Environmental Assessment

In October 2014, the Site C project completed a rigorous and independent environmental assessment by the federal and provincial governments, which included a Joint Review Panel process. The conclusion of the three-year environmental review was that the effects of the Site C project are justified by the long-term benefits it will provide.

Effects and Mitigation

All new electricity-generation projects have environmental effects and Site C is no different. As with any large infrastructure project, there will be some potential effects that cannot be mitigated, some of which may be considered significant. These include effects on some distinct groups of fish, some ecological features and rare plants, habitat for certain migratory birds and the use of culturally important places by certain First Nations for traditional purposes.

However, the substantial work undertaken to date concludes that the effects of the Site C project can largely be mitigated through careful project planning, comprehensive mitigation programs, and ongoing monitoring during construction and operations.

Key mitigation measures include:

  • Establishing an agricultural compensation fund to address the loss of agricultural land and enhance agriculture productivity in the region
  • Establishing new habitat conservation areas, including wetland habitat areas for migratory birds and a range of other species
  • Establishing barriers and Environmental Protection Zones to avoid direct disturbance to wetland sites and rare plant occurrences where feasible
  • Supporting rare plant habitat enhancement projects in the region
  • Implementing an Aboriginal Plant Use Mitigation Plan
  • Restoring and re-vegetating construction areas after construction activities
  • Providing upstream fish passage through a trap and haul facility
  • Relocating portions of Highway 29 that would be affected by the creation of the reservoir
  • Placing ditches, culverts and other structures to maintain natural drainage patterns and allow flow movement
  • Retaining or planting tree screens and constructing perimeter fencing
  • Implementing fleet management measures reduce GHG emissions from construction activities
  • Upgrading roads to accommodate traffic from project construction activities
  • Implementing a car pool program and providing worker shuttle services to the dam site, based on demand
  • Building new boat launches and recreation sites
  • Funding community services, where appropriate
  • Funding skills training initiatives to increase the skilled workforce required for the project
  • Providing early notice to health, social and education service providers to help plan for service levels
  • Using local labour supply as available
  • Funding additional daycare spaces to support participation in the labour market
  • Encouraging Aboriginal participation in the work force and in procurement opportunities through BC Hydro’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy
  • Supporting the construction of 40 new housing units to be used by the project during construction, which would then be available to the community for affordable housing post-construction
  • Erecting Bald Eagle nesting platforms along the reservoir shoreline
  • Including amphibian passage structures in road design where roads are adjacent to wetlands or amphibian migrations
  • Including fish habitat features in final capping of material sites, the north bank haul road, Highway 29 and Hudson’s Hope shoreline protection berm
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