The Peace Athabasca Delta Got 99 Problems, but Site C Ain’t One

Photo courtesy of wader, https://flic.kr/p/3kNAs

Danger sign near the Bennett Dam in British Columbia. A joint panel has determined that the proposed Site C dam will have no measurable impact on the Peace Athabasca Delta. Photo courtesy of wader, https://flic.kr/p/3kNAs

In today’s gob smacking news, the Site C Environmental Assessment Joint Review Panel has determined that there will be “no measurable effect” to the Peace Athabasca Delta or the communities that call it home. Their rationale? The Bennett dam, climate change, and the Oilsands are the main culprits causing PAD problems. Site C will be a run-of-the-river traditional dam with a surface area 5% of the Williston lake reservoir and, besides, the issues like low water levels causing the delta to expand, expatriation of the muskrat, cancer concerns, and a collapsed fish market, would be present whether it was built or not.

Good thing that the Community Based Monitoring Program is well established in Fort Chip. They will hold BC Hydro, and this Panel, to account if the project is approved with baseline data and hard science. If the project goes ahead, I hope that what they say is true. My gut says something different.

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About Michael Tyas

Michael Tyas is the managing editor of One River News. He graduated the University of Manitoba with an honours degree in environmental studies, and is a professional videographer and video trainer. He produced the feature length documentary "One River, Many Relations" in Fort Chipewyan. He continues to work with indigenous communities to share their stories around resource extraction, industrial development, and impacts on traditional territories.
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