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Environmental panel hands over report, recommendations on B.C.'s Site C dam

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - An environmental review panel has completed its report on British Columbia's proposed Site C hydroelectric dam.

The report has been submitted to the federal environment minister and the head of B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office, who now have six months to make a decision on the massive project.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency did not immediately release the report but an official says it will be posted on its website "shortly."

The dam, proposed by BC Hydro, would be the third on the Peace River in northeastern B.C. and would flood about 5,500 hectares of land along 83 kilometres of the river valley.

Site C would generate up to 1,100 megawatts of capacity — or enough energy to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year in B.C.

The Crown utility says the dam would be a clean, cost-effective source of much-needed electricity for the province, but opponents say it is an unnecessary project that will cause irreparable harm.

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