BC Hydro is facing a possible federal order and potential fines of up to $400,000 for falling afoul of environmental regulations at the Site C dam project.
A notice of intent issued by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency cited erosion and sediment control problems on the site.
And unless those problems are cleared up, a non-compliance order could be issued.
The issue arose after CEAA inspectors attended the site last month and found erosion and sediment contingency supplies weren’t being kept in the correct work areas, and that at the area where they were being kept, there was an insufficient supply.
Community relations manager for the Site C project Dave Conway says they are confident that the issues identified are now under control and that construction on the site is operating as normal.
“There was not erosion barriers in a few locations where they needed to be. They also noticed in areas where certain supplies are required for example, in case of a spill, that there weren’t enough of the supplies that needed to be there. So we’ve addressed those concerns and we’ve provided our response,” he says.
The CEAA is responsible for ensuring BC Hydro is in compliance with federal conditions.
In an email the CEAA says it is reviewing BC Hydro’s response, and “may choose to amend, rescind or issue the Order as proposed.”
If the order is issued, BC Hydro could face a fine of up to $200,000, climbing to up to $400,000 per day for failure to correct the problem.
It says no stop-work order has been issued.
In addition to the environmental question, Conway added that part of the site was temporarily shut down today after some minor vehicle incidents. Nobody was hurt in the incidents.
The federal government green lit the dam back in July, issuing a pair of key permits under fisheries and navigable waters legislation.
Last month, BC Hydro said $1.3-billion had already been spent on the controversial project, which it says will be completed by 2024.
The project is still facing several legal challenges from First Nations, environmental groups, and landowners.
With files from Niamh Anderson