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Contested Knowledges in Hydroelectric Project Assessment: The Case of Canada’s Site C Project

1
Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, Canada
2
Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030406
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
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Abstract

This paper analyzes contestation over aspects of the Site C Project on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. The $10.7 billion project, which is now under construction, has been vigorously debated for over 30 years. Initially proposed in the 1980s, project approval was not granted following review by the BC Utilities Commission, as the need for the project was not established. In 2010, the provincial government enacted legislation to exempt the project from future review by the BC Utilities Commission; an environmental assessment was initiated in 2012 and a constrained review by the Commission was undertaken in 2017, after construction had commenced. The paper explores key examples of contested knowledge regimes within the review process, focusing on debates over cumulative effects and greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis provides technical examples of the ways in which differing societal values are deployed and co-produced within regulatory processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroelectric development; hydropower; dam; indigenous peoples; first nations; Canada; Site C; British Columbia; environmental impacts; socio-economic impacts hydroelectric development; hydropower; dam; indigenous peoples; first nations; Canada; Site C; British Columbia; environmental impacts; socio-economic impacts
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bakker, K.; Hendriks, R. Contested Knowledges in Hydroelectric Project Assessment: The Case of Canada’s Site C Project. Water 2019, 11, 406.

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