Rethinking dams isn’t ‘doing nothing’

The reclassification of the dams by the B.C. government’s dam safety branch is a serious issue that should not be brushed off.

To the Editor,

Re: New dam plan is to do nothing, Editorial, Feb. 5.

The reclassification of the dams by the B.C. government’s dam safety branch is a serious issue that should not be brushed off. The first assessment was a serious blunder that cost the taxpayers of Nanaimo a fortune and a lot of heartache, too.

Now some folks are worried the same people might drop the hammer on Nanaimo if we miss an arbitrary deadline? I don’t think so, given their error, and I encourage city council and its legal department to go after the B.C. government for all our costs we have paid due to their misfeasance.

Also, city council has the responsibility to consider all options and need to get this right. Rethinking options from all interested parties in a new game is hardly doing nothing.

David FairbairnNanaimo

 

To the Editor,

Re: New dam plan is to do nothing, Editorial, Feb. 5.

The editorial says that council has  given instruction ‘to do nothing’ for remediation of the lower dam. I would like to correct this misinformation, as nowhere in council’s motion does it say ‘do nothing.’ What it says is ‘let’s do this right.’

The reports show that loss of life is improbable and the classification is downgraded, so let’s take the time to come up with a sensible decision that all stakeholders can support. The options that have been presented so far are incredibly invasive and costly. It is time to use common sense when dealing with an improbable event that has been shown by the engineers’ report to have very low consequence.

Roblyn HunterNanaimo

 

To the Editor,

Re: New dam plan is to do nothing, Editorial, Feb. 5.

There is no sense protecting the dam from failing in a one-in-50,000-year event if the dam will fail to perform as needed in a one-in-100-year event. The proposals to double the spillway capacity compromise the ability of the dam reservoirs to retain flood water, allowing twice the water to come into the city sooner. This decreases emergency response time, increases the rate of erosion and the potential for damage to bridges, roads, storm sewer outfalls, and anything else along the river. And this would allow these high-risk events to increase in frequency.

Clearly, the dam safety branch or the city did not do a comprehensive risk assessment of those dams. As a result, the city wasted a lot of money and cost citizens a lot of grief to come to conclusion that should have been the most obvious.

Your editorial does the citizens a disservice by suggesting that the city’s involvement in this fiasco was anything other than well-intentioned incompetence.

Daniel AppellNanaimo

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