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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

 

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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 

By: ROBERT MCCULLOUGH

Sadly, the most important issues were not addressed — the availability of billions of dollars from the sale of the Columbia River energy and capacity the province has in the U.S., or the use of the Non-Treaty Storage to firm renewables. Both issues are game changers and likely to remain unused given BC Hydro’s current plans.  READ MORE:

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