Peace River ranks 5th most endangered river in B.C.

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By Christine Rumleskie

 

A new report cites the Peace River as B.C’s fifth most endangered river.

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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.

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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.

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The report indicates that there has been widespread opposition from local First Nations, and Angelo says that’s a key concern.

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He urges B.C. Hydro to conduct a thorough Environmental Assessment if the project moves forward.

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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.

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Angelo says the purpose of the report is to inform the public of the many different threats to B.C. rivers.

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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.

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