P1060546 (002)

The amazing thing about civil suits is that they tend to bring documents to the light of day that may otherwise never be exposed. Until a determination of their civil claim for Treaty infringement can be determined at trial, West Moberly First Nations have filed an application for an interim injunction to suspend construction on the Site C dam. In that application, we came across the following document:

Site C Clean Energy Project – Conditional Water Licences 132990 & 132991
Leave to Construct LTC #01G – Left Bank Excavation Phase 2
Recommendation for Amendment #6 – Redesign of Left Bank Excavation
(Affidavit #1 of Robert McCullough see pages 548 to 551)

This is a letter dated December 9, 2017 from an Independent Engineer on the Site C project about changes that are required to the left bank (north) excavation at the dam site. The tension cracks from spring 2017 and their resulting “stabilization measures and local revisions” are mentioned, and so is other multiple revisions to this slope. However, it is not revealed exactly why more work is needed, but it clearly states that “more extensive revisions are proposed to the design and construction approach for left bank works” What does that mean? Well, among other things, it means: “The revised design will increase the volume of Class 1 (overburden) excavation by about 2.35 M m3, resulting in an approximate total quantity of Class 1 excavation of about 11.1 M m3.”

This is a very big deal. This is major earthworks that are much in excess of the original plan to stabilize the Left Bank. This is directly above the location of the proposed diversion tunnels that are required for the dam to be built. We are told this is Amendment #6, which suggest that they continue to make new amendments as previous efforts fail. Furthermore, the letter leaves the door open for “further proposed design revisions”.

This work extends up slope to where they are now encroaching on the very expensive camp structures in an attempt to stabilize the slopes. This area is somewhat visible from the BC Hydro viewpoint, and from our observations taken on February 28, it appears they have removed the fence on the south/west side of the office structures to facilitate new excavation work. In short, they are running out of room to deal with this slope as indicated in the letter:
“The top of the excavation will be set back by up to about 30 m/ which will encroach on the existing access road to the BC Hydro site office building/ a portion of the existing parking lot on the south side of the worker camp/ and a portion of the ATCO water pipeline. These non-LTC facilities will be redesigned and/or relocated as required, in a local portion of the upper excavation near the access road to the BC Hydro office, soil reinforcement will be installed to allow construction of a steeper slope to minimize the extent of the enlarged excavation.”
In other words, new infrastructure built for the camp and offices is now in the way and being impacted. It is not explained what is intended for “soil reinforcement will be installed”.

It should be noted some of the material being excavated is now being dumped immediately adjacent to the BC Hydro viewpoint in an area that was never intended for that purpose. While the ‘view’ from there was designed to be very limited, it is now getting worse!

The dates given are somewhat curious. There was a site visit on December 7, 2017, followed very quickly by this December 9, 2017 document signed by an Independent Engineer. That seems like a very fast turnaround on such a major issue, and just two days before Premier John Horgan announced that Site C would proceed. In that announcement, he stated that he was “…advised that we have passed those issues” when ask about the geotechnical problems at Site C.

Amendment #6 seems pretty dubious, and very expensive. Was it part of that geotechnical reassurance and price jump to $10.7 billion in John Horgan’s announcement?

Regards,
Ken Boon

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Re:    BC Hydro is seeking an EAC Amendment related to the GSS design

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February 14, 2018.
Mr. Chris O’Riley
President & Chief Operating Officer, BC Hydro
1055 Dunsmuir Street PO Box 49260
Vancouver, BC V7X 1V5

Re:    BC Hydro is seeking an EAC Amendment related to the GSS design

Dear Chris O’Riley

On December 21, 2017, BC Hydro announced that AFDE Partnership (Aecon-Flatiron-Dragados-EBC) was selected as the preferred proponent on the Site C generating station and spillways contract (GSS):

https://www.sitecproject.com/bc-hydro-moves-to-next-phase-for-awarding-the-site-c-generating-station-and-spillways-civil-works

We know that BCH has estimated the value of this contract at $1.22 billion, and we have it on good authority that the bid received by the well respected and qualified firm of Peter Kiewit was for $2.6 billion. The spread between those numbers is disturbing, and reminiscent of the problems that are occurring with the Peace River Hydro Partners and their low bid on the Main Civil Works contract as revealed by the BCUC review of the project. Meanwhile, BCH has stated “The proposal by AFDE Partnership is within the revised cost estimate established by BC Hydro of $10.7 billion.” It is entirely not clear what that means. Obviously, the price of this contract could go much higher than the BCH estimate and still fit within the new project cost.
Meanwhile, BCH states that “A contract is expected to be awarded in early 2018 and the contractor anticipates mobilizing to site in spring 2018.”

Question 1) Has this contract been awarded, and for what price?

