Site C construction not stopped despite reports of the dam being shut down

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Despite reports surfacing that the Site C Dam had been shut down, BC Hydro has confirmed the temporary closure was related to work safety, not environmental concerns.

David Conway, Community Relations Manager with BC Hydro and the Site C project says there were a series of minor vehicle incidents and they called an all team meeting last night as well as this morning, this coming after reports the CEAA issued a notice of intent of enforcement action.

“Last night, we called an all team meeting to address a series of minor vehicle incidents. It’s common practice for us whenever there has been a safety incident to review the safety policies with our workers. We take the safety of our employees and contractors very seriously.

We held a second meeting this morning to review the policies with workers on the dayshift (we spoke to the nightshift workers yesterday). After the meeting, work resumed.”

Conway stressed that the temporary work suspension was due to safety, not environment.

“I just want to be clear that this temporary work suspension was both routine, and was related to safety – not the environment.”

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The Vancouver Sun published an article stating that BC Hydro is facing a federal order that could have taken effect today, along with potential fines of up to $400,000 due to erosion and sediment problems at the construction site of the Site C dam.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency had issued Hydro with a “notice of intent” of an enforcement action unless the Crown corporation assures the CEAA that the issues are being addressed.

Conway also addressed that, saying BC Hydro has complied and sent confirmation to the CEAA.

“The notice was issued because a contractor did not have sufficient erosion and sediment control contingency supplies at the required work locations. We were required to take action and confirm once complete.

BC Hydro and its contractor immediately took action to ensure sufficient contingency supplies were placed in the appropriate areas on the worksite and we have provided CEAA with confirmation of this.”

Based on Hydro’s response, the federal agency may issue, rescind, or amend the order.

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