BC Hydro has issued a written reply to Peace Valley landowners Ken and Arlene Boone, who sent an open letter last week to the utility outlining a number of concerns about Site-C dam construction on the Peace River.
Vice-President and Project Director Diane McSherry has addressed river bed and fisheries issues, noting among other things Hydro moved logging equipment through the river in September only after confirming with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada that a federal fisheries permit was not required for the work in question.
She also says the work was carried out in compliance with all requirements of Hydro’s Vegetation, Clearing and Debris Management Plan.
She went on to reject allegations the DFO had shut down mid-October work because of the type of oil in machines, noting what took place was DFO inspection to certify the machines were in good working order and leak free.
She also noted this work did require — and was given — DFO Fisheries Act authorization.
The Hydro reply also addressed the Boone’s concerns about wildlife protection and merchantable timber harvest in the reservoir area, claiming work to date impacting these issues has been in accordance with the applicable Wildlife Act permit, and clearing plans authorized by provincial permits prepared by a BC Hydro professional forester.
Meantime, Energy Minister Bill Bennett has offered another government response to the New Democrat’s Power-BC Energy Plan launched last week, and supported by Mr. Boone as ‘the direction we need to be going.’
Mr. Bennett firmly disagrees, and adds he’s astounded NDP leader John Horgan remains open to cancelling the project should he win the next election, when $3-billion in contracts will have been awarded by the end of next year.
He adds there’s now a stark difference between Liberal and NDP energy policy and he’s ready any time for an election defence of the project.