With the above December 21, 2017 announcement in mind, we note that on December 18, 2017, BCH wrote to the BC Environmental Assessment Office making application for changes to the Environment Assessment Certificate for the Generating Station and Spillways (GSS) Design:

https://www.sitecproject.com/sites/default/files/eac-amendment-request-gss-january-2018_0.pdf

Most noteworthy is the major changes to the spillway design.
This raises a number of questions:

Question 2) Does this not change what is being bid on, and therefore the companies that bid on the original design will all have opportunity to bid on this new design?

Question 3) Or, will this be awarded to preferred proponent AFDE Partnership with cost plus extras to be added to the original design bid?

Question 4) What are the cost and schedule implications of this design change, and was the BCUC notified of this during the review process?

Question 5) Was the government made aware of these potential changes and possible implications to the cost and schedule of the project before their decision and resulting December 11, 2017 announcement to proceed with Site C?

Question 6) Is the new Project Assurance Board announced by Premier John Horgan now involved, and if so, how?

Question 7) Is the drastic change to the spillway design in response to new information on the severity and frequency of high water events due to faster than anticipated effects of climate change happening now?

Question 8) Due to the various implications of these proposed changes, will consultation include public meetings?

We respectfully request a response ASAP or by Friday February 23rd.

Regards,

Ken Boon, President, Peace Valley Landowner Association
(250)262-9014

CC.   Premier John Horgan
Energy Minister Michelle Mungall
Finance Minister Carol James
Auditor General Carol Bellringer

 

World Wetlands Day was February 2, 2018

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CONSERVING  WETLANDS IS CRUCIAL TO MAINTAINING HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS.

However, BC Hydro intends to clear the Watson Slough in the winter of 2021/2022 in preparation for the flooding Site C dam will cause.  Site C is a social, economic and environmental disaster that is not needed.  The recent BCUC review has revealed just how poor the economics of Site C are, and how it continues to spiral out of financial control.  With ongoing cost overruns, the so called “point of no return” is not getting any closer than when Christy Clark coined that phrase.  Unfortunately, Premier Horgan has decided to double down on that mindset.  The recent Site C Summit has highlighted our social responsibility; to continue to advocate for a stop to this project in every peaceful way we can.

 Watson Slough and Wetland stats:

  • In developed areas of the province, 85% of fresh water wetlands have been altered or DESTROYED.

  • The Watson slough is the only known location in the Site C study area of six rare plant species. 142 rare plants will be destroyed by the project

  • The Watson Slough is the only large wetland in the Peace River valley

  • Loss of the Marl Fen is not reversible

  • There will be permanent loss to habitat that can’t be mitigated

  • Red and Blue listed birds & plants were recorded at the Watson Slough.

  • 232 migratory bird species were recorded here.

  • 33-39 breeding pairs of water fowl were recorded annually between 2005-2008

  • The Watson Slough contains 39 Arch discovered sites.

We have all played a role in protecting the Peace Valley from Site C dam project, but it’s the experts like Mr Robert McCullough and our communication team that we owe for the outstanding work during the BCUC process. Donations small or large are greatly appreciated. DONATE HERE. 

Cancellation will save $3.5 billion for other infrastructure.

Victoria BC – Over 400 delegates attended the Site C Accountability and Action Summit to un-package the BC NDP’s Site C decision, uphold Indigenous rights and Treaty 8, examine the ongoing Site C train wreck, and to develop action plans to stop Site C. READ MORE

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Keynote: Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs

LIVE-STREAM YOUTUBE CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxOJ–AuQfb59oeLDv_6Lnw

The Site C Summit – Accountability and Action will take place this coming weekend in Victoria, BC. Saturday is sold out but you can still attend the Friday program, or watch via live stream via these links on YouTube and FaceBook. There’s an amazing line-up of speakers, you won’t want to miss this!

The Site C Summit will review the rationale and the consultation/decision-making processes that led to the decision.
This will be followed by community action planning which will point us in new directions, in solidarity with First Nations.

On January 15th the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations filed a civil claim in BC Supreme Court. At issue is the outstanding question of whether construction of Site C constitutes a violation of treaty rights guaranteed under Treaty 8, as well as the Canadian Constitution. The suit seeks an injunction to stop construction while the case proceeds.

Read coverage on DeSmog and on CBC.

 

 

 

AAA rating

One of Moody’s concerns is the increasing debt burden of Site C:

At the heart of the matter is a simple error in finance theory by the BC government. BC Hydro is a wholly owned subsidiary of the province. It will spend at least $10.7 billion dollars by 2024 on Site C. These dollars are financed (many have already been financed) by provincially backed debt. Moody’s is concerned about the rising level of debt. Citizens of British Columbia are concerned about the additional $8 billion that the government plans to spend on an asset which could be replaced for $4 billion using renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal. READ MORE

Chief Roland

January 16, 2018 : West Moberly and Prophet River first Nations Launch Civil Actions for Treaty Infringement and Injunctions to Stop Construction of Site C. Read more