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Re-build of Robertson Creek Dam in British Columbia set to begin

British Columbia-based Catalyst Paper is preparing to begin re-building the Robertson Creek Dam near Port Alberni in the Canadian province.

Catalyst, western North America's largest producer of mechanical printing paper, is undertaking this work in a strategic alliance with the Hupacasath First Nation. The dam is located in Hupacasath traditional territory, and the first nation has been actively engaged in long-standing efforts to advance the re-build project, a press release states.

An independent engineering evaluation confirmed the need to replace this more than 50-year-old structure. The new dam will be fully compliant with recently strengthened provincial guidelines and will be designed to withstand even peak flood conditions on Great Central Lake. The replacement plan underwent a full environmental assessment under federal regulatory requirements, and has been issued necessary provincial permits.

Initially, a temporary dam will be constructed just upstream from the existing one. The existing timber and stone structure is scheduled to be dismantled, and construction of a new earthen dam is scheduled to be completed by Sept.15, 2011, within a window of minimal fish presence. The cost of the work is budgeted at $1.7 million.

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