opposition from local First Nations, and Angelo says that’s a key concern.
He urges B.C. Hydro to conduct a thorough Environmental Assessment if the project moves forward.
Danard explains that should the project move into Stage 3, there will be an extensive EA process. She also says there is ongoing consultation with the First Nations.
Angelo says the purpose of the report is to inform the public of the many different threats to B.C. rivers.
Stage two of the Site-C process is currently under review by the Provincial Government.
Danard anticipates a decision from the Province sometime in the spring.
– Correction : Susan Danard did not directly refer to the Site-C project as ‘run-of-river’. Energeticcity.ca apologizes for the confusion and has corrected the error.