BC cabinet lifts farmland rules to dig gravel for Site C dam – Smithers Interior News

The British Columbia government has ordered the temporary withdrawal of 55 hectares from the agricultural land reserve to extract and haul a specific type of gravel needed to complete BC Hydro’s Site C dam on the Peace River.

A Cabinet Order issued on February 1 requires that four sites near the Pine River and the CN Rail line be restored and returned to the LRA by the end of 2025, in consultation with the 11 Indigenous groups with rights land under Treaty 8, signed in 1899 The quarry site is Crown land located 8.5 km east of the dam site, and the additional “shell” material for the dam filled with earth must be transported by truck to the site.

The Department of Energy and Mines released a statement to Black Press Media stating that BC Hydro is authorized under its environmental assessment certificate to develop “Zone E” and improve a haul road known as the name of Ice Bridge Road. Zone E is the quarry site and the other three excluded zones are for the road.

The quarry and road are near the Septimus siding of the CP Rail line, but the department says available railcar capacity would only allow 17 per cent of the material to be moved.

The certificate estimates that the dam requires 12 million cubic meters of granular material, of which up to one million is expected to come from Zone E. The rest comes from the dam construction site, which used a fixed conveyor system to move the material. for earthworks.

“The quarry area will be reclaimed in accordance with the terms of BC Hydro’s permit under the Mining Act prior to the expiration of the temporary exclusion,” the department said Feb. 3. “As a condition of the order temporarily excluding the lands from the ALR, BC Hydro will develop an E-Zone Quarry Reclamation Plan in consultation and collaboration with Treaty 8 First Nations.”

Area E has been mined as a quarry since the 1960s and there is currently no agricultural activity on it, nor evidence of cultivation in the past 50 years, the ministry said.

Treaty 8 covers a large area from northern British Columbia east of the Rocky Mountains, territory of Blueberry River, Dene Tha’, Doig River, Duncan’s, Fort Nelson, Halfway River, Horse Lake, McLeod Lake, Prophet River, Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations.

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Amalia H. Mercado