The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) has voted to send out a recommendation that two municipal organizations support a measure that would require dam permit holders to notify the public in case of emergency, rather than contacting the municipalities and asking them to notify the public.
However, board chair Karen Goodings said that the motion was not done "in particular" because of the controversial Site C project.
"This is something that's been something longstanding for our emergency committee," said Goodings. "It's something we've said that we've need to had. It's not good enough for the directors, for us to say, BC Hydro will get a hold of the municipality and expect us to do all the work."
According to the PRRD's letter, current dam safety regulations require dam permit holders to prepare emergency plans for the dams. However, these plans do not require them to inform the public about the risks involved.
"The emergency plan is quite basic in that it only includes the names of contact persons, access routes and who should be notified downstream of the dam," according to the information. "For example, in the case of an emergency ... BC Hydro as the dam owner only notifies the potentially affected local government of the emergency and does not notify the residents or businesses that could be impacted."
They asked that the dam owners should develop public notification procedures and help coordinate emergency response.
This motion was sent on the North Central Local Government Association, an area association of northern B.C. municipalities, and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), which makes up all municipalities in the province.
They hope to have the NCLGA vote on the resolution at their 2013 conference.