Site C seminar outlines potential hazards

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Fort St. John area residents have been told of the possibility of erosion and a potential for landslides if the Site C dam is built.

That’s the message from Andrew Watson, the lead project engineer for B.C. Hydro.

Watson gave a presentation, Wednesday, on the potential hazards associated with the construction of the dam at the Quality Inn.

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Watson says one of the hazards that might affect the dam’s production include a risk of landslides. Such landslides at the construction site could occur rapidly, from various heights of the high river bank, due to the instability of certain slopes in the area.

Watson also says there is a very real possibility of shoreline erosion, which is a factor in the potential for landsides. He says that the quality of an area’s soil is important when considering a specific construction site.

B.C. Hydro spokesperson Dave Conway says the project is currently in Stage 3 – the environmental assessment phase – of its development. This stage also provides engineering and wildlife assessments.

Furthermore, Stage 3 involves an ongoing consultation with property owners in potential construction areas.

According to Conway, Stage 3 involves three “impact lines”. These impact lines require that the project is safe, maximizes land use flexibility and minimizes the amount of land required.

Watson says that the next step involves determining access agreements with property owners which will be done between March and April. He says that after B.C. Hydro receives the various access agreements, it will conduct a shoreline geotechnical investigation, assessing certain geographical risk factors. That assessment will be done between April and September.

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