B.C. not effectively overseeing safety of dams: auditor general

·1 min read

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s auditor general says the provincial government has not effectively overseen the safety of the 1,900 dams it regulates.

In a news release, Michael Pickup says the Ministry of Forests, Land, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has not adequately verified or enforced dam owners' compliance with key safety requirements.

The report says that while the owners of the dams are responsible for their safety, the ministry has a mandate to see that they comply with provincial regulations.

It also says the ministry had gaps in its records, which resulted in it being unaware of some dams that it should have been regulating.

It says the audit didn't include dams that are being built, like Site C, a megaproject crossing the Peace River just west of Fort St. John.

The auditor general made nine recommendations, including improving processes to verify compliance, all of which have been accepted by the ministry.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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