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British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Land reclamation strategy for the Keenleyside Powerplant project : creating opportunity landscapes Baker, Doug; Jackson, J. Leah


The Keenleyside Powerplant project requires an estimated 1.9 million cubic meters of material to be excavated over a 6 year period to facilitate the development of a powerhouse and intake structures adjacent to the Keenleyside dam near Castlegar. The excavated material is to be used for both construction purposes and for spoil. A 65 hectare area on the north bank of the Arrow Reservoir, upstream of the Keenleyside dam, has been designated as the spoil site. Much of this area was used for the original construction of the dam in 1972, and was never reclaimed. A progressive, staged reclamation strategy is proposed by B.C. Hydro that identifies opportunity landscapes for recreation and wildlife enhancement along the Arrow reservoir. The spoil material from the powerhouse excavation is sequenced with nine potential areas in which new landscapes can be created. Proposed landscapes include wetland habitat with nature trails, a day-use recreation area, and a beach area. The challenge of the reclamation strategy is to coordinate the removal of materials from the construction site, such that material suitable for construction needs is stockpiled nearby, and spoil material is hauled to designated sites for reclamation. Since the reclaimed sites have specific requirements for soils, the spoil must be sequenced with the specifications of each new landscape. The reclamation strategy is divided into 4 major stages over the construction period that outline the timing of the materials and volumes available for spoil placement. A GIS is used as a data base to model the movement of materials and produce a digital terrain model (DTM) of the desired landscapes. The DTM will also be used as a tool for public input into the project to create final landscape designs for the spoil material.

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