Put Site C topsoil to good use

Re: 'Federal oilpatch bailout focus on cleanup of abandoned wells, reduced emissions', Alaska Highway News, April 17, 2020

Upon hearing the latest news about the allocation of funds from the federal government towards orphan well reclamation there are some thoughts that I wanted to share with you.

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Being a farmer in the Fort St. John region and having numerous orphan well sites and pipeline right of ways throughout our property, I know from experience that to properly reclaim well site damage and sink holes requires lots of good topsoil. And good topsoil is hard to find in Peace Country!

We are soon going to lose forever, a valuable and bountiful resource of Class 1 topsoil, when the Site C Dam is flooded.

My suggestion is that some of these funds being allocated, should be spent, relocating as much of this river bottom topsoil above the flood plain, before it is to late. Just some of the benefits listed below.

1) Bountiful supply of Class 1 topsoil made available for current reclamation projects.

2) Create a stock pile supply, to access for any future reclamation.

3) This soil could be used on the land above flood waters to grow local food produce for many years to come. With food security concerns currently at a heightened level, this would be a good investment of dollars spent. This soil could also be stock piled and later sold to the public.

4) This would generate jobs, putting a lot of truckers and contractors back to work for the next few years.

5) The cost of fuel that would needed is the low now.

6) It is also has environmental benefits to move as much organic matter as possible out of the future Site C lake. 

We know that huge amounts of money are being spent to move so called Dirty Dirt from contaminated sites, often hundreds of miles to a reclamation site. Surely it would make sense to move this Clean Dirt a few miles, so that it remains available.

— Martin Wuthrich, Fort St. John

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