Site C and agriculture
The Site C Clean Energy Project is moving forward to the next stage of planning and development, including an independent environmental and regulatory review. This has led to some discussion about the project’s impacts on agriculture.
Agriculture is important to the economy and way life in the Peace River region. BC Hydro recognizes that there will be some impacts to individual farms and agricultural lands affected by the reservoir and Highway 29 realignments.
As part of an environmental and regulatory review, BC Hydro will conduct an agricultural impact assessment. This will include consideration of measures to reduce impacts to agricultural land or land use, as well as measures to benefit the agricultural industry.
Historic studies on agriculture
Based on historic studies, the majority of agricultural land in the Peace River valley would not be affected by the project, including agricultural lands downstream of the project area and in the valley above the reservoir level.
According to historic studies, the Site C project would flood about 4% of Class 1 land in the Peace River valley (approximately 106 hectares). Not all the land affected by the project is agricultural.
Based on historic studies, about 18% of Class 1 to 3 agricultural lands in the Peace River valley would be affected by the Site C project (approximately 2,928 hectares).
In the 1980s, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) concluded that sufficient agricultural land would remain in the region to support a viable vegetable processing industry and other crop production. In other words, the development of Site C would not limit the region’s food production capability.