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The Site C Dam - What You Should Know

Learn about the Site C Dam project proposed for the Peace River in northeastern B.C.

Sierra Club BC

on 19 March 2015

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Transcript of The Site C Dam - What You Should Know

Farmers Are Opposed
The Site C dam would flood 83 kilometres of river valley bottoms.
More than 52 square kilometres of agricultural land would be washed away - including B.C.'s only prime farmland north of Quesnel.
Photo: Larry Peterson
Photo: Larry Peterson
The Site C Dam
What You Should Know

First Nations Say No to Site C
The majority of First Nations in northeast B.C. are strongly opposed to the dam.
Site C would inundate 78 First Nations heritage sites, including burial grounds and places of cultural and spiritual importance.
Photo: Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA)
Treaty 8 First Nations led a “Paddle for the Peace” to draw attention to the negative impacts of the Site C dam.
The Site C Dam
What you should know
Peace River Valley Fall Bounty
Wildlife Will Suffer
When combined with the large industrial development footprint in the Peace region, Site C will contribute to a loss of up to 55% of regional habitat for sensitive species like wolverine, grizzly bears and caribou.
The Peace River Valley is home to 20 at-risk species, including grizzly bears and bull trout.
The dam will destroy wetlands that support migratory bird flocks.
Moose calf in the Peace River Valley
Photo: Don Hoffmann
Who Will Pay?
You will.
B.C. taxpayers will foot the entire bill, estimated by BC Hydro to be $8 billion.
Photo: AndrewMark, sxc.hu
The estimated $8-billion cost is likely to increase even further
What is the Risk?
A Site C dam was rejected by the B.C. government in 1983 as too risky and costly.
One BC Hydro report says, “Site C would….fall into the ‘High’ or ‘Very High’ consequence category as defined by the Canadian Dam Association because of the potential damage downstream in the event of a dam breach and the economic loss as a result of dam failure.”
Site C fails to meet the international guidelines for large dam construction recommended by the World Commission on Dams.
Artist Rendering of Site C
Illustration: BC Hydro
No oversight.
In 2010, the B.C. government took away the B.C. Utilities Commission's independent oversight of Site C.
Do we need Site C?
The B.C. government has said that 100 per cent of the power from Site C could be used by Shell’s proposed liquid natural gas (LNG) plant in Kitimat, which will convert natural gas for transportation to Asia.
If Site C is built, B.C. taxpayers will effectively subsidize highly profitable energy corporations.
How Big is Big?
The dam would be more than one kilometre long and 60 metres high - almost as tall as a 20-storey building.
It would flood an 83 kilometre section of the Peace River, widening it by as much as three times.
Is Site C Clean and Green?
Site C would put 49 square kilometres of boreal forest under water, turning it from a carbon sink into a carbon emitter as trees decay.
Environmental Assessment
Site C is undergoing a joint federal and provincial environmental assessment.
The B.C. government has chosen to hold public meetings about the dam only in B.C.'s north, even though Site C will affect all British Columbians.
Have your say.
Visit www.sierraclub.bc.ca
for more information.

Peace River Valley agriculture
Photo: Larry Peterson
Photo: hatdow, Flickr
We need to invest in truly green energy sources that protect valuable agricultural land, wildlife and communities.
Photo: Jean-Pierre Lavoie
The Peace River Valley is home to 20 species at-risk, including the Grizzly Bear.
Photo: Peter Kas, sxc.hu
Site C would increase B.C.'s carbon footprint
Family farms have been passed down for generations would be washed away, along with their potential for enhancing food security initiatives in light of global warming.
"We live and farm on Arlene’s grandfather’s place, and we intend to save it for future generations."
- Ken and Arlene Boon, Peace River Valley farmers
That makes Site C the most expensive 1,100 megawatt dam in world history.
The utilities commission had previously recommended against proceeding with Site C.
Site C would also flood 10 kilometres of the Moberly River and 14 kilometres of the Halfway River, destroying vulnerable shoreline ecosystems.
Site C would add 150,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to B.C.’s carbon footprint - equivalent to putting 27,000 additional cars on the road each year.
"Site C is not worth the risk for communities, the environment and B.C. taxpayers."

-Andrea Morison, Fort St. John resident
Photo: Courtesy of Ken and Arlene Boon
Since corporate and industrial customers pay a subsidized rate for hydro power, individual customers can expect their electricity rates to rise to pay for Site C.
Full transcript