Hydrogeologist finds gaps in Hydro’s info on ground water

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The three local area first nations challenging the construction of the Site C dam have provided new scientific evidence on its potential impact to groundwater.

The West Moberly, Prophet River and Saulteau First Nations retained an expert in hydrogeology to conduct a technical evaluation of groundwater information provided by BC Hydro.

Dr. Gilles Wendling says his research uncovered significant data gaps in the characterization of groundwater around the site of the third dam on the Peace River.

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He says, based on reports that were part of the application submitted by BC Hydro, he was surprised by the lack of definition of the ground water regime.

Dr. Wendling’s report was prepared for the consultation between the First Nations and the province about the main water licence for the project, and the First Nations met last week with government officials to present their new research and other concerns.

The water licence is one of several authorizations still required for the project, and despite Hydro’s site preparation work, the First Nation’s challenges — including those in the courts — are expected to continue for at least several more months.

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