Site C Dam – The Environmental and Regulatory Process - Legal Backgrounder

Site C Dam, Environmental Assessment, Clean Energy Act
West Coast Environmental Law

The Site C Dam will be subject to both provincial and federal government environmental and regulatory processes. These processes are unlikely to stop the Site C Dam from being built, even given the project’s severe environmental, social and cultural impacts. The provincial environmental assessment process is weak, lacks independence, and lacks meaningful requirements for public participation and government-to-government engagement with First Nations. It is not required to examine the cumulative, spin-off environmental effects of Site C, and when it does consider these impacts, it often does an inadequate job. While federal environmental assessment is somewhat stronger in these regards, it is unclear whether there will be a federal assessment because Ottawa is planning to give this responsibility to the province. In addition, BC’s new Clean Energy Act will eliminate the independent oversight of the BC Utilities Commission for the Site C Dam, and establishes a planning process for renewable electricity that is likely to be hobbled in its ability to truly and comprehensively plan for BC’s energy future because the government has already determined that it will move ahead with Site C.

Publication Date
Publication Pages
West Coast Environmental Law
Publication City
Vancouver, BC
Publication Format